Mateus Herdy Is An Easy Person To Envy
The 21-year-old talks growing up, second languages, and the enduring legacy of the Quiksilver Young Guns.
Mateus Herdy is an easy person to envy.
He’s young (21), surfer/model handsome, has perfectly straight and white teeth, and is set to pick up the Storm torch set blazing by Gabs, Fil, and the gang. He also rides the sharpest JS blades, rocks only the finest Quiksilver linens, and is presumably well-taken-care-of by the good folks at Red Bull.
Or, as Albee Layer lovingly put it during Stab High Central America, after watching yet another multi-air wave from Mateus: “No one should be that good looking and also talented.”
One might expect a “golden boy” archetype like Mateus to comport themselves with a sense of arrogance or conceit. However, during a recent conversation with Brazil’s next star, I found myself endeared by his self-deprecating, nuanced answers (in perfect English, of course) and general affability. Rather than envy-fueled spite, I was empathizing with the wunderkind who just missed out on the 2022 CT by a couple of heats.
Beyond that, Mateus and I talked growing up, second languages, and the enduring legacy of the Quiksilver’s Young Guns. Get acquainted with a kid who you probably wanted to hate, but simply can’t once you get to know him, below.
Stab: Surf teams used to be a real thing, how much time have you spent with the other Quik guys in the past?
Mateus Herdy: Actually when I got on the Quiksilver team, me and Rio and Jackson and Kael we did a surf trip to Snapper during the contest there. It was kind of like the old times, like Kanoa and Leo and Jack, you know. They were together a lot. So we did that trip and then a couple years later we did this trip [Young Guns in Europe, see above], so I guess Quiksilver’s doing it the right way, you know. Going back to those surf trips.
I really missed it, and I think the surfing world kind of misses it too. Everyone misses a good surf movie.
Did you watch the original Young Guns films?
For sure. That was probably everyone’s favourite movies. Young Guns One and Two were probably the reason why I always dreamed of being part of the Quiksilver team, you know. Not because of Kelly, not because of one surfer, it was just because the brand was doing those huge surf trips with all my favourite surfers. That’s why I wanted to be a part of that.
What about Europe, how much time have you spent there?
I’ve been going to Europe every year for a few years now, but I’ve never done a surf trip there. We spent…I think it was two weeks…between France and Spain. I won’t lie to you, the first week we had perfect waves in France. And then we went to Spain on the second week, and I was really tired of surfing, you know? I had a huge leg off contests — the US Open, then Portugal, then France, and then this trip — so I was really tired, and then that’s why I think I only got good waves in the beginning of the trip, because the second I was just tired and wanted to go home.
What about loading up the van and hitting the road, must’ve been a departure from the usual contest smash-and-grab?
It was really good vibes. The first week was firing, I wish we had waves like that all the time, because France was so good. And then we went to Spain and it was fun, but the waves were not that good. That little wedge was super fun, but after the third session, you’re kind of like, ‘I’m done.’ I was with the groms, and I don’t know, maybe the QS life has made me think older than the others, they were so psyched. I felt like the old, boring guy.
Who was the biggest grom of the group?
Ah that’s a hard question…it could be Kade. He’s so tall that you think that he’s a full grown man, but he’s still a kid. So when you look at it that way, then he’s definitely one of the biggest groms ever. And I think Joel too, they’re all really young and fired up. Jackson, Joel, and Kade were absolutely frothing. So much energy.
What about the responsible one of the group?
Riaru is like, I don’t know how old he is, but it just felt like he was like, 40 years old [laughs]. He’s so quiet and so respectful and so calm all the time, it’s a different vibe.
The gang comes from all over the world. Is it nice mixing with kids of similar ages but from different countries and cultures?
The last few years I’ve been travelling with people from different countries the whole time. This year especially, I’ve been travelling with Rio [Waida, from Bali]. We went to Mexico, and then I’ve just been in Hawaii with Kanoa and he speaks like, four languages. So I got used to it. We all speak English, so to communicate on the trip, we all had to speak English. Even with Joel who’s from Australia, it’s a totally different accent from Kade who’s from California.
What’s your plans for the festive period, and then looking towards next year?
I’m back home to hopefully get some fun waves, and I’m definitely going to rest a bit. It’s been a long year, but I had a couple of nice results, one on the CT and one on the QS — unfortunately I didn’t quality, but next year I’m going to get ready and go and fight for my spot on tour. I really want to be there.
A Six-Minute Look At Shipstern’s Dangers And Delights
16-year-old Ned Hart begins his painful internship.
Authentic Brands Group Buys Boardriders For An Estimated $1.3 Billion
Quiksilver, Billabong, and RVCA join Volcom under the same umbrella. What does that mean for…
There’s No Such Thing As An Unremarkable Hawaiian Winter
Allow the O'Neill team to explain.
Watch: ‘Vacation’ Presented By Monster Energy
Stab Highway winners visit Kandui Resort.
The Stab Interview: Shaun Manners
On signing with Former, landing the cover of Surfing World and TSJ, his Cult of…
Why You Should Never Not Paddle Out
How an impromptu 30 minute session made a Jamaican surfer $1,000 richer.
Rio Waida Has Been Surfing Onshore, Oversized Bells Alone
...and he might not go home all year.
John Florence Releases Long-Form Piece On The 243km Great Ocean Squiggle
Tourism Victoria going, ‘he just did our job for us’.
Japanese Rice Farmer Enjoys Frightening Sumatran West Bowls
Kaito Ohashi is on his best behavior.
Watch: When People Like This Speak, We Listen
Raw, extended conversations with Clyde Aikau and Eddie Aikau winner Luke Shepardson.
Diamond Tail = Diamond Hands?
We'll explain everything in the Rusty D-Min Joyride.
Behold Australia’s Nine & NZ’s Two Challenger Series Qualifiers*
May the Southern Cross smile upon you at Snapper.
An Unordinary Life Structured Around A Tidal Bore
Long Read: The life and times of Pete Beachy.
Sun Room: The Overnight Success Of A Young Surf Band
What's it like touring the world and living off of McDonald's?
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 6
An instructional manual for the modern professional surfer
Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.
Already a member? Sign In
Want to join? Sign Up