Team Canada Surfer Cody Young Interview

With 365 days until Tokyo 2021, today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Team Canada surfer Cody Young. There is something about going to the beach. I am not sure if it’s the sunlight, the smell of the saltwater, or the waves crashing against a nearby rock or sand. Perhaps it’s the memories of boogie boarding as a child, walking up the golden sand beach, or simply relaxing and reading my favourite book. The beach is my stress relief. It makes me calm. The environment is so peaceful. On beautiful days, you can’t help but enjoy the infinite blue sky with fluffy white clouds while watching surfers riding the waves in the backdrop. I have always been a big fan of surfing. For the first time in my life, I tried it on my honeymoon. I have to give props to all the surfers out there because when I tried surfing…well…at least we had fun.

Team Canada Surfer Cody Young surfing
Team Canada Surfer Cody Young

1. When did you first get into surfing?

I wasn’t even a year old the first time I was on a surfboard. As a child, I would ride a longboard every now and then but it wasn’t until I surfed on a shortboard for the first time on Oahu that I got hooked. From that day on I wanted to surf all day every day. I loved to see the constant improvement as that’s usually something that happens when you get into a sport at a young age. I loved watching the late Andy Irons because of his competitive tenacity. He was a hero for all of us from the islands. Always loved reading our local surf magazine, “Freesurf Magazine”.

2. How did it feel after your first competition at the age of 9?

The first event I ever did I hated it. Got dead last in my first heat. I really didn’t like losing while I was young. I still don’t but as I got older I’ve learned to accept that it’s part of the process. Love to surf because it’s challenging, yet therapeutic.

3. Describe how surfing can be therapeutic?

Just being in the ocean and really enjoying God’s creation is the best therapy. Every time I get out of the water I’m a better person. Also, no one has a phone while surfing! It’s so therapeutic to not be looking at a screen.

4. Can you tell us about Surfers Healing?

Surfers Healing is a non-profit founded by Israel Paskowitz. He made the organization after realizing his autistic son Isaiah loved surfing and being in the water at a young age. He created events where experienced surfers would take kids with special needs surfing. 2 years ago I started volunteering to surf with the kids. Now I organize the Maui chapter of Surfers Healing. We’re hoping to run our second annual event this year if COVID allows it. But yeah surfing with these kids is such an amazing feeling. You can see the pure joy on their faces after riding waves.

5. Describe your preparation for competition? (Both physically and mentally)

For months leading up to an event, I surf 1-2 times a day and train in the gym 3 days/week. During an event, I stretch a lot and try to eat a lot of food that is going to keep my energy up. On the mental side, I try to just stay as confident and possible by remembering all the hard work I’ve put in before.

6. Can you describe how it felt to win the bronze while competing at the 2017 ISA World Junior Surfing Championships?

It was pretty cool. For me, that competition was one of those that felt like there was no way I wasn’t going to win. I just felt really confident through every heat. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a second good wave in time in the finals. But that’s just the beauty of surfing, so much relying on Mother Nature.

7. What was it like competing in your first senior-level championships at the 2018 Pan Am Surf Games?

It was really cool to represent Canada and surf against the best in the world.

8. Describe some of the events during the year that you participate in.

Some of the biggest events I do in the year are the US Open and the Triple Crown of Surfing.

9. What are some other activities you enjoy outside of surfing?

I just started getting into golf. Love it but I’m still such a hack haha. Also, like foil surfing and hunting. Other hobbies include training, basketball, and mountain biking.

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Tags: Cody Young, Olympics, Tokyo 2020, surfing

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.