BRAZIL CLAIMS ANOTHER HIGH PROFILE HAWAIIAN SURFER

Since surfing’s metamorphosis into an olympic sport we have seen several top ranked surfers shuffle their nationality from one country to another.

Names like Tatiana Western-Webb, Claire Beviliaqua, Paige Alms to name just a few.

Firstly… And we want to be really clear here… We are not judging these surfers. For whatever reasons they have to change in this way is entirely their prerogative. Whether it is personal, financial or aspirational reasons it is completely up to them to decide what is best for their career moving forward and for that we 100% support them on their journey.

We have heard stories of Countries digging back into certain athletes’ gene pools to see if they meet the birth criteria to represent their flags but, as far as wen know, that is not illegal to do. 

The latest surfer to announce a flag shift is Hawaii’s Luana Silva. Luana burst onto the CT stage this year after a dominant 2021 Challenger Series and staked her claim as a surfer to watch in the future.

As above, we support Luana and her personal reasons for the change.

LUANA RIPS AND WILL BE A GREAT LOSS TO HAWAIIAN SURFING. PIC. @WSL

However….

Hawaii has now lost 3 very strong surfers to Brazil. CT surfer Tatiana Western-Webb, Summer Machedo and now former CT surfer and current Challenger Series surfer Luana Silva.

That kind of leaves us thinking a few things.

  1. Could Brazil be actively pursuing Hawaiian Surfers?
  2. How does this affect the current crop of Brazillian QS, Challenger Series and Olympic surfers moving forward?
  3. How do Hawaiian surfers feel losing such great locally developed talent to other countries?

We thought we would go straight to the source and find out.

Congratulations on changing to represent Brazil. For people that don’t know, how did you qualify for the change of countries?

“I was able to change countries because I have a dual citizenship, both my parents are originally from Brazil but I was born and raised in Hawaii”.

Luana silva
THE LAST SHOT OF LAUNA WAVING A HAWAIIAN FLAG AFTER A WIN (AND SHE WILL WIN AGAIN) PIC. © WSL / Poullenot

How was the process of the nationality change?

It was long and a difficult process getting papers signed and approved 

Luana silva

Will you now have to compete in Brazil from a QS perspective to qualify for the challenger series?

“I think I’ll have to compete in Brazil if I were to do the QS. I think the Hawaiian region will no longer count for me anymore”. 

Luana silva
LUANA LAZER FOCUSED. PIC. @WSL

Did you reach out to Tatiana or Summer to get there advice through the process?

“Yes I reached out to Tati to see how her process was going through this. She was very supportive throughout my whole process and I’m thankful for all her guidance through all of this”. 

Luana silva
LUANA WITH SOME SOLID RAIL SURFING. PIC> @WSL

How has the support been in Hawaii?

“There hasn’t been a change of support I don’t think. Hawaii has always been so supportive of me. The country I represent doesn’t define myself as a person, I feel as if your actions define who you are. Hawaii will always be home, but I am excited for this opportunity now to be able to represent where my family is from and dive deeper into my cultural background”. 

Luana silva

It’s great to hear it straight from Luana and this definitely helps put perspective on her decision as we know it would have been a difficult one to make.

Luana is a much loved surfer on the CT, challenger series and QS and what ever she puts her mind to she generally achieves. We wish her the best competing for Brazil for many years to come.

To find out more about Luana:

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