Interview with Lucas Nelli, Professional Bodysurfer - The 124 Society

Interview with Lucas Nelli, Professional Bodysurfer

Where did you grow up and where are you living now?

I grew up in a city called Salvador in Bahia and today I live in Lauro de Freitas, a neighboring city.

How did you get into body surfing?

I grew up near the beach and I always played "Alligator", which is body surfing in the foam till the sand. But it was only in 2012 I started my professional Journey as a bodysurfer.

How did you get the nickname "Shark"?

I've always been passionate about animals, but I've always had a greater love for sharks. When I was a child I wanted to be a marine biologist, just to dive with sharks. In 2012, just when I started bodysurfing, a 2-meter Black shark jumped right next to me and changed my life. I started making shark-shaped handboards from recycled surfboards. After a while, I received the nickname Shark for my strong and expressive tricks and turns! 

Lucas Nelli body surfing

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How long have you been professional?

I've been a professional for 8 years. I started bodysurfing when I was 27 and today, at 37, I'm at the peak of my career!

What type of conditioning do you do to keep your body ready to compete?

My body doesn't like weight training, so I always opt for stretching, yoga and strengthening practices. I feel that my vegetarian diet also helps me energetically.

How has body surfing impacted your life for the better?

Bodysurfing has improved my life quality, I keep my body moving and challenge myself to be better than myself every day.

What is your favorite handboard / handplane brand and model? And your fins?

MA Handboards is my favorite brand of boards, with a fluid and radical wave line. The fin is the Kpaloa Tritão, a fin made in Brazil with rubber from reforested rubber trees and inspired by marine animals for better performance in the waves! They are light and powerful.

What recent competitions have you surfed in?

This year there were 6, and I was champion of 5 of these. I have more than 19 titles and this year I became the Bahian and Brazilian handsurfing champion.

Lucas Nelli

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Are you in any body surfing clubs?

I founded Bahia Storm (@bahia_storm) group in 2012 with some friends, and today the group has more than 60 members. Monthly we organize bodysurfing and handsurfing meetings for training, eating and lots of surfing!

Do you have any advice or tips for anyone that may be interested in getting started?

The best advice I can give is: go to the water! "Water-time" is extremely important for the development of any athlete, in addition to surfing in different seas, with small waves, big waves, rough seas and the famous classic. Another important advice is to never go surfing alone, the sea is unpredictable and our body is too!

Do you do any other forms of surfing?

My modalities are Bodysurf and Handsurf! Here in Brazil, the modalities are divided into bodysurfing without handboards and handsurfing, with a handboard. Enabling more aggressive tricks such as Cut back, floater, etc.

Tell me more about “The Bodysurf Pro” and “Waterlife Experience”.

Bodysurf Pro is a 4-day course focused on understanding your life goals to improve performance in the water and in life! The Waterlife Experience is a 4-day personal development course, where each day represents an element of nature and a guardian animal of the day, which represents an archetype that dictates the dynamics. The first day, for example, is of the earth element, the shark. It represents fears, barriers and limiting beliefs. About what I think and experience, is it real or fantasy? The second day is guided by the water element represented by the sea serpent. How to flow better in the waves and in life? Where does my energy flow, time stops and the eye shines? Rescue of talents and passions. In the third day we have the air element, the Atobá, a water bird that moves between air and water and helps us to look into the world of future possibilities with creativity and the pure look of the inner child. And the last day is guided by the fire element, the dolphin. What is my unique way of manifesting myself in water and in life? What is my signature in what I do, that people recognize, admire and identify me in that action, even without being able to see my face? For example, we can know that a painting by Da vince is his, even without it being signed, cause of his unique way of painting. We know when is Rob Machado surfing even without being able to identify him up close, he has a unique way of flowing in the waves!

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