HOME: RABAT, MOROCCO
WEIGHT: 63 KG
SPONSORS: OAKLEY, GLOBE, CREATURES OF LEISURE, NIXON, RIDER STORE PORTUGAL
After his solid performance in Hawaii two winters ago, Abdel El Harim came up to me with a twinkle in his eye, “It’s just the beginning, you wait and see, Moroccan surfing is just getting started,” immediately name dropping Yassine. “You’ll see, the kid is going to blow up, he’s incredible…”
Sure enough a few years later, he’s made a name for himself with magazines appearances and aproaches from various sponsors. Yassine grew up in Rabat and Salé in the northern part of Morocco, “I started surfing at Nations beach, it’s a good beachbreak that offers all sorts of possibilities, really fun rights and lefts… I got to where I am today just by surfing a lot and working really hard at it.” From Anchor Point and Safi to the powerful northern reefbreaks, the surf in Morocco is serving as the perfect springboard for an upcoming generation of rippers looking to reach top-level surfing. Yassine adds, “The quality of the surf here helped me to progress but a lot is also down to Yann Martin, he’s pushed me really hard, always motivating me and above all has allowed me to compete in contests in Europe. He’s like a big brother to me.” Yann is the Oakley team manager and long boasted a talent for spotting new rookies. He was responsible for developing surfers such as Miky Picon through their early years.
So it comes as no surprise that an important turning point in Yassine’s career came at the semi-finals of the Oakley Lacanau Pro Junior under the watchful eye of his mentor. Yassine now dreams of making it onto the ’QS and later the ’CT like every young surfer his age, and one day of beating Andy Irons… there’s no lack of ambition there. But for the moment, now spending most of his time in Europe, Yassine remains focused on improving his mental approach to surfing, “The hardest thing for me is dealing with pressure, I’m so keen to impress sometimes it gets to me. I just have to go out there and have fun.”