Catching Up with Izzi Gomez
Earlier this year, Izzi Gomez crushed the competition in triple-overhead Sunset Beach surf to snag the first-ever APP Sunset Beach Pro World Tour title (it was formally held in Turtle Bay). The four-time SUP world champion is headed to the ISA World SUP Surf Championships to defend her titles.
For the first time this year, the ISA championships are headed to Denmark, where the water temp stays in the high-50s this time of year—a far cry from last year’s Cloudbreak and 2015’s Sayulita. Izzi says she’s been putting double-days at the gym and is feeling at the top of her game right now. She says her biggest concern is surviving the cold—can you blame her? Her most recent trips were to Colombia and El Salvador. Plus, her breaks of choice are Oceanside and Trestles, both temperate Southern California hot spots.
The what’s-to-come excitement doesn’t end there. Izzi is wrapping up her high school career and, as she so casually shares, working toward potentially representing the Colombian Surf team in the near future.
That’s right, Izzi and her brother Giorgio are half Colombian and full watermen—both are professional surf/SUP surf competitors. So when the opportunity arose to combine the two, the brother-sister duo went full send and are now dual citizens of Colombia and the U.S. They also just returned from their first trip to Colombia, which was filled with family visits, untouched point breaks, and meetings with the Colombian Government, Surfing Federation and Tourism Board to talk logistics.
“There is a lot of room for the surf and SUP scene to grow,” Izzi explains. “There are a few people that know it, but otherwise, they know nothing about it. They have so many good areas. There’s so much potential there.”
While official talks with the Asociacion Colombiana de Surf and Colombian Olympic Committee are still in the beginning stages, everyone is really excited about what’s to come. Izzi is definitely physically ready to take on the challenge, but she’s still deciding if it’s the best move for her professional career. Giorgio, on the other hand, is 100 percent in, so we will at least be able to cheer on one Gomez if all goes as planned.
But the Gomez’s Colombian adventures have only just begun, and Izzi said she’s most excited about promoting surfing in and around the area.
“The surfing scene in Colombia is growing,” she explains. “There are a few locals who are taking the younger kids under their wings, sharing boards and basically teaching them the sport to share the passion, but to also keep them off of the streets.”
While they were visiting, the family gave away a few boards to the local kids to help share the stoke, and Izzi says they’ll be bringing more next time.
“The local kids are so into it but they don’t have access to the right equipment, so they ride anything they can. It’d be really cool to be able to get them on some good equipment.”
Until then, Izzi is focusing on competing and training, oh and next up: Spanish classes. ¡Vámanos Izzi!