At the ages of 15 and 17 respectively, Rex Calderon and Norwin Estrella appear to be just like any other ordinary teenagers. Their daily agendas are pretty simple: Go to school, surf, and rally around town chasing after the local betty’s. Little do they know, they represent what is a very bright future for surfing in Nicaragua.
Rex and Norwin represent what is the exploding next generation of surfers from a country where surfing is still very much in it’s adolescence. The first time I saw Rex in the water he was finishing up his destruction of a wave with one the smoothest, styled-out, and elevated aerial 360’s I had ever seen. Rex, the current no. 1 ranked Junior in all of Central America, possesses the tools and natural ability to one day become a truly great surfer. He’s been picked up by Quiksilver and a few other smaller sponsors who are aiding Rex to reach his unlimited potential.
Norwin is intriguing as a surfer for the simple fact that at 17 of age, he has only been surfing for 3 years. Yet in 3 short years he has developed into an extremely talented surfer, most recently placing second behind Rex in a contest held at nearby Popoyo. The ultra-consistent, high-quality surf in Nicaragua is providing this generation of young surfers with limitless opportunities to develop their skills. With this, we have much to look forward to as these and the rest of the young up and coming Nica-rippers are tirelessly setting themselves up for big things to come.
Rex and Norwin were kind enough to sit a Sunday session out and participate in a 5 with 5’s. Knowing the passion they have for surfing every second they possibly can, we thank them for this and look forward to watching them, and the rest of this countries next generation of surfers progress towards greatness.
5ones: How old were you guys when you started surfing, and what was it that got you started?
Rex Calderon: I started surfing when I was right around 9 yrs. old. My Uncles Rocky and Cello were always surfing and when I saw them going it made me interested in trying it out. They gave me my first board and I’ve been surfing ever since.
Norwin Estrella: I was 14 when I started. Pretty much all of my cousins and friends were already doing it and were having fun so I decided I wanted to try it.
5ones: What surfers out there inspire you guys?
Rex: For me it’s Andy Irons and Cory Lopez. I guess for competitions I would say Kelly Slater. As far as just aerials and free-surfing I would definitely say Julian Wilson (ear-to-ear smile on his face when mentioning Julian).
Norwin: Andy, Cory, and Freddy Patacchia. We (he and Rex) always surf together and watch movies together so we all like a lot of the same surfers.
5ones: As far as your surfing goes, what are you guys really working on right now and practicing?
Rex: When I first saw the rodeo flip Jamie O’Brien has been throwing I wanted to try it. I’m practicing that a lot right now. I’ve only landed it once though so I’m hoping to get better and throw them consistently.
Norwin: Just throwing a lot of different airs. I love throwing airs and being above the wave so I’m trying to practice as many different airs as I can.
5ones: It’s pretty obvious the area you guys have grown-up in is growing and seeing more visiting surfers than ever before, how do you guys feel about having so many people in the water now?
Rex: I’m cool with it, you know. We have so many waves here and a lot of secret spots so when it does get too crowded we just head over there and it’s no big deal. I don’t really mind it too much.
Norwin: I guess sometimes it really makes it hard because there really are so many people here now, especially at the main breaks like Maderas. When you have so many people it makes it hard to surf and really enjoy it. But like Rex said, we have our secret spots so we can just go there when it gets too crowded.
5ones: What are you guys jamming out to when getting ready to head out for a session?
Rex: Damian Marley, Welcome to Jamroc
Norwin: Easy… System of a Down!