Tatiana is quickly making her mark on the women’s surfing scene, finishing 7th last year on the World Surf league the 19 year old goofy footed surfer is a force to be reckoned with. Her strong competitive nature, determined attitude and polished surfing hasn’t gone unnoticed with Tatiana already being tipped for a world title victory. Corinne Evans caught up with Tatiana to find out how she deals with the challenges which face her.
Tatiana, when did you first start surfing?
I first started surfing when I was 8 years old because my brother had started surfing, and at the time I mimicked everything he did, so I got a surfboard and fell in love with surfing!
You’re now one of the top 10 female surfers in the world, how do you think you got there?
I think I’ve gotten to top ten in the world by working hard, practicing tons, and being really confident with the decisions I make in critical moments!
What challenges have you had to over come to get to where you are now?
I’ve overcame a few challenges athletes face like, wondering if you’re good enough to make it, struggling with sponsorships and support, and as well as just trying to be the best I can be and not become lazy. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the spotlight, but I try to humble myself whenever possible and just remind myself to be thankful.
Are you aiming for the number one spot?
Yes, I am of course striving to be number one, but I know it takes time, and a lot of focus and hard work. So I’m taking the mandatory steps to get there.
You must be crazy busy with the World Tour, what do you do when you have some time to yourself?
Yes, actually I’ve spent a total of only two weeks at home this year alone. Its pretty hard to find time for myself, but at the moment I’m managing pretty well with just being thankful for moments alone during competition. I really get into a zen mode whenever possible. It helps a lot.
How do you stay focused on tour?
It’s pretty hard not to stay focused. I’m addicted to competition and I always want to win. But there are times when I’m not as focused as I was at the start of the event, and then I just have to remind myself a few times throughout the day, and “say stay focused you’re still in an event,”
Have nerves ever got the better of you in a heat or free surf?
Yes, in heats plenty of times nerves overtake me, I think its something that a ton of athletes struggle with, but I’d say I’m pretty good and keeping my nerves under control. I never ever get nervous in free surfs.
If you could re-live any day of your life, what day would it be and why?
If I could relive any day of my life, it would probably be last year at the Fiji Pro on finals day, I felt like I was surfing really well all event and somehow I just lost my contacts on one of the waves and for the last five minutes of the heat I could barely see anything. I would’ve for sure wanted to at least see on my last wave to have a better chance at making the heat! I felt really confident at that event as well!
What’s the biggest surf you’ve been in?
The biggest surf I’ve been in is probably like 15-20 feet.
How do you conquer your fear?
Usually when I surf somewhere daunting, I don’t know why, but I always feel like I have to push myself to become better, or I look at it like a challenge I have to overcome. So a lot of the times I’m not soon scared I’m just fuelled with adrenaline.
What advice would you give to any surfers out there who are trying to break out their comfort zone and over come any fears?
I would tell them that anything is possible. Anything can happen if you just believe and work hard. Its something cliche to say thats for sure, but its so so true.
If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
Bubbly, thankful, and determined.
Follow Tatiana on instagram: tatiwest