Asuwere member and professional surfer Ricardo Christie has been on our hit list to feature for some time. We finally crossed paths with Ric when he was last in town, on a typical rainy Auckland day, a far cry from the stunning blue skies and white sand beach of Rics home in Wainui, Gisborne.
Ric decided when he was 8 years old that he wanted to become a professional surfer, an insight into the dedication and focus he has to follow his dreams. Surfing has taken Ricardo around the world, with years spent away from home, crashing on couches, living out of a suitcase chasing his dream, which he no doubt accomplished and some, representing New Zealand multiple times on the biggest stage. 2020 changed the landscape of surfing and we caught up with Ric to see what kept him going and what his plans are for the future.
- What are some of your career highlights?
Winning the NZ Open National title at 16 years old, Qualifying for the World tour twice. Meeting and becoming friends with my heroes. Travelling and sharing the world with my family. Meeting so many amazing people on my journeys. Learning lots.
- Seeing the Asuwere sticker on your board at pipeline was for sure a career highlight for the team at Asuwere and Noah and I.
It was such a fitting way to end my last year on tour, representing New Zealand and rocking my friends brand I felt so excited to support. I truly think Asuwere’s business model is so relevant in a world that is so over-hyped about consuming. Asuwere is all about keeping it simple. Less is more. I like backing things I believe in.
Noah was a huge part of my 2018 qualification process and to have him there for both the first and final event of the year was magic. The hybrid shorts were truly put to the test and they performed well at pipeline haha.
- How do you get through challenging events mentally, whether it be competitors or big surf?
It all comes down to knowing my ‘Why?’. When there is an unshakeable underlying purpose in what I am doing, that is what gives me the strength to push through the mental barriers. If that ‘Why?’ is strong enough, nothing matters because I am 100 percent focused on achieving it.
- 2020 obviously impacted surfing globally, how do you think this will impact surfing in New Zealand?
Yeah well international travel plans have been totally disrupted. This has meant that professional surfing is pretty much on hold. That being said, everyone is staying close to home and the silver lining is that the next generation will get to see their local heroes surfing locally and I believe this will have a positive impact on them. Less contests mean more free-surfing and improving so I think we will see a rise in performance levels around the globe.
- Tell us about your shift of focus to Surf teaching the next generation?
I have always tried to share my knowledge with the younger generation. This is simply because I have been given so much knowledge from my elders. My brothers taught me everything when I was young and I have had countless mentors throughout my journey so it only feels natural to pass on the knowledge I have acquired. I love seeing the look of determination in kids and I know that they all have the potential to do whatever they wish, if they work hard and smart. If I can help them believe in themselves to grab their dreams, I will be happy.
- The ocean is your playground, what are some things we can do better in New Zealand to help the ocean and keep NZ clean?
I believe shifting our mindsets out of the heavy consumer culture we are in is key. We don’t need most of the stuff we buy. Keeping it simple has always been a big one for me. Being aware that everything I eat, drink, use or wear has been through a process and I like to think of how that has impacted our environment and will continue to affect our environment once I’m done with consuming it. Awareness is key, because then you can make decisions that can change the world. Lots of people are doing cool things and once you go down the rabbit hole it is hard to come back.
- What are your 2021 plans?
2021 is looking a lot different for me. Surfing will be about fun for me, riding twin-fins and surfing switch haha. My youngest son Jai is 2 and a half and has just started surfing with me so thats going to be a fun journey. I plan on going on strike surfing adventures with my older boys Eli and Milo and not being away for months at a time. I hope to spread the message of hope and strength to those battling mental health issues. I want to help my girl Soph out some more with her Raw & Free creations. With the borders closed and international surfing events in a weird place, I have also decided to channel toward a new career in real estate. I will be based in Gisborne challenging myself in a new environment connecting with my local community and helping them with their property! Going to be a busy year! Lets go!
Thank you for your time Ric! It is always a pleasure to hang out and chat shop with a true legend, you are an asset to the planet.
As you were.