My name is Harold Zunino, I am 24 years old, I was born in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela , a city with magical tourist destinations, and incredible beaches to practice this wonderful sport.
I started surfing when I was 9 years old approximately. I used to go to the beach every afternoon after doing my school work. My childhood friends and my mom (who never let me go alone) always were my companion at the beach.
I started with a bodyboard; but I was curious about those boards made of fiberglass. On weekends we sat on the shore from the beach to watch “Los Valencianos” surfing (that is how we called any surfer we didn’t know hahaha); and when they came out of their heat, we asked for the boards, many said no; however, there were always some that lent us their boards. One day Rugby Colmenares took the initiative to gift some boards to many kids from the town where I live “EL PALITO”, also known by surfers as “PALIFORNIA”. There I had my first board. I could not believe it. I think I could not sleep for three days because of how excited I was haha.
One year later, Rugby helped me to shape a board for me. It lasted a long time until my dogs ate it hahaha. Then a friend of mine, Gustavo Castillo “MININGO”, did his magic and fixed my board…
In 2011, Miningo and Rugby helped me get my first surfboard sponsor: Quality Surfboards (Daniel Amaro & Carlos Lopez). During that same year, I managed to be part of the team of Venezuela for the ISA World Junior Surfing Games held in Punta Hermosa – Peru. I could not participate because of an accident I had during the warm-up sessions. I fell on the rocks and had foot injuries, the coach decided that I was not in the best condition to come up with a good score.
Since then, I became part of the junior team in 2012 and 2013. In 2015, I went to the ISA World Cup in Nicaragua with Carlos Perez (Carlacho) without any kind of financial support from the government.
In December of 2018 I traveled again with the team of Venezuela to the Panamerican Surfing games, where I met again with old friends that I did not see for many years as Derek Gomes and Jose Lopez. In this event Francisco “Lolo” Bellorin was the champion. A very rewarding experience to see someone from my country winning the event.
Most of the boys that start in this sport here in Venezuela, do not have surfboards; and most of the times, they do they same I did when I was a kid: ask for surfboards to ride some waves.
I wish I had at least ten surfboards in good condition and donate them to those children that like the sport. This can help them to take their minds away from all this nightmare that we live in Venezuela as of today; and focus on education and sports.
As of today, I continue surfing and training. I have won several regional events and a national event so far this year. Also, I do everything possible to raise money to attend events out of the local area and keep doing what I love to do, train, surf and work.
You can follow my sufing career on my personal Instagram: instagram.com/haroldzunino