The Girl from Ita­coa­t­iara

23 year-old Raquel Heck­ert is one of the new gen­er­a­tion of big waves surfers from Brazil.

Surf Girl - - – Snap Shot – -

Is­tarted with all this be­cause I like adrenaline and over­com­ing my lim­its. I grew up at Ita­coa­t­iara Beach, Rio de Janeiro – a place that is good train­ing for tubes and big waves. I was in­ter­ested in big wave surf­ing and was in­spired by watch­ing Bruno San­tos (tube rider) and

Dudu Pe­dra (pro­fes­sional body­boarder). I re­ally wanted to know how to make the bar­rels like they did, and un­der­stand how they sur­vived the big waves in Ita­coa­t­iara.

I re­ally love surf­ing. It’s some­thing I’ve wanted to do ev­ery day since I had my first surf les­son when I was 13 years old. I hope to keep do­ing it for the rest of my life. My mother didn’t un­der­stand about surf­ing – she asked me to prom­ise not to go surf­ing when it was big – it seemed she al­ready knew the fu­ture. But all I wanted was to push my lim­its and surf waves with a higher level of dif­fi­culty.

Now I’m a pro­fes­sional free surfer and big wave rider – part of the new gen­er­a­tion of big wave surfers in Brazil. I was sub­sti­tute in the first WSL Jaws Con­test for women, so I have to fo­cus right now on the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing in the next Big Wave con­test. I have no spon­sor­ship, just a small amount of sup­port, so I use all my time and my sav­ings to train. My plan is to travel more around the world to fol­low the re­ally big swells, and in fu­ture win some XXL Big Wave Awards. I’d love to in­spire more peo­ple to fol­low their dreams and I’d also like to have money to go on the WQS Tour.

So many things and peo­ple have in­spired me to get to where I am, but I’m also the sort of per­son who tries harder if some­one tells me I can’t do some­thing. I think also what made me get here is that I was al­ways surf­ing; even when the waves were hor­ri­ble and clos­ing out I went train­ing. I went surf­ing with­out know­ing any­one who surfs, with­out any per­son in my fam­ily be­ing in­volved with surf­ing, and with­out com­ing from a rich fam­ily. It all de­pends on how much you want your dream. Ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble.

The awe­some list of big wave spots that Raquel has surfed in­clude:

Peru: Pico Alto

Méx­ico: Zi­catela in Puerto Es­con­dido Hawaii: Jaws, Waimea, Phan­tom, Makaha, Ham­mer­head, Big Pipe­line and Sun­set. In­done­sia: G-land, Nias, Big Uluwatu, Desert Point, Padang Padang, Watu Karung and many an­other waves.

Waimea, Oahu.

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