22 Years Old// Ojai, California
Sage Erickson looks like a daisy but surfs like a redwood. Fresh off her maiden world tour harvest, the brown-eyed woman from Ojai, California, is spending the off-season cultivating her physical game, and mentally, she's added some science in hopes to blossom into one of the tour's elite few. Careful, though: Sage is as dangerous with a man's heart as she is on rail…That is, unless you treat your folks right. —Brendan Buckley
SAGE: On tour, I think 2013 will be the best year yet. The number of talented girls is maxed out and the level that everyone is surfing is going to make it really competitive. And while airs are exciting, I think I put a little too much pressure on myself to be a progressive surfer last year. I grew up surfing right-hand points and watching Tom Curren, so that's the kind of surfing that appeals to me the most. This year, I'm just going to focus on really strong technical surfing and hope it puts me in the top three.
I've been training three to four days a week. I work quite hard on my physical strength, but one of the special perks of my gym is a tool called Neurotopia. They put sensors on my earlobes and scalp, and I play a video game with my brain. I sit in front of a 52" screen with a spaceship on it, and they play music through my headphones. The sensors record my brainwaves and the more I focus on the music, the faster the spaceship goes. It's great exercise for focus, and it's given me an unbelievable amount of confidence, especially when you need a score late in a heat.
Surfing, as a profession, has brought me so many different opportunities and I feel like I'd be missing out if I committed myself entirely to competition. One of the charities that I've gotten involved with is B4BC, which is Boarding for Breast Cancer. I'm an ambassador for them, and we just collaborated to make a T-shirt. I genuinely enjoy giving back to the community wherever I go, and I'd love to get involved with some more nonprofit organizations.
I can't stand seeing people who have no respect for their parents and don't appreciate what they've done for them. My parents are basically my best friends, so I'm attracted to guys who are really grateful for their folks. I also look for men who show some integrity. And humor, too — you gotta be able to make me laugh.