Who is Miguel Ángel Galera Cardona

Miguel Ángel Galera is a native of Ibiza, a great sportsman, a great fisherman with great human qualities. He was for years a member of the national team, achieving the team world championship in 2008 (Venezuela) and endless podiums and awards at an international level, both individual and team. Retired from top competition since 2012, he now combines his profession with his passion for spearfishing and the position of material tester for Salvimar.

(by Bernat Castell Pallicer)

Bernat Castell Pallicer: You retired from top-level competitions a long time ago, but you continue to express a high level of performance as we can see in some championships you still participate in, always achieving good results. How do you face these championships?

Miguel Ángel Galera: I retired from the competition circuits back in 2012, since it was difficult for me to combine the championships with work, but I still like to participate, especially in the open team championships, I enjoy them a lot.

When I put on my mask and get into the water I want to win, but without that pressure since I’m among friends. The fact of going more relaxed to enjoy the event with the friends with whom I form a team, the motivation for the atmosphere of camaraderie with others… for me it has an added value that is reflected later in the result.

The Open Sebastià Carbonell of the Master Week in Palma, I consider to be one of the best or if possible the best spearfishing meeting there is. The atmosphere that is created is incredible due to the diversity of fishermen who participate, different countries, ages, degrees of experience,… it is very beautiful. With the same format, there is also the Nacho Fernández Memorial that is celebrated in my land, Ibiza. It is a very endearing championship, with a very good atmosphere and many teams that come from abroad. Great champions such as Ramazzotti and Bellani participated in the last edition. It was a pleasure to see them share moments and take photos with the youngest… that is the attitude of a champion.

BCP: You usually spearfish in Ibiza, but you have travelled a lot and spearfished in different seas, in different countries both with the national team and for pleasure. How have your experiences been?

Miguel Ángel Galera: For me, it is a privilege to have been able to discover different seas, different countries and cultures with other ways of understanding the sea. I enjoyed the trips with the national team a lot but they are not vacations. On those occasions we were going to give everything we could, we were going to give our best, it was the maximum expression of our sport and we were aware that we represented all the spearfishing in our country. A lot of effort, a lot of work, pushing our capabilities to the limit without ever forgetting safety.

Whether you are a starter or a substitute, you give your best because your work benefits your teammates and the team. If the team or the partner you have been working with achieves the title, it is very gratifying, you see your effort rewarded. That’s how I’ve always seen it. They are very nice experiences, but as I have already said, they are not vacations. The first few days are nice but then you feel tired, being away from home, living together with the team isn’t always easy… Then when the results arrive, as I say, it’s very gratifying. Apart from the fact that I have met my best friends in the world of competition, both among teammates and among rivals.

BCP: And what about pleasure trips?

MAG: I love them, I’ve really enjoyed them. I have been in Argentina, Venezuela, Panama, Morocco, the Strait... The motivation is double because you are relaxed, on vacation and at the same time you get to know different seas, fish, countries, cultures… each country is a different world, each one has its way of seeing and understanding the sea, everything is new. The place I enjoyed the most is though undoubtedly Spain, on its different coasts.

Outside of Spain, Algeria could stand out, for example, although I went there with the national team because it has very beautiful coasts, practically virgin, with many fish, which gives you an image of what the Mediterranean was like years ago. It is a very nice place to fish, but it is not very touristic, it is not easy to go there as a tourist.

Another place I really enjoyed was in Panama. Warm and somewhat cloudy water, a wide variety of fish, many pelagic fish… When I have been there it seemed very familiar to me, as if I had already been there because of everything I had spoken about with Joseba Kerejeta, who for me is the ultimate example of adventurous spirit of the underwater fisherman. He left us a valuable legacy as we now know countries and fishing destinations thanks to him. He was a pioneer in terms of fishing trips, which he made known to us in reports in specialized magazines. Joseba was a man who stood out for his always positive attitude, his good vibes and he adapted to everything.

BCP: Now you perform the function of Salvimar material tester. What can you tell us?

MAG: I sincerely believe that Salvimar has made changes to some products that are going to be revolutionaries. I have been testing the new Speeder fins and I have been really surprised, the performance is incredible. With plastic blades, you get a performance similar to that of carbon fins thanks to a new shoe design that makes it possible to achieve a great thrust with less effort. In addition, the foot pocket is very comfortable.

As for the wetsuit, I love the Kripsis, I always use it. Although it is a suit with an outer lining, it is very comfortable, very warm and very easy to put on and take off. It is not delicate, it does not wrinkle and I do not get cold with it on boat trips.

In spearguns, since we were talking about trips, I would highlight the Dark Side. It is powerful and precise, it is much easier to manoeuvre than a multi-rubber rifle for the same power. I have tried it on my travels and I have managed to capture fish from 6 meters away.

Every day I use the Metal Sapiens carbon speargun in different lengths, depending on the style of fishing. It is made of aeronautical carbon which makes it completely watertight. On it, I mount a single 16mm (progressive) rubber stretched at 300%.

BCP: Finally, what advice or message would you give to young fans of spearfishing?

Miguel Ángel Galera: I see a lot of young guys obsessed with getting big pieces and going deep. We are all partially to blame for this since that is the image that we have transmitted, without realizing it, in photos, social networks, videos… In truth, there is a lot of effort, a lot of work and experience behind all those images. In the talks, courses or outings in which I participate, I try to convey to young people that very good pieces can be captured at shallow depths. You have to learn the habits of the fish, passage areas, correct small mistakes, acquire technique… and it is better to do it at a shallow depth, where we will be more comfortable. In truth, there was a time when there was a boom in which everyone wanted to go deep fishing, but little by little it has been returning to normal.

Another piece of advice I would like to give is to be humble and observant as you never stop learning from others. You can always learn something from another fisherman, even from a beginner, be it their attitude, their way of doing things, tricks with the equipment. This has served me both in spearfishing and in other sports, work,… life in general.

Finally, more specifically, a technique that often is discussed, but I absolutely confirm it works. When applying the aspetto for predatory fish such as the dentex, I simulate when a fish eats on the bottom, scratching the bottom with the hand and that causes all the fish to come to see where that sound comes from, it is very effective.