WW: Let’s start with some stats…name, age and where do you live?
SB: Sergio Diaz Bernal, much more than I'd like, 31. I live in a beautiful beach place call La Manga Del Mar Menor, Spain.
WW: When was your first attempt at wakeboarding?
SB: My first attempt was in summer 2004, but I couldn't stand up until the following summer in 2005.
WW: Who introduced you to the sport of wakeboarding?
SB: I was with a friend watching videos and he showed me a video of the X-Games, which had wakeboarding. I saw someone doing a Raley and immediately I thought, I want to do this sport. I've been around boats since I was a kid and used to ski with my family, so I thought, lets buy a board and get in the water.
I tried a few times at the end of summer 2004, but I couldn’t do it. I had no idea how to stand up and it was a complete disaster. The next summer, after watching some videos, I was able to wakeboard. The problem was I didn't know anyone who rode, so I had to learn by myself. I can say it was pretty tough at first, but six month later I landed my first back roll.
WW: Are more people getting into wakeboarding in your town?
SB: Wakeboarding is getting bigger and bigger in Spain. New cable parks are constantly opening, compared to years ago, and this is making new riders for sure. We have boat and cable contests, but, except for a few riders, the level is quite low, including myself.
WW: Is your local riding spot fresh water or saltwater?
SB: My local spot is a saltwater lagoon in southeast Spain called Mar Menor. Last summer I opened my own cable park, Wasa Wake Park, one hour from where I live. Check the website at wasawake.com, which is also in English.
WW: Was it hard to find people to wakeboard with when you started?
SB: I was alone in my area, so I started to search for people who also liked to wakeboard. I ended up finding people in my area and now we are good friends. And also once I started to participate at some of the contests I met more people and made some good friends. We all share good wakeboarding trips together.
WW: How about boats? What kind are you getting pulled behind?
SB: I started with outboard boats then I switched to a stern drive boat, and lately I’m riding behind inboards. I have two boats; an Ebbtide 2460 set up for wakeboarding and a MasterCraft Prostar, also set up for wakeboarding. But there is nothing like the 230 Air Nautique that my friend has. The wake is massive.
WW: What wakeboard do you like to strap into and ride?
SB: I have ridden all kind of boards, but right now I like the flex boards for their versatility. And also, I try a bunch of brands, but what I am riding is Liquid Force.
WW: What do you enjoy most about wakeboarding?
SB: I like the good atmosphere in wakeboarding and meeting nice people who share your passion, but the best is to improve every year learning new tricks…such a mind blower.
WW: What do you like to do when you’re not wakeboarding?
SB: I enjoy filming and editing and I also run a Spanish wakeboard site. So it’s pretty much all wakeboard related.
WW: Do you have WakeWorld.com set as your home page?
SB: Hahaha, I would say yes, but I would be telling lies. My home page used to be Google, but for sure WakeWorld.com is on my favorites.
WW: You mentioned that improving and learning new tricks is what you enjoy most about wakeboarding, so are there any tricks that you are working on or want to work on?
SB: I had knee surgery in December and I’ll be back on the water in June, so I'll just be trying to recover all my tricks, but I do want to focus on rails mainly. It’s so much fun.
WW: Everyone has an ideal day. What is yours?
SB: My ideal day would be a non-work day and riding with friends at the lake or cable.
Pro wakeboarders… who would be your top three and why?
SB: First, I would say Daniel Grant. I can't understand how a rider can manage such a top level and style in both sports; wakeboard and wakeskate.
Now there are a bunch of young riders that can do crazy stuff, but I still like old school riders so much, like Darin Shapiro and his orbitals. And for the third, but not least, my top favorite rider is Raph Derome, such a genius. I think he is a very complete rider and he is light-years away from the rest.
WW: Do you have any spots that you would like to ride at one day?
SB: Yes, there are a bunch of them. I would like to go to CWC Philippines. It’s a classic. Also BSR in USA, the bi-level pool looks sick. Any Australian big cable park, to check why so many Aussies are becoming top-level lately. And also the butter of the California Delta and maybe meet some west coast legend like The Vandall.
WW: Word of advice?
SB: Don't be a fool and go to a school for some lessons. You will improve much quicker.
WW: Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
SB: I would like to thanks to my girl, Maria Jesus. She is great. Gracias Mamita! My family for being there always. Thanks to anyone out there that have shared wakeboard moments with me over the years, like Ned! Johnson in Orlando, who took me to his lake as one of his friends and gave me some good tips. Markus from Wake A Lot who was a great wakeboard partner at his place in Thailand. I still owe him some videos. And to all the homies in Spain. Also, thanks to wasawake.com to give me lots of entertainment.