Interview with Marc Paré Rico
Continentseven: How are you doing? Back in Klitmøller again? Have you already scored some autumn storms up in the north?
Marc Paré Rico: Right now I’m home in Barcelona. I just got home from Maui a few days ago and already flying to Chile tomorrow for my next adventure/ video project. I am super excited for this one! I did get a good run of storms in Denmark before flying to Maui a month and a half ago, so I was pretty stoked to be able to score some of my favorite conditions in the cold north!
How did it feel finishing a men’s wave event for the first time on the PWA podium?
It was amazing and super emotional, as it is something I’ve been looking and training for the past few years, so it was super special for me!
How much motivation gives this 2nd place finish for the upcoming year?
My motivation to do well has been really high already for the past years, but it was reassuring for me as it showed me that I can be up there and I have the level to do it. So I would say it definitely boosted my confidence!
Marc Pare | Pic: Fishbowldiaries
How important is competition for you?
It’s really important and till now has been my main and only focus. With the last two years my vision has changed a bit and I really enjoy travelling to new places and doing cool projects. I think it allows me to relax, just focus on my windsurfing and enjoy the sport on its own. And I think that’s really important as it keeps the spirit alive.
Why did you start windsurfing?
I started windsurfing because my family had an apartment by the sea in Costa Brava, and I just saw some people windsurfing and some gear on the beach and I was amazed by it. Since the moment I had enough strength to uphaul the sail I never stopped. Windsurfing is like a drug!
You grew up in Manlleu, a Catalonian village relatively far from any waves. 130 kilometers one way to Pals, what’s quite a trip for a session. But you constantly improved your skills. What motivated you to get better and better?
Yes, where I grew up wasn’t an ideal place at all to develop my windsurfing and my skills. It was hard to go windsurfing as I always had to wait for my dad to be able to drive me at the weekends. My dad was the one that first saw the potential in me. He made a lot of efforts and sacrifices so I could chase my dream and do what I love. Without him, I wouldn’t be in the position where I am at today. I’m a really competitive person, and I’m tough with myself (sometimes a bit too much). So I think that combined with my love and passion for the sport was what drove me forward and made me stay for countless hours on the water pushing myself to improve.
When did you realize that wave windsurfing is your favorite discipline?
My transition from Slalom sailing to full on Wave sailing was between 2014 and 2015. That was when I realized wave sailing was what I wanted to focus on and what I wanted to do all day long. Nevertheless, I still love slalom sailing and racing and whenever I have the chance to do it I go for it!
The feeling of doing a proper turn or demolishing a lip is beyond anything else!
Jumping or wave riding? What do you like more?
I think most people know me for my jumping, but my focus in the past years has been more into the riding. Maybe I’m getting older now haha, but I would say I enjoy wave riding way more now. The feeling of doing a proper turn or demolishing a lip is beyond anything else!
So, what is your favorite equipment setup right now?
One of my favorite set ups is the Duotone Super Hero 4,2 on the new Fanatic Grip 81. I use 33” Duotone harness lines and the Grip 81 with a quad fin setup. I use 14.5 rears 8 or 8.5 fronts custom fins. I set up the rears to go right under my back foot and then I put the side fins about 2 fingers apart from the rears. I will put my top turn rail side about 0.5 cm to 0.75 cm further back than the bottom turn rail side. I personally use asymmetric sides that are 8 cm and have 3 degrees toe in, that makes the board turn better, but you do sacrifice comfort and planning. I use the mast track that the disc starts right at the edge of the square, to allow the board to be a bit more free and reactive, once again though that comes with a comfort and planning compromise as the board will feel more nervous under feet. I use this setup for down the line to side on wave riding. When it’s onshore I use some normal 9 cm sides, nothing crazy just a straight fast fin.
What’s your size and weight right now?
I’m 1,89 cm and 81kg at the moment.
Marc Pare in Sylt | Pic: Carter/pwaworldtour.com
At the end of 2019 you left Simmerstyle after a long cooperation and signed a contract with Fanatic, Duotone and ION. Was this the right step to develop your career?
