At 20 years old Mihimana Braye is just beginning his quest as a professional surfer. Born in Pape'ete, Tahiti, and raised on a steady diet of reef breaks, he's lived up to his name, which in Tahitian, means "Try to find the spirit," (Mihi means search, mana means spirit, power). Following a runner-up finish at the SEAT Pro Netanya in Israel, Braye seems to be on the right track.
WSL: If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Why?
Braye: Home! Tahiti is one of the beautiful places in the world so why change? No season! Perfect waves, only boardshorts, best food, best sunsets and good vibes (It's paradise!).
WSL: Best compliment you've ever gotten?
Braye: Best compliment I've ever got is that I'm humble and kind, always smiling, spreading the good vibes no matter what. It's a culture for us Tahitians to be kind with people and welcoming.
WSL: Do you lean toward perfect crowded waves or uncrowded average waves?
Braye: Crowded perfect waves...I would say Teahupo'o but we are locals, so it's not that crowded haha! And an empty average wave Taapuna, a left reefbreak near my house.
WSL: When was the last time you teared up?
Braye: Last time I cried was a [few weeks ago] at the WSL SEAT Pro Netanya, I came in 2nd in the Final of the QS1500 and all the local people from Netanya chaired me up the beach. It was emotional for me. I feel blessed.
WSL: What's one of the secrets to your recent success?
Braye: I'm vegetarian right now and I can feel the difference in my body. I used to eat fast food before like an animal haha. Now, only veggies and some fish from Tahiti.
WSL: What's the last song you listened to?
Braye: The last was Me, Myself and I of G-Easy. It reminds me all my hard work at the gym and motivate me a lot. It's my pre-heat warmup song also.
WSL: What's one thing you wish you could try?
Braye: I really want to try snowboarding because I been all around the world, but never touched the snow and I love board sports.
WSL: Describe your idea of perfect happiness.
Braye: Perfect happiness means for me to be good with myself first. Then do what you love. Surround [yourself] by good people, family love. Be healthy and, for sure, surfing perfect waves.
WSL: Describe your meaning of life.
Braye: For me the meaning of life is four words: happiness, love, health and surf. Live the life you love.