We had the honor to meet Coco. With Alicia Martinet she talked about her opinion of wave pools and what she would do if there was no surfing in this world.
So remembering back to your first time here in Switzerland, what were your thoughts?
Coco: Super funny, like just bringing my surfboard bag through the airport and it was like all ski bags, but then this time, I just felt like less shocked to have my surfboards in Switzerland. And yeah, everyone, there’s so many like even locals that like surfing a lot and it’s awesome. It’s definitely the sport is growing because of these pools.
Your impressions? How do you find the wave at Alaïa? Expectations fulfilled?
Coco: Yeah. I think the wave here is great. The pool is big. I’ve surfed test pools like this, and the pool is smaller. So then like the wave wasn’t as strong and so here, it was really perfect and super fun to get just this aqua blue barrel. There’s snow on the mountain behind you. So it’s really special.
And the barrel? It’s different from the ocean. As long as you keep a low line it’s fine but if you go up you can easily be taken by the wave…
Coco: There’s definitely more forgiveness in the barrels in the ocean, even stalling like you can totally mess around and slow down and try to get more barreled. And here as soon as you try too much… You’re gone.
So did you know that Switzerland, regarding their population, has huge surf scene? Are you surprised?
Coco: Yeah. I was really surprised just to meet and hear about people that are on the Swiss team like yourself. And I was like, but how do you practice or where are you going? Even seeing the younger girls, there’s two little girls that was really fun to see. And yeah, I think there’ll definitely be some Switzerland flags on the QS.
You know that we’re landlocked, and I feel like there’s more and more activities so that we can practice such as skateboard or snowboard. Do you also see a Swiss flag in the WSL tour one day?
Coco: Switzerland is maybe one of the first because the pool is already here. And it’s perfected. And yeah, a lot more countries are gonna follow and there’ll be some new flags showing soon.
What do you think of artificial waves? Do you think it’s just for fun or it’s a facility for surfers to be taken seriously?
Coco: It’s definitely depending on your skill level. I think it’s either fun and growing and learning, and then once you’re a certain ability, it’s definitely great for perfecting your craft and fixing all your flaws in your surfing. So yeah, it’s a balance of both, but I think it just depends on your ability on how you look at the pool. Makes sense?
And so, do you like the ongoing surf trend or are you annoyed by it?
Coco: No, I love it. I think it’s great just to be able to come to the landlocked country and not be looked at with your board bag like you’re a dinosaur. No, I think it’s really cool. And it’s gonna just bring awareness to the sport and continue to grow in places we never imagined. Yeah, so cool.
So in your eyes, why do you think surfing and its lifestyle is so trendy?
Coco: I mean, so like most sports you like, get on the chair and you strap in your bindings and you’re doing this sport. For surfing, there’s a lot of mechanics to do it, you got to paddle out, you got to catch the wave, then you’re finally on the wave. So the reward when you’re participating when you’re standing up and riding the wave is like, there’s a lot more reward. I feel like it’s harder to attain. And there’s something about the water. I mean, you just feel like therapeutic when you’re in the water. And you feel that in nature, like on a skateboard or on a snowboard, but nothing beats like the therapeutic feeling of like the ocean or a pool. It’s pretty magic.
It’s definitely the water that cools the soul.Coco Ho
Would you ever live in a country like Switzerland? I mean, knowing your career, it’s probably difficult. But somewhere where you can snowboard in winter and surf almost all year round in Alaïa.
Coco: It is very convenient that you can do dual sports. And I think that’s everyone’s goal. Because usually people who love snowboarding, love surfing, and vice versa. But, I don’t know if I could live all the way in Europe. But I can definitely see just everyone’s happiness levels and being much better because there is that option in the summer, other than like biking or so on.
Is surfing still relaxing for you, like, to feel connected to nature, or has it just become the sport you compete in?
Coco: I’ve definitely had to learn, there’s times where I have to force myself to be like, okay this is a job, take it serious, push harder work on this. But I think 85% of the time on surfing, I’m just surfing because I love it. Like I don’t like the pressure of having to be coached or like told what to do. I’m more of a natural, like I want to do it because I love it. But I think that’s where the success even came from, I didn’t let it get too serious. And then I was always happy, it resulted in more success. But then some people are like Carissa Moore, she is completely the opposite. And like she operates by getting told like you know, «do better» and it’s just like, okay, whereas like if you told me «do better», I’d walked away.
If you told me «do better», I’d walked away.Coco Ho
So have you ever had a moment where you were thinking of maybe stop competing or even stop surfing?
Coco: Definitely stop competing, but never ever, ever, ever stop surfing. I think it’s just something so healthy and cool you can do. You’ve watched Kelia Moniz do it when she was pregnant. You can do it when you’re old. Like it’s just awesome. You can you never have to stop surfing. And competing, I think it’s like about, again, how you like to be coached competing. Like if you’re putting the jersey on, it’s making you sad or mad or like not stoked, why do it? And I did feel like the jersey, I don’t know, it wasn’t bringing out the best in me anymore. So I have like, stepped back a lot from competing, but then it makes it more special when I do put the jersey on. I’m doing it because I care.
If there was no surfing in this world. What do you think would be your passion then?
Coco: Oh, my gosh. When I was young, like when I was in elementary, and I didn’t surf that much yet, I really loved tennis. I loved like just the outfits and going to play. I can’t say I was very good at all, but I did like it. I like the sport.
So you probably know, but you’re an idol for a lot of young people, so what’s your message to them?
Coco: Work hard million percent. But listen to your body, if you’re enjoying yourself with the jersey and if you like being coached in a certain way, it’s really about like checking in and listening to yourself. Not saying like, laugh off and don’t work hard. Like, I work really extremely hard for every sponsor I have and everything but I definitely listen to myself and I’m like, okay, you don’t want to compete. You don’t have to compete. You don’t want to be coached by this person. You don’t need to be coached by this person. So I made a strong barrier of balance, between working hard and listening to my self, my body. For the younger girls I would say just be a young girl, enjoy surfing and fall in love with it.