Interview by Rebecca Parsons
After a four-year run with Focus SUP, overall APP World Tour title, ISA gold medal and a number of other noteworthy accolades, Mo Freitas officially signed with Boardworks SUP for 2018. At just 20-years-old, the young Hawaiian is a force to be reckoned with in both surf and racing. After an impressive four years and an exceptional 2017, some may be wondering: why the switch? We caught up with Freitas between waves to find out how he landed at Boardworks and what he hopes to accomplish with a new quiver under his feet.–RP
Why did you choose Boardworks?
It was a really complicated decision because I didn't want to be sponsored by someone that only made paddleboards. I grew up on the North Shore surfing my whole life and it was really important for me to have regular surfboards.
So when Boardworks came along with shortboards, longboards, foils and everything I needed to be in the ocean, that was kind of the deal-breaker. And also because they have their own established kayak company. They're owned by a mother company which has solid budgets and stuff. There's not going to be any kind of weird things going on like there could be with a smaller company—everything's just a little more organized.
Do you have any exciting plans with your new sponsor?
Absolutely. I'm most excited about the new boards that are going to be coming out. I'm going to help them design and help push a lot of their raceboards. Their SUP raceboards are going to have really nice, new designs with three new lines coming out this year: a flatwater raceboard, a mid-range, all-around board and a dugout board.
What new boards are in your quiver?
At the moment, I just really like the 14-foot sprint board that they've got. I haven't gotten any of the new surfing stuff yet, but it's all being manufactured right now.
Do you have any new teammates you'll be able to train with?
No one on Oahu, so I still have to train alone. But Fernando Stalla has been a long-time team rider, so it will be cool to do some events with him.
What are your goals for 2018?
I really want to focus on doing some more surf-related trips and do less races. I want to just focus on the big races and make sure I'm really ready for the ones that I do enter. That way I'll have more time to be home and prepare for those races. I'm thinking not so much quantity, but quality—I'm really going to go for the win in any of the races that I enter.
PPG would be a big one, the APP world tour has got a nice list of events going, the ISAs, the Carolina Cup and the Gorge is another one that I really want to go for the win. And any SUP surfing events that I enter, I'd like to win. And just be more all-around, water-based instead of just standup. I'd like to sign up for some QS events and get some surfing points.
What's your battle plan for achieving your goals?
I want to stick to a set training regiment and maybe even try working with someone. I've never worked with anyone when it came to training, I've always just done it by myself. So for this year I may think about using someone to help me and just focus on a proper schedule because that is what is needed. I've also been focusing on my diet a lot more—I'm just cutting out processed sugar and dairy and finding it to be a huge plus.
Whatever keeps you in the water is my motto.