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Tudor and Nic Von Rupp: surfing the waves of time

A German father and Swiss mother and a Swiss partnership: Tudor. A yearning to find a new lifestyle and move somewhere near the sea with a mild climate, a desire that eventually led to the decision to settle in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, and it was here, on 2nd August, 1990, the story of Nic von Rupp began.He is now regarded as one of the most talented surfers on the international scene. It was an inevitable move for someone who, like him, had felt the call of sea and surf since he was a child. The rest is history. (Here all our posts about Tudor).


Nic Von Rupp and Tudor: big wave surf 

He began to specialise in big wave surfing, the most extreme branch of the sport, where waves can reach 30 metres in height. A new chapter in his career accompanied by the Tudor brand, which chose von Rupp as ambassador. Strange to think that it all began with a Beach Boys song, as he told us in this interview with Sea Time.


Where did the idea to take up this sport come from?

It was a combination of factors. My curiosity was piqued when I was young, wheni used to  listen to Beach Boys songs in my father’s car. That’s when I first became fascinated by the idea of riding the waves. I then met surfers like João Macedo, Pedro Pinto and Tomás Valente. It helped me develop a great deal, and kindled my passion for the sport. 


Is there one person more than any other who inspired you in your career? 

João Macedo. He was my first surfing teacher and he played a fundamental role in teaching me how to confront my fears. As a professional big wave surfer and a friend he continues to be an inpsiration to me. 


When did you realise that surfing could become a profession?

It dawned on me gradually. Although there were some brands that sponsored young surfers, at the time the opportunity to make a living by surfing seemed to be a utopia. However, passion and commitment to refine my technique and skills led me to compete at a professional level and make surfing my career. 


But is surfing something more than a sport for you?

Absolutely. It’s a lifestyle, a source of inspiration. It means I can be in constant contact with nature. I only feel truly free and able to express myself as a person when I’m surfing. It’s not just an inexhaustible source for learning new things, it’s now a central to my growth. 


What fascinates you most about big waves and when did first try this speciality? 

The strength and size they express are a challenge and a unique opportunity for surfers.  I first practised big wave surfing when I saw the huge waves at Nazaré in 2004. They were imposing and they changed my life, filling me with a desire to test myself and push myself beyond my limits. 


Have you ever been afraid?

Fear is a constant in this activity. Every session is accompanied by nervous and emotional tension. You have to learn to manage it and go forward thanks to mental preparation, physical training and a profound knowledge of the ocean. 


What made you join up with Tudor?

My decision was motivated by the fact that we share many values, starting with a constant desire to go beyond the limits. We share a daring, adventurous spirit. There’s also our commitment to seeking perfection in everything we do. You could say launching this collaboration was a natural choice and I’m happy that Tudor is now by my side. 


What’s your relationship with time and what does the word mean to you?

Time takes the form of the moments and opportunities in our lives. As a professional surfer it’s a limited resource that should be used wisely to follow our dreams, achieve our aims and make the best use of every wave and every experience. Time also symbolises constant development and growth in my surfing career. It’s a sort of reminder of progress achieved and lessons learned, and it constantly pushes me to improve and overcome my limits.   


How does the perception of time change when you’re surfing? 

Time seems to take on a different dimension. Waiting for the right wave can be exciting and demanding, because the wait creates tension. Once you’re surfing the wave, time seems to slow down and you become permanently present in the moment. A surfing session can seem both timeless and fleeting as you immerse yourself in the present. 

Matteo Zaccagnino

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