Momo Sakuma will be competing in this year’s Red Bull Magnitude contest. She spoke with FanSided about how she balances being a mom and a big wave surfer.
A big wave surfer is someone who is fearless, a person who is in love with the ocean, and willing to send it in the biggest waves they can find. All the women competing in the Red Bull Magnitude have these qualities in them. They are all out to prove that they can ride these giant Hawaiian waves just as well, if not even better than their male counterparts. One woman who will be competing in the event this year is Momo Sakuma. She sat down with FanSided to discuss the event, how she got into big wave surfing and how she balances being a mom of two and riding big waves.
“I just really like to go into the ocean, stormy sea,” Sakuma explained. “I think because I was in swimming club for a long time in Japan and I was like confident in big surf. So that’s how I really get excited. Even in Japan when the waves are closed out and it’s challenging, I was so excited, so I moved to Hawaii for surfing Sunset Beach. Because Sunset Beach waves are everywhere on the magazines, right? So that’s how I got into the big waves with Sunset Beach.”
“Sunset Beach was breaking every day two feet, or 10 feet, or six feet so I was just there every day to practice my skills on a big wave. And I’m having fun still doing that never really decided to compete in a big wave event. There were no big wave events for a long time for girls, especially. I was just invited to join this contest for the first year, I say yes right away even I wasn’t confident about big surfing but I just wanted to be out there and try.”
Sakuma is a mom of two and as any mom knows there is a constant balancing act that happens every day. Work and home life need your attention, but when work is riding down the face of a 15-foot wave of the coast of Hawaii, that is some super-mom stuff. Sakuma explains how she is able to continue to train the way she needs to in order to stay in shape for big wave riding while raising a family.
“I think if you can organize your time I think it’s pretty easy to get into the water for 30 minutes, one hour. We always have a short amount of time it’s hard to get like two hours of exercise but we always have like a little bit here a little bit there so I’m just doing what I can do,” Sakuma explained.
“I think it’s really motivated my life because I get happiness from the ocean and then at the same time I take my kids and my kids get happy and I get happy from it. So I have more motivation for surfing right now because I have limited time. I like going out there to whatever challenge, the crowd or the situation of the ocean or the highest of the waves. We’ve been doing this for our life. Surfing is like life, going up and down. It’s always good to go out there and experience it and go with the flow. I learned so many things in that ocean for my life. So I love it. I remember having kids and then having surfing, my life is rich.”
This Red Bull Magnitude contest is a huge step forward in women’s big wave surfing. Over the past few years, there has been a push for equal contest opportunities and pay. The Magnitude event is the first-ever big wave event to feature only women. These ladies are paving the way for the next generation and hopefully more contest opportunities like this one.
“This is an amazing contest for the girls because we didn’t just start it like a couple of years ago. We’ve been doing this since like day one of surfing, which is for me a is like 30 years ago almost,” Sakuma said. “So I hope all the girls see what we went through last 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and then I hope they get to see the real technique of his big wave surfing that the girls have.”