In the rumbling showstopper that is the Brazilian Storm, Filipe Toledo is a crackling lightning bolt jolting anywhere he makes landfall with a level of electricity few can replicate. He’s got something working for him beyond great surfing, though. Barely 24, Toledo has won seven CT events since his rookie year in 2015. The young father and impeccable aerialist is annually a world title contender and back in the hunt this year (currently number four). You don’t do that by drinking beers and eating Brazilian barbecue the entire offseason (admittedly, there’s probably a time and place for that though).
Toledo has a balanced fitness routine (we’ll get into that). He eats super clean, inspired by his wife’s vegan ways. Plus he has a not-so-secret weapon: the Brazilian swears by açai.
When I caught up with Toledo just before Pipe Masters in December, he shared that he had been training every single day since the previous Christmas, and had incorporated yoga and meditation into his routine for the first time with excellent results.“I feel like it’s been my best year,” he said, looking back on 2018. “I think the yoga helped a lot with mobility and strength, breathing exercises as well, and with the hard work putting amazing training like cardio — and surfing as well — combined together for a great result.”
The Brazilian culture is notorious for a wide variety of delicious foods, so while Toledo may have a couple slips here and there with what he chooses to eat he focuses on maintaining a balance and a constant trend towards improvement, benefiting from a strong support crew including his wife and longtime trainer. “I try to eat a little bit of everything. My wife [Ananda] is really good at it — she’s almost all vegan, so I just try to go with her. It’s good to have her by my side and at home as well because sometimes I’ll be craving meat and she’ll say, ‘No, eat this! It’s much better, more nutrition,’” he said, his raspy voice giving way to an easy chuckle. “I have my trainer [Eduardo Takayushi from Brazil] with me too telling me what’s good and what’s not. I don’t follow anything specific, just try to improve in every area of my life.”
Say it with me: AH-SIGH-EE. “In the mornings I like to have a really good breakfast — eggs or something — and for a snack cereal bars and fruits, or a good smoothie, like açai. I love açai, couple gingers and just get ready for it.”
Everyone needs a happy mental place to go to when things get tough out in the water, and Filipe says the happiest place on earth for him is with his wife, daughter, and baby son.“I always think about my family when I’m out there — I’m doing this for them,” he said. “Surfing changed my life, so it just keeps changing my family’s life: my mom, my dad…I really want to see my daughter [Mahina] and my son [Koa] being in the water surfing with me and to see how special it is to be in the water surfing.”
Not only does Toledo have a super solid outlook on what it means to live a healthy life, but he’s given it a catchy name as well.“’Happy human’ — when you’re happy doing things you love to do, not forced but just doing it because you love it, you’re happy. Just no pressure and everything goes better.”
Editor’s Note: This is part of our Champs on Health series, where we ask CT athletes for insights on how they train and prepare. You can find more here.