Last week IndoSurfLife sat down with the women’s winner of the Oakley Pro Junior competition, Coco Ho, at the Volcom’s office. She was beaming from her victory and happy to talk surfing, sate and fashion before jetting out again for the next stop on her young yet illustrious career.
Congratulations on winning the Oakley World Pro Junior. How does it feel to win the World Pro Junior in Bali?
Thank you. Yeah it was a really special event for me, as my last event as a junior and my last event of the year. So I came to Bali kind of with a target in the back of my mind and I’m glad I overcame these obstacles. I had a few fun heats at Canggu and came out with the win.
How long have you been surfing now? And when did you begin your competitive career?
I started surfing when I was 6 or 7. My whole family did it. So I kind of just followed my brother’s footsteps and I began competing when I was 8 or 9 years old. I’m 20 now.
Who is supporting you as you pursue your surfing dreams?
I have the greatest sponsors supporting me. I’m sponsored by Volcom, Gatorade, Nike, Swatch and Moskova and I have the most amazing coaches and manager, my dad of course helps me with everything. My brother is my biggest inspiration. He pushes me. So I have a good team.
How is it being sponsored by Volcom, a brand that is maturing and changing, much as your own surfing is?
Growing up and being a part of Volcom and seeing it change, as well as myself and my style, is like two and two. They’ve really matured in fashion and that’s what any 20 year old girl wants to start pursue so that’s a great fit. They continue to support me so much as an athlete and they give me everything I could ask for, the best platform for sure.
Do you see any design collaboration between you and Volcom, because they work closely with other sponsored girls?
Being a Volcom athlete I got to design my own boardshort and we definitely kept it really hip and fun and also athletic and sporty at the same time. Hopefully in the future we can continue to build that line and create some fun pieces.
What about art and music, are you into any of that?
I’m probably the worst artist, but I do love fashion; looking and trying new things for sure. Music is definitely my inspiration, I love Beyonce.
What is it like to have surf legend in your family, all part of your family? Do you feel more pressure or do you see it’s advantaging?
A lot of people think that having my dad being professional surfer and my uncle Derek it would be pressure but I take it more as an inspiration and I definitely use it to my advantage. They’ve been everywhere in the world already, so I get the little inside tips on what to expect, what boards to bring and stuff like that. So it’s definitely to my advantage I have to say.
You’re also on the WCT for women, right? What made you decide to follow the Pro Junior as well?
This year on the World tour we finished pretty early, the earliest we ever have. My last event was in August, the US Open. I looked at the schedule and I qualified for Bali and then I said: “why not go to Bali and have a few heats at Keramas and Canggu before the end of my year?” Now we’re going into the Hawaii season and I have no event so it’s definitely going to make me start itching to get a jersey back on; I’ll have to wait until December so I’m really happy with my decision to come to Bali and I got to travel with the kids that I grew up with, like Zeke and Kanu and that was really fun.
What’s the funniest or craziest story you can share from this competition?
Oh my gosh I have way too many traveling with these boys, but there’s thing called the “instagram” on the iPhone, but I don’t have one; I’m the only one that doesn’t have one. The boys would continuously get bad pictures of me sleeping in the car and stuff and they’d post them but I couldn’t do anything about it because I don’t have “instagram”; so yeah, that was really embarrassing hearing about all these pictures of me.
Have you surfed with any of the top Indonesian female surfers? Have you saw Dyah surfing now in the contest?
Oh yeah, I watched her in 2 heats and she looks like definitely knew all the breaks, and she has a big future for sure.
Do you have any advice for the Indonesian professional female or male surfers? And for the girls that just starts surfing?
I’ve notice there’s a big trend here in Bali and there’s a lot of young girls coming up. I just met one here at Volcom and there’s a couple down at Padang that are family friends of my Dad. So I know they’re all coming up and I guess all I could say is use this beautiful playground to your advantage, you guys have the best waves in the world. Just use that as your platform, just keep striving and working towards your goals and dreams and they’ll come true.
Do you come to Bali often?
This is only my 2nd time to Bali. I love Bali, it’s so good. It’s really warm and you get to wear bikinis, and there are good waves and I’m reminded a little bit of home. There’s also the traditional side you see, like the religion, and the traditional food and stuff it’s so fun to experience.
What’s your favorite food?
Um, believe it or not, it was these little sate chicken sticks we got on the side of the road yesterday; they’re amazing. It was so cool. It looks kind of sketchy but it’s really good.
How about in terms of waves; what are your favorite waves in Indonesia?
I really love all the waves in the Mentawai Islands, and here in Bali I love Keramas and Canggu for sure. Being a regular-footer I like to go right, so they’re perfect for me.
Have you ever been to Sanur?
No, we almost did. But we didn’t have any lay days so I didn’t get to go. I heard it’s amazing.
Are there places you haven’t been to that are on your wish-list?
I’ve been dreaming of going to Sumbawa and surfing Lakey Peak and all those fun waves that were just in the latest movies.
What’s next for you? Are you heading to the Pro Junior in Brazil? Total world domination?
I’m actually heading home and I have to pick between two trips: either it’s the Mentawais or to China with my sponsors and I’ve never been there so it could be a cool experience. I’m just going to look at the options a little further.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to IndoSurfLife, we hope to see you back in Bali soon.
For complete ASP Profile of Coco Ho, click here.
For Coco Ho’s personal blog, click here.
Photos: Mick Curley and Coco Ho’s Facebook page.