Birthdate: September 16, 1999
Birthplace: Costa Rica
Age: 14 years old
Hometown: Kailua, Oahu
Waves: Ala Moana Bowls, V-land, Sunset
Brisa was born in Costa Rica and grew up off the grid, in the ocean and in the rainforest of the Osa Peninsula. It was a magical place filled with amazing wildlife and the coolest plants and trees you have ever seen. There were no phones or electricity and the water came from a spring in the mountains. It was an adventure every day! Her family moved back to Hawaii when she was 8 years old to help her grandparents. Brisa is not only a talented surfer, crazy water girl and a straight A student, but she is a fun loving individual that brings a bright ray of sunshine to everyone she meets and wherever she goes. She has recently been called "The brightest star in women's surfing" by Saxon Baucher. Brisa is working with professional surfer and personal trainer and waterman Kahea Hart. She is committed and completely in love with surfing, the ocean and pursuing her dream of becoming a professional surfer. And by the looks of this last 2 year's accomplishments, there is no doubt it will come true.
- 2014 First ASP WQS Oceanside CA, equal 5th Place
- 2014 NSSA Most Inspirational Surfer Award
- 2014 NSSA Open Girls, Explorer Girls, Explorer Women National Titles
- 2014 Governor's Cup US Championships
- 2014 U18 Surfing America National Title
- 2014 Rip Curl Grom Search International Title Lakey Peak, Indonesia
- 2014 HSA State Champion 14-15
- 2014 #19 Hot 100 Surfer Magazine
- 2014 NSSA Regional Champion, Conference Title Open Women & Open Girls
- 2014, Women Haleiwa International Open, Haleiwa, 1st Place
- 2013, U16 Rip Curl Grom Search National Champion
- 2013, U14 Surfing America National Title Lowers
- 2013, Carissa Moore Rookie of the Year Award NSSA Nationals
- 2012, ASP HIC Junior Pro Sunset Beach, 3rd Place
- 2012, ISA U16 World Junior Team trials, Kewalos, 1st Place
- 2011, NSSA Sportsmanship Award of the year
- 2011, NSSA Keanu Asing up and coming Grom Award
- 2011, 36th Annual Rell Sunn Menehune, 1st Place
- 2011, Surf into Summer Ala Moana Bowls Open Girls, 1st Place
- 2011, Shorebreak Classic Open Girls, 1st Place
- 2011, U12 Surfing America Nationals Lowers, 3rd Place
- 2010, Shorebreak Classic Open Girls, 1st Place
Rip Curl, Makani Surfboards, Prolite Accessories, Smith Optics, Future Fins, BoardStix, Charming Shark, Tonic, Vertra, Ricante Hot Sauce
- Surfing Magazine
- Sports Illustrated
- Hana Hou Hawaiian Air Magazine
- FreeSurf Magazine
- WSSM Magazine
- Surfer Magazine Hot 100 2014
An Interview with Brisa
Tell me a little about yourself: (short bio, birth city, residing city, what you ride, years riding, and favorite rider, if there's anything cool that we should know and a quote that you like to live by.
My name is Brisa Hennessy. I am 14 years old and I live in Kailua, Oahu Hawaii. I was born in Matapalo, Costa Rica on September 16, 1999. I grew up off the grid, in the ocean and in the rainforest of the Osa Peninsula. It was a magical place filled with amazing wildlife and the coolest plants and trees you have ever seen. There were no phones or electricity and our water came from a spring in the mountains. It was an adventure every day! Our family moved back to Hawaii when I was 8 years old to help my grandparents. I am so lucky to have been born and live in 2 of the most beautiful tropical places in the world with great waves! My surfboards are shaped by Makani McDonald Monstah Glass Hawaii. Right now I am riding a 5'3" squash tail that I love. Surfing is my favorite, but I also love to do art and I love to cook too! My favorite surfers are Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Carissa Moore and Tyler Wright. Every time I watch them surf I get inspired and it makes me want to go bigger and better. When I was super little we got a DVD that showed Carissa Moore when she was 7 years old. My mom said I would ask her to play that part over and over again. I have two favorite quotes: "This Moment" by my Grandma Tomi My Grandma has always told me, "make sure you are present for this moment, because it is never going to come back again". I really didn't understand what she was saying at first, but now I realize that the most important thing is right now. You need to enjoy it, feel it and live it!!! That moment is never going to happen again. It doesn't matter about the past or future, just today and this moment. "Do one thing that scares you every day" by Baz Luhrman My Daddy has said this to me since I was little. He would never push me to do anything I couldn't' handle, but he always wanted me to challenge myself whether in sports or just every day things. Sometimes I would be a little scared, but in the end I would feel so good and realized I could do so many things and learn so much!
