Mom Carmen & Dad Israel
Marco Malaga, jack of all boarding sports and Sandboard Magazine's January featured rider.
23 year old Marco was born and raised in Lima, Peru and was the typical kid who ran amuck on his skateboard tearing things up. While browsing a boarding magazine something completely new to him caught his eye. Sandboarding!? Awe struck, Marco skated down to his local surf shop and purchased a sandboard before even giving it a try, knowing he would like it immediately. The neighborhood dune, just five minutes from his home, was his first arena. "I couldn't get enough and went back 3 or 4 times a week every week". Within 6 months Marco was sandboarding at national level.
|Shortly thereafter the local sand dune was turned into a cemetery and became off limits to his kind. Scouting out other sand dunes in Peru he discovered his now favorite sand dune.... Huacachina, an 800 ft. high oasis in the heart of the Peruvian desert.|
I asked Marco what his sandboard was like and how it performed in comparison to a snowboard. A formica base on a snowboard shape. "I like to feel like I'm snowboarding on sand" replied Marco "Sandboards have the control but lack the carving power of a snowboard, yet when you get adapted to the sand terrain, you can defin atly ride at real snowboard speed, make nice turns and get some pretty scary air". Making his own sandboards in the begining Marco soon chose to leave that aspect to those more skilled at the art. Marco is currenty riding high tech sandboards manufactured in the US by Wide Ride Snowboards
Marco enjoys all of the elements that this earth has provided, which includes the snow. Snowboarding has been a part of Marco's life for about 3 years now. To prove to you how easy these things come to him; withou t any preparation, Marco won 6th place in an international big air contest in Chile. Not even having his own equipment with him, he had to rent to compete. While staying in a town near Santiago for a three-week university course a friend told him about the contest on the day it was being held. Anxiously hurrying to the competition site Marco checked out the jump, decided to enter, made the finals and finished 6th place though competing against some of the best international snowboarders.
Let's not forget that Marco is human and has his fair share of injuries. I asked him of his worst. He was cradling his arm during this interview and it turns out that his worst injury had happened that very day! He was riding the dunes at Los Osos, California with another sandboard pioneer, Pete Pilcic, and managed to dislocate his shoulder for which he wears a harness for support. "This was, by far, my most painful injury to date", Marco said with a smile. Sponsor Xwest flew him to Tahoe CA and after spending more than a week with Pete at Lake Tahoe, (which included some of the best snowboarding in his life), they met up with sand/skateboard legend Jack Smith and Sandboard Magazine's Lon Beale at Los Osos. There they carved the dunes till sundown. The next day was set aside for more sandboarding and more "air". That's when it happened.
Marco catching air at Lomo de Corvina, Peru.
I thought to myself, what does he do to keep himself from starving to death when he's not on the sand, asphalt or snow. This guy has a career at such a tender age. He's fresh out of college with a Bachelor of Engineer in Industrial Food Science. I had a hard time with this one; so I asked him to humor me and explain what this very fancy degree mean t. He comes up with the formulas that keep foods on the shelf without spoiling. If you want to know what chemical goes with what to give your strained peas a shelf life of 10 years, ask Marco.
Could there possibly be anyone that this guy looks up to in Sandboarding?
"Oh sure, my friend Willy Landazuri, he's a natural."
"As if you weren't as well." I mumbled.
What's your favorite trick out there on the sand?
"Front flips, jumping 10-foot cliffs and speeding down 3000 foot vertical dunes ". Marco was on his American tour at the time of this interview, boarding all he could and having a great time around the country making new friends.
Marco showing the way at a "Big Air" contest in La Parva, Chile.
|Keep an eye out for Marco Malaga Muller. I have a feeling we are going to be seeing more of him in the future. Marco al
ready graces the pages of Peruvian boarder mags and with time and exposure, will earn the admiration of the U.S. boarding world also. |
Marco, it has been a pleasure. Thank you.
by Diane Green