Fernando Aguerre grew up surfing the waves
off Mar del Plata, Argentina, and founded the
Argentinian Surfing Association. After moving
to California, Aguerre launched the hugely
successful surf brand Reef with his brother.
For the past 25 years he’s been the president of
the International Surfing Association, actively
developing the sport in the US and around
the world. To his immense credit, the La
Jolla–based humanitarian, philanthropist and
environmentalist is also responsible for getting
surfing officially recognized in the 2020 Tokyo
What is your favorite thing about San Diego? The
very cosmopolitan nature of its people, and its
great waves for surfing 365 days a year.
Favorite surf spots? La Jolla reefs. I love the
diverse personalities of the waves that break on
any swell and tide conditions. I also love Pacific
Beach and its ever-changing sand bars.
Any tips for surfers heading to San Diego?
Respect the ocean and the local surfers. We are
all friendly, but love good manners in the sea.
Best surf lessons for beginners? Surf Diva in
Best places to take out-of-town guests? Mount
Soledad, for the wide view of town. Piazza and
Sicilia Bella for food. The tide pools of La Jolla,
Bobboi for organic homemade ice cream and
the La Jolla Open Aire Farmers Market for face
painting with the kids.
What do most people not know about San Diego?
That it has the best weather in the world, and
that it’s an international city with nonstop flights
to the UK, Germany and Japan.
What’s most exciting about surfing being a part
of the 2020 Olympic Games? Duke Kahanamoku,
Hawai‘i’s founder of modern surfing and a
multiple Olympic gold medalist in swimming,
asked for surfing’s inclusion in 1920. Now here
we are, 100 years later. It took me 20 years of
hard work as head of the ISA to make it happen.
Duke is somewhere looking down and I can say to
him, “Yes, we did it.”
Final thoughts: Surfing makes the world a better
place for all. Loving our oceans and protecting
them is a duty of every human being, especially
surfers. The ocean belongs to everyone.
Like a local