The Surfersvillage Interview
Nic von Rupp takes his impressive work ethic on the road
Editor's Note: This interview first appeared at the end of 2015, just as Nazaré was roaring to life, as the big-wave collective eyes a massive swell bearing down on Portugal this weekend, we thought it a good time to catchup with one of the country's best surfers..
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 February, 2017 - How many pros speak four languages? For the European crew it’s no big deal, but consider for a moment if one of the Gudauskas brothers or Dane Reynolds had to become fluent in several tongues to meet what’s expected of them as pro surfers. With a surf industry based in Australia and California, this is something aspiring Euros have to hurdle.
Enter hardworking Nic von Rupp. While he did alright in contests, even scoring a nine-plus ride at Pipe and winning both the Capitulo Perfeito in Portugal and the Pawa Tube Fest in Mexico, his game with Hurley is to earn digital views.
To achieve this end the well-spoken polyglot from Lisbon chases swell to big, slabby, scary waves all across Europe. These trips have earned Nic magazine covers and a good chunk of clips on most major surf web sites.
What separates von Rupp from the rest of the pack of clip-chasing free surfers is his ability to craft a well-produced short chronicling his exploits. These videos have parlayed into a new four-part series that explores the meaning of being a professional surfer from Europe in an industry run out from California and Australia.
Pipeline © Peter King/Hurley
How would you describe what you do for work to a very small, inattentive child?
I found my passion of riding epic waves when I was a small and inattentive child. So if you’re doing it professionally it’s simple - just follow your dreams and be serious about it.
You’re known, among other things, for a great online library of shorts. Now you’re releasing a new series ‘My Road Series,’ what do you think people will find interesting about this series?
I think the Informal Documentary format we created for this Series is an interesting mix between the story and action. We had the idea to show the quality of waves and surfers from the old continent and also trying to understand what is the position that European Surf takes in the Global Surf structure.
In some of the news we get here you are described as being Portuguese and at other times touted as being German. Which do you identify with most?
I feel Portuguese because I was born and raised here and my surfing is 100% Portuguese, but I’ve had a German education and studied in a German school so I think I’m bit of a mix…
Mullaghmore, Ireland © McLeod
What is that you do professionally that you are most proud of?
My dedication for my profession and passion, surfing.
Share with us your biggest Rocky Balboa moment (punching meat in a frozen locker then running up City Hall stairs theme music blaring)?
A few days coming back from Hawaii stopping over in Munich for a Premiere: 22h no sleep at all, carrying my 40kg board bags from terminal 1 to terminal 5 (punching meat) being late and my name being called loud for departure back to Terminal 1, run up all the stairs you can imagine but the theme music was more like… Mr. von Rupp please attend gate 55 immediately
If you weren’t doing this for a living, what would you be doing? Selling shoes?
Nah I’m not a good salesman at all, I would probably manage a business of my own on which I could find a way to never miss an epic swell …