I was born in Recife, Brazil, started surfing when I was 12 and quickly got into surf competition. I kept going until I was touring on the professional circuit and traveling around the world. However, living as a professional surfer in my hometown was difficult. In 1993 I moved to California for a change and got into surfing uncrowded, cold, heavy waves.
In 2000 I began practicing Ashtanga yoga and it became a regular part of my life. I completed the 200-hour teacher training with Clayton Horton, and have studied with Sri Pattabhi Jois, Tim Miller, Richard Freeman, Ana Forrest, David Swenson, Saraswathi and Dena Kingsberg. The focus that yoga cultivates helps me stay present out in big surf. I am no longer teaching, but practice on my own.
In 2003 I was named an alternate for the 2003/04 Mavericks Surf Contest. That year I was also nominated in the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards for a paddle-in wave I caught at Mavericks. In 2006 I was invited to surf the Mavericks Contest which was a huge honor.
I remained on the alternate list and next surfed in the Mavericks Invitational on February 13, 2010. I caught the two biggest waves of my life, won my heat and made it through to the semi finals. My first wave was nominated for the Billabong XXL Monster Paddle Award. I placed fourth in the semi finals and it was a dream come true to place so well and catch some of the biggest waves of the day on what was then, the biggest day paddled in the history of surfing.
I was officially invited as one of 24 Mavericks competitors to the 2012-13 Mavericks Invitational and I placed 4th overall. I was so happy to make my first final in the event. Coming off of that success I qualified for The Big Wave World Tour and competed in contests in Chile and Portugal.
"This and Nothing Else: Alex Martins" Red Bull, February 2015