Ever wondered what it takes to become a Championship Tour surfer? With EDP's Surf For Tomorrow, a unique surf program and 10-part documentary series, we get an in-depth look at the very start of the process.
"Professional surfing was my one big dream 50 years ago, and to see where the sport has come has been beyond my wildest expectations," said Shaun Tomson, the 1977 World Champion, and narrator of the series. "That's why it's been such a pleasure to watch and tell the stories of these five surfers in the Surf For Tomorrow program as they chase that same dream of being a professional surfer. "
João Mendonça, Gabriela Dinis, Matias Canhoto, Hans and Kai Odriozola, all aged between 13 and 16, are five of Europe's most talented groms who were chosen for the program. They are under the guidance of legendary surf coach José Seabra, who guided Tiago Pires from an unknown Portuguese kid to a CT star. Through mentorship, elite sports coaching, travel, competition and, most importantly, time in the ocean, the end game is to have the athletes reach the elite of world surfing, the CT.
"My dream is the same as everyone here on the Surf For Tomorrow team; to make it to the CT and become World Champion," said 15-year-old Kai Odriozola, a Basque surfer who looks to have what it takes to make his rather lofty ambitions come true.
Now EDP isn't your usual surf team sponsor. The utility, based in Portugal, operates in 22 countries and is the fourth biggest wind energy producer globally. Using the power of wind, sun, and water, the company is aiming to be 100% green by 2030. With this program, they are investing in the future of European surfing and playing the long game to see where these kids can take their talent.
The documentary series showcases the team's evolution on various training trips to the best waves around the world and as they compete on the WSL's European Junior Tour. As the teenagers chase their dreams, the roller coaster of emotions that comes with expectations and responsibility is compiled in real-time over 10 episodes. In Episode 2, "Rocky Road" for example we follow João Mendonça as he deals with being diagnosed with Osteochondritis, a rare and painful joint condition that has threatened his dreams.
Episode 3 "The Game Is On", showing the athletes competing at the E. Leclerc Pont-l'Abbe Junior Pro La Torche, is live now. All the episoded can be seen on the EDP website and a new clip will drop at the start of every month. We'll keep you posted as these teenagers try to progress from talented kids to superstars of the sport.