Team rider Albert Würsch

Albert Würsch


Alberto Bärti Würsch

Vintage : 1973

Profession : Software Developer

Hometown : Engelberg OW

Hobbies : bouldering, climbing, producing music

Stance : Goofy

Boardsports : Ocean Surfing / River Surfing / Wavepool / Skateboard / Surfskate

Home spot : Bremgarten

Favorite Destinations : Australia, Central America, Morocco, Portugal

Surfboards : Sements

Love : Life

Hate : Nothing

Crew : Al-Berto & the Fried Bikinis

Contests :
Swiss Surfing Championships 2007
Swiss Surfing Championships 2008
Swiss Surfing Championships 2013
Swiss Wavepool Jam 2015
Swiss Wavepool Jam 2017
Swiss Wavepool Champs 2017
Bremzgi River Jam, 2018

Al-Berto and the Fried Bikinis Instagram

Interview with Bärti Würsch

Tell us briefly something about yourself.

Hello, I'm Bearded. I love surfing, climbing and writing songs. I grew up in Engelberg and Guatemala.

How did you become passionate about surfing?

Surfing has been a constant companion since I was little, at least in my head. As a child, we spent many weekends on the wild beach breaks of Guatemala.
Clinging to my father's back, I was able to experience the power of the sea at an early age. Duck diving and swimming behind the surf are firmly in my memory. And of course, bodysurfing back to the beach still makes me feel happy like it did back then.

I spent my teenage years in Engelberg, in “the Golden Age of Snowboarding” (1991-1999). On my first climbing trip around the world in 2004, I made a quick visit to Guatemala and went to the sea with my sister's board. Then the worlds clicked together and the inevitable happened. I realized that the endless hours in the halfpipe were an unconscious search for the waves. The relationship between the halfpipe curve and the waves couldn't be more obvious :) Since then, surfing trips and climbing trips have alternated regularly.

What fascinates you about surfing?

I am fascinated by the beauty of the waves, life with the tides and, above all, the endless learning curve in surfing. I can work on different skills that make surfing even more fun: wave reading, paddling, duck diving, fast takeoffs and then there is the huge scope of surfing itself. What fascinates me is that the technique of a turn is never fully learned. It takes a lot of time and strategy to learn these steps, especially if you started late like I did. The creative process, that you can work on it for a long time and develop learning strategies to experience the feeling of a new surfing level, that's exactly what I like and that's why I do it.

You can only choose one place to surf for the rest of your life. Which place would that be and why?

Margaret River in Western Australia. There are about 50 different surf spots within 60 km. You can surf all year round and choose between beach breaks, reefs, small waves and giant waves. The wildlife is exciting with countless species of birds and their funky songs, kangaroos and the many dolphins. It also has good bouldering blocks and rocks there :)

What or who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to surfing?

The greatest inspiration is the waves themselves. When the waves break beautifully and there is no one in the water, then the waves are inviting. Then I can't resist putting mind surfing into action. And of course good surfers in the line up are very inspiring and offer me a glimpse of what is possible to achieve on the waves.

Which boards do you prefer for surfing?

It doesn't really matter. If it has enough buoyancy for paddling and is light enough for maneuvers, then it's fine. I find it exciting to find the “sweet spot” with every board.
In Guatemala I have a biscuit from Al Merrick that I really enjoy. It has a lot of buoyancy for paddling and is still very short (5'2). It feels like a cut-off longboard and is more of a heavy board, which taught me to ride less hastily. Otherwise I drive normal standard thrusters.

How does it feel to be a Surfari team rider?

Brilliant! I've been a big fan ever since I've known Surfari. I remember being in the store for the first time and being amazed that they only had surfing material there. I was excited. The fact that I can be a team rider today is a great honor for me and it's fun to 'work' with such a Good Vibes crew ;)

Can we talk about a surfing scene in Switzerland? If so, are you active or passive in a club?

Haha, that could almost be a trick question. I am in the Swiss Surfing Association (SSA) and take part in the events. Now it depends on what you mean by scene. According to Wiktionary, scene can mean subculture, milieu but also insider meeting. I don't think any of the three terms apply to surfers in Switzerland. Surfing is as mainstream as winter sports and is not associated with any particular culture or music. What connects us all is the enthusiasm for surfing and the common fate of being “landlocked”.

What has been your biggest surfing challenge so far?

I wasn't by the sea for two years in a row, and that was pretty hard. :D

What is your favorite surfing adventure? Describe an anecdote from a surfing trip.

Surfing adventures are always nice, I can't even rank them ;). As soon as I'm at the sea and there are rideable waves, I'm happy. We once had great conditions in Anglet, France. Of course there were a lot of people. So we surfed until dark and when there were no more people, we could still surf thanks to the street lights. Then my friend came up with the idea of ​​imagining a shark attacking us. We really got into it so we paddled out of the empty waves towards the beach in a panic.

Is there a surf culture for you? If so, how would you describe them?

The stereotype of the rebel and dropout has remained from the 1950s. These types of stereotypes still exist today, but they don't agree with the majority of surfers. Nowadays a wide variety of people sit next to each other in the line up.
Funnily enough, the stereotypes in surfing are the same as in climbing. Probably because both sports are very seasonal and dependent on weather conditions. In both sports there are globetrotters who travel from spot to spot all year round. There are the hardcore locals who know about everything and everyone. And then there are the large masses of holiday surfers and climbers who travel to the best spots during the best season.

However, there is a surf-specific culture through language. As with any sport, there is specific technical language that you can only understand if you know the sport well.
“A 24 second period swell will hit tomorrow at dawn and it will be offshore”. This sentence makes every surfer's heart beat faster :)

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