Faces of 2015 is a series on this year's new and returning Championship Tour (CT) athletes. Kiwi Ricardo Christie qualified for the Tour by the skin of his teeth, when CT surfers Jadson Andre (BRA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) requalified with their elite rankings. The room they left on the Qualifying Series (QS) meant that Christie, who finished at No. 16 on the QS standings, was the last to make the cut. Get to know the emerging pro before his elite Tour debut at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, which runs Feb. 28 to March 11.
World Surf League: What are you most looking forward to on Tour?
Ricardo Christie: Surfing the most famous and some of the most crowded waves on Earth with no one out while the crowd looks on from the beach.
WSL: What are you most nervous about?
RC: The amount of flying I will be doing this year!
WSL: What are your weaknesses and how are you working on strengthening them?
RC: I binge on takeaways when I travel. I will try and cut down, but it's hard!
WSL: What are three words you'd use to describe yourself?
RC: Chilled, manic, chur.
WSL: What differentiates you from the other surfers on Tour - as a person and as a surfer?
RC: I'm from New Zealand and I can't stop saying 'chur.'
WSL: What's your favorite surf trip memory?
RC: Heading an hour from home, up the coast with my best mates, getting tubed off our t--ts, come in to a hot pie and a coffee, then driving back home to a cooked dinner and my own bed.
WSL: What's your first memory of surfing?
RC: My older brother took me surfing and pushed me into a couple green ones first pop. I was frothing from the get-go!
WSL: How do you keep calm in surf that scares you?
WSL: What's your favorite thing to do when the waves are flat?
RC: Hang with my two groms, Eli and Milo.
WSL: Who do you train with?
RC: I'm usually training alone, but I'll train with anyone who's keen.
WSL: What do you think the big takeaways were from last season?
RC: I learned anything is possible.
WSL: What are three things you'll be packing for Tour travel - besides your surf gear?
RC: My girlfriend, Sophie, and our boys, Eli and Milo.
WSL: What are your goals for 2015 - personal or professional?
RC: To learn as much as I can by competing at the top level and enjoy every moment.