Tatiana Weston-Webb is Going Big and Having Fun
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 2 August, 2013 : - - Tatiana Weston-Webb is having a great time. The past year has been as successful as any in recent memory for this young sufing phenom from the island of Kaua'i in Hawaii. Born in Brazil, Tatiana moved to the islands at a young age where she fell in love with surfing when she was still wearing floaties. Surfing has been a way of life for Tatiana, and even though she took time off to play soccer, thanks to her brother, Troy who also surfs, she could not resist the pull of the ocean.
Tatiana is a very accomplished and decorated surfer having recently claimed a gold medal at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in Nicaragua. She is a multiple USA National Champion, Rip Curl Grom Champion in 2011 and 2012 as well as being the youngest ever winner of womens pipe at the tender age of 14!
I was able to catch up with Tatiana and chat with her as she is preparing for her championship finals appearance at the Vans US Open of Surfing. Focused, energetic, and articulate are some of the words to describe this young surfing prodegy. As excited as she is to be surfing in the finals of the worlds biggest surfing event," Tati" as she is called by those close to her, manages to be grounded and humble in her preparations and mannerisms.
We spoke about her progression as a surfer looking to break into the lineup of the women's pro tour and looked back at some of her accomplishments.
So far, what has been the highlight of 2013 for you?
Tatiana: So far definatly winning ISA Junior World Championships. It is such a big event with so many surfers from around the world and is such a prestegious title. It is my third international title to go along with the two grom search titles I won at Bell's Beach, but by far the biggest!
Congratulations on being a finalist here at the Vans US Open of Surfing. What is your focus going into the championship heat, and do you feel like you need to make any adjustments?
Tatiana: To be honest, I'm excited! My goal was to make the finals and I did! I have been free surfing Huntiongton Beach alot and getting familiar with the break and now I feel I know what I need to do to win the finals. I will be looking for two big turns on the inside and a strong finishing turn to the outside. thats's pretty much my strategy going in, so we will see.
How old were you and what got you interested in surfing?
Tatiana: As a baby I used to go out with my dad on his long board. I actually ended up getting away from surfing for about five years to play soccer, but at around eight years old I ended up kind of being a "copy cat" and wanting to surf because my brother was surfing. From then on I was hooked and that was all I wanted to do. I would actually count the days on my calender and was bummed when I missed a day.
Tatiana Weston-Webb © Chris Pittman
In the last year you have scored one of the very rare perfect "10's". Can you tell us about that ride and what was going though your mind.
Tatiana: It was the USA Championships last year. At Lowers I always want to go left because I'm frontside to the left. On this day it was pretty good size with an overhead. I felt I was dramatically improved on my fronthand which I had been working on really hard over the course of the year.
I saw the set bending towards the beach and It was a left. I decided I would go and see what happens. At that time I was already winning the heat. The left came and I dropped in and hit three massive turns! I was feeling really good and it was alot of fun! It was a really good wave!
All of a sudden, the crowd was freaking out! I was wondering, was the wave really that good? And then, the announced my name and a score of ten! I couldn't beleive it, that was really a ten?? I guess with the waves and my ability to hit those big turns on an overhead left, it ended up being a good combination for me.
I feel I have surfed better and had better rides, but due to the circumstances of that day the judges felt that ride deserved a ten. It made me really happy to get that score to win a USA Title!
What are some of your goals over the next year as far as your career?
Tatiana: Going forward I am straving to get on the women's ASP World Tour. I work hard to at leat make the semi-finals and finals in all of my contest to score those valuble points to make it onto the tour.
I am also hoping to land a major sponsor. I hope that a company out there can see me as a positive representative and the face of their company.
Away from surfing, what are some of the other things you like to do?
Tatiana: I push myself in every way. I like to train and work out and I love hiking. At home there are so many beautiful trails and i love just going out and seeing all the sights. Snorkling is also alot of fun because I love the ocean and of course just hanging out at the beach with friends. I really enjoy reading. It takes me away from reality and for me it is very relaxing.
Who are some of your favorite surfers and is there anyone you look up to?
Tatiana: I look up to so many, but I would have to say that right now I really look up to and draw alot of inspiration from Carissa (Moore). She is so precise, and her ability level is so high. She works very hard and she does so many other things that the rest of the women cannot do. In my eyes she is really changing women's surfing.
I think women's surfing is really evolving. Before it was about the beach, smiling and lifestyle. Now you really have to train hard, watch your eating and progress as an athlete. I think you really have to project that you are a complete person, not just a surfer.
You are the youngest surfer to ever win Pipeline. Describe that feeling to us.
Tatiana: You just cant describe it. I was just a little girl hoping to catch a little barrel out there. It was so exciting Being such a young kid winning Pipeline is just crazy! There is no way to describe it except, Are you kidding me!
Who is your toughest competition right now?
Tatiana: I am always up to compete, but for me, my really good friends Dax Mcgill and Maeda Mahina. They both compete at such a high level and it really pushes me. They both can pull really sic moves and when I see them do it, I have to match or better them and pull some sic moves of my own! It is very compettitive, but also alot of fun. I always surf my best no matter who is in my heat.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to be successful and excel in surfing?
Tatiana: Push your limits! Like anything in life, you have to work hard to be your best. Always strive to go big or go home. I think that can be said for anything you do.
Tatiana finished a very respectable third at the US Open of surfing, falling out of second on a last second run. What was most impressive for Tatiana in Huntington Beach was the fact that the two ladies that finished ahead of her are current ASP World tour pros! Look for big things from Tatiana Weston-Webb. She along with a select few not only are the future of women's surfing but are changing it in a big way!
Source: Pacific Surf and Lifestyle
Author: Chris Pittman
Tags: Tatiana Weston-Webb, Interviews, Kaua'i, US Open of Surfing