Stab Magazine | Rolo Montes Is Puerto Rico's Studliest Young Tube Hound
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Rolo Montes Is Puerto Rico’s Studliest Young Tube Hound

Powerful, stylish, and heart-wrenchinlgy handsome—meet Quiksilver’s air-hucking hearthrob!

style // Sep 26, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Late March and the sky above Puerto Rico is fluorescent blue, a crisp north wind blowing and the North Atlantic is on fire, a near Perfect Storm-size low pressure flaring up off Bermuda and one of the biggest swells in the last decade is blitzing the Caribbean.

We’re standing in the shade of tall palms lining the lava rock reef at one of Aguadilla’s most fickle rock slabs, flanked by a slew of PR’s finest, Ale Moreda and Otto Flores, all watching young Rolo Montes chip shot into a running right, pulling in as the whole neon tunnel goes completely square, pumping over the foamball and doggy-dooring the thing as it blows its guts out behind him.

Former Quiksilver employee, Damien Fahrenfort, is texting his contacts in the Huntington offices as we speak: You guys have been looking for your next big thing, and you’ve got a kid with Dane’s style, who’s better looking than Craig, right here…

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Ain’t he a cutie? Rolo Montes, Quik House, North Shore, 2018.

Photography

Sam Moody.

But it ain’t Quiksilver’s fault Rolo’s not a top shelf hypebeast. It ain’t easy making a name for yourself coming from the US colony, the Hawaii of the Atlantic living up to its name in good and bad ways.

“I can’t say it hasn’t been hard getting coverage as a Puerto Rican,” Rolo tells Stab. “Society in Puerto Rico doesn’t pay attention to surfing, so people don’t see surfing’s potential for the economic growth. That’s why it’s so hard for us Puerto Rican surfers to make it happen. The truth is that if you don’t have someone who shoots or films you, no one will see you. And there’s only a handful of people who own and know how to operate a camera, and most of them work for FEMA now. I was surprised that there was someone filming the last swell, even though it was the biggest swell in years.”

 

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Rolo spent the summer in Indo, and scored Nias at its heaviest, and most playful.

Photography

Sam Moody.

“I was born in ‘95 in San Juan, and my mom wanted to name me Pablo, but she was a few minutes late to the office, so my dad named me after himself. My mom’s name is Margarita Bibiloni and my dad’s Rolando Montes Carrasquillo.

“I used to live in the country away from everything. No TV, no Xbox, no neighbors, just my mom, dad, and a bunch of dogs. By that time, I was super into surfing, not competitive but just going surfing with my dad and my cousins. My dad used to wake me up super early in the morning to go surf before school, but only on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays which were his days off work. When I turned 12, we moved to the city and that’s when I started surfing every day because I’d just run from my house to the beach after school. I moved right next to Mauro Diaz and his life was all about surfing, so that pretty much got me more into surfing.”

 

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“I used to live in the country away from everything. No TV, no Xbox, no neighbors, just my mom, dad, and a bunch of dogs.”

Photography

Sam Moody.

Rolo and Mauro are part of the next generation of Puerto Rico’s young hopefuls, a small band of merry pranksters that can be found mobbing all over the island’s northern coast, groveling San Juan’s myriad of little reefs and begging family and friends for rides to Aguadilla, Isabella, and Rincon.

“I grew up surfing this wave called Aviones, in San Juan,” Rolo tells Stab. “The entire island can be dead flat and there will be a wave at Aviones.  Everybody who lives in San Juan surfs there. There were a couple kids that were contemporary that always would surf together—Mauro Diaz, Ricardo “Bito” Luke, Cristian Rivera, Jorge Rivera, Hector Santamaría, Dwight Pastrana, Sebastián Soto, Bryan Laide, etc. It was a really tight crew. Still is. As we grew we all merged into one big surf family.”

 

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Flaring in Indo, 2017.

Photography

Sam Moody.

“My parents got me a car when I was 16 and that’s when I started exploring the island a bit more. I remember seeing all this photos of Ale Moreda, Brian Toth, Dylan Graves, Nico Moreda, Alejo Marin and Carlos Cabrero surfing these insane slabs and a bunch of other good waves I had never seen. So I called Ale Moreda and started asking him to take me to all these waves and he pretty much guided me and took me to all the spots I hadn’t even heard of.

“There’s an innumerable amount of good waves in the island, a lot which I still haven’t gotten to surf yet but am keen to do so.”

 

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“There’s an innumerable amount of good waves [on Puerto Rico], a lot which I still haven’t gotten to surf yet but am keen to do so.”

Photography

Sam Moody.

With the summer doldrums approaching, and Rolo carrying some momentum from the winter (see the clip above), what was next for the young island stud?

“A lot of filming and traveling,” Rolo says. “This summer I want to go to new places with new people and go as big as ever. To make it to the bright lights, I just have to challenge myself with the big names, especially with the guys on Quiksilver. I’d love the opportunity to go on surf trips with those guys and to prove myself with them. I know I can make it happen, it’s just a matter of exposure and, obviously money to get to where I want to be.  

“I’ll keep going every year to Hawaii, as long as Quiksilver keeps giving me the opportunity to stay at the Quik house, and I’ll keep trying my hardest to get a good wave at Pipe. And given the opportunity, I won’t hesitate to go on that wave. I’ll be trying my hardest no matter what. Getting noticed by someone like Stab is what’s going to give me that extra push that I need. So my deepest gratitude goes out to you guys. Other than that I’m ready to squeeze any and every opportunity that comes my way.”

 

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“To make it to the bright lights, I just have to challenge myself with the big names, especially with the guys on Quiksilver. I’d love the opportunity to go on surf trips with those guys and to prove myself with them.” Rolo in Indo, 2018.

Photography

Sam Moody.

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