We recently caught up with Beforeyouspeak Ambassador Cooper Chapman to find out what really motivates and inspires him each day. Cooper is an Australian professional surfer and founder of The Good Human Factory, a mental health initiative created to ‘inspire a positive change through kindness and gratitude’.
How did you get into surfing and why?
I was always down the beach watching my dad surf from a super young age and then he started taking me out when I was about 7 or 8. Once I started I was hooked! Now I’ve been surfing for almost 20 years and still get excited to surf every day.
Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to surfing?
Tough question, I always have loved the way Mick Fanning surfs and more so the kind of guy he is really inspires me.
Can you tell us about any defining moments in your career that you thought “I can really do this”?
When I won an Aussie title in really solid surf when I was 14 was a really surreal moment. It was the first real time I was like ‘wow this doesn’t feel real’, being 14 and an under 16 Australian surf champion was super cool.
Is there one wave/surf spot that you always find yourself back at?
North Narrabeen where I grew up I'll always call home. I’m so grateful to have grown up in a place with such amazing surfing history and at such an awesome surf spot.
How important is your diet to you as a professional surfer?
Being completely honest my diet isn’t something I am crazy strict on. I definitely try to eat lots of fruit and veg but because I’m so active I can have the odd cheat meal haha.
What are one or two things that are must-do’s in your training regime?
Stretching and foam rolling before a session are a must, super important to stay flexible or injury prevention and also just being consistent and getting at least 2 sessions in a week.
When is your next competition and what are you looking forward to the most?
I have a few small events coming up to end the year that surfing NSW has put on to keep everyone competing, but they aren’t going towards your rankings so mainly just trying to spend a few months training really hard to see how prepared I can get for 2021.
What has been your biggest obstacle and how have you overcome it?
Losing my sponsor and having to decide whether to work full time as a tradie to then spend every cent and risk it all on surfing was a really tough choice to make. But now I’m so happy it's created a whole bunch of exciting opportunities along the way.
Where do you find inspiration when you get down or low-energy?
I love reading self-development books and finding different hacks and techniques to get the most out of ourselves and trying to apply it. Just learning new things and throwing yourself in the deep end is such a good way to stay inspired.
What inspired you to start ‘The Good Human Factory’ and what is it all about?
When my little sister lost 2 friends to suicide in a fortnight in her last year of high school it really shook me and I decided not to sit back but to try and do something about it. That’s how The Good Human Factory started! From there I’ve just been very vocal about sharing people's mental health journey and techniques and also talking at schools to students about the skills I have learnt through my surfing career.
Finally, what is your go-to Beforeyouspeak coffee combo?
I love The OG with Vanilla Creamer in the morning and an OG with Coconut Creamer iced at lunch!