How did you get into your sport? Why?
Surfing was always a part of every day in my family. My parents ran a surf school in Costa Rica and I was always in the ocean. I started swimming when I was 2 and first stood up on a soft-top long board when I was 3 years old. You could say I have saltwater in my blood and in my heart! I just love it!
What inspires you? What keeps you focused?
The fun and love I have for surfing and the ocean I guess is what inspires me. I just can't get enough! I am addicted and I feel that I was just meant to be a surfer. I think what keeps me focused is trying to do the best I can in every session. Not being negative, but staying positive and learning from my mistakes and trying new things and always being open.
What do you think separates you from other people? What makes you special and unique?
I don't think I am really that different from anyone else, but I guess I always try and see the good in whatever comes my way and try to be positive. I am just a happy person inside I guess.
What is success to you?
Trying your very best, working really hard while having the most fun. What influences you to do what you do? Who has been most influential in making you who you are, and achieving your goals so far?
My parents have always been there for me. Their dream was for us to be able to surf together and go on lots of adventures. I am so lucky because I have the coolest family in the world! We have so many crazy fun times together and take care of each other and love each other so much. My Uncle Gregg Nakamura aka Double G was the one who got me to do competitions in Hawaii. He has done a lot of contests and is an incredible surfer. The best thing he told me was that no matter what, you need to always have fun out there. When it seems like it is getting too serious and stressful I always remember his worlds. I am also so lucky to have my coach Kahea Hart. He is the most amazing teacher, friend and surfer. He has a way he can see how to make you better and stronger and he finds the way to get you to see it and do it too. He can be tough, but that pushes me. I guess what makes him so extra special is his passion and how much he cares about each of his students.
What is the toughest challenge you've ever faced?
Probably the toughest challenge I have faced was when my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer this year. It was hard and I was scared, but we are beating it together. We are a super close family and we stayed positive and strong together. Surfing really helped my mom too. My dad and I would paddle out with her as often as she could to a surf break by our house and it would always make her feel better. Surfing is healing!
What is the craziest trick you've ever tried?
Landed? I have landed a few airs. One of my friends is really good at it and is helping me. It is fun. I didn't get very high, but I'm getting better at it ;)
What do you want to do in the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to be a pro surfer and a chef someday! Maybe I will own my own restaurant too. I love to cook. My mom was a chef and my dad loves to cook too so we are always in the kitchen making up yummy food together. Five years is a long time. First I hope I am still surfing, having fun and my family is healthy. But a dream would be to make it on the Hawaii ISA World Team and start competing more ASP QS events and eventually make the Tour ;)
If you could do anything….what would it be?
I have always wished I could fly like a bird! ;)
What motivates you?
When I look at the surf report and it's four foot, glassy with nobody out except my friends…that motivates me! ;)
How do you keep going after you fail?
I don't know, but when I don't do well in a contest or something, I don't really look at it as failing, but it gives me this urge kind of feeling inside to do better and get it right and think about what I learned. I get bummed for sure, but I just get back up on my feet and I keep trying!13. What are some of your most recent goals? To get a huge stand up barrel and keep my eyes open! ;) To complete a reverse. To keep improving and doing well in surfing and make the ISA Junior Hawaii team.