Taiba Surf and Yoga’s Head Surf Coach is a man with some serious local history. His life has revolved around the local seas of Fortaleza and Taiba since he was a young boy and he now provides our guests with a safe and informed platform to surf whether you are a beginner or already have some surfing experience.
His instinct and knowledge is unrivalled and this, along with his cheerful disposition and positive attitude make him a valuable member of the Taiba Surf and Yoga family.
We caught up with him in between his precious surfing sessions…
How did you get into surfing?
My first memory of surfing is from quite a long time ago. When I was 9 years old, a friend of mine took me to the beach in Fortaleza. As I didn’t have a board to surf on, he let me borrow his bodyboard to catch some waves with the other kids. I soon realised that it was much more fun to stand up on that board, rather than just lying on it.
My neighbour – a local surfboard shaper – watched me that day in the water. He saw how much fun I was having, so he deciced to give me a surfboard. My first surfboard – the start for my surfing career!
At the age of 11, I started surfing competitively and I have been touring the World Qualifying Series Tour since I was 18.
What was it like to grow up in Brazil?
Growing up in Fortaleza was great! I used to live in a neigbourhood right next to the beach. I spent all my leisure time surfing with friends, fishing, skateboarding, and riding my bike.
I was lucky to have my two best friends Heitor Alvares and Messias Felix – also professional surfers – next door. Surfing with them encouraged me to surf better and improve constantly.
What I like about living in Brazil is the strong community we have in our neighbourhood. Everyone helps everyone. It’s like a big family.
That’s just one side of growing up in Brazil. On the other hand it is also complicated. If you come from a family that does not have a lot of money, it can be a struggle. I was lucky and very grateful that my first sponsor came in when I was eleven. From a very young age I was travelling Brazil, surfing great waves and competing.
What does a normal day in Taiba look like?
I love to wake up early and start the day with a cup of coffee on our veranda overlooking the garden from our Surf Villa. The first thing after my coffee is to walk down to the beach with our dog Farofa and check out the waves. We are so lucky to live right in front of a great reef break. If the waves are good, I go for an early surf.
A few times a week I also do some yoga with my wife Stefanie. The yoga classes help me to keep flexible, which is important for a surfer.
Our surfing lessons normally take place in the morning. Here in Taíba – a real surfing paradise – beginners as well as advanced surfers will find what they are looking for; point and beach breaks, empty lineups and warm water temperatures.
As the head surfing coach, I spend the morning there, teaching people how to catch waves.
In the afternoon I try to work out and surf one more time. Surfing at sunset is my favourite.
In the evening we love to cook some good and healthy food, especially when it’s fresh picked organic vegetables from our garden, have a glass of wine and then go to bed early.
How do you feel about being part of Taiba Surf & Yoga ?
The project showed up at the perfect time for me. I was competing less and therefore open to a new challenge.
Leading a surf camp is a constant learning process. So many things were new to us – but we managed to grow with that task. I am grateful to have the possibility to meet so many people from diffrent countires, teach them how to surf and show them a bit of our Brazilian culture.
Where do you see yourself and the camp in the future?
I really believe in the success of our little project! For me it’s not so much of becoming bigger, it’s more about creating a community.
The familiar and pleasing atmosphere at our Surf House makes our place so special, and this is really important to me.
What is the best part of being a surf instructor ?
As a surf teacher I do what I love most – spending time in the water. I am definitely not an office person, so I am happy to be in my element and pass on my passion to other people.
To see the smile and the happiness after a surf lesson, is great. I know, it sounds cheesy, but its true. I love to connect with people and show them the surf live.
The challenge is not to get to tanned by the sun 😉
You can meet Michel and his unmistakable grin, and try his professional yet fun lessons here at Taiba Surf and Yoga…