Clay County hosted the inaugural MotoSurf Competition Saturday and Sunday on Lake Geneva in Keystone Heights. One participant, in particular, has caught the eye of the Motosurf community at the age of 19, placing second overall.
Contestants were scored Sunday evening with Rui Merralls representing Great Britain placing first, Ayrton Eboli representing Mexico in second and Peter Vencovsky representing the Czech Republic in third.
Ayrton Eboli bought his first Jetsurf board when he was 16-years-old based on an Instagram post he saw highlighting the board and the sport.
“It looked cool and I was already familiar with water sports, so I bought it to test it out,” he said.
Born and raised in Merida, Mexico, Eboli grew up familiar with water sports and competition and seemed to be a natural at motosurfing, he said.
He competed in his first competition in 2019 at the age of 17 under the “hobby” category of the competition. He finished first overall and advanced from competing in “hobby” to “pro.”
“The race is based strictly on speed,” Eboli said. “If you fall down, you don’t lose points, you just lose time but that is what can hurt you in the end.”
Eboli just finished four months of training in the Czech Republic — where the MotoSurf competition originated. The sport is growing rapidly in Europe and quickly emerging in the U.S., with Keystone Heights being the first stop of the U.S. tour. Contestants will compete in Huntsville, Alabama, from July 8 to July 10, as the next event in the U.S. tour.
Different competitions are held throughout the year for surfers to compete in the hybrid-style board competition, a cross between a motorcycle and a surfboard (the boards have an engine installed in them with a throttle they hold in their hand to control the speed).
World Cup competitions are held overseas for the MotoSurf “pro” competitors who qualify based on the points they earn during regular competitions, Eboli explained. Last year, he competed in the World Cup, held in Croatia, and placed fourth overall.
Now, he is training for the 2022 World Cup where the first stop is Jedovnice in the Czech Republic.
The World Cup is the farthest one can advance, currently, in the sport. Though, MotoSurf CEO Martin Jancalek is working with the National Olympic Committee to make the sport a side discipline of the Olympic Games.
The Olympics have five disciplines contestants compete in, Jancalek said, athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics and swimming. A side discipline would establish MotoSurfing and other hybrid electric watersports, such as jet skiing, as a globally accepted competition with national rankings.
If the side discipline gets approved, Eboli has already done the math and is prepared to train and compete up until 2028, which would be the first official year he could compete for the sport on the Olympian level, he said.
“Of course, I would participate; can you imagine being able to say you are an Olympic athlete?” he said, smiling.
Eboli will participate in the next competition in Huntsville, Alabama, as part of his continued training and gaining of experience, he said. His hopes are to continue improving his skills, while connecting with fellow MotoSurf fans from the states.