Tatiana Weston-Webb is 17 years old, but her future was laid out before she was even born. After all, surfing has pretty much been a way of life and a catalyst in Tati’s entire family.
Her mom, Tanira, was part of a first wave of Brazilian girls who dominated bodyboarding in the 1980s and 1990s. Back in those days, Tanira’s favorite parking spot was inside an 8-foot bomb at Pipeline.
And dad Doug is not a bad surfer either.
Troy, Tati’s older brother, has a bag full of aerial tricks, but it’s in waves of consequence that his surfing really shines — and wins contests.
Tati was 9 years old when she put into her head that she was going to be a professional surfer. And then she started winning everything.
Her latest achievement was winning gold in Nicaragua last June at this year’s edition of the International Surfing Association’s World Junior Surfing Championship.
The ISA event is the same prestigious competition that jump-started the career of surfing legend and 3-time world champion Tom Curren, and the greatest surfer of all times, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.
Riding on good results, Tati took third place at the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro in Pantin, Spain earlier this month, and 9th at the Swatch Girls Pro in Hossegor, France in August.
These last two results left her one spot shy of qualifying for next year’s group of 17 women who will compete in the Association of Surfing Professionals’ World Championship Tour.
All qualifying contests for the 2014 WCT roster are finished for the year. But she might still be able to squeeze in next year’s tour, depending on the results of the next two WCT contests.
If fellow Kauaian Malia Manuel requalifies using her WCT points rather than her World Ranking points, Tati could be in.
But if that doesn’t happen, no problem. Tati will refocus and continue pursuing her dream.
She is currently sponsored by Tim Carroll/Justice Surfboards, Smith Optics, Boardstix, Vertra Suncare and Ransom Surf Wax.
Here is Tati in 10 questions
TGI: How did you get hooked into surfing?
TWW: I first got hooked on surfing when my brother started to surf. My dad brought me to the swap meet in Hanalei and bought me a brand new Xanadu surfboard, and right after went for a surf on it. Ever since then I haven’t been able to stop!
TGI: Do you have a sibling rivalry with Troy?
TWW: No, Troy and I never really had sibling rivalries. We fought sometimes, but that’s what every sibling does. So now Troy and I have matured a lot and we are usually always happy for each other when one does well! I love him so much!
TGI: Who are your role models in surfing?
TWW: I have a lot of role models in surfing, but some of my favorites are Bethany Hamilton, Andy Irons, and Malia Manuel.
TGI: Explain how you pull off your best maneuver?
TWW: It’s really hard to explain unless you’re watching me surf, but I really like to let the tail of my board release out of the wave. Some people call it blowing tail or tail slide, but I just say that its a good turn!
TGI: Who surfs better, you or dad?
TWW: Probably me! Hahaha!!! I don’t know actually, I guess I have more variety in my maneuvers, but he’s such a steezy surfer so I love to watch him.
TGI: Did your mom ever yell at you in Portuguese?
TWW: She used to, but not often because I would always say “I don’t know what you’re saying!” when I actually knew! She just yells at me in English now, but only once in a blue moon.
TGI: What’s your vice?
TWW: My vice would definitely have to be over sleeping and sweets!
TGI: If you didn’t surf, what would you do?
TWW: If I didn’t surf, I think I would be super into school and choosing the right college, and majoring in interior designing. I still want to do that as my backup plan!
TGI: Can you name, and describe, your favorite surf spot on Kauai? What about outside Kauai?
TWW: My favorite surf spot on Kauai has to probably be Hanalei Bay, because it’s so perfect and it’s such an open canvas that you could do anything on. I never have dull surf sessions out there. Outside Kauai, my favorite surf spot would have to be Lowers when it’s uncrowded because it’s a perfect peak wave with lefts and rights and I always have a great time when I’m there!
TGI: What’s the stupidest thing you have ever done? What about the smartest?
TWW: The stupidest thing I have ever done was probably last year before the Oceanside Supergirl Pro. I had a magic board that I was using and tried dropping in right when a guy was coming at me from the left, and our boards collided and I got a really big ding the day before the contest started and I couldn’t use my board. The smartest thing I’ve ever done was to start surfing at a young age! 🙂