Oscar Cauchi was born in Antwerp (Belgium) 16 years ago. At the age of 11, he moved to Porto with his family, a move dictated by his father’s business. His sister, who had participated in surf camp in South West of France the previous year, convinced him to try getting on a board when they arrived in Portugal. After winning the U17 championships in 2016, he travelled around the globe for a full year with his family, living an “Endless Summer”. Oscar knows some of the best surf spots on the planet. Lucky boy!
Did you always know that you would become a surfer?
No I actually didn´t even really know what surfing was until I was about 10 but once I started I knew this was something I was going to hold on to!
What first motivated you to pursue surfing competitively?
There isn’t 1 specific thing that motivated me I started out of curiosity and also as it was something that was expected from me.
You travel a lot. What is a typical day on the competitive surf circuit like?
Always wake up very early and have a big breakfast as it will be a long day, then go to the contest site and surf a bit before your heat so you can feel and see what the conditions are like. Then surf your heat and if you pass and stay there as i might be having another heat soon, at the end of the day sleep early and on a whole eat well and drink a lot of water before and after.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise myself to start surfing earlier on in life.
Where did you catch your most memorable wave so far?
Though question but definetly one of the top ones was in an maybe nameless spot in Tahiti I call “tree trunks” as there was a huge tree in the middle of the wave.
What are your 3 favourite things about Porto?
The people, it being a safe place and the empty waves.
Did you always know Oscar would become a competitive surfer?
Not at all, only when we moved to Portugal in 2012 he had his first lesson. One year later he was surfing every day after school. It took another year for him to enjoy local competitions.Now he is surfing several hours a day, every day. Because he is passionate but also to keep on improving for the future competitions.
Parents tend to worry about their kids… What has been the biggest challenge so far of the path he’s chosen?
My biggest worry is mother nature and dangerous marine life 😀. I know he is good at calculating his risks but you can not control everything.
What makes you most proud about having a surf champ for a son?
It makes me very happy to see he has this passion at his age, this focus. He takes it very serious, he knows a healthy lifestyle is crucial to achieve that extra.
What kind of support do you help Oscar with, morally, emotionally, physically?
I try to be there for him on all possible levels. When he had a bad session and is disappointed i´ll convince him he had just a bad day, tomorrow will be better. We talk a lot about the future, what he wants, what we as parents expect from him, his studies. Because he is a minor, of course he also needs me to drive him to surfspots out of town. I also advice him on what sponsorships to accept, but in the end he decides.
A piece of advice to parents whose children embark in high competition?
I would say never push them, to achieve the best results they have to feel good, comfortable with the situation. But when you make the decision to go for it, never look back! Be prepared to invest a lot of effort and time in your child so they feel supported and can focus better.
Surf Photos by To Mané – www.tomanephotos.com
Video of Oscar Cauchi (jan 2016) www.youtube.com/watch
Oscar and family in California