moratsmall Meet Chris 'Morat' del Moro, Galactik Tracks token hippy, surfer and environmentalist.

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Morat, locked in at Maccas

Words and Photos Ben Whitmore.

Morat is what you’d call a modern hippy, or perhaps just ‘surf animal’ is a more apt label. He’ll ride any piece of surf equipment he can get his hands on and play nearly any instrument. Currently he is off doing his bit with Rasta to save the planet, or at least educate the west coast of the U.S on its environmental woes on their latest Transparentsea mission. I concerned him on the Galactik Tracks trip in between playing bongos and the didgeridoo for this interview.

 

Where did the name “Morat” come from?

[Laughs] My last name is Del Moro but it came from a trip I did to Chile with Dave [Rastovich] and Parko. At the time the movie Borat was super hot so I turned into Morato and then just Morat and I guess it stuck. Joel was the first person to call me that I think.

How did you first meet Dave?

I’ve known Dave for four or five years now. I met him whilst filming for the movie The Present, where Dan Malloy sent us to Hawaii to surf big waves on allias.

Why free surfing?

For me, free surfing is just that ­– you’re free to do what you please you know, I don’t have anyone that’s telling me what type of board to ride. If I want to go surf a matt, I can go and do that, if I want to go long boarding, I can go long boarding. It allows me to ride whatever equipment on whatever wave I want and just to be myself and not have to have any limitations from my sponsors to be a certain way; they just encourage me to be myself. It’s great, I mean for all of us on this boat, we all just get to be ourselves and be unique so I think that’s what free surfing is in my world.

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Chris in a moment of solitude on an otherwise crowded boat.

Do you think that that somehow ties back into your art and music?

Yeah definitely, I mean with art, I’m most inspired when I’m in the flow; when I’m just doing what feels good to me. It’s the same with music when you’re jamming and just in the moment. That’s when your best work comes out, when you get into that almost meditative trance. I like keeping myself stimulated you know and also learning through life.

Has it lead you to see different places than you probably would have if you’d chosen a career in contests?

Yeah, I mean as a grom I did the contest thing for long enough to know that it didn’t feel right to me. It made me feel anxious and question myself too much and question others perspectives on surfing. I did get to travel, which was good, but now I’m pretty much going with whatever nature offers and it feels like more of a spiral than a box that you’re in.

You’re the only American on the boat, what’s it like being on a boat full of Aussies?

I love it, I think Aussies are just incredible and I love being in the company of Australians, they’re so light hearted and fun and no bullshit, just cut dry. I spend so much time in Australia and some of my best friends are Australian so being on a boat full of Aussies feels like home to me now. I definitely consider Australia to be a second home. I feel honored to be the only American here. The one thing you have to learn pretty quickly when hanging with Aussies is that; you can’t take anything too personal, I learned that right away.

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Style-king Chris spending another moment in heaven on the Island of nowhere.

What do you want to achieve as a surfer?

I think my goal with surfing is to continue to evolve in the process of riding waves, and not just that but also in the process of creating equipment and being really hands-on involved with my shapers in what I’m riding. On top on that, if I can somehow through my surfing and through whatever profile I’ve got, do positive work for the environment, then that to me is the perfect package. If I can give back to something that’s given me so much then I’d be happy at the end of my life and know it wasn’t all about take, take, take.

You’re about to embark on a second Transparentsea mission in the states?

The last trip was in Australia and it was such an amazing adventure, and I learned so much from it. Now I get to bring that same initiative and concept to my home in California. We’re going to travel from Point Conception on the tip of Santa Barbra to the border of Mexico. I’m really excited because I’m already learning so much about my own back yard that I didn’t already know, through research in preparation for this trip. I think it will be great to bring some action to my home and we have so many humans there, so there really is a lot of impact on nature. I’m really excited for the adventure, but also really excited to be able to educate a sector of humanity that might not have thought about some of the issues that are going on with some of the surrounding environments.