I felt really calm and relaxed in a lot of clutch, critical situations. Stress and pressure from nervousness will cause bad decisions.
The guys I'm surfing with now were down in the single digits when I won the first title, around four or six years old.
Today, the quality of surfing has advanced. When I got started, hardly anyone on tour was doing airs. Now, if you can't do airs, you're probably one of the lower guys on the tour.
I have a lot of success when things in my personal life are great.
Over the years, I've really looked at all aspects of what I do--physically, mentally, emotionally. When you find awareness, you can apply it to different parts of your life.
Even just being aware of hurting someone's feelings--you can clarify and rectify and open up to people. I apply that experience at a contest site. I see the ocean and notice the way the waves are breaking, which waves are the right waves to surf, and how to surf them.