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Wiggolly Dantas: The Coolest Name in Surfing



Wiggolly Dantas is not your typical Brazilian surfer. He loves big waves, he surfs with a powerful rail game and is part of the Da hui family. 2015 marks Wiggolly’s maiden year on tour and instead of rolling with the Brazilian pack, he chooses to pave his own path. Standing side by side with best friend Jeremy Flores, he won’t settle for less than a top 10 finish. Come meet the rookie with the coolest name in surfing.


GROWING UP ­

I starting surfing around 3 years old. My older brother started pushing me into waves at our local break. My mum owned a shop right on the beach that sold coconuts, drinks and food so we spent our lives on the beach. I would watch my brother and sister surf all day from the shore and I would try to grab my brother’s board and go surfing any time he wasn’t using it.

I started surfing competitions when I was 6 years old. My first contest ever, there was only one heat and it was actually the final. I rode one of my sister’s boards and got 3rd. I remember being so happy and thinking, ‘This is the life I want to have. I want to be a professional surfer.’ I started reading magazines and watching movies and just telling myself, “You’re going to be a pro surfer. You’re going to be a pro surfer.”


FAMILY ­

My dad saw how much I loved surfing and he gave me my first surfboard. His dream was always to have one of his children be a professional surfer. Now that I have qualified for the world tour he is so happy and so proud.

Everything I’ve ever done my family has supported me and helped me. My family are really close and we help each other out as much as possible. All of us surf and we are all goofy footers. My younger brother is 16 and surfs so much better than I did at that age. Last time I was at home I saw him land 2 airs on one wave. He is just about to start surfing on the WQS. He is going to be amazing.


THE QUALIFYING SERIES ­

I grinded it out on the World Qualifying Series (WQS) for 7 years and almost made it on the World Tour 3 or 4 times. The year before last I almost quit. I didn't want to compete anymore. I was burnt out. On the WQS you compete so much that you get tired of surfing. It's too much. I wasn’t having fun anymore. I just wanted to travel and surf big waves and get barreled. I decided to give it one last shot. I chose to surf only in the competitions that I wanted to surf in and did some surf trips for fun as well. I went to Tahiti and Fiji for 10 days each and just got barreling, perfect waves. I think that played a big part in me qualifying for the World Tour. You need that balance in surfing.


BIG WAVES & HAWAII ­

I love surfing big waves. I love the challenge. I love pushing myself. It makes me feel alive. Last year I saw a swell was going to hit Jaws and I raced there as fast as I could. I got big, crazy waves and a couple good ones. I spent a lot of time in Hawaii growing up. Soon as I see it’s big in Hawaii, I pack my boards and go. I’m up to my 9th season over there.

On my first trip I sat in the lineup at Pipe for 6 hours and did not catch one wave. I remember going home so bummed and the boys back at the house were just laughing at me. I didn’t give up though, I just kept trying to get waves out there and in the last few years I have started to get some good ones. With Hawaii you have to respect the locals. Hawaii is my second home and now when I go there I stay with the Rothman Family. They have helped me a lot.


JEREMY FLORES ­

Jeremy is like a brother to me. I’ve known him since I was 8 years old. I remember the first time I went to France to stay with him I didn't have a wetsuit and Jeremy was telling me, ‘The water is freezing. You need a wetsuit.’ I didn't speak any English at the time so I was just looking at him with no idea what he was saying. He went into his room and grabbed me a new wetsuit and gave it to me. Ever since then we have just cruised together. He is like family to me.

It's so special to me that finally we are surfing together on the World Tour. It almost didn’t happen though...I spoke to him at the end of last year and he was stressed out about not qualifying and I looked at him and said, ‘You better qualify...you can do it. You’re surfing so good. You deserve to be on there. You’re one of the best 34 Surfers in the world for sure.’ I knew he could do it.


THE WORLD TOUR

This year my goal is to surf good every single contest. I know it’s going to be hard and I'm prepared for that. At the end of the year I want to finish in the top 10. I’m trying to learn as much as I can. I know I need to surf more on my rail and surf better in long point breaks.

I can’t wait to surf the big waves like Teahupo’o and Fiji. But if I could win one event this year I would want to win the Pipe Masters. I would love to beat Kelly in the final. Haha. The world tour is amazing because you surf in the best waves against the best surfers. Everyone on the tour is the best surfer in the world so you have to surf as good as you can. You only have 12 chances in the year to win. A lot of people don’t know me and I want to show them I can surf. I can surf good in big waves as well as small waves. I want to show the world I am one of the best surfers in the world and make my family proud.

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