How the Moreno Twins Became World Class Windsurf Champions

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

Daida: My Name is Daida Ruano Moreno, 39 years old and I am actually a professional windsurfer and physiotherapist. I live in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, and I windsurf in my home spot on a beach call Pozo Izquierdo, where I was also born. My daily job is training as a professional windsurfer to prepare for the PWA Tour and also work as a physiotherapist every afternoon with my patients. I also attend press, activities with my sponsors, do windsurfing videos and photo shoots, organize the world cup event in Gran Canaria as well as other smaller windsurfing events (like the Canarian championship), rent apartments, study, and love biking, running, surfing, functional training and swimming.

Iballa: My name is Iballa Ruano Moreno, 39 years old and I’m a professional athlete: Windsurf and Stand Up Paddle Surf. My favorite activities are all kind of water sports specially in the waves. My hobbies: basket, fishing, movies. My job is to be a professional athlete and give 100% of my time to it.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

How and why did you get into your water sport?

Daida: My family used to spend the three months of summer (and holiday school) in Pozo Izquierdo since we were little children. With boogie boards, we used to surf everyday with the usual windy days. One day, a neighbor of Pozo offered us to try windsurfing with an old board. We were 17 years old when we first tried and got in love ever since. I remember we used to pick up old broken gear, fix it and try it until it brakes again, using resin, duck tape, ropes from the tomato places to use as harness lines. It was a daily adventure, and unforgettable moments of our lives.

Our first event was in Tarifa, a national championship. Was cold and rainy, we were not used to this. It was shortly after when I competed in my first international windsurfing event, 1997 (just two years after I started windsurfing) in Pozo Izquierdo. Got third place and we started having our first sponsors.

Iballa: We started in 1997 with windsurfing but before that we were always relating to the ocean: Surf, fishing, etc. Since 1999 until today, we have been on tour travelling around the world competing and also doing trips for training, movies, photos, etc. Working side by side with our main sponsors.

Since 2012, I also combine windsurfing with Stand Up Paddle competitions so I travel a lot for SUP Surf competitions as well. Trying to achieve a goal of being one of the best windsurfer and SUP Surfers of the world. I train physically with a trainer and with a coach for SUP Surf contest. Normally 2-4 hours a day of surf and 1.5h of training.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

How do you train and become better?

Daida: Windsurfing was a huge sport back in the days, with lots of money involve. Unluckily, for most of us nowadays, it was way before we started this sport. It’s really hard to live just out of windsurfing and if the industry doesn’t sell, they cannot invest into marketing and professional windsurfers. Just few people can afford to invest some of their money in professional coaching, but just few times a year. As for myself, I invest into my own health with physiotherapy and functional training, which is a perfect complement to stay fit in windsurfing and avoid always injures that can keep you out of the water for too long. For me, to invest in heath and prevention of injuries is the best investment ever.

Iballa: Spending as many hours in the water as possible, watching videos, visualizing, motivation. We depend a lot on the weather forecast so trying to stay fit every day. I’m personally a surf coach so I kind of do my own program. I also spend time with friends like Oscar Ruiz (Spanish SUP Trainer) training and learning how to compete.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

What do you consider the hardest parts of windsurfing?

Daida: Windsurfing is a real fun sport. Everyone has fun on their own level. Some people have more fun trying to water start than other trying to do a jibe. It’s all about feelings and sensations. There are many difficult wave moves, specially since freestylers got into the waves. They can dance with the waves if they want, it’s amazing.

For jumping, I always try to go higher and higher, and for this you need to spend many hours in the water training, also for the moves wave riding. I try to imitate most of the top wave sailors so I can always set a higher standard in women’s level, so pretty much all the waves moves like take, shaka, wave 360, goiter and all the variants one or no handed are really difficult. Once you try one million times, then you can may be start landing few things here and there. In jumping double forwards, pushloop forwards and all the double moves are extremely difficult and only few top strong boys can do this. For next year, I think I can land all my double forwards, at least I am training for this. Fingers crossed.

Iballa: The sport of windsurfing is one of the most complete sports exists. While you are enjoying the nature and the ocean, you are working out every inch of your body. It’s a very complete sport and everyone can enjoy it within its own level so there is no danger of the sport at all.

When you are a professional athlete and ambitious person like us, we want more everyday, learn the “impossible” — trying to pull the difficult moves without putting yourself any limits. When things are not working out like you want, just back off a bit and then back into training with lots of motivations — you will always learn everyday! Even in your worse days in the water. I learn a lot from my mistakes as well.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

How do you prepare for events/races?

Daida: Depending on the spot I compete I prepare myself. Obviously, the easiest is always train at your home spot (more comfortable) but sometimes you need to move to other spots for try to get more similar conditions. In port tack conditions, I am always more comfortable as I am goofy foot, so it’s my natural side. If I have an event coming up, I organize schedule and a program with physical training (running, functional training, biking, swimming) and spend as many hours as possible in the water, setting your gear, testing new gear, and so on.

Iballa: As we depend so much of the conditions, we are always looking at the weather forecast. Depending on the conditions, it’s always good to make weekly plan and be ready always for it. I like traveling between the canary islands depending on the conditions (wind and waves). Its part of our lifestyle search for the best conditions to windsurf and surf! Traveling ís always fun if you are going to do what you love the most. When I have competitions ahead (depending if it’s windsurfing or Stand Up Paddle), I like to be focusing in the sport at least 1 month before doing specific training for it.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

How do you eat and sleep?

