Yariv Kav: “It's a pleasure and an honour meeting with you, Frederico. Let's start by discussing the importance of this event in Peniche.”

Frederico Morais: “The WSL event in Peniche is huge for Portugal, especially for Portuguese surfing. For the younger kids to have first-hand contact with the best surfers in the world, to see their idols, you know, the guys they see in movies, surfing next to them, is huge and has a big impact. It helps the kids to have a dream and to visualise themselves out there one day. That’s what happened to me! So, to say that I'm proud to be here and to be one of the best surfers in the world and to be able to surf at this event is an understatement.”

“Portugal and the Portuguese nation, they’re passionate people, they back you up, and they really cheer for you, and this is the only ten days of the whole year that I feel this. Being able to paddle out, run down the beach, and have everyone support and cheer for you, win or lose, is awesome. It makes it a lot more special for a surfer and a Portuguese surfer to be able to surf at this event.”

Author: ©WSL _Thiago Diz

YK: “And apart from you, three more Portuguese surfers were extended a “wild-card” invitation to the event this year. Is this a record number of Portuguese contestants for a WSL CT event?

FM: "I think so. I’m not sure, but yeah, I think so. We had me as a CT surfer and Matias Canhoto, Joaquim Chaves, and Francisca Veselko as wild cards, and it’s awesome. They’re all super young. They have bright careers ahead of them, they’re passionate surfers, really driven, they know their goals, and for them to have a little taste of what it is to be on the world tour- it’s awesome. This is definitely going to give them a push and more motivation to follow their dreams. Yeah, it was very nice to see.”

YK: “The people in Peniche are concerned that maybe one day, this event will be discontinued by the WSL; what do you think about that?”

FM: “I hope we still have this competition for many more years. At the press conference, I heard that the WSL and one of the major sponsors of this event, MEO, have signed another two-year deal, so for at least two more years, we will have this event here which is awesome. We can’t predict the future, so we might as well enjoy the present, make sure we can all welcome everyone here, and make sure everyone likes to come to Peniche and Portugal and enjoy our beaches and waves.”

YK: “Taking a break for stress-related reasons is something we see increasingly in sports. On the WSL CT, we saw it with Felipe Toledo this year; two years ago, it was Gabriel Medina. What are your thoughts about this issue?

FM: “I think now in pro surfing, the way they plan the year, surfers are getting really stressed. You take a whole life to qualify for the CT and then you have five events to prove yourself. Now, you can get bad waves, tides, and winds and be unlucky. And all of a sudden, after five events, you’re out. And that makes it super stressful for many surfers, making it really intense.”

“I left Portugal on the 16th of January, and this is my first week at home. And it’s in Peniche. I’m leaving Monday for Australia, and then if I don’t make the cut, I’ll stay in Australia until May. So, yeah, it’s pretty stressful, and then you have all the contracts, whether you stay on tour or not, sponsors, and all that stuff. It gets stressful, and it can get to you because it gets to a point after doing this for so many years, you can get tired and, you know, your head needs a break.”

“We all need a break just to be home and enjoy time with our family, so I definitely understand it. We also had Carissa Moore pull out, Stephanie Gilmore pulled out and we’re talking about the best surfers in the world. So if that’s happening to them, then I think that’s something the surfing world should respect. Maybe look at it and see how they can, you know, make it more comfortable for the surfers.”

YK: “So many people surf these days. From first-time tourists to advanced amateurs, as a Championship Tour pro, can you relate to amateur surfers, and do you have any message about surfing for the general public of surfers?

FM: “Oh, I think it’s really easy for us surfers to relate to each other. I’m a professional surfer and love competing, but more than competing, I love to surf and catch waves and the feeling of having a good wave and, you know, like getting out, like that ´stoke´ feeling. You get out of the water, and you’re so happy. So yeah, I feel like surfers have their own culture, and they understand each other, so just, you know, have fun surfing, even if sometimes it gets frustrating- make the most of it. It´s important to enjoy and make sure we respect everyone in the water, respect our beaches, and keep them clean. Our ocean is our office, our getaway. So make sure we keep it nice.”


With a passion for surfing and writing, Yariv Kav moved to Portugal´s wave capital from his native Israel. He was awarded a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Manchester back when Oasis was still cool, and a diploma with distinction from the London School of Journalism in Feature and Freelance Writing. Loves travel, languages and human stories.

Yariv Kav