Gabriel Medina takes to a surfboard like nobody else. The Brazilian phenom first drew major attention when he became the youngest person to enter the World Surf League. Since then, the hotshot surfer has garnered coveted accolades including the WSL’s world champion title and the honor of being one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”
Having very nearly swam before he could run, Medina’s training regimen is as calculated and rigorous as the waves he conquers. But all that time spent in the salty water, exposed to the sun and wind takes a toll on his skin and hair. So we talked with the two-time WSL champ to discuss how he trains and his grooming routine.
How do you prep physically and mentally for a competition day?
My prep for a competition starts weeks before the event. Usually, I have a strong pre-season beginning one to two months prior. As we get closer to each competition, I usually arrive to the event location 10 days before in order for my body to adapt to travel, time differences and new food.
Physically, I do light maintenance before each competition — most work now is on the water and surfing. Mentally, I usually tend to stay isolated within my team at the hotel and think positively, this keeps me focused. On competition day, I block all outside information and focus 110 percent on the waves, reading the ocean and figuring out the best angle to take for each wave.
Is your morning grooming routine different than your post-surf regimen?
Yes, since I go out to surf super early (before sunrise) I just go straight from my bed to the ocean. So, my grooming routine is predominantly after surf.
So, what’s your post-surf grooming routine like?
A good warm shower, use of hair products (good old hair conditioner) and some skin products. We surfers have to deal with sunburns frequently. Surfers are exposed to the sun every day, so it is something we have to be very careful with. Sunscreen at all times!
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Does your routine have a specific order?
I usually like to shave after I surf, followed by a warm shower. Lastly, but most importantly, you have to have a nice smell, so a good spray of Polo Deep Blue is my final touch — overall, I lean toward energizing and refreshing scents. I love that it’s inspired by the ocean.
Polo Deep Blue Parfum Spray by Ralph Lauren $105
How do you relax after surfing?
A good stretch, a lot of food (I come out of surfing starving) and some power naps.
When you’re traveling, what do you pack in your Dopp kit?
I bring with me the essentials: toothbrush and paste, hair comb and always Polo Deep Blue Parfum when I travel because it gives me a boost of energy and confidence.
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