Barbados Surfer Girl

Tuesday, 3rd December 2013



Known all over the world as “Barbados Surfer Girl” teenager Chelsea Tuach has made a meteoric rise in her sport and won more international awards and accolades in Barbados surfing than anyone in living memory. She’s a natural athlete, who is highly focused and has been in the sport since she was eight years old. Coached by Jim Hogan from Costa Rica and Mike Lamm in California she is on the threshold of greatness and already a big draw for sponsors Red Bull, Roxy, Dragon Alliance and Dakine.

Chelsea is an inspiration to a generation of young women as she has made it to the world stage through hard work, focus and ambition. We caught up with this attractive globetrotter to learn more about her sporting development and what life is like for a young Barbadian in this exciting sport…


What got you into surfing?


My brothers and my dad got me into surfing. When I was young they would always go surfing and leave us at home, and I was one of those little sisters that looked up to her older brothers and had to do whatever they did.  So my sister and I started taking lessons and we became a surfing family. It soon became something we did every weekend with Mum on the beach filming us. We all loved the ocean and were at the beach every opportunity we got. At the time my brothers were competition surfers and they actually got to travel to some really cool places to represent Barbados so I wanted to get into that as well.  After I started doing contests and winning I knew this was something I wanted to do for as long as I could. I loved surfing and loved the feeling of winning so very quickly it became my dream to make it as a pro surfer.


You travel all round the world these days-do you see yourself as an Ambassador for Barbados as much as an athlete?


I do see myself as an Ambassador for Barbados. When I travel I'm not only Chelsea, I'm Chelsea from Barbados and I represent myself in a way that my homeland would be proud.  People who know a bit about the island are always jealous.


Do you sell the attributes of your beautiful island to the people you meet?


Yes, of course! Overseas people are always asking me about Barbados and I have great things to say because we really do live in paradise. The waves are perfect for surfing, we have beautiful beaches, great people and delicious food. I've definitely convinced a few people to come here and they've loved it. The feedback I usually get is- "Oh aren't you lucky, living on a tropical island and surfing Soup Bowl everyday."



Globetrotting Surfers like you must see lots of beautiful beaches.

How does Barbados rate in comparison?


I've seen a lot of beaches across the world, but Barbados still comes out on top, hands down. Hawaii is the closest in beauty but the water there still gets cold in the winter while we have warm, clear, beautiful water all year round.


You have made gigantic strides in your sport during 2013. What are your ambitions going forward?


2013 was a great year for me, and I hope to build on it going forward. There are a lot of big competitions every year so I'm working really hard with my coach and my trainer to get to the top of my sport.  We always set goals and I plan to compete with the best in 2014.


Is there a time factor in a surfer's career or can you go on as long as your fitness holds?


In the past it was believed that you had a small window to make it as a pro surfer, and you needed to start qualifying for the World Tour by 17. The same thinking gave you ten years and by the time you were 27 your career was pretty much over. However, that has all changed and there are plenty of surfers in the industry proving age is not a negative. There are also more and more younger surfers coming into the sport and making it harder for the older surfers, but the best surfer in the world right now is over 40 and he is still winning contests and titles. That says something.


How much do you train and surf when you are home? Is there a set schedule?


It all depends on Mother Nature. I try to surf every day and usually when I'm home that works because we have great waves and most days we can surf.  However, if we can’t then it becomes a study day. I generally work on my fitness about four times a week.


What are your other interests in life?


I'm currently studying Nutrition. This is something that really interests me because it is so important to my fitness as a surfer. You have to feel your best at all times and nutrition plays a big role in how you perform, so I'm always doing research on the latest 'super food' and the best diet for my lifestyle.

Also, I'm really fascinated by the history of the different places I visit

and love reading and learning about their cultures.



How would you describe the surfing attributes of Barbados to a surfer who

has never been to the island?


Barbados is a surfing paradise. It is warm year round, it has white sandy beaches and clear, blue water. We have mostly point/reef breaks, which surfers prefer, and our waves are very consistent. Late in the year during the hurricane season, we always get large, great surf that a lot of overseas surfers come for.



Could more be done to promote surfing in Barbados?


I feel a lot more could be done to promote surfing in Barbados, as we have great

waves, but there are still many surfers all over the world that don't know about us. Barbados has the potential to be a mega surfing destination as more and more people are getting into surfing and making it the main part of their holiday. So I do believe Barbados could really benefit if more resources were put into promoting the sport.





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