The Face of the Future

Tomás Fernandes - ph. José Guerra


Text: Hugo Rocha Pereira | Photo: José Guerra | Translator: João Diogo Rocha Pereira


Tomás Durval Cândido Fernandes is 17 years old. Only the absent-minded shall be taken by surprise as he is considered to be the greatest talent to come out from Ericeira’s waves after Tiago Pires. Earlier this year he has achieved his first senior competitive triumph (the Pro Surf League series in Ribeira d’Ilhas) and many are those who already claim that, having seen his surfing, he should be a contender for the national championship up until the last stage, which starts (tomorrow/on the 26th) in Cascais. It was precisely in Ribeira d’Ilhas that we spoke to him about his career’s remarkable evolution and the upcoming goals, but also about another topics such as his surfing and personal influences, always with the place where he grew up as a background.

Evolution & Objectives

I intend on improving my surfing, travelling as much as possible and…becoming the national champion


How do you explain the huge competitive leap you made this year?

This year I devoted myself a lot more and I went training more times with Surftechnique. I needed to improve the beach breaks and I think my surfing evolved not only in that area but as well as technically and its velocity. And I think that even on a competitive level I am stronger, which also helped. This year has been good for me thus far. I opted out of the youth series so I could focus on other championships. I am focused on the Pro Surf League, where I’m ranked on the third position, and I intend to be a contender until the end. Even if I don’t win the title, I would like to win the last stage.


What’s missing for you to become the national champion already?

There are excellent surfers at the Pro Surf League and we are not allowed to stagger. In Costa da Caparica I was eliminated at the early knockout rounds which was a terrible result, and in Penich I was also eliminated at the quarter-finals. On the other hand, the title-contender athletes discarded their worst results, always went to the man on man phase and won stages. Therefore I still have a long way to go on several aspects, specially regarding being consistent on championships.


What are your objectives for the remainder of this year and for 2014?

I think I will focus exclusively on surfing, since this is the time to take a upwards leap, and I might stop my studies. My objectives for the remainder of the year are to evolve as much as I can and to achieve the best possible results, not only in the Pro Surf League but in the european Pro Junior as well – this year I have already reached a final and I still have the possibility of obtaining a spot to compete at the World Pro Junior. I still have some Pro Junior years left, but the sooner the better. For the coming year I intend on improving my surfing, traveling as much as possible and…becoming the national champion.



Maybe I wouldn’t even be surfing had I been born in some other place


What importance does the fact that you were raised in Ericeira hold to your fluid, board-stomping and well worked on rails surfing style?

I believe that had I not been born in Ericeira and grown surfing these point breaks, I would have a different surfing style. Or perhaps I would not even surf at all, had I been born elsewhere. I think my surfing is well adapted to these waves.


How would you define these waves?

They’re outstanding. Sometimes people say that in Portugal there are no good waves, but on the contrary I believe that Portugal is one of the countries with the best waves. It is very consistente, we have them almost on a daily basis; particularly here in Ericeira we have some of the finest point breaks in the world.


What do you enjoy doing in Ericeira when not surfing?

I go out with my friends. I usually go play darts at Fonte do Cabo, specially when there’s a flat sea I’m there all the time. At night sometimes I go out or I stay home instead; that’s life in Ericeira – if there is no surfing you’re screwed, there’s not much to do when there are no waves!


PDo you think that the fact that Ericeira has such a large number of quality waves helps explaining that why so many local surfers prefer free surf over competition?

I think so. I have a lot of friends here that are really good surfers, such as João Pinheiro or Luís Reis, but chose not to follow the competitive way and are nowadays excelente free surfers.


Which are your favorite waves?

In Ericeira I usually go surfing at Ribeira d’IIhas. I love this, but I also enjoy a lot Coxos and Pedra Branca. Abroad, I prefer the Mentawai islands, in Indonesia. These are very consistente waves, there are always days with barrels, days for maneuvers…

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Do you recognize some of Tomás’ favorite waves?

keep reading / part 2


Esta publicação também está disponível em | This article is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)