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The prodigy with a huge ambition

Surfer riding a wave
At 17, Luka's got the world at his feet, and he's ready with a super attitude and aim!

It’s not everyday you come across a focused teenager. Heck most of us, myself included, spent those years testing our alcohol limits, sleeping as little as possible, waking up in random places and doing a whack of stupid, crazy things. Now, we’re not assuming Luka Rossel doesn’t do any of those things too, but we’re here to talk about his raw surf talent, and awesome ambition.

“I’ve been surfing since I was two years old…” Luka opened, stunningly. No wonder he is so composed out there. He’s a sea-human through and through. Born in Belgium, raised in the Carribean, and currently thriving in the Mediterranean, learning these inconsistent, often messy but fun breaks.

Bridge town, Barbados was where he cut his teeth surfing, his baby teeth at that age. He’s lived on three major continents, including Africa, where he spent 1 year as a child. This information is key to understanding why Luka is so open, chilled and easygoing. He clicks with cultures as is being raised in a global way.

Enough psychology for now, but he did say “I really love my past” which is not something you hear often!

It’s no secret that amongst the surfers here, Luka is considered one of the best up-and-coming ones… and upon revealing this to him, he smiled goofily… “I appreciate that!”

The Maltese conditions and surfers

Luka, used to the Carribean waves, can compare our scene to an iconic one… 

“Malta… it’s not very consistent, but when there are waves they can be powerful and sometimes big. Its not very clean surf, but surfable twice a week in winter.” “In summer there’s absolutely nothing, but the community is amazing though!” which we hope makes up for the lack of summer swell. Like all of us, he’s got his favourite spots, and juggles between Marley’s and St Thomas Bay. 

Marley’s when its big… when its small, St Thomas Bay and if its offshore, St Thomas Bay too. 

He’s got a lot of love for the surfers here and outlined his local heroes. “Valerio is teaching me and Sky more and more of what he knows. I look up to Fernando, he’s the best surfer I’ve ever surfed with. I look up to him, but I compete with Sky the most. I see us paddle for the same waves, doing the same things all the time… and he’s gotten better and better over the past two years!”

On the WSL he picks Kelly Slater and wants to replicate his style. (Time to get the clippers!) but also pays attention to Hawaiian World Champion Carissa Moore. 

…From longboarding, to short boarding

“I actually started surfing longboard until i was 12, but I got so bored of it (look away, Joe and Liam!), i just wanted to start surfing bigger waves, turn faster.”

“I am planning to compete in Belgium, go as far as I can, I practice everyday with surfskate, get my skills up…. I am driven to be the best I can.” We always say the same thing: surfskate is the ideal way to build up your balance on those flat days! 

“I was doing a body building regime for muscle growth for 2 years and now I do more athletic training, stretching, to pop up faster.” He trains at home mainly which is always the best place to start. 

Surfer almost barrelled
Is that, a kwasi-barrel?

The ambition

“I am also starting my own surf school in Belgium, which hopefully goes somewhere as I want to make surfing a way of living.”

That final reveal was the crux of the interview. At 17 this guy has a target, a focus and an ambition which is more than what most can say! We can’t wait to see him set it all up, and in the meantime, we’re sure he’ll hook up with Valerio to get more tips on how to build such an incredible community over on the Belgian shores!

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