- attack, attack, attack
Iballa Ruano Moreno is
one of the most amazing "windgirls" around the globe. In a detailed and
exclusive interview the twin talks about friendship with the ocean, unfairness on the PWA
tour, small affairs and the "university" of life. And she provides inspiration
and advice for new female blood in the sport.
(Questions by Andy Aichinger & windgirls.com magazine
readers via windgirls forum
Matt Pritchard has been quoted in Sports Illustrated WOMEN
like this: They (Iballa and Daida) go forward without regret, not thinking about
anything else but getting radical. Even off the water its attack, attack,
He knows me very well. He is one of my best
friends on the tour and he knows what he is talking about. But: He has never ment it in a
sexual way. :-)
Talking about these magazines: Some years ago you said
that you would never sail in a bikini for the media. What has changed your mind?
I might have said that a long time ago. I can't remember
anymore. But it is true, I was more conservative in the past than I am now. Since I have
got the sponsorship of Roxy, my lifestyle has changed. Using nice clothes was
really good for us! Now I believe that if I feel comfortable with it, why should I not
sail in a Bikini? In contest I won't for sure, since I would be more worried about
avoiding to show my parts than about the competition! But for fun or pictures in a nice
warm place... feels good.
Do you like your - really - sexy photos in Men's Journal
and other magazines? Would you pose nude for the Playboy, too? How does it
feel to know that mostly men will buy these publications and have some good time watching
I dont think about it. I also dont think the
pictures in the "Mens Journal" are so bad. They are really good ones, we
worked with very professional people. I dont think I will pose for free in
What somebody does with his/her body is his/her business. I am
proud of being in this kind of magazines and to be able to promote windsurfing in general.
And now to something completely different. We still have
winter here... Imagine living in a country with very cold winters, not having the money to
travel. How would you spend your time without windsurfing?
I would finish school, find a job, get a lot of money and
travel for the rest of my life. Travelling is the best thing one can do. You gain so much
experience in life. You only live once. And I think it's important to do
Of course being a successfull professional windsurfer has
changed your life. You give interviews like this one, you have photo shootings, a lot of
fans admire you. But what has changed in your personal behaviour? Are you more
self-confident, do you feel more sexy? Have you been spoilt in any way?
OK. Life always changes and never stays the same. I look
back and I see myself being the girl that was hanging out with the boys after school and
loving the water, catching waves and so on. But everyone's life changes always in one way
or another. Being a professional windsurfer has changed our lives for sure. But I
dont think in a negative way. I have learned lots of things in life. But its
never enough. Everybody gets more selfconfidence by getting older. Its a normal
thing that happens to everyone. I dont think I am spoilt. I am
working really hard to be where I am at the moment. But I thank god for this beautiful
There are not too many girls competing in some PWA events.
Are you afraid that you might end up one day with nobody to compete with?
No. I dont think this will ever happen. I know there
are lots of girls out there who would love to have the chance to compete. Every year we
are getting more. I know that in those years when Jutta Mueller, Natalie Le Lievre and all
those girls left, not so many new blood entered the tour. But then it were Colette, Tony
Frey, Karin, Daida and me
And right now there are more and more girls who
try to enter the tour, and hey, they deserve respect. I believe the future is
going to be always better. We just need to stay together and work hard to promote the
sport and push the girls into the sport for a good future.
Do you envy Daida for being more lucky concerning injuries?
How do you deal with sitting on the beach while other girls are competing or improving
their latest moves? Or do you think injuries can make you even stronger?
Yes. Injuries are not only hard for your body, but also
for your mind. We all know women are naturally weaker than men. But in all this years of
injuries I have learned that injuries can make you even stronger mentally. It just depends
on how you look at it! I had bad injuries and I can tell you it's not funny to see
my sister improving more and more. But once I was back in the water I was more
motivated than ever. I still have some time to catch up, but thats life and we go on.
Just have to keep pushing myself.
Can you describe your feelings when the PWA
freestyle worldcup 2002 has been decided in Bonaire without you and Daida, because your
mother had died? Did you expect the other girls to step back from the competition, too?
Then I was more busy to think about my family and also to
be with my family. For me, I had already missed all the events of the year because my
injury in summer. For Daida it was more sad to see how she missed becoming world champion
so easily. In Bonaire there were only 4 girls and I dont think it was fair.
But life goes on and there are more competitions to assist!
You gain much more attention than other
windgirls. Is there sometimes something like a feeling of guilt or feeling
sorry for them? Or not at all?
I am aware of the fact that the attention on us
is a bit higher than on the other girls. It must be the fact of being the best sailors and
also being twins what the media love. But at the same time, I believe its not only good
for us but for all of the girls. And of course it is good for women sports in general. So
I dont have any guilty feelings about it. We have worked really hard to be here. Everyone
has to find his/her own way. And never give up!
How would you explain your feelings when you are
windsurfing to someone who has never tried it?
When you are able to go out and feel the rush of the wind
through your head and the speed, then you will realize that windsurfing is more
than a normal sport. Just go out and try. You will never regret it.
Do you ever get sick of training and travelling all the
time? What motivates you the most in windsurfing? When did you start professional
windsurfing, and was it hard to get sponsors?