Daida: I used to eat always healthy (no sugar, fruits, and so on) but after I got ill with cancer few years ago, I try even harder with my alimentary habits, specially more fruits. I do not personally take supplements, just natural staff like Chia, Quinoa, and so on.

Iballa: I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe in brunch some fruits, etc. depending on the exercice I do that day. I’m not very strict on diets but I avoid simple sugard and eath health cooking in oven, veggies, fish, and meat. Sleep minimum 8h a day. Resting is very important even having a 15-minute nap on the hard training day. Also, I like taking some recovery supplements after training.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

How do you handle injuries and recovery?

Daida: I am actually injured at the moment. As a physiotherapist, I find it easier and more handy to try to cure myself, or together with my mates. I understand better the body and how it heals, so I know how important to respect the recovery times and to everything to slowly get into the water (prepare your body after an injury). Luckily, I have injuries with bad recovery due to this ;-). Depending on the injury and/or the part of the body affected, there are certain exercises for a better recovery and specific and custom programs depending on a short or long term goals.

Iballa: All through out my career, I had a few cirguries for injuries (knee, foot), etc. The most important is to keep the motivation alive, watching videos, think positive and training with your head — it will help you recover much faster! To do specific physio treatments for injuries are really important too. Even if you are not injured and you do lots of sports, it’s always good to go once a week to a good physio for treatments and prevent injuries.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

What is your best advice people new to windsurfing?

Daida: Best advise it to always try to go with a group of friends and spend a fantastic time learning the basics of windsurfing, always in a prepared school with specific monitors with all the license according to law, and HAVE FUN!

Iballa: Like Daida mentioned, to go with friends and always with a good school with good equipment and expert monitors will help you learn faster the basics of this fun sport!

Best advice for people who have been windsurfing for years?

Daida: Yeap, there are lots of people who always get “stuck” in windsurfing, and they “stop” experiencing new sensations. It’s always important to keep always updated with the windsurfing gear (every year there is a huge develop in new gear that makes lives easier, with innovation in materials and your get a different feeling with lighter gear. Also, it’s important to have few coaching classes with professional people for at least fine tuning (this means harness lines measurements, type of harness you use, boom height, positioning your body with board speed speed, distribution of the body weight while planning). There are million things to consider in windsurfing, as well million moves to learn. If you get stuck in windsurfing, get someone to help you find a solution as there are many “none scary” moves that you can learn and still have fun! Forward loop Is usually the most scary move to learn at first, then you realize it’s easier to do and learn a forward than a normal jibe.

Iballa: Everything that Daida mentioned! Also, keep motivation alive for every step on the learning — every little detail makes a big difference. If anyone needs tips from us, please feel free to write us as we will be happy to help. @morenotwins

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

How do you balance normal life with your water sport?

Daida: My day-by-day life is balanced to train, stay fit, healthy and be in the best conditions to windsurf. I also work as a physio because is my other passion, it’s a great feeling to help people get their heath back to normal or as normal as possible.

Iballa and I are on the very top of the female windsurfing in waves and we can earn some money with sponsors and something with price money, but overall is always a live saving in short terms. In the future if I am not competing, I will still have my physiotherapy degree, my rental apartments and something to live from.

Iballa: In the last years, Ive been training a lot more physically than ever before. It helps being stronger in the water and avoid injuries. It’s important to do specific training to your sport outside the water and strength your weak points and maintain or improve on your stronger muscles. Its good to find a balance and work on your core for balance specially for windsurfing and Stand Up Paddle Surf.

It’s important to find a balance and have time for your family and friends as well!

With our sport, it’s difficult to make a living, but with lots of motivation and imagination, we find a way to finish the year and motivated to start a new one doing what we love. If we were a male windsurfer for sure things would been different or a world champion in any other major sport.

I don’t miss anything because of my sport because it’s the life I choose and I love my office: OCEAN VIEW.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

What kind of board and gear do you use?

Daida: I use Severne Sails in Blade, Starboard in UltraKode, and Maui Ultra Fins. Usually depending on the conditions, we use a hole set. If we compete or windsurf in places like Germany, we obviously use bigger sails and board with more liters (5.0 and 86 liters is my biggest set), and in places like Canary Islands, smaller sails and board (3.3 and 72 liter boards).

What has been your best sport purchase below $100?

Daida: Wax and pads for my surf board. It’s a perfect complementary sport for the days without wind.

Iballa: its not much you can buy nowadays in surfing with $100 but probably latest surfing fins particularly the Mick Fanning model.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a twin in the world of windsurfing?

Daida: Being twins, I guess there a lot of advantages like you never get to travel alone and we help each other. Disadvantage is that everyone gets confused and the people don’t get to understand that we are two totally different person.

Iballa: I think its much easier to travel together and spend time helping each other during the stress of competitions.

Windsurfers Moreno Twins

What will the future bring?

Daida: As for now, we are working to finish in the very top of the Wave World Tour. Next event will be in Germany, Sylt at the end of September. Meanwhile, I try to recover from my rib injury in Tenerife last month of August and work my winter schedule to do some physiotherapy courses and plan a trip to South Africa and Cape Verde for some training.

Iballa: I still have some competitions to do: ISA World for Stand Up Paddle next week in Denmark and afterwards, I fly with Daida to Germany for the last stop of the windsurfing tour. Looking forward to finish with a good result and start a great winter in Canary Islands! Probably, do some trips near Canary Islands for videos and photos and keep training and improving for next season!

Follow Daida and Iballa on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube

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