Anne Dos Santos: Five Foot Four and Rising
As you may have guessed from her surname, Anne Dos Santos has Brazilian heritage. Anne was born in Brazil yet raised on Sydney's Northern Beaches.
Though only twenty-years old she has a long competition record with a number of QS Semi-Final finishes, however her competitive drive isn't limited to heats and coloured singlets
Last Saturday, Anne paddled into one of the larger waves during the incredible Deadmans session. She didn't make the wave, yet it's given her an insight into what she's capable of.
Swellnet: You live on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Was that the first time that you'd surfed Deadmans?
Anne: No, I've surfed it a couple of times. I surfed it that last big swell we had two years as well. Yeah, so I've surfed it three or four times, maybe a couple more.
So you've got some experience out there..?
Was this the biggest that you've surfed it?
No. I would say that that swell two years ago was definitely the biggest day. But this one came pretty close.
Even though Deadies is a slab, surfers are riding longer boards. What length board are you riding out there?
So I was riding a 6'6" out there, but I'm only about 5'4" tall.
I'd already ridden it out there before and it went really well. I loved it, it rode well, but unfortunately I snapped it, so it's a goner.
How many waves did you get on Saturday?
Only two waves. It can be quite slow out there, you spend a lot of time sitting and waiting, but I guess when it's your turn you have to turn and go.
There was one wave in the video where you made a clean entry but came unstuck on the step. Do you recall that wave?
Yeah. I do.
An incredible wave. Tell us what you remember about it.
Yeah, it was super gnarly. That was the first big wave I got that session. I sat out there for a little bit before I caught that wave, just sort of analysing the line up. I saw guys like Max McGuigan and a couple of other local guys catching some sick waves. Really good, big waves.
And then I paddled up the line into the lineup. I waited my turn for priority. And then the wave came, it was big and it was my turn...so I just had to turn around and go.
When I got that wave I honestly don't even remember seeing if it was a good one or not. Really, it was like, a wave is coming, I'm in the spot so I was like, "Okay I'll just take this."
When I turned around everyone was like, "Go Annie! Go Annie!" And as I was paddling, this sounds sad, but in my head I also said, "Go Annie." I said that to myself! I think I got extra confidence to actually do it, otherwise I don't think I would have caught the wave.
I just paddled really hard and stood up and I went kind of sideways, I angled on it a little bit. It was different to any other wave I had caught out there, and I was just trying so hard not to fall off. The start bit was fun and then this huge step just came towards me and I was thinking, "Can I go to poo stance and just go for it?"
But then I hit the step and I just don't clearly remember what happened. I sort of remember feeling the wave washing me around and it was a pretty insane feeling.
It really was an awesome wave, and a superb effort too.
I was really happy to get the opportunity to catch a wave like that.
OK, what happened on the other side of the wipeout?
Yeah. I fell off at the Deadmans wave and I ended up washed to the end of the next wave which is Fairy Bower and Winki. So I ended up on the other side of the crowd at Fairy Bower.
You got washed past Winki?
Oh yeah, I got washed past Winki and to the other side of Fairy Bower.
Yeah, so it was pretty gnarly.
But you said you caught two waves, so you paddled back out and got another one. Is that correct?
Yeah, I was pretty rattled after that one - I was a bit dizzy because it was quite heavy - but I paddled back out and then I started feeling fine. I think because of the adrenalin and stuff.
And then I got one more, which I swung and I think I could have made it, but I kind of just messed up the jump and I fell off. That one was gnarly. That one snapped my board and my legrope got caught on the rocks and I had to pull the cord because I had on of those Ocean & Earth pull out legropes.
The ones with the pin in them?
Yeah, so I had to pull it out and someone from Winki came up to me and lent me their board to rest on and I was just trying to breathe. It was so hectic. But it was also super sick. I was so so stoked.
Sounds heavy, yet you're laughing about it now. Sounds like you're going to take away some good memories of that session.
Oh, definitely. Just to build confidence. You know, you can get smashed out there, but there's also the opportunity to get a really good one. Hopefully I can do it all right next time.
Now that you're turned and gone on a big one, do you think it'll be easier next time?
I'm not sure. I feel like each time I head out there it's a new challenge, a new day. Also, I don't put expectations on myself, I just tell myself, "Oh yeah, I'm just going to paddle out there, and if a wave comes and I'm in the spot, I'll take it."
That way, if a wave comes to me it's a really natural feeling. Like when that first wave came I just knew that I had to go. That feeling...that's what I'll keep searching for in future surfs out there.
It's a great place to be. You obviously like the big stuff, have you got any near term goals that you'd like to achieve?
Yeah, I've always loved being part of the big wave scene. I've always just been out there and paddling out and watching the guys and seeing that it's not impossible. And I do have goals, mainly just to keep pushing my limits, because I love it and I think that's what I'll keep doing for the rest of my life.
Have you got any trips planned?
Not at the moment. I've got all the boards that I need for big waves this year which is pretty awesome. I've got some Dylans and a local shaper. So my plan is just if I see a swell, try and chase it this winter.
We look forward to seeing you ride more big waves, Annie.