Raquel Heckert hopes to pave the way for the next generation of female surfers

Big wave surfer Raquel Heckert looks forward to showing her skills at this year’s Red Bull Magnitude contest.

Raquel Heckert will be one of only a handful of women gunning to win this year’s Red Bull Magnitude Contest. The event is a virtual three-month-long big wave contest only open to women. It is the first of its kind and after a very successful inaugural year in 2020-2021, the second year is bound to show exactly how huge these ladies can send it.

Heckert was part of the contest last year and is one of the most skilled surfers in the water. She sat down for a chat with FanSided to discuss how she got her start in big wave surfing and why she chose to participate in this year’s Magnitude contest.

“I grew up in this beach in Brazil that they say is like one of the heaviest of Brazil that is called Itacoatiara. It’s a crazy beach break, like super heavy, so I used to see some bodyboarders getting like huge barrels and going out when it was huge and like gnarly,” Heckert explained. “I started by asking all these people and I wanted to be like them. There were no girls doing that on a beach. I was like, oh, if the boys can do it, I can do it too. I started even if I didn’t have the right perfect equipment or boards or coaches or someone back then to direct me. I would go with whatever I could. We’d go even if I’m just gonna paddle out and feel it so I can get the most experience that I can from it.”

Raquel Heckert is working to lower barriers for the next generation of female surfers

Heckert is a member of the Committee of Surfing Equity who, as a group, have been fighting for equal pay for women and men in the sport of surfing. Not only are they looking for equal prize money, but also equal opportunities. In the past, the female riders would have less than par conditions for their heats or contest held with much fewer amenities. This is all changing now thanks to some of the awesome ladies who are fighting the good fight. Heckert feels that big wave opportunities like the Magnitude contest are a great way to set the bar high and pave the way for the next generation of female riders.

“It’s pretty amazing because you get us all pumped to do our best and is a great platform. Also, to focus on the women charging big waves,” Heckert said. “It’s good to have more coverage about our effort that we put all these years into the big wave surfing that has been a long journey. To surf and to be one of the only girls in the lineup in most of the big wave spots. So it’s really nice because it helps future upcoming generations, it’s always going to make it better for future generations. It’s a great opportunity to perform even harder and push to perform hard and do our best. I gave my best that I ever probably gave last year, every year I wanted to do more.”

The event will run until Feb. 28 and in that time Heckert and the rest of the field will have plenty of opportunities to showcase their best waves. Heckert is one of the favorites this year for several of the available categories. Prizes will be given out for overall champion, best tow-in, best ride, biggest wave presented by Yeti, and a people’s choice prize.

Stay up to date with all things Red Bull Magnitude, from interviews to updates, and results right here on FanSided.com and RedBull.com.

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