What is your full name? If you could change it, what would it be?
My full name is Ruben Santonja and I am grateful to my parents for my name.For the last five years people have called me Rubens and the funny thing about it is that is due to confusion on my website which says Ruben.s and many people though that my name was Rubens when in fact the “S” is the first letter of my surname. Now people call me Rubens and even I wouldn’t change my name the truth is that it sounds more artistic to me (laughs).
Where did you grow up and where would have been your ideal place to grow up?
I was born and raised in a fishing village called Santurtzi, fifteen minutes away from Bilbao. Where I still live after so many years. Growing up between the ocean and the mountain is priceless. I consider myself a patriot for my land. Basque Country’s culture and gastronomy got me in love as long as I can remember. If I had to choose an ideal place to grow up California would be the place. The variety of personalities, the perfect waves and the feeling of freedom makes it perfect to me.
What part of your work do you love and hate the most?
I am truly passionate about art and board sports like surf, skate and snow. Surfboards are one of my fave canvases. What I love the most… It’s so unbalanced because I love almost everything about my job. It’s a big responsibility and so gratifying to see people happy when they get their customised boards. What I hate the most is making pinlines. I’ve done fifteen pinlines in a day, the tape technique is a 70% of a well done job, and even I like doing it, when I have many to do it gets so stressful. (laughs).
Which movie inspires you and which movie puts you to sleep?
I love movies, say one and I probably have watched it. A movie that inspired me was The Shawshank Redemption a master piece that shows an optimistic vision of life even facing unfair and difficult situations. On the other hand, there are so many movies that put me to sleep. Like Twilight ideal to catch some sleep.
Tell us a delicious meal you would die for and food that makes you puke?
I love italian cuisine, don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it, I would die for a good risotto and my mum’s beans are also very tempting. Cauliflower makes me puke, honestly I have never tried it and many people say to me that I am missing something exquisite. I am sorry the smell is so bad that I can’t even dare try it.
What about music that makes you dance and music that hurts your ears?
I listen to music more than seven hours a day. 80’s music inevitably makes me move even tho I am a really bad dancer. Rock & roll increases adrenaline feeling inside myself and when I listen soundtracks I only think of drawing. I am a huge fan of music but when it comes to Reggaeton I can’t stand it. I’ll never understand how conscious we are about respect towards woman and at the same time people support this genre by listening to it.
Where are your favourite and hated surf spots?
I am in love with the coast of the French Basque Country and Playa de Somo in Cantabria. It’s not only about waves and beaches also vivid memories and experiences from those beautiful places. I am local at Playa de la Arena in Bizkaia, a beach with a lot of currents that completely destroys the ocean thanks to our politicians that do everything to ruin our eco system. But I love it madly.
What do you like about surfers and what do you hate about them?
Surfers gives out madness, freedom and strong self esteem. Being a surfer means authenticity and adventurous. Have you ever found a surfer that tells you about the surf session he/she just had like if they were Kelly Slater? So that is what I hate about them, the show off.