Home > Gripped Outdoors

Mathea Olin is Cutting-Edge Young Canadian Surfer

Mathea Olin

Mathea Olin is a young Canadian surfer on the West Coast who has been called a surfing prodigy since she was 11 years old.

She took gold in women’s longboard at the Pan American Surfing Championships in Peru. The first Canadian gold medal at an international surf event on a longboard.

In an interview with ozy.com, Olin said, “Winning and the trophy and stuff doesn’t mean the world to me. I feel like getting there with my team and pushing myself heat after heat, and then getting to hear our anthem play up there — that meant the world to me.”

Now 15 years old, she is planning on a career in the sport she is pushing limits in and is eyeing up the 2020 Olympics when surfing debuts.

She trains three times a day and works on big airs and spins to push her technical skills.

“She absolutely has the potential to reach the Olympics,” says Shannon Brown, Surf Canada national head coach. “But a lot of girls have potential. What she’s got going for her is that she’s so young, and you watch her improvements happen before your eyes.”

Olin said she doesn’t really follow social media and she’s never played a video game. Last month, she defended her under-16 title at Surf Canada’s Nationals.

“I feel like I’d rather be outside living in the moment,” she told ozy.com.

“From the beginning, her physical ability blew everyone away,” says mom, Dion Olin, in an interview with mountainlifemedia.ca. “Even as a baby, people were magnetized by her physicality.”

Krissy Montgomery, owner of Surf Sister and co-founder of Queen of the Peak, said, “She paddled out at Cox Bay in solid overhead surf and caught a bomb of a wave. Then she carved out a few solid turns on it to win first place in the Princess of the Peak.”

Pete Devries is an eight-time national champion and fellow Canadian who has also become a friend and mentor to Olin.

“Mathea is a great young kid, super focused; you can see it in the way she approaches the ocean,” said Devries.

“To be so young and to have that focus and drive and really know what you want is impressive. Especially being away from the real surf meccas of the world.

“If it becomes too stressful and too much about wins and loses, you can get lost in that side of the sport, and you’ll lose that drive. I’ve seen a lot of young surfers stop loving it.”

It only took Olin six years from starting to surf to being a national champion.

Mathea Olin winning gold in Peru

“It’s kind of weird when people call me a prodigy,” Olin said to ozy.com. “It’s weird, but kind of amazing at the same time.

“I’m stoked that I inspire people because I know I’m young, but I just want to make the Olympics and pave the path for female surfers in Canada.”

Oh yeah, her little sister Sanoa is also a national champion.