“I know I’m at the right place on the right path and I know I made the right choice and I want to be „Alive“ driven by passion, not by the wanting to make more money.” Boujmaa Guilloul
Boujmaa Guilloul teams up with Goya Windsurfing. The former PWA wave competitor and winner of the the AWT tour left Starboard/Severne after almost 20 years of collaboration. He is now in the team of former Wave World champion Francisco Goya, who has always been an idol for the Moroccan since the beginning of his career. We have known Boujmaa since the age of 14, when he started to land crazy moves at Essaouira. Of course, we followed the career of the charismatic character, who influenced wave windsurfing heavily during the past two decades.
One week ago we had the chance to talk with the 35 year-old Moroccan windsurfer, who takes nothing for granted. And we tried to find out more about his decision to go new ways.
Interview with Boujmaa Guilloul
Continentseven: Hi Boujmaa, how are you doing? Did you already sail much with your new equipment?
Boujmaa Guilloul: It really has been great. I have been in Morocco for a month and only sailed once since I got my new board and sail from Tarifa. The gear feels amazing for the little waves I caught with it and it feels so good to set the sails for new horizons.
You were almost two decades with Starboard and a few years less with Severne. Did you already realize the change?
I do, indeed it has been a lifetime, and I had planted and harvested so much with SB and SV and connected with so many hearts and driven souls. The passion of windsurfing is something beyond. It does connect the strongest personalities out there and the connection I had with the humans there was really amazing, opened up my mind and allowed me to experience with very little knowledge I brought from my little country some of the best moments of my life, moments I would have never dreamed of when I was a kid in Morocco. I do appreciate Svein Rasmussen, Scott McKercher, Tiesda You, Ben Severne and the whole staff in the background, who have helped me a lot to pursue the dream of living a dream, and I am very grateful to them and very thankful for their support.
Why did you leave Starboard/Severne and why did you decide for a collaboration with Goya?
To be honest, at the age of 35, we all have to find a way to grow healthier, to prosper and to decide which road is the right to take, regardless the safety of it. I windsurf by passion and not to make money. I just need to find the right way to make a living still through the passion, because I believe if you are passionate about your job, you will always excel in it. I have heard a lot since I got onto professional windsurfing that if you were gonna make living from windsurfing, you were foolish, but hey, I lived from it since I was 19 and I traveled around the world because of it, (I never dreamed of attending the places I went to when I was a kid growing up in my humble neighborhood). I built everything around me from windsurfing. Today life is constantly changing and to keep it up I have to get involved into doing more passionate “work”. I want to windsurf everyday full on fun solid windsurfing. Goya has given me this opportunity and I took it. The connection I have with Francisco is something noticeable and I have looked up to him since I was a kid. Watching the movie „Alive“ everyday multiple times before going to the water was something I would forever remember. Collaborating with him today is beyond a dream. I know I’m at the right place on the right path and I know I made the right choice and I want to be „Alive“ driven by passion, not by the wanting to make more money.
How much time did you spend on your new equipment so far and will you offer that equipment in your center in Moulay Bouzerktoun, too?
I did have one single solid session in Morocco in the waves of Essaouira. I didn’t have the chance to test out more, but I am about to jump on a plane to go back to Maui to try out everything and to hopefully be on the water every day, and yes I will hopefully in 3 years have a full range of Goya windsurfing gear MFC FOILS and KT surfboards in my center in Moulay, Essaouira and Sidi Kaouki. I do plan to push windsurfing in Morocco and therefore I want to plant windsurfing in all the windsurfable spots of the region of Essaouira, and who knows one day on Dakhla.
Will you change anything riding for Goya? Do you plan to return on tour or participate in the IWT events regularly? You won the AWT title in 2016.
I am free to do as I feel. I will compete on the fun events and edit clips of inspiring windsurfing. I will still try and push my windsurfing and sail more. I do have loads of projects in mind and plans to achieve before I retire, but I will keep it for myself this time till it would for sure be happening and will be happy to share with the world. I also have been foiling a lot and I hope to foil more when I can’t wave sail.
Do you still focus on organizing a World Cup in your home town?
The event organizing takes loads of energy so I am not sure I have it neither the time, still trying to push a team here to take care of it, and shall see soon. I so wanna push junior windsurfing World Cup, but I am afraid my priorities are different for now.
That’s a cool plan to focus on the youth! I remember when I’ve met you in Essaouira for the first time. You nailed Shakas at the age of 13 or 14. It was insane. Are you happy what you’ve achieved in the past 20 years?
I would have never imagined arriving where I am now back then. The main scene was out of my reach, out of my dream. I was just windsurfing to windsurf and the only dream I had, was to be able to have gear to be in the water. When I broke a base joint I would wait few weeks if not months to get enough money to replace it, and my thrill was again to break something and to not to be able to go again in the water. I am so blessed and so thankful for everything that has happened and the way my career went. I will never forget the past and I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be going exactly to the right destination making the most out of the journey.
Taking risk in waves is one of your strength. It often paid off, but once you almost paid with your life when trying a triple Forward in Maui. Did you feel too much pressure from your sponsors to go for that?
I think I was just crazy enough to always try and reach out new feelings from windsurfing, didn’t feel any pressure from the sponsors to go for it, but I felt like I had to beat my fear and try what was impossible with very little preparation. I hope the next generation will have enough guidance to help them shorten the roads and avoid some little mistakes that can change their sports lives.
Would you do that again? What about the Foubackward or the Black Shot?
Indeed the windsurfing jump combos are really fun to do and to see but you always by nature wanna expand your tricks list just because we are humans. I don’t know if I will do that again, I think of it all the time when training or when windsurfing, but I am not sure with the little fitness I have now I am capable to do it again.
Are you taking less risk since that accident happened in April 2011?
I am thinking twice now before trying anything new, while before I didn’t even think once.
You probably saw almost all wave windsurfing spots. Are there still any you didn’t see and you would love to visit?
The world is big and small at the same time. I would love to sail so many waves around the world, so many waves I have been to like Ponta Preta or One Eye and others that I dream of like Fiji or Namibia.
In the past you tried a few different types of windsurfing. You even tried the Olympic discipline once, you participated in the Defi or you released bump & jump videos. Will you continue with that or is your focus 100% on wave windsurfing now?
My focus is 100% on wave windsurfing, but if I can get in the water somehow, I would. I would go foil because the feelings are magical. I wouldn’t try olympics. I don’t have the mindset and I would go for long down winders on my freeride gear, but my goal is to wave sail as much as possible.
You spent so much time with the best of the best in the waves. What are the riders you are looking up to nowadays?
It’s a long list of amazing riders, everyone is so impressive in their unique way and I look up to them all. Everyone has an ingredient that the other doesn’t.
Do you feel the same stoke for windsurfing like many years ago, when you started to discover the sport?
The amazing thing with windsurfing is you are constantly trying to get better and to progress. I think I was gifted and blessed with this passion to always push my lifestyle and my windsurfing, you never get nowhere when you are windsurfing you just expand your knowledge and skill till you see a new possibility to do better or to excel in a different perspective. And that’s what I thrive for everyday. Today I know I am driven by riding challenging conditions, from super windy days to big wave sailing. To me it’s a nonstop journey of learning.
Thanks a lot for the interview Boujmaa & good look for 2020!