Tamraght, Morocco, February 2020
Redouane is the two times Moroccan surf champion and one of the fastest paddlers we've seen. Whatever the conditions are, he is always stoked. This winter we had the chance to see him compete in the first WQS 5.000 in Anchor Point, surf his way to Round 3 and make all his family and friends proud. You can find him in the line-up around Tamraght, where he runs Surf Lovers Morocco with his brothers Wail and Reda and his wife Floor.
Redouane was our surf guide this winter in Morocco, and we decided to ask him a few questions about him and the future of surfing in Morocco.
Words by Redouane Regragui
Where did everything start?
I grew up in Rabat, the capital city of Morocco and I grew up in the kasbah of Oudaïa. It’s there where I learned surfing.
I started surfing when I was 8 years old because every holiday, or in the summertime, I just went to the beach because I lived close to the beach and played football with my friends and borrowed bodyboards. That's how I got into surfing.
Then I start standing up on it, because I've seen other surfers practising, and then I told myself “Why not trying to do like them?”.
Because I didn't have enough money to buy a real surfboard, bodyboarding was an easier option and it was also cheap to rent or to buy.
My older brother (Wail Regragui) was the first one who started surfing in the family. Then I joined him with my twin brother (Reda Regragui), as I said, with bodyboards and then we went to a surf club and we started surfing there.
Back then my biggest inspirations were Yassin Ramdani and Abdelkhalek El Harim. These two persons were living close to us. They had international sponsors and were taking part in international competitions with really good results. Sometimes they came to us and gave us some tips, which I always followed.
I wanted to become like them, that's why I got into surfing. I liked the way they lived their life.
What about you and shaper Thierry Delbourg?
When I won the Moroccan championship in 2019, that's the time I tried to contact Thierry via social media. I really liked the boards that he made for some Moroccan athletes. So I told myself “why not try my chance?” and texted him. We had a meeting and he started making these really nice surfboards for me that helped my surfing to develop. Our relationship is very good, we understand each other very good, he always knows what I’m looking for and that's the goal for me.
Why did you move to the South of Morocco?
When I was 19 years old I moved to the area of Agadir, I moved here because of the waves. It was a bit late, I wish I got here when I was younger, and I had sponsors...
We have a lot of surf spots, from the north of Morocco to the south, we have the best waves, it’s a paradise for all the surfers. We just had the international competition WQS 5000 here, sponsored by Taghazout Bay and the federation. Now they are signing a contract for 5 years. This will support the new generations, and these events are reuniting also Morocco's best athletes like Yassin and Abdel, as well as surfers from Rabat, Casablanca, and surfing in Morocco is really developing now.
I would like the big sponsors to support Moroccan surfers, so they could show their skills also at an international level, in competitions outside of Morocco.
What does surfing mean to you?
Surfing for me is everything. if I’m not feeling good, I go to the water and get my smile back. If I already feel good, I'll feel even better.
The future of Moroccan surfing?
I see a good future for Morocco, we are the first African country that qualified for the Olympics, thanks to Ramzi Boukhiam: he made it. And in relation to this, I wish big brands to look after Moroccan athletes because we have a lot of good talents here and we should look after them.