Text: Ricardo Miguel Vieira | Photo: DR | Translator: João Diogo Rocha Pereira
Exploring the waves in fins and boogieboard
“Become the new world bodyboarding superstar”, dares Óscar Mansura from behind the counter of the small Hollow Boardshop, placed at the centre of Ericeira. With an enthusiasm measured by a grin that fulfils his face, and a strong voice as if he was talking to an audience, the 28-year-old bodyboarding coach declares dreams and objectives for the only school in Ericeira exclusively devoted to bodyboarding. “I’d like to train people to become fierce competitors.”
The exultation towards bodybarding is readable in Óscar’s eyes like an open book. They gleam stronger since 12 years ago when he first started descending the waves of the land that knows him since he was born, Ericeira. The passion kept growing and today he makes a living out of this relationship, through the store he manages with his sister, Filipa Mansura, also a bodyboarder, and his students, to whom he transmits everything he knows. “In the water I’m more of a friend, but sometimes I need to push their efforts. I usually push for their riding style, but in the water I’m always like this with everyone, it’s in my character”, he confesses, posing a serious face, as if he was revealing a secret.
In 2005, with his friend António Brites, he founded the ARS’s bodyboarding school, but with the opening of the only store exclusively devoted to the sport in Ericeira, Hollow Boardshop, in November 2009, he merged the brand to his own school. Lately, foreigners are the ones who mostly seek lessons, which obliges to a more focused stance on the wave-riding style rather than competition. “As I’ve been giving more lessons to people from other countries, I focus mostly on style to see if they have a correct stance, so when they practice in other places on their own they already have the basics”, he explains. Although, besides the usual foreigners, there’s always place for the Portuguese. “Last year there were many more Portuguese girls, which is something funny because it’s unusual. It’s been different” he emphasises, frowning, showing surprise and a certain query look.
In Ericeira we have some pretty good kids. There are more people bodyboarding, there are even some young girls, aged 12-13, that we have been spotting around.
During school term, bodyboarding classes are more distributed in time. When there’s a weekend with good waves, Óscar text messages all students, inviting them to a bodyboarding and exercises session. Then they arrange a meeting point in one of the region’s beaches and there they gather for some well-spent hours in the water.
Ericeira, says the coach, has good bodyboarding athletes, with further motivation being the only thing missing for a serious commitment to the sport and, who knows, a career in it. “In Ericeira we have some pretty good kids. There are more people bodyboarding, there are even some young girls, aged 12-13, that we have been spotting around. The only thing missing is the will”, he says.
Óscar Mansura has plenty of spare motivation to bodyboarding and he wants to share it with further riders. Especially because Ericeira is such a special place for the sport. “There are several interesting spots to whomever wants to keep evolving”, he unveils. “All you have to do is show up”, he challenges in a simple terms, just like placing a boogieboard under your arm and head to the beach.
Rua de Santo António, n.º 6, 2655 Ericeira, Portugal
916 833 550 (Óscar Mansura)
Facebook: Hollow Boardshop
Esta publicação também está disponível em | This article is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)