SE:So Kikas, how old are you now?
K: I’m fifteen and currently in the 9th grade
How is your typical week from Monday to Sunday?
Well, from Monday to Friday I go to school every morning and leave at five o’ clock in the afternoon, except Wednesdays when I’m free at noon. If I don’t have any school tests coming soon, I can surf all day long at weekends and Wednesdays in the afternoons. Whenever there’s a lot of studying to do, I’ll leave the surfing to Saturday and Sunday mornings only.
What about your school mates, do they look at you like a surf star? With all the sponsors, the trips…
Not really, they don’t care, most of them don’t even surf. We all get along just fine.
And girls? I’m sure you’re scoring some gorgeous girls for being a successful surfer…
SE: Sure, never kiss n’ tell, a true gentleman. We hear you’re also into kickboxing?
Yep… I go three times per week, an hour practice each time. It’s a great complement to surfing as it gets you fit, strong and improves your flexibility, balance and responsiveness.
Plus competitions, surf trips, etc. How do you manage to get everything done?
It’s not that easy as sometimes I wish I had more time to do everything, but it’s basically a matter of organisation. If you know your priorities at each moment, you’ll be OK. Last year my sponsor at the time invited me on a boat trip in the Mentawais; I already knew I had a lot of tests waiting for me as soon as I got back home and to school, so the solution was to go on the trip (couldn’t miss a chance like that) but take some hours every day to study. I could surf with the rest of the crew during the day, and study for a while before dinner and a bit more before going to sleep.
What’s your first priority at this time?
What comes first when you need to choose?
Right now it’s school, no doubt about that, but as I told you, there’s time to study and to surf, no worries. Until now I’ve been doing well in both
Do you have long term plans concerning your career in surfing and studies? Have you ever discussed that with your parents?
We talk about it, sure, but nothing is definitive, besides finishing high school. Then, it all depends on how my surfing’s going at the time, when I’m 18,
and what I’d like to do in the future. We can work it out between us and see what’s best. It’s still three whole years from now though, so I don’t think that much about it right now. My main objectives are doing well in school, getting better at surfing and having fun with my pals. What will happen in the future, we’ll see.
In December you’ll be going to Hawaii for the third time. After you got some stitches on your head and back from a forced reconnaissance of the Backdoor reef, is it still your favourite destination?
Until now, yes. Each time I go there I get to surf bigger waves and I feel my surf really evolves having to surf in conditions you only find in Hawaii. I also loved Indo for perfect long waves where you can train manoeuvres and barrels, but in Hawaii it’s all about powerful big waves and learning to deal with that. People talk a lot about localism but from my experience I can only say good things. Maybe it’s because I’m just a kid, but I never got into any trouble over there at all.
Now being part of the Billabong team, besides getting even more opportunities to hang with Tiago, you already got to meet most of the crew?
Yeah, I was in Australia on the Gold Coast at the beginning of the year and they invited me to visit the headquarters to see how things work and meet everyone. It was great to be there and get to know some of the people behind the brand. Also one day Luke Egan saw me surfing and maybe he liked it, because he invited me to go on a trip with some of the International Team. They told me I’m the only European surfer on that trip. I’m stoked, it’s a dream come true.
Finally Kikas, with all the top Euro surfers give your name as one of, if not the biggest young talent on the Continent. How do you deal with all that expectation? Is it a burden at times?
It’s not a burden at all. I’m ok with it and feel happy with such a compliment coming from surfers like Miky or Tiago that I look up to. To me it feels like they are offering me a great opportunity to learn a lot with them… it’s an open door to become part of the group, and I’m grateful for it.