Island time with Chloé Calmon / Love at first wave

3 January, 2024 | Interview, Surfing

In the vibrant, illustrious and character-filled world of longboarding, few names stand out as powerfully as that of Chloé Calmon. 

Born and raised in the sun-soaked city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Chloé has earned a reputation for being a gracious longboarder, a fierce competitor and all-around legendary human who embodies the true spirit of surfing.

Growing up with Rio’s beaches on her doorstep (and her father’s boards never far away) helped pave the way for Chloé’s love affair with longboarding. This infatuation was further fueled when at age 12 she received a box of longboarding movies from Australia, California and Hawaii. These movies became more than just entertainment; they became her inspiration and motivation to become the best longboarder she could be.

Of course, it wasn’t going to be all smooth sailing. When Chloé first started out, there was still a lot of stigma around longboarding being seen as an “old person” or “beginner” sport. Thankfully, she was never one to let stereotypes hold her back and instead embraced the unique challenge with open arms.

This same determination and drive led Chloé to pursue competitive surfing at a young age, starting with local events and eventually working her way up to joining the World Surf League (WSL) tour. At 15-years-old she had her first big moment in Biarritz, coming up against reigning world champion Jen Smith in the first heat of the event. From that point on, Chloé was hooked.

“I’ve been on the WSL tour for 14 years now and it’s been a great adventure. It took me to places I never thought I would go in my life, I met people from different countries and cultures, I’ve grown a lot as a human being and learnt a lot about myself. There is the glamorous part which is to travel around the world surfing good waves, but there is a part behind the scenes that not everyone gets is the time away from home and my family, all the sacrifices and hard work that go into this dream”.

When asked why she chose competition over a presumably more chilled out free surfing career, Chloé explains that it was simply in her blood. 

“I was born with this competitive vein within me, and the challenge around the idea of trying to be a better surfer each day and push my limits is what got me”. 

In saying that, Chloé is refreshingly candid about the fact that competing for her isn’t just about the trophies. She also loves the personal growth that comes with constantly challenging herself in different conditions, weather, waves and equipment. Chloé says about competing:

“Every day in the water is different, and every time I put a jersey on is an opportunity to be a better version of myself”.

As for where she draws her inspiration, Chloé credits many longboarding legends as her role models, both in Brazil and internationally. Some of her most poignant inspirations include names like Joel Tudor, CJ Nelson, Nat Young, Kassia Meador, Belinda Bags and Carla Zamora, as well as her dad, Rico de Souza (her sponsor and a Brazilian surf legend) plus her shaper for the past 6 years and counting, Neco Carbone.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Chloé’s competitive pursuits have taken her to some of the most exotic surf destinations around the world… except Indonesia. Luckily for her (and you), she’ll finally get to tick it off when joining the Xanadu Surf Photography Retreat with Ana Catarina and Tommy Pierucki as one of our surf models. 

 “I’ve never been to Indonesia and it’s been on the top of my bucket list for so many years, so I’m extremely stoked to visit Indo in 2024”!

Her role as a surf model during our Surf Photography Retreat will naturally involve collaborating with the photographers in attendance, something she has experience with after taking part in one of Ana Catarina’s retreats in Brazil earlier this year. When asked about her experience working with Ana Catarina, Chloé couldn’t speak highly enough of her professional and personal credentials. 

“Not only is she a good friend, but she is also one of the best professionals I have had the chance to work with”. “She has a beautiful vision, strong work ethic and always pushes herself out of her comfort zone to be better every day. It’s really inspiring to be around people like her”.

As for what attendees can expect from Chloé at the retreat, she offers some sage advice. 

“Just be yourself and have fun… as natural as possible! The ocean is powerful and can inspire each person in a unique way. So follow your heart and connect with nature, the results will reflect that connection”.

With her infectious energy and love for longboarding, Chloé is sure to bring an extra special element to the Xanadu Surf Photography Retreat. We can’t wait to witness her in action and learn from her undeniable passion for surfing!

Bonus questions

Q) Your favourite book and why? 

A) Courage – the joy of living dangerously by Osho. I ran into it at a shop at the airport. I read it through my trip that turned out to be one of the most remarkable and growing trips I ever had.

Q) Your favourite food and why?

A) Brigadeiro, brazil’s national desert. It’s my favourite one and it reminds me of home

Q) Your favourite travel destination and why?

A) Australia! Our energies match and I could totally see myself living there for a while

Q) Your favourite surf break and why? 

A) It’s hard to choose just one but the first that comes to mind is Noosa Heads in Australia… Everything is so pretty there!

Q) Who would you choose to play you in a movie and why?

A) Any character that can fly and see the world from above. That is a superpower I’d love to have!

Q) Best live music act you’ve ever seen?

A) Jorge Ben Jor, a famous Brazilian artist playing in Australia.

Q) If you weren’t a professional longboarder, what would you be doing?

A) Probably into another sport!

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