That little boy on the first board Jordi Forner, “El Bolas”

When we didn't know what surfing was in Barceloneta, a brat of just 8 years old attracted attention by holding his balance on a board on the waves. It was Jordi Forner, "El Bolas", and it was 1986.

The board was made for me by my father in his workshop. He had been in Long Beach (California) during his military service (1971) and the image of those surfers riding the waves had stayed with him.


You can say that having a handyman father has been very useful in all this surfing.

The second board we bought was from a stand of the Salón Náutico that had it half tared in exhibition but not for sale. He repaired it. Then he also got at a good price for the rudimentary Choke boards from El Corte Inglés that were broken.


At that time only a few windsurfing sails could be seen on the Barceloneta beach.


Sporadically you could see some tourists or foreign workers of the marina but nothing else. I remember some surfers from the Basque Country, where surfing was already more common. Before the breakwaters, the Barceloneta beach was not covered, and a small but regular wave was created which was very exciting for those of us who were just starting out. We used to use our own windsurf board. Then people from Castelldefels and Badalona who had traveled to other countries and continents and already practiced specifically surfing came. Finally, it became more frequent with the Olympics and the tourist boom.


You were a water polo player. You had only few meters from the pool to the beach to combine both disciplines.
I played in the CNB. I liked it and I was good at it, but my passion was the board.

Then surfing and travelling, that usually goes together. 
Those of us who like surfing, also enjoy doing it in different places and waves. The trips have this motivation. As do those who practice diving or golf. I’ve been to most of the famous surf destinations.
You’ve also indulged your entrepreneurial side while surfing
I opened the first beach club to store boards and backpacks. I set up a store and even created my own surf brand. Today I’m just a practitioner.
And where does the name ‘El Bolas’ come from?
My friends from outside Barceloneta didn’t believe the stories I told them about the neighbourhood. They said they were “bolas” (“little lies”).
Well, being from Barceloneta, was not “bolas” at all. Surely what Jordi told them was true even if it seemed incredible to them.

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