Some of you will know forum member "Mez Unit" (real life name 'Chris') who is travelling the world on the sponge at the moment. You can read more of his adventures in the 'destination' section of the forum at viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1926
further updates can be read in "diary of a surfer moll" http://diaryofasurfermoll.blogspot.com/
(Articulately and very humorously written by Chris's partner).
Due to the wonders and difficulties of overseas internet cafe's etc. chris has sent the interview and picture files through to my email and I've coded and posted them on his behalf. Big thanks to Mez Unit for introducing us to this great ripper and blessing our eyes with some sick riding and other eye candy. Over to Chris:Recently on my round the world trip i decided to spend a month in sunny puerto escondido,mexico whilst there(actually im still here) i met a super friendly guy and total ripper in the water from, wait for it........Israel!
Introducing "Kiril Shchegolsky":
Chris: Hey Kiril, where you from in Israel and where have you been riding lately ? KS: I am from a city called Netanya, it's 20-30 minutes from Tel Aviv. Lately I have been riding in Puerto Escondido and now I'm in CAli. Chris:So Kiril being from israel is an unlikely breeding ground for an up and coming bodyboarder, tell us about the scene at home and how you got into bodyboarding?KS: I started bodyboarding in the summer a few months before my 14th birthday. The city I live in has the most bodyboarders compared to other cities in Israel, and that's probably what has kept me bodyboarding rather than moving on to riding a surfboard. Most of the kids in Israel usually start off bodyboarding and then move onto surfing. Chris: i hear you've been invited to compete on the USBA tour and also invited to ride in the pipe comp in 2010 tell us how this all came about,it must be pretty exciting to be the first Israeli pro bodyboarder to have these opportunities?KS: I was competing in Caliornia on the USBA Tour and I had a lot of fun there. I met Jason Bitzer and other guys from all around the world. Yes, I'm really excited to go surf in Hawaii and to be the first Israeli bodyboarder to compete on the USBA Tour in Hawaii. Chris: Ive seen you ripping prone do you dk much?,i even saw you standing up the other day with fins on. KS: I used to dk a lot. In Israel the waves are smaller, so it's more fun to dk on them than prone. Yah, standing up on a bodyboard is so much fun!Chris: Which boards have you been riding lately and what are your current faves,do also have an all time favourite board? KS: I have been riding on Science boards. I prefer simple boards with not too many features. PP (if the water is cold I prefer PE), stringer, channels, nose bubbles, crystal classic shape, 41". Yes, my all time favorite board was Mike Stewart SE7EN PE.Chris: I recently witnessed you competing in the "zicatela pro" international contest where you finished in the "top 8" ,well done.how did you find competing in mexico and have you competed much in the past?KS: The contest in Mexico this year was a really good contest. The waves were not so big like it usually is in Puerto, it pretty much was the same for me like how it is to compete in Israel, but the competetors in the contest were really good. They were from all over the world and it was a big international contest. I started to compete in Israel when I was 14. In Israel they do contests with surfing and bodyboarding together, it was never just a bodyboarding contest. At the age of 16-17 I start to go to Europe for ISA (International Surfing Association) contests. Since then I have competed in BIA and USBA in California. Chris: And how about accessories – leash, fins (wetsuits when you're in cold enough water)?KS: I love the classic shape of the Churchill fins, bicep leash and I usually use a 3/2 wetsuit. Chris: D.O.B and where you were born, height and weight?KS: 29/8/88, I was born in Ukraine, 1.85m, 75kChris: Fave breaks – local and overseas? KS: My local break in Israel is 10 minutes from my home, it's a beach break called Argaman and is definately the beach with the most bodyboarders in Israel. But my favorite place to surf in Israel is like a 40 minute drive from my home, a right hand reef break, it's a secret reef and only bodyboarders know about it. My favorite overseas beach is Colorada in Mexico and I think Nuggan in Australia will be one of my favorite.Chris: What would be the biggest wave you’ve taken on?KS: Puerto Escondido!Chris: And what’s the toughest wave you have ridden? KS: Puerto Escondido!!!!!Chris: who do you usually surf with(at home and OS)? KS: With friends.Chris: What’s the best overseas trip you’ve been on? KS: I never have a bad trip, it's always good to travel. Even if something bad happens on the trip, when you get back home you only remember the good things about the trip and the good waves you surf. Chris: After you go to the US and Hawaii where would you most like to go next? KS: Australia. Chris: Dream trip? if you had a ticket to go around the world with ten stops and fat wallet full of cash where would you go?KS: I would like to go to Australia, Tahiti, Indonesia, Philippines, South Africa, Canary Islands, Ireland, Chile, Hawaii and Italy. Chris: Who are some of your fave photogs?KS: Michelle Rozzen, Gill Malul and Israerl Ramirez Lopz.Chris: Scariest moment bodyboarding?KS: Once I came to the beach in Puerto Escondido and I saw a board floating from the beach break. I didn't really give attention to that because it happens a lot in Puerto, people surf without a leash, the board floats away often. After a few minutes of sitting on the beach the board gets closer to the beach and I look again at the board and it was floating really weird. I started to look at it and get closer and then I saw a hand on the board. I dropped my board and ran to the water, the board was then closer to the beach, I pushed the board away and under the board was a blue colored body, with opened eyes and looked dead. I tried not to get in a panic as I started to pull the body to the beach. One of the Mexican lifeguards ran over to me and helped grab the bodyboarder from out of the water. We started giving him CPR. After 10-15 minutes we brought him back to consciousness. Then the ambulence came to take him to the hospital. The waves were not really big on this day and it shocked me to see a dead body to start off my day. After a few days I saw this guy walking really slow with a neck brace and I asked him, "What happened to you?" And he said he took a 2-3ft closeout wave, hit the bottom of the sand with his head and got paralyzed, was still alive but could not move and was stuck under the water and just waited until his air was finished. Then he told me that he just blacked out and some guy just saved him and took him out of the water. It was funny when I told him it was me, he started to hug me and gave much thanks and appreciation.
Chris: What do you love most about the bodyboard culture? KS: The heavy waves we surf and how it has progressed in the last years.Chris: What do you reckon bodyboarding needs most at the moment?
KS: Money, sponsors and more support. Chris: Who would you like to give a shout-out to?KS: Oron Kessel, Clive Richter, Mor Cooper, Gal Larar and Michelle Rozzen. Chris: And finally who are your sponsors?KS: Surf/Bodyboard Shop Beach House in Israel.Thanks so much for your time Kiril im sure we will be hearing more about you in the
1. Kiril Shchegolsky by Edwin Morales
2. Kiril Shchegolsky by Ben DeCamp
3. Kiril Shchegolsky by Michelle Rozen
4. Kiril Shchegolsky by Israel Lopz
5. Kiril Shchegolsky by tba (this was in an accompanying file of some sick DK at Wedge, need to check details with Chris)
6. Kiril Shchegolsky by Ben DeCamp
7. Kiril Shchegolsky by Israel Lopz
8. Kiril Shchegolsky by Israel Lopz
9. Kiril Shchegolsky
10. Kiril Shchegolsky
11. Kiril Shchegolsky 'and (sandy) friend'