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Travis Moore Swapped his Snowboard for a Surfboard to Open Surfing School in Rincón

This American athlete acquired Rincón Surf School to teach everything about the art of riding waves on a surfboard

April 20, 2024 - 11:00 PM

The Boyd family traveled from the United States to Rincón to take surf lessons at Rincón Surf School. (XAVIER GARCIA)

Lee la historia en español aquí.

Rincón.- For the past six years, members of the Boyd family have come from New Hampshire to Rincón with only one thing in mind: to learn everything about the art of riding waves on a surfboard.

Like them, hundreds of Puerto Ricans and Americans alike visit Rincón’s beaches all year round, some unaware of the dangerous waves.

Others even arrive without ever having gotten on a board in their lives, but they come in search of waves regardless. This has led to the emergence of surfing schools on Rincón’s coast, some of them more than 20 years old, like Rincón Surf School.

Among those hundreds is snowboarder Travis Moore. After arriving in Rincón in 2007, he swapped his snowboard for a surfboard, settled in the area, and eventually bought the school.

Rincón Surfing School was established in 1999 and has around 13 instructors. It is the oldest surfing school in the region. Brandon López and Derek Ríos, well-known in the local surfing scene for competing and being members of the Puerto Rico Surfing Federation, are some of the school’s instructors.

The surf school was established in 1999. 
The surf school was established in 1999.  (XAVIER GARCIA)

Moore explained that the most attractive thing about surfing is that it is a sport that requires a high degree of physical and mental prowess, and promotes overall development among those who practice it.

“What surfing can do for your brain and for your body is amazing. All of us are fit because everything we do depends on our legs,” he stated.

“I was a professional snowboarder, but when you’re on your surfboard, it’s you against the ocean. You can use surfing for everything in life. It teaches you to be relaxed, it keeps you fit, it always teaches you something. You can learn so much from surfing, and it is the most difficult sport you can practice. People don’t know all that. They arrive, they see our physical condition, they enter the water and in 30 seconds they’re exhausted, until they learn. That’s why we’re here,” he said.

López added that once the surfer is in the water, standing on the board is the easiest part. In fact, it is the first thing apprentices are taught without having entered the water yet.

“There are many people who pick up the board, get in the water and realize, while they’re in there, that they need someone to teach them. The sea is strong, and if you don’t know where to enter, leaving is very hard,” López pointed out.

It is a lesson Georgina Boyd, 50, learned during Somos Puerto Rico’s visit. She had to leave the water after a wave broke her surfboard in two.

“I was ready to catch a wave, but then I realized it was too big for me. I tried leaving, but when the wave reached me, the board just split,” explained the woman, who was just about to take another board to return to the sea after she hardly managed to reach the shore at María beach, where the three-hour surfing lesson was being held.

Travis Moore, owner of Rincón Surf School. 
Travis Moore, owner of Rincón Surf School.  (XAVIER GARCIA)

Although this is the sixth time they visit the Island, along with the Boyds was their neighbor, Elizabeth Means, who is only 16 years old and had never been on a board before in her life.

It took a few minutes of lessons on the ground with López on how to stand on the board, how to kick on it and how to find her balance, before ‘Ellie’, as she’s known to friends and family, went to sea with the rest of the family and successfully enjoyed the experience of being on a board.

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