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Julián Paco tells us what’s cooking

Julián Paco's only been in the sea for two years and he's already a beast! Read why here!

We just had to have that title! Julián Paco is a chef, born and raised in Buenos Aires, and we’ll be honest: we could talk about Argentinian steaks and barbecues all night long too, but let’s stick to our topic: surfing.

He’s got all the ingredients of a top local surfer, ok ok we’ll try to chill on the food puns for now. Perhaps the biggest surprise this interview threw up was the fact that he’s only been surfing for two years!

The start

“I started surfing here, at the same time as Sky Howes. We rented boards with Valerio, and we said f*ck it let’s go!” “The beginning was on and off, I’m a chef, so I was working a lot. I started to step back from the responsibilities there, got my motorbike, Myles and I made a surf rack for it and made more time for myself, and kept on going to the beach. Every time there are waves, I’m here!.”

If you ever see a badass-looking black motorcycle with these weird bend bars coming off the side, that’s his, Bali style!

He patterns his days around surfing, if it’s the evening shift, he’ll surf in the morning, and vice versa! “I moved to Malta two years ago, from Amsterdam and I love the island, to be honest!” 

“Two years?!”, I replied to a laugh! The improvement has been mind-boggling, especially given the fact that the waves here are not consistent, wind-driven, and that he’s got a whole career of a chef to fry up too! 

His improvement curve was a steep one. Julián started surfing around the same time as Sky did, and they are both beasts.

“I knew about the sport, but it’s not so popular in Argentina, I was focused on my work, competitions for CrossFit, training… always an active person. I appreciate the fact that this is a sport that is in close contact with water. You go out in the water, it’s just you, the water… you and nature itself.” In the sea “you have to fight your way.” 

Sky introduced surfing to Julián, whose now hooked with an exciting aim. “My goal is hopefully to go to Australia, hopefully, next year, obviously Gold Coast.”

Home spot

For now, Julián is here, learning and improving. “Ghajn Tuffieha is like home, it’s a sandy beach, if you fall you’re not gonna hurt, it’s a super relaxed bay everyone is chilled. St. Thomas Bay is a beautiful left, on a nice day you can just ride that wave it’s super long, a nice paddle too.” 

Surfer jumps in the sea with surf board at sunset
Sunset sesh

No flat days

Practice practice practice is the key, but Julián shares another secret. “Even when it’s flat, I train. I grab my board and practice paddling out, going up and down the bay.” He used to just associate keeping fit purely with the gym, “but now this is my workout… you get a nice pump and into a good condition.”

It’s a perfect idea! You can either smash weights at the gym, which might get boring or you can train the exact muscle groups used in surfing while doing the most tiring thing we are forced to do: paddle.

Simply brilliant! We all take our paddling and swim outs for granted, so this little training method helps you get used to it and makes you build the specific muscles used! When the waves come, your muscle memory will kick in and every stroke will feel better and faster too – and let’s be honest, weight training at can suck – and that’s another reason Tony Brio’s training also comes in handy! Of course, days at the skatepark also help, as he can practice his cuts and turns as often as possible on a surf skate too.

Surf skater on a blue ramp
No flat days

Just keep paddling

It’s a trick he swears by and is the only advice for young guns getting into surfing “Just keep paddling!”. “To improve surfing, you gotta surf, to improve paddling, you gotta paddle.”

His mentality is key. On those days when he gets frustrated by his performance, he’s now in the right mindset to stop, head to the beach, “chill for five minutes and breathe”, before throwing himself back at it. That’s key. It’s useless being stuck in your minds, kooks, sometimes just some headspace makes a major difference.

Teaching with Malta Surf School highlights the importance of a good mentality. “When they catch a wave, they turn around and have a smile on their face and that has no price, it’s amazing. A lot of people come here scared and nervous, but once they click it’s amazing.”

No wonder he’s now a surf coach too, by the way! Those tips are simple and helpful! 

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Julián Paco's only been in the sea for two years and he's already a beast! Read why here!