It must be a very different experience to witness your heat being scored online than being out on the water being scored in the moment, how did it differ from the feel of a regular contest format?
It’s so different from a normal competition, you don’t have the pressure from the crowd or your family and it is not live so if you miss a trick you can go out there and do it again, on the other hand you need to do the best heat of your life because you have the time to do it, so it’s a different kind of pressure.
How did you feel watching live?
My first heat I was feeling nervous, I was up against Kiko (Roig Torres) and if I went out then it would be disappointing to not show the riding I had filmed for the next heats. The next round I was up against Mitu (Monteiro) and it was really close, so that was nerve racking. Then the final against Camille (Delannoy), I was stoked to have made it that far and I know Camille is a really good rider and competitor, so at that point I was happy and confident to have made it that far riding my best, I left nothing back, so in my mind my thoughts were; if I win that would be amazing and if I come second, I’m also happy as I had given it my all. Off course seeing it again now, it motivates me to push even more next time I’m on the water!
How have you been spending your time since the first event in Cape Verde, have you been able to travel and get on the water and what has been your focus during the off-season?
I actually haven’t been training that much at all, because Brazil has been on lockdown and I couldn’t travel anywhere to train, here at my home spot (Rio) the conditions weren’t good, I have probably kited two times in the last six months prior to my trip to Prea. Once I arrived in Prea, I was on the water every day. During the downtime in Rio I did a lot of functional training and work with my trainer and I worked on calming my mind and focusing forward on the parts of my kiting that needed strengthening.
You're known to be an incredible talent in the waves, how much have you switched focuses on strapless freestyle over the last months?
I already have a lot of time and experience in the waves, so I knew I could take it easy a bit on the waves part, this allowed me to focus one hundred percent on strapless freestyle, as I knew I was several steps behind the top guys. What I needed to do was train hard and go for it. I had one of the best locations in the world (Prea) as my base, it’s very windy and conditions are perfect, so I think that helped a lot with my progression. The progression came quickly; I was studying all the tricks the top riders are doing, from Matchu to Airton to Mitu to Camille and trying to understand them, add them to my repertoire, while adding my style to each move.
During the 5-minute heats how did the heats differ during each round?
Each heat was different, it was the best four tricks in each heat but the trick families varied on each heat, so I needed to complete my best tricks in those trick categories within the five minute timeframe on an uncut clip to be in with the best chance of passing to the next round.