Alfonso Peters, one of our latest RYD ambassadors, literally went from roaming the streets to surfing world league. He will be representing South Africa at the 2019 ISA WORLD LONGBOARD SURFING CHAMPIONSHIP in Biarritz this coming weekend (26th of May – 2nd of June).
We are super stoked and caught up with him to share his inspirational story, ask about how he is feeling before the big event, and wish him all the best!
The Alfonso Peters story
“I ran away from home when I was only nine years old, roaming the streets. After a social worker helped me to enroll in a three-day camp as a chance to turn my life around – I knew I had to find something else to keep me busy.
I got into surfing through an after-school program initiated by the Surfshack in Muizenberg. At first, I didn’t want to put my name down as
surfing wasn’t something I had tried before or was interested in – my aim was to become the next best soccer star. However, by the end of the school day my name was on the list.
I remember the moment so well: the first wave I stood up on. It was so powerful, the feeling that I was free from all my problems and issues.
After a while I started surfing at Gary’s Surf School as this was where all the longboard surfers were. From there I coached surfing and soon I ended up working at the Surf Emporium, where I met my beautiful wife Emma-Jane. I knew she was the one and I had to get my life in order to secure a better and bright future.”
On the World Longboard Surfing Champs
“I started competing on the world stage in 2017 and went overseas for the very first time! We surfed in Papua New Guinea (I didn’t even know where it was on the map) and since then I’ve competed in China and Taiwan. It can be quite daunting, but each time I get more comfortable competing against people I watch and follow online.
This year, I am feeling quite confident about the contest as I have been training hard: in and out of the water. The break is a left-and-right-hand wave which should play to my advantage.
I now have a much better understanding of what the judges look for, as I competed last year in China at an ISA event as well. I am going to give it my absolute best.”
“I really love the products and the philosophy behind them. I especially enjoy using the RYD fins. They look amazing and feel so good in the water whether I am nose riding with my single fin or surfing rail-to-rail with my thruster set up.
I am so stoked to be a part of the RYD tribe and to build future memories with them. I am also humbled by the support I have received from everyone in the RYD team! It is awesome to know that I have so much backing at home when I am competing internationally.”
Surfing and Family
“The ocean became my space to clear my mind and think. Surfing is amazing: if you need time alone you can take a paddle out and just sit on your board and if you are ready for people again – you just head back to the crowd.
Emma plays a massive role in my life and made me believe anything is possible by being my biggest fan and closest critic. If I have a great heat, she will tell me and if not, she will also tell me! We all need someone like that, someone who gives us honest feedback no matter what. She was the one who made me believe that I can actually win contests. Even when I was in doubt about going to France, she said we can raise the funds – just train and surf as much as possible.
My son (Noah Ryan Pieters) is my biggest inspiration and motivation to go out and do my best in everything I do. I never knew that I would one day have a family of my own, let alone a roof over my head. I want to give him everything that I never had; growing up without my father.
I can’t wait to take him surfing one day and share my passion with him. He is currently 9 months old and just busy crawling and cruising everywhere. I want to teach him well and see him grow up into a man that can one day be my role model!”
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