DESPITE an interest in surfing from a young age it was hard for Sergey Rasshivaev to get involved in the sport as the opportunities to surf in Russia are few and far between. However, through perseverance and the help of a surfing travel company Sergey has managed to excel in the sport and begin to make a name for himself as a surfer around the world.
In this fascinating interview he talks to us about his involvement in moving surfing forward in Russia as well as some of his own achievements as a surfer to date. Read on to find out about the film he’s involved in making which will be released this year as well his success as the first-ever Russian competing in a number of competitions.
Where did you grow up and what were the opportunities like to surf? When did you first get involved in the sport?
I grew up in Saint Petersburg Russia and till the middle of ’00s we did`t knew that is possible to surf there. So I started to dream about surfing after watch the Point Break movie 1991. However, I first tried the sport in Portugal in 2007.
Who were your mentors and role models at the beginning and how long was it before you realised you had a real passion for the sport?
There were not many. This is because all of them grew up abroad and lived near an ocean, unlike me. But when I became surfer and start training – Kelly, Mick.
Where in the world has the sport taken you and what have been some of the highlights?
Since I started in 2007 I have been on a big journey in surfing.
It really kickstarted from a surfcamp booking company in Russia (www.surfholidays.ru) which I found in 2008.
Since 2009 I started working on La Preciosa Surf School and Camp in the Dominican Republic.
It was in 2010 that I started to compete and win at the Russian level. In 2012 I visited Hurley High Performance centre in Australia, in 2013 I ran surfing and yoga tours, in 2013 I was first-time competitor at ISA WSG, in 2014 I had a first-time win in the heat on ISA, became the president of the National Surf Federation, started project Surf in Siberia with friends and got sponsorship from Quiksilver Russia.
In 2016 I became Ian SA course presenter and a coach Surf L2.
What have been some of your biggest achievements in the sport?
Its difficult to say so but maybe it was when I competed at the ISA WSG in Peru. I won my heat and after that and before Russian surfers have never done this.
also project Surf in Siberia – with all the crazy trips and the great movie.
How does it feel to be the head of Russia’s first surfing school La Preciosa, and what does the role involve on a day-to-day basis?
It feels great because the place is amazing and the people who I work with are great. Unfortunately I don’t spend a lot of time there at the moment as there are too many other things. However, it is still my favorite place after many trips. There is magic and plenty of empty waves there.
What other projects are your currently working on and what do you have planned for the year ahead and beyond?
This year we will start working on preparing the national team more – we have a coach now.
Also there will be a full length movie about surfing in Russia – Surf in Siberia.
There will also be a big Russian national surf tour with four stops as well as
many other things.
Photos by Tania Elisarieva (https://yadi.sk/d/orRpxwN73BHoKZ).