Gifted Waterman Mo Freitas is a Rapidly Rising Star -- and Surprisingly Grounded
You may think you know SUP, but until you’ve seen Mo Freitas on a board, you don’t know quite how beautiful the sport can be. <strong>Mo is one of the top surfers, SUPers, and watermen to come out of Oahu, and his life spent on some of the most stunning coastlines in the world is about as #goals as it gets. Mo spends hours each day honing his craft, and he’s sure to become a household name for his enviable skills. He truly embodies the uncompromised life, and we were lucky to chat with him about his days on the water.
Mo, you live an adrenaline-filled life on the waves. What do you do to slow down and relax?
Mo Freitas: Stretching and yoga really helps me clear my mind. When the waves are flat I spend a lot of time freediving/ spearfishing. It’s great training for when the waves are big but also one of the most peaceful feelings in the world. Nothing but the cracking sound of the fish eating seaweed and rocks rolling on the ocean floor. Really lets you know how to enjoy the little stuff in life.
Can you tell us about your daily routines?
MF: I usually wake up relatively early and make myself a smoothie. I like how a good homemade smoothie is in the morning and if you make a good one it can last you the whole morning. If the waves are good I’ll surf somewhere and depending on what the conditions are like, I’ll make a choice on what craft to use. For example if the waves are small I’ll use my longboard or foil. Bigger surf I’ll use my shortboard or my Stand up Paddle board. Wind here in Hawaii is insane too. Lots of times it’s blowing pretty strong and makes the waves kinda tricky to surf, so I usually take a Oc1 (Hawaiian one person Canoe) out and will paddle from one end of the island to the other. The wind mixed with open ocean swells range for being knee high to sometimes being 10-15 foot depending on swell, winds, tides. It’s always been that kind of lifestyle for me growing up, whatever keeps you in the ocean I guess.
What are some of the ways that you take care of your body and wellness?
MF: The daily activities usually keep me feeling pretty good and healthy. Recently what has been the ultimate game changer for me is my diet. It’s crazy to see how much it actually matters. Knowing what I put into my body is probably the most important thing I could do. I have recently been making an effort not to eat as much processed sugars and cut some certain foods. It really is astonishing to see how much my energy levels, training, and life in general have been affected. I feel a lot better! I have recently been doing a lot of meditation and breathing practices. Sounds funny but I swear, breathing is the key to so much in life. You can completely change the way you feel just by breathing in certain patterns.
For example, the other day there was a massive swell that hit the Hawaiian islands. When it comes to surfing these waves, breathing plays such huge part. There’s breathing exercises that I do in the lineup to bring my heart rate down and help me relax. That’s so important because when you take a wave that size on the head there’s nothing you can do but relax and play dead, the wave is going to do what it’s going to do and you have to rely on your training to withstand that much time underwater. Here’s another example, at the end of last year I had traveled to Northern California to surf. The water at the time was really cold and when you’re sitting in the water for hours you tend to get cold real quick. There’s literally a breathing exercise to warm your core and if you’re doing it right, it works. The theory behind it is the more air you bring into your lungs the more you’re oxygenating your blood cells which you need to keep warm in a cold situation. I don’t know, I find it super interesting and want to learn more about it.
What’s your favorite adventure thus far?
That’s such a hard question. Every time I leave my home to travel it’s another adventure and I love every single one. One that stuck out though was a trip I did with my dad and little brother to Europe. We rented a car and drove through Spain, France, Italy, Germany and even some of Denmark. There’s so many cool places in-between, we really got a taste of the different cultures and ways of life there. The people were so nice and everyone we met was so stoked that we were from Hawaii. It was a really special time in my life, I want to go back already.
How does Redd fuel your unconventional, uncompromised lifestyle?
MF: Being able to associate myself with a company like Redd is ideal for my lifestyle. Some days the waves or wind will be so good that I don’t want to leave the beach, more than half the reasons I leave are because I’m hungry. Recently I have been putting in the most hours I’ve ever put in the water because I’ll have a box of Redd bars and water in my truck, that’ll fill me up enough to keep me going. It’s not a filler that you feel over energized or any crash either, it’s just a perfect blend of superfoods that you notice when you’re hours into you session and you’re not tired, hungry or cramping. It’s been the perfect consistent meal-bar for before, in-between activities and they taste so good.
What advice would you give to younger generations looking to excel, both in sports and in life?
MF: I have always been a fan of the saying “do what you love and love what you do” I have always believed that if you surround yourself with positive thoughts, people, and activities you can conquer so much more in life. Try new things, be open minded, listen to what people have to say and just live in the moment. And for those of you in sports, really focus on what you put in your body. No point in having the fastest car if you don’t have the right gas. All killer No filler!