18 Years Old// Victoria Bay, South Africa
Just when you thought the ASP Women’s World Tour couldn’t blaze any hotter, in walks South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag: A witty, blonde eyeful more dangerous than molten lava. The leggy goofy-footer with a penchant for right-hand pointbreaks just returned home after a QS win in the Azores and a second-place finish at the Oakley World Junior Championships in Bali. The 18-year-old took a break from torching dreams and explained why her brothers are at least partially responsible for her competitive mass destruction. Explained how she just decided to give qualifying “a good go” and – voilà! Hopefully the ASP has a good evacuation plan for when Bianca inevitably sets the 2013 Tour aflame. —Casey Butler
BIANCA: I grew up with two brothers (one older and one younger) who are quite competitive, so competition was part of my everyday lifestyle. It was always like, who’s going to get the front seat? Who’s going to do the best on their math test? But personally, I think surfing is less competitive than other sports, mostly because the environment that you compete in always changes.
When we were all at school, my brothers and I would surf together every day. These days, it doesn’t happen that much, but I have such a blast when it does. It reminds me why I started surfing in the first place. We grew up surfing a right-hand pointbreak, just down the road from where I live, so I feel very comfortable on my backhand.
Last year, I was still juggling surfing and school, and only this year (2012), have I really thought about the CT. In the beginning of the year, I decided that I was going to give it a good go and try my best to qualify. So I put much more time and effort, and most importantly, my mind to it.
I’m still just so excited. I look forward to every single CT event next season. It’s such a great opportunity and privilege to surf against the best women in the world, doing what you love, learning so much. I can’t wait. I’ll do my best and hopefully cause some upsets.