SRFACE Diaries gives you a peek into the lives of our ambassadors. Because we all surf but have so much more that makes us interesting human beings. This week: Surfer, lifeguard, family man and Wavegarden Scotland advisor Sebastian Jimenez from Edinburgh, Scotland. Images by Vilmos.
How did you start surfing?
I started surfing in Punta del Este, Uruguay when I was 8 years old with my twin brother and my father. We used to just bodyboard in the summer months. At 12 years old, my brother and I dedicated ourselves 100% to skateboarding and I didn’t surf again until I was 18 years old. In 2001 Uruguay went through a very rough economic crisis which made skateboarding very expensive and I lost all my sponsors. I could not afford to keep skating without any sponsorship support. It was midsummer, I was taking my break at work, when my boss came to tell me that it was my last day. I finished my shift and without knowing what to do I went to the beach to clear my mind. There were good waves so I went to the surf school and asked if I could borrow a board to go for a surf. I went into the water and on my first wave I popped up and surfed all the way to the inside. I felt at home. Suddenly it all made sense and I fell in love with surfing and never stopped surfing again. And I probably never will…
A typical day in your life?
Our son Mateo (5) always wakes up very early, around 6:30 am. The first thing I do is make breakfast for Mateo and prepare my Uruguayan maté, which is a type of tea that is drunk from a special cup with a metal straw. It is very healthy and is like a ritual that cannot be missed in our mornings. It is a very big part of the Uruguayan culture.
In winter, while Mateo is having breakfast and my wife prepares to go to work, I take the opportunity to take our dog outside and remove the ice from the windows of our cars (welcome to Scotland). I work irregular hours and sometimes I work from home. To be able to go surfing I need to be lucky to have a couple of free hours because I have to drive at least 45 minutes to get to the waves. Sometimes going surfing is part of my job, which makes me very happy! If I have free time and there are no waves, I go for a swim at the swimming pool or take care of doing the housework and tidying up the mess that a 5-year-old boy makes every day! Haha.
My wife works long hours during the week so basically weekends are the days to do something different. We make the most of the Scottish seasons, we enjoy the short days in winter at home and in summer I love to light up the BBQ!
Why do you surf?
I surf because I love the feeling of freedom that surfing gives me. When I am in the water my mind turns away from the problems and responsibilities that we must face every day and I connect deeply with only what is happening at that moment. I feel that I am part of what surrounds me. I feel the breeze change direction, the sea tells me where I should position myself and when I am on a wave the only feeling I have is happiness.
What is your favourite destination?
That’s a very difficult question. It’s hard to decide between cold empty spots or warm crowded but epic waves. A few years ago I would have replied that my favourite surf destination was Nicaragua because you have offshore winds every day. It’s really warm, the waves are amazing, it is beautiful and not expensive. But thanks to the great advances in wetsuit technology and design, my favourite place to surf now is Scotland. I have never felt better vibes in the water than in Scotland and if you know where to go, the waves are very good, and their landscapes and backdrops are unique.
Any Instagram accounts we should follow?
Yes! There are a lot of people and companies that support me and play a big role in my (surfing) life:
If you would like to see some unique Scottish surf photography that shows a lot more than just a guy on a surfboard doing a nice turn then you should check out @arms.of.ocean.
I work for Wavegarden Scotland and I know how fun it is to surf in any of these wave pools and how exciting the future looks. Follow @wavegarden_official and @wavegarden_scotland to stay up to date. Launching in Scotland soon!
Also a mention for @impactsportscbd because I truly believe in the benefits of CBD products.
@daisyscoldwatersurfcream because it is like a wetsuit for your face and it is so good not to feel pain in your face after a freezing cold surf session.
I’m also sponsored by @soliteboots. In my opinion they sell the best boots in the market. If you’re serious about cold water surfing, check them out.
And last but not least, if you surf in cold water you should protect your ears to prevent surfer’s ear. Check out @surfmouldpro for custom high-quality ear plugs.
What is your favourite surf movie?
The Seawolf. Such a well-made cold-water surf movie. Great surfers, amazing waves, nice music, amazing landscape views, it is a work of art with some epic Scottish waves!
Is there anything you would give up surfing for?
The ultimate wetsuit for every surfer