Pro-Surfer Sage Erickson Shares the Secrets to Her Unshakeable Confidence

Her pre-race ritual is as badass as she is.

Sage Erikson Surfing

Sage Erickson / Design by Tiana Crispino

Much like the search for the perfect wave, finding confidence within yourself can take patience. Surfer Sage Erickson learned this at an early age. She began competing at just 14 and has since gone on to win at the U.S. Open of Surfing—the world’s largest and most notable surf competition—twice. The key to her fearlessness in intense situations: She remembers to be kind to herself. “I think we make confidence harder to grasp than it has to be,” she says. “Growth comes in every situation." That, and the below three rituals.

From morning visualization to her hard-working beauty favorites, this pro surfer has more than a few tips on resiliance and staying cool under pressure. Ahead, read all the ways Erickson channels her most confident self—on and off the surfboard.

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Sage Erickson

Sage Erickson / Design by Tiana Crispino

Every morning, Erickson starts her day with a cup of coffee and a few minutes of setting her intentions. She writes her goals for the day down in her journal but keeps them open-ended. “It’s not some crazy, in-depth thing,” she says. “I don’t like to place set expectations and feel like if I don’t reach certain goals, I’m failing.”

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Visualizing Success

Sage Erickson surfing

Sage Erickson / Design By Tiana Crispino

Prior to a heat, Erickson takes moments to visualize what she wants the outcome to be. “A lot of positive imagery is really important,” she says. “I found that helps not only in competition but also in my life in general.”

She suggests visualizing scenarios when you feel at your most successful. For her, that looks like surfing waves perfectly and giving celebratory post-competition interviews. She explains that it takes the fear of what’s to come away. “So when I go through the motions in real life, it already feels like it’s happened,” she says.

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Going Through Her Beauty Routine

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 $29.00

“It’s one of those funny things: People think that just because I surf and spend time in the ocean, I don't have much of a beauty routine, but I do,” she says. Furthermore, it plays a role in getting her in the right headspace, pre-heat. The catch: Her beauty look has to be hardworking enough to persevere through sweat and the impact of waves. She, of course, wants it to last for post-meet interviews. 

Her go-to SPF is the Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50. “You can put it on anything, and it doesn’t run into your eyes,” she says. “Admittedly, I’m a bit of a procrastinator, so I put it on at the last possible minute before going on a run, walking my dogs, and surfing. Nothing—not the sweat or water—runs into my eyes.” She adds that she also loves its fresh, floral scent.

Her other favorites include the It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara—a water-based mascara that she says washes cleanly off. She leans on water-based formulas because of her gripe with waterproof ones. “I think waterproof mascaras are a hoax," she says. "They still move and smudge,” making them difficult to wear on days she’s especially active.

She also wears a MAC Bronzing Powder (a lightweight powder that melts onto skin) to further bring out her glow and the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (an SPF-infused base) to help even out her complexion. "Overtime, I've gotten a lot of sun damage—sunspots and things like that—so I strive to not only smooth my complexion with foundation, but also protect it from further damage," she says. "With that, and my Shiseido, there's no way I'm getting burned."

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