Eric “ Booghouse Cook Islands” Gamez
This week we are in Rarotonga, Cook Islands but more specifically Arorangi.
Home to some of the most hollow, ramped up fast reef break waves in the world and also the home of boog house, quality accommodation for bodyboarders.
It's certainly high on my bucket list......
"Hi my name is Eric Gamez and I am 38 years old
I was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, I then moved to France for University when I was 19 and now I have been living in the Cook Islands for the last 11 years.
I started bodyboarding around 1990-1995, I remember my first Rollo in 1995 but because my dad did not know much about the ocean he was scared…so he would not let me surf by myself, therefore I really started bodyboarding when I was 17.
Since then I have never stopped.
Bodyboarding was on the map at that time it was an amazing experience to see the sport creating lifetime memories.
Because my parents used to rent a house on the beach every summer holidays it’s like I got drawn to the ocean and bodyboarding was the perfect accessory for it.
I was serious with soccer at that time but the spirit in surfing was so pure and different that I decided to embrace it. 25 years ago when I started bodyboarding in Morocco there was no crowds, the vibes where unbelievable. People were happy to share waves and welcome new riders… Line ups were empty ahahahaha.
Sadly it is hard now days to experience the same feeling but there are still places like Polynesia where the Aloha and Kia Orana spirit are still alive.
The other reason is because I had a small left slab in front of our house and the Chaouki brothers (true locals legends) where coming to ride it and they had no fear. Those guys and their friends really inspired me and showed me what was the next level…They were riding like the pros.
My heroes in bodyboarding I will say : Stewart, Tamega, Maligro, Eppo, Ben Holland etc…
In life it s been my family and people with great heart who inspired me.
My local break is a left slab called ‘’Chapeau Chinois’’ because the reef was covered by shells with shape of Chinese hat .
My favourite break in Morocco is a right slab in Dar Bouazza where I used to have my house.
My favourite break in the world though has to be Fronton Canary Islands.
My first bodyboard was Morey Boogie Mach 5.
I didn’t really have a crew growing up, It was just me because most of my friends were scared of the waves I liked.
I did compete a little bit at the start, I become Junior National Champ and went to the Open National Final the same year in Agadir but I gave my place to a friend so I did not even do the final…For me it has never been about winning but enjoying the sport and sharing good and healthy times with other people.
Later on I did the same in France mainly because I did not have money so it was the only way to get sponsors and free boards.
I realised in France that I could work, earn money and explore the waves around the world and I loved it.
I started competing on the world tour in 2016 for different reasons that I will explain later on, I don t like competition in fact but the structure of it can be used for others goals.
My friend Robert Wigmore, my wife and I run a bodyboard camp in the Cook Islands.
It’s nice and unique setup for bodyboarders who are looking for a special experience and memories of a lifetime.
I consider myself also a pro rider because of the way I push my skills in the water.
I would like to give a big shout out to all my sponsors: Hubboards !!!! the quadcore board is the best board I have ever had.
There is a lot of knowledge and skills into this board. All my bodyboard gear comes from the Hubboard company range : Flippers, Leashes, wetsuits and I m very stoked to ride high-performance gear!
I would like also to Thank Des from Emerald bodyboard shop without him I would not be so driven to achieve new goals in my life.
Des's shop Emerald surf city is the place to shop, Des has such passion and has done so much for our sport....
Meduxa, Surfmud and Xsories have been helping me for a few years and I m very happy to work for them.
Anyone who puts Love, Energy, Passion, Commitment (with a burning desire) into a purpose deserves to be rewarded and I believe will be one way or the other.
With Emerald Tees and Meduxa clothing I m sweet. Meduxa started a few years ago to use organics fabrics in their clothing and I’m a fan of their design.
pre surf I like listening to any sound with good vibes!
My favourite memory of body boarding growing up has to be doing a big air!
What I can say it has been quite an amazing journey to experience the world and personal challenges
I am very thankful for what I learned and for what is coming.
I Starting bodyboarding from scratch, having the opportunity to share with different cultures, being part of Pierre Louis early bodyboarding years, having a boat accident in Tahiti in 2003, meeting my wife and competing on the World tour are just few epic memories…
What I would like to share with the bodyboarding community are the following principles:
If you have you have everything therefore follow the :
1 Healthy breathing (Air is our first food) they are some amazing breathing techniques!
2 Healthy eating (energy of the sun, energy of the water, energy of the air, energy of the earth in your daily food).
Stop processed food if you can.
3 Healthy sleeping
4 Healthy elimination of food
If you have a burning desire and never give up you can achieve anything. All the successful people have one thing in common they have a burning desire and they are ready to do what it takes to get what they want.
‘’Winning to plan is planning to win’’: Athletes and Coaches who aim for the Olympic Games plan their success 10 years or more in advance so think about it!
It does not matter what in life you want to achieve.
Competition is not my thing: once Alex Uranga told me he does not like to finish second because the second is the first looser. I think competition format is .
It’s a good opportunity to learn and push yourself…but I m sure that we can achieve higher level one through the other, one for the other and for the benefit of the whole.
If you would like more details in one or more of the topics please feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Future is looking bright… let s embrace it
Photo credits include:
Mick Arnold @arnie82
Lachlan Bylhouwer @lachlanbylhouwer
Loretta Kerr @lozzie
Eric we hope to see you next year bro, thank you for sharing your story.....
Next week we catch up with Joshua B Kirkman
Good luck to all the boys over in Arica, Chile,
in particular Tahiri tehei, give it all you have got yewwww x
If anyone is thinking of getting a new board please get hold of Mathieu of milk bodyboards.
Super cool custom shaping, super cool stock boards, great service, great customer care give them a shout at
and go give them a follow on Insta and Facebook....