Evandro tells us more about his experience of surfing in competition
Evandro is Lanzasurf’s founder and head surf instructor. In addition to his daily work in the Lanzasurf family, he has been competing in regional, national and international surf contests on a regular basis since the age of 11. Today we ask him to tell us a little more about this facet of his passion for surfing.
How do you prepare before a competition?
I make a special effort to eat and sleep well, and I train with friends and clients on Famara beach and other spots.
Do you compete often? And why do you compete?
I compete as often as possible! I get very excited when I see that the surf forecast is good and that we will get amazing waves for the contest. When I was a kid I used to compete a lot, and I still enjoy it very much at the age of 37!
I love contests that have a nice family atmosphere. We set up the tent with Mathilde, Chela (our dog!) and friends, and we camp there for the whole duration of the championship.
I really enjoy the training that goes with the preparation for the contest, I find it very motivating as it helps me keep improving my surf level. I also absorb the best of other people’s surfing. I love the adrenalin rush I get during the event, it is very stimulating.
What struck you most last time you competed?
The patience of my girlfriend Mathilde! (laughs)
It was an eventful weekend. It all started on a Friday morning at 6.30am. With a friend we went to surf El Quemao, a 15-minute drive from Famara. It is a very powerful reef break, and that day waves were massive, more than double-overhead (3-4 meters). We jumped in the water as the sun was just coming up. I had a 6’10 board but it was too small a board for such conditions. My friend caught a huge wave with his 7’6 board, it was unbelievable. On his third wave the lip caught up with him and he broke his board, so we decided to go for an energy-packed breakfast in preparation for all the surf that was still to come over the weekend.
We then crossed over from Lanzarote to Fuerteventura where more perfect waves were awaiting us. After a magical 3-hour surf session in perfect conditions, Mathilde, Amelia and Chela joined us and brought us food and water to save our lives as we hadn’t had time to even think about eating or drinking!! We watched the sun go down in the beautiful late afternoon lights and started driving to the championship, which was starting the next morning. We got lost a few times on the way and made it there really late, it was a challenge setting up the tents in the dark!
So tell us more about your strategy in the heats?
I observed the waves a lot: how many waves came in each set, which ones were the best of the set (the ones that were opening all the way to the shore with a nice clean face), length of the interval between two sets of waves, how many waves other competitors managed to catch in the heat, how long it took them to get back to the line-up, how the judges were valuing each type of manoeuvre etc.
During the event I felt a lot of pressure so I practiced yoga and listened to music to stay focussed and calm. I tried to listen to what my body was asking me, stretching, drinking a lot of water, eating well, relaxing and chatting with friends.
What was the result of the championship?
I was lucky enough to make it all the way to the finals.
In the last heat I saw Yeray catch a nice, big wave which seemed to have a lot of potential, but it closed out on him and it took him a lot of time to paddle back to the line.up. Meanwhile I was alone at the peak and a perfect wave came for me. I surfed it like it was the last wave of my life and it got me on top of the podium!
Even though it was just a local contest, it felt so good to win as the level of surfing was so high in that event.
Generally speaking it was an amazing weekend with perfect conditions, no phone or internet connection, just tents, barbecues, nice waves, sunshine and friends. Unforgettable. I can’t wait for the next one!