Damien Hobgood is quickly approaching legend status in the world of surf.

With a highly successful CT career behind him, Damo has a fresh set of goals and desires. As a full-time family man AND a full-time Big Wave World Tour competitor, Damo talks about how his altered lifestyle is the best of both worlds. On top of that, the Floridian explains the motivation behind his upcoming film, one which helps to clarify the dynamic between him and his twin brother CJ. But first he discusses a wave at Mavericks, one that still haunts him to this day.

Maverick's & El Niño

Damien: This season was great, but the waves I always think about are the ones that I missed or the ones I didn’t make. One example is the wave at Mav’s that I pulled into but didn’t come out. That one has kept me up at night. Sometimes when the wave gets pinchy, you can push through the lip and come out the bottom, which is what I tried to do on that wave. But now that I’ve gone back and watched the video, I realize I should have gone high and try to come out the attic door. My general rule is if the wave spits, you should come out. And that one spit.

People were doing some nuts stuff on that good day at Mav’s, but there are some really crazy things that could be done out there. I’m always dreaming like, “Oh I think I can surf it like this, I think I can do it like this,” but then when you get out there it’s a different story. I think that’s the beauty of it though -- that there’s so much more that can be done. It’s hard to talk about these things though, because everyone knows what probably can be done out there, but until someone does it, it’s not really worth mentioning.

CJ & The Documentary

CJ and I have a movie coming out soon. It’s not really a surf flick – it’s more of a documentary on the dynamic of being twin brothers who chose the same path in life. It’s a chronology of us being pro surfers, doing the tour, and then more importantly, getting off tour. We’ve had this dream job for so long, basically living in fantasy world, and then we have to adjust back to reality, which is kind of a trip.

CJ’s World Title didn’t really bother me, because our competitiveness was between one another. It was more like “I beat you last heat.” That’s where our titles were. When he won the World Title, it was like congrats, but you just beat a bunch of other people, you didn’t really beat me. When we had head-on-head matchups, that’s what mattered to us. People would see us get heated with and assume we hated each other or something. But that wasn’t true – it was just that they didn’t understand our dynamic. We would just have our little battles and then come in and it was over.

Big Wave World Tour

When I was still on the WCT, I was always thinking about how I wanted to surf big waves once I retired. I never thought there would be a BWWT or anything like that, though. But then I got closer to the end of my career and there’s this new tour that really fits into my lifestyle nicely. My wife has a full time job, and we have three kids, so now I’m Mr. Mom until the swell hits [laughs]. I’m always having to call babysitters and get everything covered to make sure I can go on these excursions, so it’s definitely different from what I’m used to, but it’s great at the same time. The Big Wave World Tour is perfect for me because it’s just one or two day swells, so I’m able to get in and out, then back to the family. I get to fill my role as a dad and fulfill my passions as a surfer at the same time.

When it comes to the actual contests, I have a different type of competitiveness on the BWWT. It doesn’t feel like I’m competing against my opponents anymore, it’s more of a competition between me and the waves. I just want to test myself and see what I can do -- it’s not so much about keeping up with everyone else. I want to try to ride big waves the way I think they can be ridden, whether that’s with different lines, turns, or improved board design. It’s not necessarily about catching the biggest wave or winning the BWWT, but if that stuff happens, then cool.

Photo credits order of appearance: Jeff Davis, Jimmicane, Seth De Roulet, Hammonds, Bonarme, Jimmicane, Jimmicane, Jimmicane

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