You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf…or can you? Many people say that surfing is as hard as you make it; however, from what I have witness, you either grow up loving the water and surfing comes naturally or you just don’t get it.
Case in point, my good friend and self-described “pale guy from the Northeast,” Aaron Torres. He came, he saw, and he did NOT conquer [surfing].
Aaron and I were invited to Newport Beach, CA to hang out with Professional Surfer Erica Hosseni. Erica, who we featured in our Who’s That Girl? section was gracious enough to offer Aaron and I a surf lesson. Knowing my limitations, I respectfully declined. Aaron on the other hand being from Connecticut had a bright idea that he could “tame the Pacific Ocean.” For a first time surfer he wasn’t that bad, he was just awfully funny. Aaron’s surf lesson consisted of him falling flat on his face and taking in a mouth full of salt water more than a few times.
After working up an appetite watching Erica “attempt” to teach Aaron how to surf, we headed over to a local bar (yes, at 11:00 AM) for some food and a bit of Jose Cuervo. Of course we did drink responsibly.
Before the food and Jose Cuervo flavored Margaritas starting flowing, Aaron decided to chat with Erica about life as a professional surfer, what a typical day in her life is like, and of course about how hard it is to surf.
Below are excerpts from their conversation:
Aaron Torres: I was going to start with the whole “where you from, how did you get into surfing” type questions, but now that I’ve actually surfed, I was hoping you could explain to my audience not just the intricacies of surfing, but actually how hard it is. I think a lot of people look at it, and don’t realize quite what a challenge it actually is.
Erica Hosseni: Yeah I definitely think people underestimate it. They see a surf video or see a Hollywood surf portrayal and think ‘Oh I can do that.’ But everybody that I bring out or everybody who does it and tells me about it later, tells me, ‘Man that was hard, it’s a full upper-body workout.’ Like I was telling you, even just sitting on your board, balancing, trying to keep your equilibrium, it’s definitely a toll on your body. I’ve played every sport and surfing is definitely one of the hardest.
You also have Mother Nature working against you too. It’s not something that’s going to be static the whole time like a skate ramp or a snow slope, where it’s not changing and you can get up and try it again. With surfing there’s waves, there’s a current; yes its trial and error, but you can’t just keep doing the same repetitions over and over because you have Mother Nature throwing curve balls at you the whole time.
Aaron Torres: I guess we’ll go back to where I will start. It sounds like you played pretty much every sport growing up. So why surfing?
Erica Hosseini: Yeah, I have an older brother and we just played every sport growing up and I was so competitive with him. If he played basketball, I played basketball. We had a trampoline, and if he flipped I flipped. We played hockey, whatever. We grew up on the beach my whole life, so it was just a matter of time before surfing fell into there.
And then from there, it was just kind of one of those things, I started surfing and loved it.
Aaron Torres: Do you remember those early days? Today was obviously my first time, I felt like I could’ve done better, whatever. But do you remember those days of falling and getting up, falling and getting up?
Erica Hosseini: Oh yeah. I remember getting into a pool and trying to learn how to duck dive. I thought to myself ‘I’m going to go into a pool and figure out how to do it, because I can’t do it in the ocean and I’m getting beat up too much.’
From there, it was just a matter of time. I was playing soccer, basketball, lacrosse and surfing. Then it was just soccer and surfing, and then slowly it just became just surfing and at that point it took over.
Aaron Torres: Well, this only seems like an appropriate time to talk about your sponsor Jose Cuervo. Where they have taken you? What kind of work have you done with them?
Erica Hosseini: Being part of the Cuervo family is amazing. They’ve been so great.
I’m not a big partier, I’m more of ‘Let’s do movies and game night at my house’ but being a Cuervo ambassador I have shelves and shelves of Cuervo product. My favorite is the Especial Silver, it’s always a crowd pleaser. The light margaritas hit the spot too; everyone is trying to keep trim and slim as we train and stuff.
Being part of the Cuervo family, they’re one of my best sponsors by far. Funny story, I think I actually came home from a trip once and they had actually sent me a bike. Like an actual bike; bright yellow, with Cuervo labels all over it. I was like ‘This… is awesome!’ and with it was a box of their product.
But no, they’re the best sponsor. They’ve been so supportive.
Aaron Torres: Yeah and the word that everyone seems to be using is “lifestyle.” How does Cuervo equate to the lifestyle that you live?
Erica Hosseini: It’s a huge lifestyle brand. They’re so affiliated with the beach, and the Cuervo beach volleyball series that’s this (past) weekend in Huntington. I’ll be sure to get down there and root on all the fellow brand ambassadors.
Their lifestyle is all about the beach, laid-back, and that’s all about the lifestyle I live. I work hard, but of course it does call for the occasional margarita at 5 o’clock around sunset…
Aaron Torres: So is there a typical day when you are training?
Erica Hosseini: For sure, a couple weeks before a contest I’ll try to just focus on surfing and actually take away a little of my training, as far as gym training, running, whatever. I just try to spend time in the water to try and perfect things that I need to work on.
To read Aaron Torres’ complete conversation with Erica Hosseini, please visit www.AaronTorres-Sports.com.