20 Questions with Sam Hearn

This year we welcome Sam Hearn as one of Animal’s newest Surf Ambassadors. With a passion for surfing, good quality post-surf clothing, and the environment, the four time English Champion shares some of his biggest secrets and hints and tips with us…


How old were you when you first started surfing?

I was five years old when I first started.

What is your earliest surf memory?

It would be my dad carrying a body board, skimboard, and surfboard down to the beach in Portugal everyday then finally saying to me “I'm not taking the surfboard unless you go on it!”.  So, I did, and loved it! It is safe to say that the bodyboard and skimboard didn’t come down again that holiday.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

To reach for your goals and be confident about your own ability and confidence.

Which surfers do you look up to?

I look up to people like Dan Reynolds and the recently crowned Olympic Gold medal holder, Italo Ferreira from Brazil.

What surfboard do you use and why?

I love the Org shortboards. Their factory is close to where I live in Portugal and they are great guys to work with. They are constantly changing the boards in line with my progression in surfing skills.

What do you eat/how do you fuel up before a big competition?

I try to have a good diet and before a competition I like to eat carby meals such as tuna pasta!

What would you say to someone who wants to try surfing but struggling to take the leap?

Don’t give up! Keep trying and get a few lessons to guide you. Learn about the ocean, the waves, and rip (surf) times!

What do you pack in your bag when heading out surfing?

I always take food, wax, water sun cream, a spare leash, spare fins, and my wetsuit.

Who has been your biggest support/fan throughout your career?

My parents have been great. For example, my dad has spent hours and hours filming me and taking me everywhere. My parents have always been a fantastic support system.

What is your proudest professional moment so far?

I would have to say being asked to play a surf double in the Disney movie “Artemis Fowl”. Plus, being made four times English Champion in my age category.

Where is the coolest place you have ever surfed?

It has got to be Sumatra in Indonesia. I am hoping to go back there as soon as  travel is accessible again.

How do you handle pre-comp nerves?

I like to listen to music, chill, and think about my competition strategy.

What is your favourite beach in the UK?

There are some secret spots I cannot really tell you about! However, Croyde Bay is my favourite named break.

What do you do to wind down after a big competition?

I always go for a free surf afterwards to unwind with no pressure or judges!

Which competition are you most looking forward to this year?

I can’t wait for the Animal Open at Boardmasters and the English Nationals.

How did you cope with lockdown? What things did you do to get creative/train?

We made a mini gym in our garage, and I tied a bungie to my legs and paddled in the pool when there were strict lockdowns. But, I was lucky living in Portugal near the beach - we could still surf for part of it as long as we went straight home after.

If you could invite one person to dinner with you, who would it be?

Definitely Kai Lenny who is a well-known big wave surfer.

What song do you have on repeat this summer?

Loose Change by Royal Blood

What is your favourite Animal product and what do you like about the summer collection?

My favourite piece is the Shoreside Men’s Organic Sweatshirt. I love the colour and simple design. I am really impressed that this collection it is kinder to the environment – this is something that’s super important to me.


 Follow Sam on Instagram