Surf Interview with Michel Flores
As we were watching the Florida Pro in January 2019 in Sebastian Inlet. We got to watch one of the toughest and nerve breaking heat in the round one Men’s pro division. In that heat were the Geiselman brothers (Evan and Eric) and there was also Michel Flores and Ben Wingate. This was actually the first heat of round 1 so all eyes were on the Geiselman brothers to move onto the next round.
In the last minutes of the heat, Michel caught a wave and got a decent score on it, which then put Eric Geiselman to third place (remembering it is top 2 move onto the next one) and needing a pretty good score in the last minutes without priority. Michel went on with his strategy and was able to get the second place to move to the next round and eliminating Eric. That is when we caught up with Michel and talked about the heat and what he does!
Michel Flores has been a professional surfer for over 10 years now, starting his first WSL Qualifying season in 2008 and still competing in it. From Brazil and now resident of Florida, he is winning events left and right locally. Competing nationally and showing where he comes from. He also coaches kids in and out of the water as a side gig for the love of it.
Let’s talk about that heat already!
Lucas: What’s up guys, Lucas Morley from Surf Training Factory. Today I have with me Michel Flores from Brazil, living in Florida at the Florida Pro. Pretty much his back yard, right?
Michel: Yup! I live like 30 minutes down the road in Fort Pierce
Lucas: Awesome! Well today’s first heat, you had Eric Geiselman and Even Geiselman. How did that make you feel coming in knowing that’s your first heat and it’s going to be a tough one?
Michel: Yeah, those are local boys from Florida. Those guys grew up surfing here every day, everybody knows the Geiselman brothers. The game plan was just to catch the best waves out there. Also, to get a good wave on my first wave of the heat, I just played the game. Got a backup wave, and then everything went well.
Lucas: Yeah after the backup wave that you got, you moved up directly to second and now I believe Eric was in third?
Lucas: Yes! What was going through your mind, what was your strategy from there knowing that you know I believe you had priority as well?
Michel: Yes. At first, I didn’t have the priority, but I just went to sit next to him because it is kind of a mental game when you have somebody sitting next to you and you need a score. It freaks you out a little bit. The Eric went for one wave and it was not a good one, and next thing you know I had the priority. I just played the waiting game. If a wave was coming, I was going to get it. But I was lucky enough to get him off the waves for a little bit.
Lucas: Awesome! So obviously, we are talking about mental. How important is mental in the water but also out the water? Is there anything you can do out of the water for mental training?
Michel: It’s mainly as you work out, your body gets stronger, your mind gets stronger. This is when you see the results in your body and mind. So, it’s very important for you to do the workouts besides surfing. Cardio, skateboard, training. It’s more about your body getting stronger and mind getting stronger, and then you play the mental game.
Lucas: Awesome! So, you are putting in time in the water, and you are putting in time out the water. I think it’s something that a lot of people are not up to par unless they are high level like you, they understand that “I got to spend some time in the water, but also I need to build my body out the water as well.” You do that as well, strength and conditioning type of training?
Michel: Yes I do.
Lucas: Great! And you do that a lot with young kids too correct?
Michel: Yeah, I coach the kids with muscle memory, technique that’s a lot of exercise. You got to teach the body how to act, sometimes you have to break loose a lot.
Lucas: Specific drills?
Michel: Yeah there is a lot of specific moves that we do, repetition over and over again. It will click in when they go in the water.
Lucas: Awesome! Do you guys do any time of skate training or anything like that?
Michel: yes, I use the carver skateboards that stimulates surfing. You draw the 8 figure and it really helps you how to read the waves, how to be patient on the board. Instead of trying to run and run the wave not doing anything.
Lucas: Amazing! Now, you do this type of coaching professionally with a lot of people, you also have a couple surfers from Brazil that came for this competition and are staying at your house for this event, and a couple people from California. For example: Felipe Toledo’s younger brother staying with you.
Michel: Yes it’s a lot of fun!
Lucas: If people need to get ahold of you, to contact you for any private coaching. Where should they look for you?
Michel: You can find me on Instagram @treasurecoastwatermanclub. We have Facebook page too. Or you can find me at Michel Flores.
Lucas: Awesome guys! So, if you are looking to improve your surfing, looking to get at a high level, you need to associate yourself with high level people and here is one of the guys you can associate yourself with. We look forward to seeing you in the water!
Well there you have it guys! It is all about surf training physically which will improve your mental for you in the water sessions and surf heats in competitions. Working with professionals to improve your surfing to the next level is crucial in today’s world and is very important as you might not be able to see the things they see.
Now get your workout in and get out in the water!