Big Wave Surfer/Champion SUP & Outrigger Canoe Paddler/Paramedic
Passions: Surfing, SUP, Outrigger Canoe Paddling, Giving Back
Philosophy: To truly love what I am doing at the moment
Andrea is in a league of her own. She was the first woman to paddle in at Jaws, surfing 40-foot plus waves. She was also part of the first female Stand Up team to cross the grueling 32-mile Molokai to Oahu Ka’iwi Channel crossing. Andrea’s world record-setting SUP career started in 2005 competing against the men.
In addition to big wave surfing and SUP, Andrea competes year round in outrigger canoe races in one-man (OC1) and six-man (OC6) canoes. Andrea paddles for Team Bradley, the 7-time winner of Na Wahine O Ke Kai race, the 42-mile channel crossing outrigger canoe race. Her passion for water sports started as a young girl in her family’s marina in Brazil. In 1998, Andrea moved to Maui, where she’s a paramedic and professional athlete.
Her goal is to elevate women’s SUP & big wave surfing and to be a positive role model in her community. Andrea has a huge heart for special needs kids and created an event called Ike Imua to bring families together to paddle.
3 QUESTIONS with ANDREA:
What keeps you inspired during competitions?
I absolutely love my sports. They are my outlet. That’s when I connect to my soul and the ocean ahead of me. Competing is what motivates me to train hard and push my own limits.
How would you describe the rush you get from surfing big waves?
It’s hard to describe the rush of surfing big waves. It is a mix of respect and challenge to something way stronger then any human. The large volume of water on a big wave can swallow you in a split second. When you get to actually ride this wave and make it to the channel you feel somewhat powerful and humbled at the same time. The adrenaline is intense. The connection to the ocean is pure and addicting.
What do you enjoy most about sharing paddling with special needs kids?
I truly think that kids are teachers. They show us how life is precious. They pay attention to things we bypass everyday during our busy adult life. Children with special needs and disabilities have taught me the power of strong will. They have challenges that would lead most people to give up, but “giving up” is not an option to them. They want to strive each and everyday. They appreciate life in a manner we should all learn from. Paddling with these kids and seeing their huge smile for playing in the ocean has given me a whole new goal in life.
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