Surf ATL Community Spotlight: Emilio Castro
Every surfer has a story and this is the latest installment of our Surf ATL Community Spotlight series where we will feature surfers and those part of the surf culture in the Atlanta area. Check out our previous spotlights on Thomas Roginsky, Spencer Broome, Anthony Kennedy, Nick Bramwell, the Merlo Family, Mike Dobbs, Kristian Erik Bjerke, Jamie Eichler, Doug Paul, Brandon Spivia, Robert Hanson, Liam Spoon, Eric Ilustrisimo, Susan Bond, Jason Smith, Garrett Gilfillan, Silvia Saey, Scott Mennicke, Tammie Dalrymple, Wes Espinosa, Peter Gudbrandsen, Kelby Graham, Kayvon Nazarian, Abigail Pierce, Clark Campbell, Katy Harrison, Sam Burrafato, Maggie Maziarz, Erik Barron, Erin Keith, Jenny Serwitz, Adam Hunter, Joyce and Mack, Jackson Kearns, Jessica Luna, Tyler Urrutia, Mike Pappas, Scott Stone, and Emily McLarty.
My name is Emilio Castro. I was born and raised in Lima, Peru and my home beach town is Punta Negra which is south of Lima.
Do you ocean surf, wake surf, river surf, paddle surf? Any or all of the above?
I ocean surf and paddle surf. I’ve also been learning hydrofoil lately behind a boat and found it super fun to enjoy 15 minutes away from home and sometimes gets the same stoke, or the closest you can feel to a surf session in the ocean. It is like a dream come true, surfing at home.
I would love to learn to wake surf and keep learning to surf foiling the second wave of the wake.
I also like to skate carving the hills. The dream is still alive!
How did you get into surfing? In Atlanta or somewhere else?
I fell in love with the ocean and waves at a very early stage of my life, at about seven years old or less. We shared a beach house in the south of Lima where the backyard was filled with potent waves and I contemplated for hours envisioning myself among them.
The waves were breaking more for body surfing and boogie boarding. I was too little for those giant waves so soon I was learning the art of body surfing with my local friends and that completely changed my perspective of the ocean.
A few years later I tried my first surfboard and my enthusiasm for surfing multiplied instantly along with my buddies I grew up with who shared the same passion.
For some seasons we surfed every day and explored new point breaks nearby.
I found surfing the best way to spend my childhood and continued surfing until I moved to the States in 2001.
Where and how often do you surf?
I had to start from zero here in Atlanta and wanted to be a bit away from the ocean to focus on job opportunities and the responsibility to raise my own family. But always felt like something was missing in my life being away from the ocean.
When I have the chance to go back to the ocean, I do it with a much deeper appreciation of every single salty drop and every wave. I found a decent spot to get wet and surf and recharge once in a while in North Florida.
I also found in SUP surfing a way to bring back the stoke for surfing and found it in my local Lake (Lanier) the way to paddle around pretty much all year round to be fit to surf when I can.
What is your favorite thing about surfing/What do you do to advance your surfing?
I enjoy the beauty of nature paddling around, standing, and prone. It has been an amazing journey to be able to surf for over four decades. I’m always looking for the next surf trip and keep my spirit young and free.
What are your hopes for the Atlanta surfing community in the future?
I hope this surfing community in Atlanta keeps growing, see you in the water!!