Pro Chat: Coco Ho

The Hawaiian ASP surfer chats living in paradise and feeling good about being a girl

Interview by Anna Langer, photos by Volcom

Hey Coco, what are you up to right now?
Right now I am currently home just settled and got into a normal routine. It’s been quite nice. My suitcase is still out though as I am packing for New York in a few days. It will be my first time there I am overly excited!!!

Are you happy the contests are done for the year or are you still doing some…?
I am, for now. It’s a nice relief after a pretty stressful year on tour. I was starting to find a good rhythm the back half of the year so I am a little disappointed there won’t be a world tour event until 2013. I am thinking about doing the 6* in the Azores end of this month to put on the jersey one last time for the year.

How did the tour go for you this year, are you happy with the outcome?
The 2012 World Tour for me this year was a lot of learning. I had a few confidence obstacles to overcome and once I managed that I had a lot of fun heats and good results.

Which was / is your favourite event?
I was stoked on the good waves we got for the Bells Beach and Sydney event. Good waves always makes an event more fun. But of course my favorite event was Rio, Brazil where it was a close battle between Sally and I in the final. My dad was there and a lot of our friends from Rio so that was pretty special.

Would you say you’re a very competitive person?
Definitely! I have a sibling… and anyone with a sibling is naturally going to be really competitive.

How likely do you think it is that you’ll get bored of contest surfing at some point?
Not likely at all within the next 5 years. It’s still all so fresh to me and as I am learning more tactics it’s getting more and more fun.

Growing up in Hawaii must be like paradise – can you still enjoy traveling to all those nice places around the world or has it already become “normal” for you to be hanging out in paradise?
Home is paradise but a different kind of paradise to me because I was born and raised here. Traveling to new regions of the world is paradise as well because it’s all new and unseen. Everywhere I’ve been around the globe has given me something special from Costa Rica to Portugal to Indonesia – they’ve all been paradise in there own ways.

The new generation of surfing girls like Steph Gilmore and Laure Enever is a lot into fashion, where’s your stand in that?
Steph and Laura are my two of my closest friends on tour so you can say I’ve been sucked into the joy of fashion. It’s also great because we have companies that back us and allow us to collaborate if it’s a line a clothing, bikinis or wetsuits – so we are all exploring what we like and giving that feedback to our sponsors. I think in the generations before they didn’t have that opportunity with their sponsors so we’re really fortunate. It’s so fun being a girl!

We had a very critical article in our last print issue, about the Gidget stereotype in surfing and the sexualisation of female surfers in the media and also brands’ ad campaigns. How do you see this whole issue?
I don’t think branding women surfers as attractive and sexy is a bad thing. Every woman likes to embrace her beauty, feminism and grace so why can’t we do that as athletes?

And last but not least, do you have anything nice planned for autumn/winter?
So far just New York and Azores. Possible trips before the waves get good here at home in the winter with sponsors but nothing out of the ordinary. I’m looking forward to getting ready for the World Tour in 2013.

Coco is sponsored by Volcom, Nike, Swatch and Gatorade

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