INTERVIEW – Ricardo Carrajola

For my first blog post I interviewed Ricardo Carrajola. He is one of the main characters in the prized surf short film GASOLINE and a Tagus river surfing pioneer. Ricardo shared some information about the film and this river’s wave phenomenon.


First things first… who is Ricardo Carrajola?

I am a “big kid” who always loved extreme sports. Started skateboarding when I was 6, at 15 I tried aggressive inline street skating (sport in which I was sponsored and did some demos all across the country) and, I finally started surfing at the age of 17. Now it’s all about surfing and skateboarding.

How is it possible to surf the Tagus River?

Surfing the river is a dream come true. When the boats that make the Barreiro-Lisbon connection were switched for powerful catamarans, the river bed changed, forming shoals perfect for the formation of waves. In a perfect day the waves can be 150m long.

What do you need to know to be able to ride the wave to the fullest?

There are only two conditions to surf gasoline at its fullest:
– low tide;
– rush hour (you have sets every 5 minutes and the boats ride really fast, making the waves bigger)

Why name it Gasoline?

The name came from a pun between the diesel’s (in Portuguese – gasóleo) smell left by boats and the perfect lines when the wave is at its maximum potential.

How did the idea for the film come about?

The short film Gasoline was made to enter the first surf film festival  in Portugal, SAL– surfing at Lisbon film fest – which we won in the category of best national production. Since then we have been participating in several other festivals:
– we were finalists in Cannes;
–  won the Sadinas short in the category of best regional documentary;
– we were finalists at the New York Film Fest.

The Gasoline from Velcrum on Vimeo.

And you created a Cultural and Sports Association?

Yes! The creation of the association was in sequence with everything that happened around this phenomenon. The Gasoline – Sports and Cultural Association aims to develop and support the growth of action sports (surfing and skateboarding) and raise environmental awareness in Barreiro. Its mission:

– Disclose the action sports (surfing and skateboarding) and to promote among young people of the city of Barreiro.
– Promote the importance of environmental preservation linked to the river and river beaches.
– Organize local, regional and national competitions related to these two sports and open a school to encourage its practice.
– Organizing cultural events on modalities such as film and music festivals, concerts, workshops, exhibitions and conferences.
– Develop measures of social cooperation reaching out to disadvantaged youth, cooperating with the relevant governmental agencies and private institutions.

Tell us more about the Surf School?

The surf school is a project that’s already underway. We’ve organized several workshops with some institutions and now intend to also establish protocols with local schools to include surfing as an extracurricular activity.

Any advice for those who want to start surfing?

Find someone who is experienced and can teach you or go to a surf school.


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