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Post Heat Interviews – Day 2 US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach

The US Open of Surfing has landed in Huntington Beach, CA, and the waves are firing! The Volcom crew, including Team Manager and Coach, Matt "Bemmy" Bemrose, has been down on the beach every day watching our team riders surf their way through heats and rooting them on from the stands. Yesterday, we sat down with Bemmy to get some insight on what it takes to work with some of the world's top female surfers, differences between coaching women's surfing vs. men's surfing, and more. With Maud Le Car's big win yesterday against 6x World Champ, Stephanie Gilmore, and Coco Ho advancing to the quarterfinals (beating current World Champ, Tyler Wright), it's safe say Bemmy's on a good roll!
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How long have you been with Volcom
I started surfing for Volcom when I was 17, then started working for Volcom full-time at 28. I’m 39 now, so about 23 years haha!

When did you start working with Coco Ho and Maud Le Car?
The first trip I did with Coco was in 2007 to Fiji. I wasn’t working directly with her then, but earmarked her as a future star. Actually, working directly with Coco, that began in 2012. Working with Maud has been on and off over the last two years, but if I get an opportunity to work with her at an event I’m all over it.

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Maud, Bemmy, and Coco celebrating after Maud's huge win over Steph Gilmore.

Who was the first female surfer to ever impress you?
Lisa Anderson. She really brought style into women's surfing.

Is there a different approach you take when working with female surfers?
A little more attention to detail. Things like: where to paddle out, setting lineups, holding priority, etc. More technical things, but women's surfing has come a long way and I've been really impressed with how Coco and Maud have handled the pressure of competition in and out of the water.

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Coco Ho

How do you recognize a potential star athlete and what are some signs of a true competitor?
A never-give-up attitude is the biggest telltale sign. Also, a true competitor shows signs of composure under pressure at an early age.

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Coco Ho mentally preparing before her heat.

Outside competition, what are some signs of true surf talent vs. what can be taught in the water?
A willingness to think outside the box and apply new maneuvers to your repertoire in a short amount of time shows true surf talent.

How much of your job is life coach vs. surf coach?
50/50 for sure. Probably more life coach though haha!

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Maud Le Car greeted by boyfriend, Joan Duru, after her win against Steph.

The US Open is a mad house full of people, competitors, fans, and brands to name a few. What can an event like this do for an up-and-coming surfer?
Compete well and it can make you. For Maud, I guarantee this heat win against Steph Gilmore is the biggest confidence boost she’s ever had. With confidence comes self-belief. That’s all someone needs to take their surfing to the next level. Coco Ho has made her name on the scene and has done well at the US Open in past years, and she's just getting fired up!

Maud Le Car qualified for this event through the trials, only to take out 6x World Champ Steph Gilmore in her Round 2 heat. How does that happen? What does it take, and do you think she'll be taking down bigger names in the future?
What Maud just accomplished was outstanding. Beating one of the best female surfers ever in a CT event as a wildcard is hard to describe. It’s totally amazing in saying that Maud had the ability and firepower to beat Steph. We spoke all day long before her heat and worked out a tight heat strategy. We had Maud focus on her strengths with the mindset that any heat would be hers to win. When she matched up with Steph, it was business as usual. We spoke about controlling the heat from the start and sticking to her game plan, and that's exactly what she did. This win is life-changing and now Maud knows she has what it takes to mix it with the very best in the world.

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Coco Ho after her win this morning against current World Champ, Tyler Wright. All smiles!

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