Lake surfing in Toronto? Get the f--k outta here... is how most people tend to react. A natural beach bum, Antonio spent most of his life on the Atlantic coast of Southern Brazil, moved to Southern California at the age of 20 and finally, found himself moving to Toronto, Canada with his partner. After a few difficult years of adjustment to Toronto's cold air and lack of surfing, he finally discovered the beauty of surfing on the great lakes. This step, not only helped him cure his surfing blues but where he met his business partner for their business, Surf the Greats. Love brought him to Toronto and he brought the love of surfing to the concrete jungle. Now, he is teaching city slickers and water babies to surf on the great lakes and in tropical surf destinations such as Costa Rica and Brazil. Torontonians, book your sessions!
Name: Antonio Lennert
Date of Birth: 01.09.1984.
Height: 6'0" (1.83 m)
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Local Break: Ashbridges Bay
Countries Surfed: Australia, Brazil, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Portugal, USA
Experience (Years): 26
Inspirations: Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Felipe Toledo
How did you get into surfing?
I grew up by the Atlantic Ocean in Southern Brazil, so surfing and the beach have always been a huge part of my life. My parents gave me my first boogie board when I was 5 years old, and my older brother was a surfer. We would go to the beach pretty often, my brother would take me out to the line up and would push me on some solid overhead waves.
It wasn't long after, before I started standing up on my boogie board and ended up getting a surfboard from my dad.
Can you give us an idea of what your typical meals in a day would be?
Usually, I will start my day with a coffee or freshly pressed vegetable juice. If I'm training or surfing in the morning, I will grab a bowl of oatmeal or bowl of granola. For lunch, I stick with big salads with lots of protein during the warmer months and soups and sandwiches/wraps in the colder months. Mid-afternoon I'll have some fruit or a powerbar with a coffee or tea. In the evenings, I'll have a small meal like a salad with a side of protein.
Do you do any stretches or exercises pre- or post-surf?
I start my sessions with a mix of meditation and hatha yoga; it's a great combination that calms the mind and stretches the body.
What do you grab for a post-surf snack?
If I'm surfing on the lakes, a stop at Tim Horton's is almost mandatory! While I am travelling in warm climates, I tend to grab a smoothie, tacos or even, a cerveza depending on the time of day.
What's your favourite gear?
I absolutely loved my 6'1" Channel Islands Fred Rubble but I broke it while surfing in Zicatela, Puerto Escondido. I found a new board there hand shaped by Ody, who’s a local legend in the area, and the board has quickly become my new favourite. It loves the ocean and flies on the lakes! In terms of wetsuits, I trust anything made by Patagonia; they make gear that keeps me warm in and out of the water year round. Of course, I am a huge fan of the Surf the Greats - but I'm bias 😉