Faces of 2015 is a series on the new and returning surfers on this year's CT. Wiggolly Dantas is one of five rookies on the 2015 Tour, earning a spot after placing fourth overall on 2014 Qualifying Series (QS). No stranger to CT competition, having competed at the 2012 Quiksilver Pro France and the 2014 Fiji Pro, Dantas has now earned the opportunity to surf in all 11 elite level events.
WSL: Wiggolly isn't a very common name. Can you tell us the story behind it?
WD: My mom told me this story that when she was pregnant she was reading this book and there were a couple warriors in it. Wiggolly was the first warrior who would come to battle with a sword in his hand, so my mom decided to name me Wiggolly. I asked her various times why she named me that -- she liked it, my dad liked it and they kept the name because the name was different than what existed in Brazil.
World Surf League: How are you feeling about joining the Tour?
Wiggolly Dantas: I'm excited to have such good friends already on the Tour like Gabriel (Medina), Jeremy Flores and all the boys from Brazil. I'm excited to start this year. The Gold Coast is such a good wave. It's going to be amazing. I just want to get to Australia and surf to de-stress. It's going to be fun.
WSL: Are you nervous at all?
WD: I'm nervous about it because I surfed two times on the CT before and I want to see how the judges will score. The first contest every time is a little hard because you don't really know what the judges want. I just want to go to surf and have a good time.
The first contest every time is a little hard.
WSL: You competed in the CT's Fiji Pro last year. Did that help you learn anything?
WD: Last year in Fiji I lost my heat because I fell and I'm so excited to go back. I usually surf my best in Fiji and I know if I surf my best I'll do fine. If you're surfing good you will make the heat.
WSL: Are there any other specific events you're looking forward to?
WD: I like power waves like Tahiti, Fiji and Pipe. And I like to surf backside as well, so J-Bay. I'm kind of stressed a little bit about Bells because I have never surfed it before. That's the only contest where I'm like, "Wow, I need to get there soon and surf."
WSL: What kind of training do you do outside of the water?
WD: I do a lot of physical training and I do Jiu-Jitsu sometimes. It helps surfing when you need your mind to feel strong. I learned to breathe and be relaxed from Jiu-Jitsu, so it helps relax me in a heat when somebody gets a good score. Breathing and just being relaxed helps you feel comfortable and think about what you need to do on a wave to get a better score.
WSL: How would you describe yourself in a couple words?
WD: I don't know (laughs). I would say fun and happy.
WSL: Can you tell us about your first memory of surfing?
WD: The first day I ever surfed, my older brother took me out and helped me. My brother pushed me into this little wave in front of my house. I remember I just stood up on the board, I was three years old on a Doyle. It's good memory.
WSL: Is there anybody currently on Tour who inspires you?
WD: I have a good relationship with Jeremy and all this year on the QS he was like, "Come on, I want to see you on the CT and travel with you." And then Gabriel and Filipe (Toledo) and all the Brazilian boys.
WSL: What are you most excited about?
WD: I'm pretty excited to surf the best waves in the world. To go to the best places like Tahiti and Fiji with all my friends is pretty amazing. I just want to make good results, have a good time and get good barrels!