Raul Medina: National Champion (Open Category)
Interview by: Mario Dillanes
Translation: Heido Sundstrom
It hasn’t been an easy road for Raul Medina. Out of those that have surfed beaches like Zicatela or Sayulita, he’s found it hard to receive the attention that his surfing deserves. Thanks to his determination to become the best, however, Medina takes advantage of every opportunity presented to him and this year, after sixteen years since gaining his first National Surf Champion title, the crown has been returned to him and, once again, he is the National Surf Champion in the Open Category. This is a good example of how Medina lives his life: without fear and ready to give it everything he’s got, despite everyone telling him that it’s too late. Medina achieved his championship title once again, thanks to his tenacity and never giving up on his beloved sport of surfing.
Planeta Surf: What’s your full name?
Raul Medina: Jorge Raul Medina Morales.
PS: Your date of Birth?
RM: August 17th, 1981.
PS: Where were you born?
RM: Playa Azul, Michoacan
PS: Where did you start surfing?
RM: In Playa Azul, Michoacan.
PS: Years surfing?
RM: 24 years.
PS: When was the first time you were crowned National Champion?
RM: In Acapulco when I was 18. It was 1998 or 1999; I can’t remember the exact date.
PS: What did it take to become National Champion?
RM: Working hard every day, training, a good diet, effort, dedication and the desire to be champion.
PS: What are your future plans?
RM: Go to the world surfing championships and do a good job representing Mexico, and taking advantage of this opportunity. I’d also like to attend upcoming international events.
PS: Has being the National Champion opened up new doors?
RM: Yes, it’s a good achievement, where everyone knows who you are. People get to know you and you can find new sponsors and respond to those who are already sponsoring you.
PS: Who are your current sponsors?
RM: Fish Mazatlan, Olea Surfboards, El Roots and El Yate Nightclub. A big shout-out and thanks to them for believing in me and for all their support.
PS: What do you think Mexican surfing need to really take off?
RM: More support is needed for athletes to be able to attend events like the WCT, the WQS and high-level events that motivate Mexican surfing. As in previous events, like the contests in Los Cabos and Acapulco, it makes us realize the good level that exists.
PS: Who makes up your family?
RM: My two sons, Jorge Raul and Andy Kale (ages 10 and 5), my eternal girlfriend and life partner, my dogs, my boards, my leashes...
PS: What’s a normal day like for you?
RM: I wake up at 6am, go jogging on the beach with my dogs, observe the waves, have a little chat with friends to decide the place we’re going to surf that day, eat a light breakfast, then go surfing for a few hours. After surfing, I go pick up my kids from school and we return home to make lunch for the three of us. We eat, take a little nap to rest and in the afternoons, I hit the beach again. If the waves are good, I go surfing. If not, I go fishing or exercise, or hang out at the beach with my kids, who are also drawn to this sport and are starting to surf.
PS: Do you do any other sports?
PS: Where do you dream of surfing one day?
PS: Have you ever been injured in the water?
RM: I’ve hurt my knee twice. It’s a pain that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but fortunately, I’ve never been in any super dangerous situations, except maybe escaping from drowning in big waves or seeing sharks up close before a contest, but, thankfully, nothing too serious.
PS: How are the waves in Playa Azul?
RM: The best time to surf is during September, October, and November. The beach is open water, with a sandy bottom, and there are all different types of waves that are constantly changing.
PS: Where do you normally go surfing?
RM: Playa Azul, Rio Nexpa and El Rancho.
PS: Where’s your favorite place to surf in Mexico?
RM: Barra de la Cruz and Scorpion Bay.