Meet the young surfer behind Saltyvism—Enrico Malha

April 2, 2020

SAVRcup’s first ambassador!

Enrico Malha is a 10-year-old Brazilian surfer with a deep love of the ocean and holistic living. Enrico hails from Rio Tavares, Florianópolis, one of the most famous surf and skateboard destinations in Brazil. Enrico’s hometown culture and vibe can be summed up as a mixture of California and Byron Bay, Australia.

The region is known for its sustainability activism and efforts to raise awareness about environmentalism. Enrico’s godfather is the late Brazilian pro surfer Ricardo dos Santos. Naturally, Enrico’s deep appreciation for the ocean and the surfer lifestyle led him to start thinking about what he could do to help. When asked how the idea for Saltyvism came about, he says that “by attending several surf competitions and being involved in beach cleanups I really got to understand the amount of trash one can find at the beach. Seeing that much trash really impacted me and I felt like I could do more.”

Inspired and influenced by activist surfers like Torren Martyn, Rob Machado and Dave Rastovich, Enrico and his father teamed up with photographer William Zimmermann and Route Global – an organization focused on battling global warming through ambassadorship, beach cleanup events and more. Enrico became Route’s youngest international ambassador to raise awareness about ocean pollution through surfing and ultimately inspire positive change. 

“After watching and witnessing how bad things have gotten in the past years, my dad had this idea about making a documentary with high-quality photography featuring my surfing and lifestyle to bring a kind of realization to people: that we can all do better,” says Enrico about becoming the voice and face of Saltyvism.

Route writes that Enrico is an example for everyone to follow because “despite his age, he has an enormous sense of humanity and responsibility with nature.” Saltyvism aims to invite everyone, but especially the younger generations, to rethink our relationship to the environment, and especially the ocean.

Through Saltyvism, Enrico and his team will travel around the world to countries including Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, California, Indonesia & Panama in the span of two years to promote sustainability. Saltyvism is possible with the partnership of Route Global and other brands like Vissla, Reef, SAVRcup, Selina and Arenque. You can check out the first episode shot in Chile below.

Enrico’s love of surfing extends further than the sport itself. While he has participated in surfing competitions and isn’t ruling out going pro entirely, he wants to have a deeper impact than inspiring kids to hit the waves. Through Saltyvism, “I get to travel all around the world AND surf which is the thing I like the most! I really like getting to know all the cultures and to understand how they take care of the ocean, how they collect the trash and how they recycle. I want people to understand that the ocean is free, it doesn’t charge you anything. And I feel we should be ‘paying it back’ by taking care of it. I hope that through the project I can make people a little more conscious about the environment,” said Enrico when asked what he wished people would take away from this initiative.