Quem não está um bocadinho farto de surfistas profissionais?
Pois é, o meu nome é João Kopke e sou surfista profissional. Fui campeão nacional em todas as categorias juniores, compito no circuito mundial e essas coisas…
Mas eu, como tu talvez, estou um pouco farto de surfistas profissionais. Mas não de surf. Nem de ondas, de viagens, de pessoas diferentes. Gosto de viver como um nómada de sensações e não como um pro surfer.
E quero contar-te essas histórias. As dos caminhos por onde a prancha de surf e a arte me levam. Uma onda, uma fotografia, um poema ou uma música são o meu papel e caneta de todos os dias.
Se quiseres saber mais sobre quem eu sou e o que faço, continua a ler.
Who’s not a bit tired of pro surfers?
Well, my name is João Kopke and I am a pro surfer. I was national champion in all junior divisions in Portugal, I compete all over the world, and all those things…
But I am, as maybe you are too, a bit tired of pro surfers. But not of surfing, nor of waves, trips, different people. I like to live as a nomad of sensations and not as a pro surfer.
And I want to tell you the stories of the paths surfing makes me go through. A wave, a photograph, a poem or a song are my everyday’s pen and paper.
If you want to know more, keep reading 🙂 This is my story:
I started surfing at age 8, in Carcavelos, Portugal. At age 10, I joined a leading competition group of young surfers and started competing, first on national events, winning several national Junior titles. Soon I started competing in international events both as a member of the Portuguese surfing team and in the professional World Surf League, where I got good results.
At the same time, alongside studying and surfing came music. I started playing the double bass at the Conservatório Nacional in Lisbon at age 10. I played with the junior orchestra and attended masterclasses with insanely good musician such as Gary Karr, one of the best bass players of all time. I also started my training as a lyrical singer.
At the end of my junior career, with college, music and surfing as a way of life, I adopted a different view of surfing.
I see myself not only as a competitor, but also as somebody who takes surfing as an opportunity to look at the world and tell stories about it.
Competition was a central pilar for surfing evolution and a means of travelling the world, and so, I focused on getting good at it.
– Under 12
– Under 14
– Under 16
– Under 18
– Under 16 European Vice-Champion Grom Search
– European top 16 under 20 from 2013 to 2015
– National Vice-Champion Under 20
Top 16 National Open since 2014 to the present day
Integrated many times the Portuguese Team of Surfing in competitions all over the world
Because of that early success, many brands came along and gave me the opportunity to explore the world and surfing, which would, later on, dictate the path I was going to choose for my career.
– Lightning Bolt – this was my first sponsor, giving me the opportunity to first travel the world in search of waves at 11 years old. The Maldives,Brazil, Marocco, Cabo Verde and other surfing destinations showed me that surfing is more than waves.
– Energia Tropical
– Quinta da Marinha H&R Club
– Body Glove
– Hurley – After leaving Lightning Bolt, Hurley came along. I was integrated in a programe for young surfing talents sponsored by the brand. And so, I was able to train with Barton Lynch, Hurley’s top coach, in California and participate of trips with top Hurley surfers like Rob Machado, in France.
– Fonte Viva – Fonte Viva was my first sponsor outside the surfing world. It opened many possibilities, as it became also the sponsor of “Bored”, a surfing webseries with a twist, and made me realise surfing could be used as a powerful marketing tool to reach a wider audience.
– Polen Surfboards
– O’neill – O’neill replaced Hurley in the nose of my board in 2014. I was the main figure in 2016 world Spring/Summer catalogue alongside Lucia Martino,a spanish surfer-model. Here’s a little video of that collection:
– Buondi – This brand came to me exclusively because of the content I was already producing alongside White Flag Productions for brands like Fonte Viva. Buondi came up with the idea of a very interesting webseries, in which I would switch lives with people that live in a completely different way to mine, but have something in comon with me: a huge passion for what they do.
If you want to watch the whole thing – Buondi Express Challenge
This brand also gave me the chance to met with other great surfing icons such as Garret Mcnamara, and to produce content with them, in a clip that mixes surfing, big waves and music.
AT THE PRESENT DAY, I POSITION MYSELF NOT JUST AS A COMPETITOR, BUT AS A SURFER WHO USES ART COMBINED WITH OUR SURFING INSPIRING WAY OF LIVING TO PRODUCE GREAT STORYTELLING CONTENT.
Of course, choosing to study Political Science and International Relations at Nova University is a great tool to look at the world in a unique way.
And my classical music background mixed with surfing is a powerfull combination. I’ve been studying music in “Conservatório Nacional”, Portugal’s number 1 school of music, since I am 10 years old.
That is the reason that I received the APFN title of “jovem Inspirador” translating to Inspiring Youth. A contest that would atribute a prize to the most inspiring person with under 16 years old in Portugal.
As a content creator, exposition and media appearences are a big deal. Although, because of surfing, appearances in television and other media were common, 2016 was an especially mediatic year, with news pieces on prime time on channel 1, RTP, channel 4 TVi and many appearences on big national and international media channels.
Surf storytelling content generates a lot of buzz and interest.
MAGS AND NEWSPAPPERS
.ONFIRE SURF MAG
.JORNAL O METRO
CLIPS AND WEBSERIES
Here are some of the clips I’ve been producing.
“BUONDI EXPRESS CHALLENGE”
In 2016 this webseries powered by Buondi had a very interesting concept: switching lives with people who had nothing to do with me and living their profession for a day. Then, I would teach them mine: surfing. They had nothing to do with me except for one thing – We all love what we do.
This is a webseries with 3 years of existence, since 2014, and powered by FONTE VIVA. It is a surfing series with a story behind it: Everyone has bad, boring days… but surfing always saves such days.
This is a webseries that shows Portugal’s most important surfing circuit from the inside out. Many surf reporters try to show the portuguese surfing scene in its most fun nad natural form but many fail because they can never have the same proximity with these top faces of surfing in Portugal as a fellow surfer can.
Other, non conventional ways I tell a story.
Poetry doesn’t recall facts. It expresses feelings. But, even so, writting poems can be a tool to tell a story as powerful as video or convetional writting.
Taking photos is one of my biggest passions. And the best photos are those that tell a story.
Mixing music with surfing – what a powerful combination for storytelling!