New Age: Antonio Cardoso’s Ode To “Friendship, Nature & Adrenaline”

It’s been just over a year since Portuguese rider Antonio Cardoso stole a healthy dose of limelight by winning the Nazaré Pro. Sealing the deal in a fiery final against world champ Iain Campbell, Cardoso set a precedent for the local contingency with his victory – but lesser known to many, the 24-year-old has been working to showcase the talents of his Portuguese peers and to push the limits of bodyboarding in his home country long before his rise to stardom.

In his brand-spankin’ new film New Age, Cardoso has once again set out to put western Europe firmly on the bodyboarding map with a fine selection of riders charging some mysterious Euro slabs, along with detailing Cardoso’s path to triumph at Nazaré. Collaborating again with production house Semiotica, the flick promises to deliver what Cardoso’s previous shorter edits gave us such a taste for: a dazzling display of all that the exploding Portuguese boogie community has to offer, set to some fresh tunes and post-modern cutaways.

We spoke to the man himself ahead of the 2018 Nazaré Pro where New Age is set to premiere on October 5th.

MM: So, how did the new film come about?

AC: Since a young age I have been motivated by the best movies of bodyboarding history. That motivation got me excited to ride and explore the Portuguese coast. For the last two years, I thought that I could actually do something for bodyboarding history, too. I wanted to show the conditions I have at home and the best riding of my local friends and filmmakers.

MM: Who else stars in the film and why did you choose to work with these riders in particular? 

AC: The last two winter seasons I shared sick sessions with amazing riders. During those sessions I never surfed alone so I thought they must be part of my project, too – like Steph Kokorelis, Pierre-Louis Costes, Jared Houston and Lewy Finnegan. The rest of the riders complete my generation: Bernardo Jeronimo, Daniel Fonseca, Santiago Sanchez, Alan Munoz, Francisco Horta, Antonio Saraiva. Last season I have been surfing Fronton sessions alone with Amaury Laverne and Hankus Loubser, so they have become a part of the film, too.

MM: You’ve worked with Semiotica on some smaller productions before. Can we expect their trademark cinematic style in this flick? 

AC: Yes, I see so much art in what Rita Afonso and Pedro Ferreira do so I asked them to help me out again. I can say that I’m glad to meet them. My last clips were edited by them and the evolution of the work has been remarkable. I can say that this last work is different, no rules, just a few chapters that define my life.

MM: What can viewers expect from this film in terms of riding and waves? Is it tight spins in technical waves, charging slabs or all of the above? 

AC: This movie shows a lot of what I value in this sport: friendship, nature and the adrenaline is the best part of the movie. Besides all the action at the best Portugal slabs and famous beach-breaks, I came out with this group of boogies that put our sport on the next level here in Portugal. Viewers can expect a tight group with technical skills that will motivate them as they motivate me.

MM: Was there a particular vision that you had for the film and how did you go about communicating this to Semiotica? 

AC: After a sick session in this heavy left, I came home super excited and showed the footage straight away to Semiotica. We decided to save for this bigger project and chasing new footage was my main goal. During summer I couldn't travel to continue the filming but I never give up. Last october I won Nazare Pro (APB TOUR), that was the highest mark of my competitive career. I told Semiotica I just wanted my best riding allied to my best result and they were free to edit.

MM: Did you take part in any of the filming or editing process yourself?

AC: They told me to send some of my phone images while traveling and also came out with this nice idea to wake up at 5am to film hiding nature spots! I told them, feel free to edit. I know they know what I want.

MM: What do you think viewers will be most stoked by in this film? Any particular footage we should be particularly excited about?

AC: Yes, most of the spots we ride are unknown to most. So that might be the best aspect; the unpredictable slabs and the exhaustive perfection of home beach breaks.

MM: How is New Age going to be disseminated? Can we expect to access it on iTunes? Vimeo? Netflix? 

AC: My main goal right now is too organize more premieres in Portugal. After showing it to all my country, viewers will be able to access the film on the usual platforms.

MM: In recent times, you’ve been labelled the “King of Nazare”. What does it mean to you to be hosting the premiere at your home break? 

AC: When I was a kid I never imagined to get where I am today. It’s a privilege to release this movie with the official premiere at Nazare, the place where I grew up and learnt the most.

MM: You mentioned that friendship, nature and adrenaline are the main themes in this film. Are these things that are big themes within the Portuguese boogie community in general? 

AC: It’s the main themes around our routine of surfing. Not to all community but all the riders who likes challenge and to move around. Portugal is really small and you can jump from the south point to that furthest north point of the country in 6 hours driving. 

MM: What would you like the international community to know about the bodyboarding scene in Portugal? It seems that there is rapidly growing scene there and so much talent. Is Portugal a new superpower in bodyboarding? 

AC: FUCK YEAH. These talented kids starting to realize that they have really nice waves to challenge themselves and they grew up surfing such strong conditions that movie shows pretty much.

MM: What defines the Portuguese style in boarding? 

AC: I think the most part of this riders in the movie search for speed always for big airs and big stuff when chats point to slabs. Then we change completely the mindset and we go for the barrel. Also kids here start drawing good line and that is just amazing to whatch like waves in Supertubos. 

Instinct defines what bodyboard means to us. Pure feeling and just special and we do it for the heart. 

MM: Was your goal with New Age to showcase Portugal’s riding to the rest of the world? Or to inspire Portuguese riders? Or both? 

AC: YES. Want to show where I grew up and who’s part of my daily surfing routines, also to motivate new generation and to join all community for the special first premiere at Home, Nazare where everything started.

New Age premieres at 9pm on October 5, at Cine-theater da Nazaré.

Image:  @tocardosoo