Interview: Rafael Ribeiro & Siebert Surfboards

Young Rafael Ribeiro sent us this clip he shot in Brazil of some longboarding in Brazil with simple effortless glide and “friends having fun.” According to Rafael, who is normally a still photographer, this was the first clip he shot and edited on his own. Good on ya, Rafael!

Being that this is your first clip you have shot and edited on your own, where did you draw your inspiration from?

It is inevitable not to mention movies that i have been watching over and over again this past year as Sprout, The Present, One California Day, Seedling, Seaworthy, etc.. To tell you the truth, Nathan Oldfield is a guy who inspires anyone, agree?

How and where have you learned to shoot and edit?

I started getting interested in photography in 2005, when I lived in San Diego. I believe that the beginning should have been at this time. I returned to Brazil in 2006 and did some courses and I have been reading books and blogs of photographers ever since. From that moment on it was practice, practice and more practice until i recently bought a camera that enables filming besides shooting, but had never filmed anything so far. This was the first video I made and edited. I was surprised to see that many people have already watched the video and sometimes even published on their blogs. This certainly gives me a greater motivation in wanting to learn more. I look forward to returning to live in San Diego and hope to return this year to study and have the chance to work with photographers as a trainee, assistant photography, etc. ..

You are also a photographer. What do you typically shoot?

I have been photographing weddings, events, but what I really love doing is portraits of people, lifestyle and sports. I’m enjoying taking pictures with old cameras, polaroid, lomo.. Very soon, i want to be putting up my portfolio online with more pictures.

Although the waves are small, seems like a wonderful depiction of the reality for most people…the waves are not EPIC all the time. What are you trying to convey though this clip?

On this particular day of filming a big swell was expected here on the island and we (Siebert Brothers and i) did not think twice. We woke up around 5 AM and went straight to a spot that breaks good waves, but smaller, when the waves are too big in other beaches. Getting it, we saw that waves were not as expected, but this was not reason for closing the day earlier. To tell you the truth was the most fun day of surfing in my life. I am very lucky to live on an island in southern Brazil where we have more choices of wave throughout the year.

I think the main thing i want people to understand when watching this video is that surfing is not just about performance in the water. As Matt Donatoni said in his interview to the website, “i wanted to show people that most surfers don’t need to surf perfect waves or perfect conditions everyday to have fun.” Nathan Oldfield described exactly what the real essence of the video and what people should realize when they watch it.  “Good friends sharing the joy of loggin tiny waves. No ego. All glide. Happiness.”


Photo by Luciano Burin

Who is behind Siebert Surfboards and what are they all about?

The Siebert Woodcraft Surfboards was developed by Felipe Siebert 3 years ago. It started as a joke. He made a hollow surfboard for his own use and then made some to friends. At that time nobody was doing this kind of board in Brazil, the door was open.

Felipe is also the creator of the Siebert blog and website. Another team member is his brother, Fabio Siebert, who appears in most photos of the site. He is a Designer and assists in other sectors of Siebert, as the online shop, and create clothes among others. Besides him, Marcio Martins assists in the production of surfboards and skateboards and Rodrigo Dias ( is responsible for the surfboards glassing. I got to the Siebert team as an enthusiastic friend who believes in the ideas of the brand and the potential that has wooden surfboards.

Describe the surf scene in Florianópolis.

I realize more each day that Florianópolis is the city of the shortboards. In other cities there is also a shortboard dominance, but nothing compares with what you see here. Longboarders are mostly beginners or surfers who were forced to use a larger board due to age or lack of fitness. What we have seen, is that many surfers started the sport when young and after a while settle down, not having the courage to try something different perhaps for fear of looking like a beginner. That’s where is the mistake, because the most fun, both in surfing, as in other things in life, is the constant possibility of creativity in evolution. The surfers here in general are somehow “surfers brand lovers”, concerned about the image that surfing as sport brings to their lives. Usually these surfers tend to think that the WCT and surfing are the same thing, which fortunately is not! The competition is only 1%. The culture, history and lifestyle are the other 99%. I have nothing against shortboards. I just wanted to see the surfers here trying different boards and having more fun in the water and not getting frustrated because could not complete his 360 Backside Air Reverse Trick ..

Photos by Rafael Ribeiro –

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