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Photo: Ed Sloane

Wahine / Brisa Hennessy

By Shannon Reporting

What are the top female surfers riding these days in competitive arenas? Who better to ask than World Tour shredder Brisa Hennessy. The O‘ahu local was actually born in Matapalo, Costa Rica, but grew up in the islands after moving to Hawai‘i at nine years old. She is now lucky enough to call Fiji her new home. The surfing nomad has worked her booty off more than ever these past few years. After her junior days on the Hawaiian Surf Team, we’ve watched her climb to the top of the WSL rankings, earning a spot on the “Dream Tour.”

For a gal who surfs all sorts of waves throughout the year, Freesurf was curious about her go-to winter quiver. Surely the boards she’s surfing here at home in the Pacific Islands are slightly larger and thicker than the others… but over the course of our interview, we found out that it is her relationship with her shaper and her support team that is the most vital ingredient for her success.

On working with Town & Country:
“I have been working with [shaper] Makani McDonald since I was nine years old and we both later joined the T&C family in 2015. I first met Makani out at Bowls; he was—and still is—one of the best surfers out there and he always gives me waves! He has believed in me since the beginning. When T&C and the Sugihara Family brought me on their team, they truly made me feel like a part of the family. They are a company that genuinely shows the aloha spirit and the passion and love they have for surfing. It has been an incredible ride, growing with both of them, and the journey has helped me evolve to be the surfer I am today.”

Photo: Ed Sloane

Her magic quiver:
“My winter quiver is an array [of sizes] from 5’7’’ to 6’4’’. My shortboards are 5’8” and under squash tails that are a standard Super Mod and are perfect for the smaller, rippable days. The 5’8” round pins are also Super Mods with some rail tweaks and bottom contour tweaks in the tail area for more powerful waves, but give me a familiar feel to my regular shortboards. The 5’9″ to 6’0″ range boards are the B-1 model meant to grab or lock you into the powerful winter waves at higher speeds on rail. The boards above 6’0″ are the STP model and are for bigger, more powerful waves with thinner, narrower tails and a little more foam under your upper body for paddle power when needed.”

Her surfing evolution:
“Most of these boards and models are evolutions of the winter boards that I have been riding for years in Hawai‘i, with my favorites going back to my first Junior Pro win at Sunset Beach and what I rode as a wildcard at the Honolua Bay CT stop two years ago. With the last CT of the year being on Maui, it is a great feeling to know I have such an amazing crew behind me who have shaped my winter boards since the beginning, who understand my surfing, and—more importantly—have such a great understanding of Hawai‘i’s ocean and its power.” – Brisa Hennessy

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