Franco Rivas is the first surf coach we ever added to our team. In a way, he represents what most inland surfers would have dreamed of: being born a few meters away from surf beaches and having a passionate surf dad introducing him to the art of surfing at a young age.
Franco is a true brother from Argentina. He’s responsible for most of our personal surf progression in the last few seasons. He showed us just how technical and subtle surfing could be. He also welcomed hundreds of our travellers to Nicaragua and introduced them to our world. A world of simplicity, passion and dedication to the things we love.
You are a surfer from Mar del Plata, the surfing capital of Argentina. How was it like to grow up in this town? How’s the surf over there?
Growing up in a town like “Mar del” is great. You get to do loads of surfing and skateboarding. Waves are good in autumn and winter. Life is really laid back down there.
You used to compete in surf competitions in South America. When did you decide to focus on free surfing and why?
When I was 18 I met a creative guy that started an artistic movement (AFT gallery). He made me realize the real essence of surfing and it took the best out of me. After that I couldn’t see surfing as something competitive anymore. I enjoy it for myself.
Pepe’s World (Franco’s media name) has caught the attention of many surf brands (Vans, AFT Gallery, Chilling Company). Why do you think the surf world loves Pepe’s World?
Because it represents a simple lifestyle and the happiness of the traveler that is constantly looking for freedom.
Being away from home so many months per year, what do you miss most from Argentina when you’re out of the country?
I miss the forest where I grew up. Also the vibe of my town. And for sure my family.
What’s your next project?
After I finish Pepe’s World California, I would like to go to Patagonia to surf and then go snowboarding south of Argentina.
Short film of our two surf coaches, Franco Rivas and Rex Calderon, in Nicaragua last winter.