I never get sick. But sometimes I have so much pressure on
myself to do good that I stop raising my level. It's then when I really have to push
myself. I think this is the moment where a lot of people give up. I push myself and think
about all the positive things windsurfing has given me during these years and all the
years to come and how wonderful is to do what you really love. Not so many people have the
chance to live their dreams. But we have. - Sponsoring was hard and it is hard, but I
believe that pushing ourselves and raising the level every year is what our sponsors
really like. But it's definitely not easy to get sponsors nowadays.
Have you made friends with the ocean? While on the water
have you ever felt that this is the only possible thing to do, the only thing that
really matters? Has the feeling of surfing changed since you started?
Well. For me the ocean is more than just a friend.
We are partners as well. For sure at the beginning I never thought of being a pro
windsurfer and windsurfing was just a hobby and fun on weekends or after school. After I
became professional, the feeling changed with the years. But it is still really good. Sometimes
it feels like a job, and sometimes it feels like the best job in the world. Again, the
fact of doing what we love as a career is something not so many people can reach in life,
for different reasons. And we are grateful to be among these. And for that reason we wont
miss our chance of being better and better every year and we will push ourselves to be the
best we can be.
I love my waveboard very much (the little red mistral with
the blue wave) and can't think of surfing and jumping with any other waveboard. But if you
have a sponsor, you probably have to use the latest products of this company. What if you
don't like the new equipment and you can't windsurf with it the way you are used to?
Ok. This is something important and not so many people
know about. I believe in progress and thats what has helped us to become better and
better every year - especially concerning the equipment Every year the mistral team - team
riders and shapers - work together to develop the best boards. A few years ago, the red
board was a good board. But now if I compare it to for example the Moreno board, it is
totally different. It is so much easier to sail with the new gear. Lighter
and easier. Thats an important key to become better in windsurfing.
We have to keep in mind that the sport of windsurfing is a
very young sport and there are big changes in equipment every year. We, the team riders,
work really hard to improve the equipment. And to send it to production in time so that at
the beginning of the year people like you can try the latest equipment. Since I windsurf,
every year the equipment has become better and better with big improvements. I believe
that the fact of using new gear every year has helped to improve our windsurfing a lot. If
you have the chance, please try to use for example the Moreno board, you will easily find
out what I am talking about. At the beginning you will perhaps feel weird, but I am
sure you will end up liking it even more and you will be more motivated to go sailing
every day and try new stuff on the water. Try it and let me know.
How did you experience your first competition? What did
you feel? Was it hard to enter the PWA world tour?
My first experience in the worldcup was in Pozo Izquierdo,
Gran Canaria, the place were I am living since I was 8 years old. So I was really nervous
to compete. I didnt really understand the contest thing and I was just in the water
going crazy. But it was fun. I raced and did waveriding. But my fin cut my foot I was even
sailing with 8 stitches... The same year, 1997, I did Fuerteventura and Germany. It was
not hard at all to enter the events. It was good. All the girls were really nice and I
felt like being at home since the first event.
And what do you consider to be essential for a perfect
party? What is REALLY important?
To be with your best friends, to be in the mood. And good
music! The most important! I am not a party girl but once a year I travel
somewhere to meet my friends and party just for one night or two.
What about the future of windsurfing? Which
moves do you train right now? Where will freestyle go?
Freestyle basically is the hardest discipline. Right now
the boys are going soooo far! And its hard to catch up, but we dont stop and we keep
trying. I practise as much as I can and always the latest freestyle moves. There are like
20, and all have crazy names.
What kind of music do you prefer?
Everything but the girl, Jack Johnson, House Music,
It depends on the moment.
How is a normal day in your life?
I wake up in the morning, have breakfast, check my emails
and go sailing! Have lunch, work a little bit on the computer and go sailing again!
Thats when I am at home. Normally I am doing promos, travelling and competing.
When you were at university and not yet a professional
windsurfer - did you have time to study everyday? How many hours did you dedicate to
exercise at that time, when your goal was to finish your studies?
Yes I had time to study. We started university at the age
of 18. And we passed all the exams we went to. But we decided to go for windsurfing 100
percent, but before that sailing was after school and on weekends only. Concerning your
second question: I dont know
Everything happened so fast. I think we were
sailing everytime when it was windy. In winter for one hour or two, the studying from 5 to
10pm. And in summer it was windy every day. This was good, because in summer we had no
Did you enjoy going to classes?
Yes! Only highschool was hard. But being at university and
studying what I loved - sports - everything was easier. I really loved going to
What are your dreams for your life after professional
windsurfing? Have you ever thought of settling down, having a house of your own, pets and
I dont think about the future right now. Life is so
fast and now I want to try to enjoy the rest of my days with something that I love. And I
already have two apartments. So I am on my way.
Do you want to have kids one day? What would be the most
important thing you want to teach them?
If I find the right man for it. I
would like to teach them everything I know from life. I am at the university of
Do you have a boyfriend? Having small affairs? Or enjoy
just being young, free and single?
Right now I dont have a boyfriend. I had one for
almost three years. But I never had or liked small affairs, I hate those! And right now I
am just free and enjoying it.
How important is sex in your life? And: Would you agree to
those who say that a perfect down the line windsurfing day is even better?
I believe everything in general is important. But
sex is not important if you dont share it with the person you love.
If a wizard or an angel came and gave you a free wish
what would you choose?
I would choose to get my mother back.
Iballa, thank you
very much and best of luck!