It doesn’t take long to realize that Breeze Hennessy is special.The professional surfer, who grew up in the jungle of Costa Rica, is known for always having a smile on her face.The 22-year-old is currently second in the world ranking, but what makes the difference in her is her personality: genuine and open-hearted.
This season, more than ever, she has learned how to combine this facet with the ferocity necessary to excel as a competitor on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).
It was even more evident when he won his first CT competition, the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach in February, and became No. 1 in the world. “I’ve been fortunate in my start to the year, and I think this has definitely come from a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, a lot of tears and a lot of human emotions,” explains Hennessy.”It’s been a wild ride, and it all comes down to your mindset and belief in yourself. I feel good about who I am, in and out of the water.”
But what Hennessy has also done is learn a lot and grow.”Expectations affected me a lot, for much of my life. I think one thing that got me through this was trying to enjoy every step of the way and the present. We always talk about the present moment and I think I’ve done a good job of carrying it out because I wasn’t really at that point: I was thinking about the past and the past, not really living in the now,” she adds.
Goals in 2022
In addition to striving to be a good person, Hennessy has high hopes as an athlete.”This year I’m serious. I definitely want to be in the top-5. That’s my goal and I’m going to do everything I can to get there” Focusing on the essentials has helped her find a rhythm on tour.
“I have many goals, but I think the main one is to simplify: to finish the 2022 season knowing that I have given my best. I have greatly simplified my routine, I have simplified who I was and I also plan to enjoy all the moments between the stops of the WLS Tour”.
“I think that’s what makes who you are and makes you a whole, happy person. I want to know that I gave it all in and did my best and came out a better surfer and a better person.”
An identity in and out of the water
Success and rediscovery seem to have come hand in hand for Hennessy.She has accepted that being a tough competitor doesn’t have to take away from being a good person.
“It’s something I struggled with for a while. I really wanted to maintain my image, because it’s very important to me. I think being kind and courteous, as well as connecting with each other, is a very important thing. I think this is something that bothered me in a way because I felt like I was someone else in the water and I couldn’t find my balance,” says Hennessy.
The Costa Rican-born began working with sports psychologist Mike Duff a couple of years ago. Hennessy believes this helped her overcome mental barriers. Immersing herself in her roots and the family has also been key.
“I think I’ve always known that I had this inside of me. My mother is very kind, she has a brotherly heart, just like my father. But my father has his crazy things and is a person who flows more, but also goes a little against the current and he’s not afraid to stand up and fight for what he believes in. I really tried to combine these things from my parents; things that I also learned in Costa Rica,” says the 22-year-old surfer.
Armed with newfound confidence, there’s no telling what she can accomplish in the rest of the 2022 season. “I have that fighter competitor within me. I really feel that and I think it doesn’t hinder my image out of the water because I have a job to do and my job is mostly to compete against myself. others or trying to fight others. Honestly, it’s inside of me” .
Born to Surf
In many ways, it’s no surprise that Brisa Hennessy has achieved her goal of becoming a professional surfer and competing against her heroines. In addition to talent, she was born into a family of surfers – both parents were surf instructors in Costa Rica.
“Growing up in Costa Rica has made me who I am and has shaped my way of seeing the world. I think that living such a simple and beautiful life and connecting with Mother Nature, with my family and with other people is the most important thing for me,” she acknowledges.
Also recognizing that the purity of the jungle in her native country has built the competitive spirit.”I think what has led me to be a competitor has been that I was always in a kind of survival mode, with all the animals, and I think that’s where I got my competitive nature from”.
Her strong, confident, yet gentle personality also has something to do with time spent in Hawaii and Fiji.When Hennessy was 8 years old, her family moved to the island of Oahu, off the north coast of Hawaii. They lived there, while she went to school, and began spending her summer vacations on Namotu Island, Fiji, at a family resort.
Riding the best waves in the world was essential to get, in 2018, to qualify to compete against the best in the world in the CT. Hennessy impressed in her first year. After a third-place finish in Bali, she finished her debut season 11th in the world. This helped represent Costa Rica at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she reached the quarterfinals, making sport history for her native country.