Ripping With Age: Vicki Reale.
As you’ve gotten older, has your mindset changed at all in terms of your own expectations of your surfing performance?
You know what…I was young and stupid, ha ha….I say that because I didn’t know how good I had it back then. My surfing, my body, my ability and endurance. If I knew what I knew now, I would have gone way harder, given myself more self confidence and pushed myself more. I feel like I am doing that NOW, but imagine what I could have been!
They say 40’s you are in your prime and that has held true for me. I guess I am just way more confident and experienced now. I know how to bodyboard well now after surfing around the world for many years in all types of waves. I know how my body works and what it is capable of, and what my potential is. Mindset is a huge part of it also for sure! I can do it! Don’t be afraid to push yourself.
What about in terms of your relationship with the ocean? Is it still about finding the heaviest ripable waves or have you found that you enjoy the surf in different ways as you’ve aged?
I am not spinning to win in a contest, or going out in all kinds of conditions like I used to just to practice and perform well in a contest or get that shot in the magazine. I for sure am enjoying it way more not having that pressure. I am kind of a spoiled brat when it comes to waves now. If it isn’t warm, barreling or even fun little pealers, it has to meet a certain criteria or I would rather just go for a run, the gym or a hike with my friends. It’s not really about the size either, I have switched to longboarding when it’s small. I now longboard when it’s small and bodyboard when it’s big or barreling. Always looking to travel to find barrels though! I live for barrels!
Do you have any specific indicators that you think might tip you off in the future that you might not be physically or mentally able to take on waves heavy or challenging waves anymore?
Butterflies and guts! 😂…. Getting butterflies and having the guts to go for it is scary and invigorating! For example, riding a big day at Cloudbreak poses a risk to me in a few ways. I have a business, 2 kids and I am older so I really need to survive and sometimes I feel like “I’m just too old for this”. BUT, it’s all about your mindset. I am fit enough, I am an experienced wave rider, I have the right equipment and support team out here with me. It’s a shallow reef though, so I better make it! I actually don’t think it is about your age though, waves are always going to be heavy and challenging no matter what age you are.
What do you think is the single most important thing an individual can do as they get older to maintain a level of performance?
I want to say the obvious…exercise and diet but to me it’s happy living! I eat well and exercise but I drink beer, eat chocolate cake and sit on the couch at times too. That stuff makes me happy. I also eat my salads and fruit and all the healthy stuff too! Fortunately for me I love running, hiking, going to the gym and surfing because that’s what makes me strong and fit and helps me take on anything I want to do in my happy life. You have to feel and look good to give you that self confidence in life. Having friends to do all that bad and good stuff with is also super important for my happiness. So single most important thing….happy living in moderation. Oh, and go to bed early, get up early and get that shit done! It’s hard but it’s always worth it.
Have you had any role models yourself that you have draw inspiration from or received wisdom from that has impacted on the way in which you’ve structured your life as you’ve aged?
My iphone. No seriously, it’s Podcasts. If I had to pick one single person it would have to be Jay. His attitude, kindness, smarts, energy and so many other things is admirable and inspiring. Other than that I am always seeking out podcasts to help me in my business, my mental state and my health has been a thing for me. It’s hard to balance everything in your life and podcasts are my therapy, inspiration and education in everything I need in my life.