Simmer was like a family for me, and I had a really good relationship with everyone involved. They took care of me and Tomas Persson believed in me since the beginning and helped me and supported me to become a world class wave sailor. It was a super hard and heart-breaking decision for me to leave the brand. I decided to make the move because FANATIC, DUOTONE & ION are big brands in the industry and they could help me grow more in my professional career, develop myself as an athlete and support my projects. I’ve learned a lot during the last couple of years with them and we have done some really cool projects together, and in the future there’s many more to come!
Do you feel you will step into the footsteps of Victor Fernandez one day? He won 3 PWA World Titles, 6 Vice World Titles and is still competing on the highest level with 37 years of age?
Marc: Victor is an amazing competitor and athlete and it would be a dream of mine to achieve a World Title at least. He is also a super good friend of mine and we always push each other on the water. I think we both just love to go out together and enjoy the session while helping each other to improve! At the same time though, we are different persons with different ways of thinking and different visions. That said, I have a lot of projects and different goals besides becoming World Champion.
How is your foot doing? Are you 100% fit again after your foot surgery or are you still limited?
I can sail back at my 100% which I am super happy for, though my foot is not totally the same it used to be. I think it will slowly get back to the normal feeling, but as long as it doesn’t limit my performance I’m not worried at all!
Which injury did you exactly have?
I had a severe “turf toe” injury where I broke one of the tendons, the capsule and the cartilage of my I MTP joint. The recovery was going pretty good and fast, even the foot surgeon was surprised. But still I had to pull out of the 2022 PWA Cabo Verde event. Luckily this was my worst injury to date and the only one that required surgery to fix it. As an athlete you deal with injuries constantly, but it is always a hard pill to swallow when you have to undergo surgery because your body can’t heal on its own.
Marc Pare exploring Iceland | Pic: Sergio Espinosa
In the movie Flòttan (Link to the movie: Flòttan) you are exploring Iceland together with your girlfriend Thilde Sofie and the film maker Sergio Espinosa. You windsurf next to glaciers and icebergs, experience snowstorms and sail in extreme conditions. Have you ever imagined wind surfing in such cold conditions?
A few years ago I would have never imagined I would be doing cold water trips and enjoying them so much. I know a lot of people that would hate it or would never do it, but I feel like I found my sweet spot with it now.
Cold water spots are like my “escape”.
How come you enjoy windsurfing in such extreme weather conditions that much?
I always loved northern countries and the windsurfing possibilities they offer. Once I started sailing more in Denmark into deep winter, I realised that with the new wetsuits (specially with the new graphene tech from ION) your body can hold really low temperatures, and that just opened up a whole new world of possibilities in front of me. I used to hate sailing with boots and I tried to avoid them as much as I could, but at one point it just gets too cold and you have to embrace it and get used to it. Not too many people would think of seeking conditions in cold places with temperatures below 5°C, but I think there’s a lot of beauty in it and you could be surprised of the things you can find! A part of me enjoys way more to be in the cold than in the heat nowadays… hahaha. Most of the people love warm places, so that normally means it gets really busy. Cold water spots are like my “escape”. I love every little thing about it; the adrenaline rush, the fear, the excitement, the reward, the consequences… That’s what I would do all day long!
What is the fascination of going out in such extreme conditions?
I grew up admiring what the guys where doing in the Red Bull Storm Chase, the videos of the guys sailing stormy Denmark and the high-wind Pozo sailing. That’s what built me up and made me wanna go out and do it too!
So, you would love to participate in a Storm Chase one day?
That’s one of my dreams and I really want to have the chance to take part in it next time they do it. I have a lot of respect for this event, as the conditions are no joke when it gets this wild, but that’s what makes it exciting and interesting at the same time.
Is Klitmoller and Cold Hawaii your home (spot) now?
I don’t consider myself a local at all of course, but I do feel a specially connection with the place now, and somehow, it feels more like my windsurfing home than Pals for example. I think it’s due to the amount of hours and time I’ve spent there now.
Do you already have plans for the upcoming winter months and how do they look like?
So I have a couple cool projects and trips coming up that I am super excited for. One of them will be in Chile just next week. After that I’ll head to Cape Town after Christmas and then in February hopefully Cape Verde!
What are you goals for 2023?
Mainly I want to perform at my highest level and sail smart in my heats, and I think if I do that, results will follow. So I will just keep focusing on doing my best and giving my everything.
Thanks for your time and good luck for your upcoming projects!
Marc Pare surfing | Pic: Carter/pwaworldtour.com