"I was thankful to attend the 2016 Euro Junior Surf Championships in beautiful Morocco this December as Belgium’s photographer. I got to see some of the best under-18 surfers from Europe perform there. But best of all, I was adopted by a team of seven boys and two amazing girls, their coaches and their parents.
It was just 2008 when Belgium made its debut here at the European Championships, with the surfing’s popularity starting to grow in the country. They finished in 9th place in this edition of the contest, facing off against powerhouses like Portugal, Spain, Morocco and the UK.
14-year-old Costa Rican champion Dean Vandewalle, originally born in Ghent, took bronze in the finals for his age group.
In my free time during this trip, I shot some free surfing every evening. These are some of the images that made my trip so memorable."
This is how it was pretty much every evening after the daily competition ended. We drove back to the place we were staying in Taghazout and it was onfire out front.
Some mornings before the heats team Belgium went out at some other spots to free surf to warm up for their competition.
This is Surf Team Belgium 2016 line up during the Euro Junior Surf in Agadir, Morocco along with their coaches and one of the parents.
This is Dean Vandewalle who took the bronze in the finals in his category. He is quite a little surfing machine in the water and just an ordinary teenager when his around his friends.
Couple Moroccan locals checking out the surf during the contest, as you can see they were really enjoying what they were seeing.
Days before this photo was taken this guy asked me for a couple dirhams for a coffee, I checked my pocket and definitely I had a few and helped him out. So I see him again on the beach and he was asking for a picture and after I snapped the photo he gave me a candy and an orange. He was really stoked and welcoming me to his country.
This is the local people behind the bars checking out the contest with a police officer not letting them go on the beach which I didn’t understand why because it is their own beach.
Surf Team Belgium trying out some of the local cuisine, some boiled snails.
Empty lineups out front Surf Taghazout hostel where we were staying. I was just mind surfing all the time while i was taking these photos.
The team coaches catching a couple waves after the day ended before sunset.
This is Oscar Cauchi day before the competition started on a free surf session. He was killing it that day “dab after dab”
Famous Anchor point on fire. I’ve never seen a break like this it looked like a water park, wave after wave. Waves for everyone!
Park n’ Surf! You don’t need to be a surfer to come and enjoy this awesome view. While you sitting there local vendors come and sell you delicious mint tea, cookies, and peanuts.
While everyone’s eyes were pointing at the contest area on the left side was pumping none stop!
Damian Davila is a self-taught photographer, artist and musician, born in Baja California Mex and now based in Belgium, whose work is layered by surf, outdoor, lifestyle and travel subjects. With the ocean as his main muse, he has consistently captured this subject in timeless and expansive photographic impressions, utilizing the tool of bodyboarding to approach the ocean’s intricate personality and then extending out to include the human personalities that draw meaning from this same source.
Damian’s work has been featured on Surfline, Surfer Mag, Surfing Magazine, BBR Mag, Riptide Mag, Magic Sea Weed, Xtreme Video, Surfers Village, Ride It Bodyboarding Mag, Local News Papers and Magazines.