A couple months back, we had the pleasure to meet the effervescent and truly personable Victor Bernardo. It is a rare moment when you have an instant connection with someone that you had just met. Victor is one of those people. He enters a room with a happiness and acceptance that draws you in and makes you want to know more. Along with this, he is one of the most talented surfers that we have had the pleasure to introduce to our little family of comrades. We hope you enjoy getting to know Victor as much as we do.
BANKS: Victor, how are you bud?
VICTOR: Good, good, how about you? It's been a minute.
It has been, I heard you just got back from Mexico. How was it south of the border?
Firing, it was pretty much one of the best trips of my life. I can honestly say that.
Damn! Tell me more?
The vibe was amazing, and the waves were insanely good, and it was so uncrowded. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. It was only me, a good friend of mine from Brazil, and Rex a young shredder from San Clemente that I randomly asked to come.
Victor, you’re too kind! Is he the blond-haired kid that was on your IG?
Yeah, he's 15 years old. His dad was calling the Album shop asking about me taking him on the trip because he was like “Is this safe? Can Victor take care of a grom?” And after all, they loved it, his dad and his mom were like “Oh thank you, we should do more of this” and it was just an awesome trip.
Nice, nice. How did it feel having a new sticker on your board for the trip?
Oh, it felt amazing. I had it here in Cali for a while, but on the trip, it felt totally different. It looks clean and it's a logo that people haven't really seen much. I'm sorry to say that, you know what I mean by that though? But it's not even familiar to me you know? I've known Banks Journal for a while but not for that long. And it's not the same as a lot of the heritage brands that have been around for 30, 40, or 50 years. It feels amazing knowing that you guys have my back, and have welcomed be into your family. It is so different to what I have experienced in the past.
I can't wait for the future and hopefully getting to drag you out of the office and get you into some good waves!
Hahaha! I would love to come on a trip with you and see some of your surfing in real life rather than on IG. So how did you come about Banks Journal?
When I got on Album, Mike and I were chatting about reaching out to sponsors and brands and at the same time, we went on a Mexico trip, and he mentioned Banks Journal could be a good fit. When I saw it for the first time, I just fell in love...
When I told my friends and family they were like “cool yeah it's totally your style!” My wife was tripping out, my closer friends were super stoked on it too. One of my friends has been following you guys for years and he has a brand in Brazil that is super inspired by what you guys do.
I love the clothes. I’ve never had an amazing wardrobe that I could just close my eyes and pick up whatever and be stoked on what I'm wearing. I used to always wear something that I HAD to wear, not something I WANTED to wear and now it's like something I have to, and I want to at the same time, you know? It looks good, it feels good, and I'm stoked to be part of something like this. It's totally different.
Yeah, for sure I feel like clothing is mostly used as a utility to serve a purpose, but there's something really beautiful about putting on a piece of clothing and it makes you feel great about yourself, and I feel like that's something that we strive to do here at Banks Journal. Do you have a favorite item from us?
There are too many to just pick one!
Hahahah What about the Wilder print? I have seen you head to toe in that before!
Oh yeah, I do love that print! I was prowling Mexico all last week in those.
The ones with the side panel or the all over print?
Yeah! The side panel ones. The all over print pair have an elastic waist band so I can’t really surf in those.
Can you tell us a little bit about your upbringing in Brazil and how you got into surfing?
I started surfing when I was four years old. My dad used to take me on his long board. My whole family and friends are surfers.
I had a group of friends that would walk to the beach every day and would surf, and we would spend the whole day at the beach and come back, picking up fruits from the trees in abandoned lots, like Guava and mango. We would hop the fence, grab the fruit and eat it on the way home. It was a great way to grow up. My dad is for sure the one that inspired me the most on surfing but my whole family loves the ocean. We're all surfers, like true surfers.
My dad never competed, and I know for a fact that, from when I was little my dad never put the pressure on me to be a competitor. He would always say “hey, go have fun” and before a heat, “make sure you're having fun.” And I feel like if I had that at every event, like my dad on the beach with me, I would have been much more successful as a competitor.
But that's in the past, times changed and I'm a free surfer now. I don't really have the drive for competition. I honestly never really did, but it was something that I had to do, to live off of surfing and it was my only option.
Now that I ride for Banks Journal, Album, Peddle Electric, & June Shine I’m able to enjoy my life as a free surfer without the pressure of competition. I'm having the most fun of my life, I don't think I had this much fun since I was five or six years old when I was first surfing, you know first year or second year of surfing, you know different boards, different vibes from the competition world. The QS is a grind.
I want to have fun I want to surf with a couple friends and family and see everybody smile and enjoy the time that we have out in the water together.
I feel like all the sponsors that you have right now are like a big family. There's a really clear connection between Banks Journal, Album, June Shine, and Pedal Electric. Do you see yourself being more a part of the brands as your career goes on?
Oh yeah, for sure, I feel like Banks Journal, June Shine, Album and Pedal Electric would do so great in Brazil. I want to bring all of my family and friends that I have here, to Brazil and be part of their business in Brazil too, and I think that's something we could work on in the future.
Brazil is my whole life. I haven’t felt the US is my home, but you guys are making it feel more and more like home each and every day. I'm just so thankful.
Do you feel like you will want to be back in Brazil at some point in your life?
Oh yeah, I'm not going to live here full time for the rest of my life, that's for sure. I'm thinking of going back in November for a month. See my family and friends and have a good time then come back and spend some more time here for sure.
Well, Victor, we are really stoked that you call Banks Journal part of your family. We can't wait to work to be a part of your journey, we know it’s going to be an exciting one to watch.
Thank you, I am excited and I'm looking fresh in these clothes, that's for sure.
Hahaha! You definitely are.
I feel like my wife is even happier.
Well, Banks Journal and your wife are very lucky to have you wearing the clothes, so we appreciate it bud, and we're looking forward to our future together.
I’m really, really thankful. Thank you for welcoming me the way you guys have.
Photos and Video by Ian Grose