Hitting the Waves with Pro Surfer, Nagé Melamed
Remember when you watched Blue Crush and you thought for a second that you might actually have a shot at being a pro surfer? And then you actually got into the water and you were like, “Brrr, it’s cold! What’s that on my foot? Ahh, Shark! Oh nevermind — just seaweed. Where are the hot surfer guys?”
Yeah…more like Dreams Crushed. But for Nagé Melamed, that dream of becoming an internationally renowned pro surfer has become a reality! The Hawaiian-born surfer girl was born in the water and never left. We sat down with the beachy beauty to find out some of her tricks of the trade to help us hit the waves like a pro.
You’re an internationally and nationally ranked pro surfer! What are some of your goals for this year?
For this year, I’m really just trying to qualify for the WCT (World Championship Tour), which is the highest that you can go for women’s surfing. There are nine contests in the year, and you’re aiming for the world title. Right now I’m doing the WQS, which is the World Qualifying Series, and we have seven contests this year and they take your top five. I’ve already had two of them, and I got two quarter-final finishes, which are both “keeper” results. So right now I’m ranked 4th and they take the top six. I’m really trying to make a push for it this year. I feel a lot more confident…I’ve changed some of my training routines, who I’m traveling with, and my boards, etc.
Where do you typically have contests?
They’re all over the world. My first two this year were in Australia, at the end of this month I’m going to New Zealand, and in June I have a contest in Cabo. Then we have them in Europe at the end of the year in France and Spain. And we also have one in Southern California in Oceanside. So I’m all over the world through the year. It’s cool, I really enjoy it.
You’ve been swimming and surfing from the time you were little. Do you still get sore from surfing?
Yeah, if the waves are big, you’re paddling a lot, and there’s a lot of current — I’ll wake up the next morning and be like, “My shoulders! They’re so sore!” Not really my legs, which is weird because I’m standing up on them and surfing. But you ride the wave for a short period, so it’s not like you’re riding the wave for a really long time. It’s more paddling because [when you’re] paddling back out you’re using all your energy, so my shoulders get sore the most.
What type of board are you currently using?
I ride a shortboard. And my shaper lives in Hawaii, so he shapes me — I usually ride the same board all year long. Just my regular model, I love it. It’s been working great for me. And the height of it is 5’5 because I’m a little shorty (Nagé is 5’0!).
Outside of the ocean, what do you do to train?
I do a lot of cross training and plyometrics. Interval training is great for surfing because, like I said, the waves are short and then you’re paddling out. So it’s only a short amount of time that you need a big amount of energy. So I love doing interval training, a lot of jumping, squats, and all that. You want to stay lean, light, and fast for your surfing.
So if we wanted to get into surfing, what specific exercises should we do to condition ourselves to be able to surf?
Doing burpees would really help. And instead of jumping straight up you can switch from side to side — which is in surfing position. So if you jump up, go to your right, next one, go to your left — just to get you familiar with that. Surfing is a full-body workout but it’s a lot of core and a lot of balance. So doing balancing moves and getting your core really strong will definitely help.
A lot of people surf, but what is the best part of being a professional surfer?
Getting to travel the world with all of my friends, and doing what you love. I couldn’t imagine myself not being a surfer. I’m getting to work with Mother Nature, and it’s just so different from any other sport — really calming and fun. I love it.
What’s your beauty routine?
I use a lot of different hair products because it gets so fried from all the salt water, so you really need to take care of it. I love Paul Mitchell. I love their skinny serum. I have frizzy hair, so it tames the beast. So I love that. And they have a really good leave-in conditioner, too. So when I get out of the water I just put it in my hair and it makes it a little bit nicer.
Makeup wise, I’m very light. I like to use a foundation that has SPF in it, so I can wear it in the water and look cute for those surfer boys [laughing]. I use MAC — I’ve been using it since I was about 12. I really like their liquid foundation. And sometimes I’ll wear a waterproof mascara, but not too much. Then out of the water, when I’m going out, that’s a whole different story. I’ll put on more makeup for that! But beach-wise I’m more on the natural, laid back routine.
You must live in bathing suits, do you have an estimate of how many you have?
Umm, I probably have 100 bathing suits. Not kidding. I’m trying to go through them every other week to figure out which ones I don’t need. My sponsors make bikinis too, so I’m getting new ones from them, and my friends have bathing suit companies too, and they’re so cute! I have so many bikinis. (Nagé wears a pink Fox suit in the main image.)
What’s your favorite style of bikini right now?
I grew up wearing brazilian bikinis. So I definitely go for the smaller cut ones [laughing].
xx, The FabFitFun Team