Lucas Pazolini: Can’t Be Tide Down

By Roxy De Guzman

Pro surfer, model, and actor Lucas Pazolini Dessaune always knew he was destined to be remarkable. He started surfing at 12 years old, and by 14, he was determined to become one of the best surfers in the world. Now, at the age of 27, the ambitious Brazilian-born multihyphenate is competing against the best of the best in the World Surf League events, the biggest and most important surfing contests in the world.

“Since that very young age, I was extremely dedicated and disciplined toward my goals,” said Lucas. “The drive, persistence, self-confidence, focus, and discipline that I developed because of surfing helped me get through more life challenges.”

Originally from Vila Velha, a beautiful coastal city in the State of Espirito Santo, Brazil, Lucas grew up surrounded by compelling teal blue waters that begged for the company of sailors and surfers. The exhilarating adventure of the rocky shores provided a welcome change of pace from the slow bustle of the city, and after his first time surfing, Lucas fell in love with the connection to nature and the challenge of improving that the sport provided him with. He found purpose and belonging in the throes of healthy competition, chasing the thrill of escaping the bounds of his ever-growing comfort zone. Eventually, he started traveling to train and compete in surf events, and he found himself particularly captivated by the geography and culture of California.

In 2014, an 18-year-old Lucas came to California for the first time and stayed in Pacific Beach, San Diego for a few months. He discovered the diverse terrain of the California landscape, from inviting beaches and glittering lakes to snow-capped mountains and towering forests, and found the Golden State to be a haven for outdoor sports enthusiasts. While he knew he would be returning to Brazil after his competitions and training in California, this realization led to his visualization of a fulfilling and exciting future in the state.

For the next five years, Lucas stayed in Brazil while pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, only straying away from the country for a few other surfing competitions abroad. In 2017, he jumped at a spontaneous offer to start modeling, and he soon found himself working with renowned brands from all over the country. With a heart full of gratitude for his opportunities and a personality that was meant to be in front of cameras and spotlights, Lucas found a new passion in modeling.

After his widespread success in Brazil, Lucas knew that it was time for him to pursue his dreams of moving to California, and in 2019, he did just that. With a student visa to attend a graduate program in International Business at the University of San Diego, Lucas started trying to find opportunities for sponsorships so he could start working in California. After over a year of fruitlessly searching for modeling agencies who could sponsor his work visa, he found luck with Nomad Management, a global agency based in Miami with locations in Los Angeles and New York.

Nomad Management sponsored Lucas’s O-1 visa (also known as an Extraordinary Abilities Visa provided for high profile individuals such as artists, athletes, models, and musicians), and eventually, Lucas’s work visa was approved in August 2021. Since then, Lucas has been taking full advantage of the Los Angeles modeling scene, and he has worked on iconic commercial projects including a national Chevrolet SAG commercial, as well as projects for other household name brands like Skechers, Manscaped, MeUndies, Alle, Kaged, and Blakely UK. Recently, Lucas was also part of a Jennifer Lopez music video. The project should be out soon.

“I love my hometown, but I always knew I would never find the opportunities I wanted there,” continued Lucas. “I knew I would have to leave to achieve my dreams… all of my achievements from the past 3 years were planned. It was all part of the future I envisioned for myself back in 2018, when I was living in Brazil. At that time, it was a very far reality, but I knew I could make it happen.”

Lucas grew up in Brazil hearing his father’s stories about a tumultuous childhood and the difficulties of growing up in extreme poverty with an unsteady family life. As a child, Lucas’s father, Joemar Dassaune, lived in his grandmother’s basement with his own father addicted to gambling, often lashing out in bouts of physical abuse. At the young age of 14, Joemar got jobs selling vegetables and shining shoes in order to financially support his mom and brothers. A competitive runner, he also balanced a passion for athletics with a dedication for schoolwork, waking up at 4 a.m. every day to train and study before school. Eventually, his hustle paid off when he earned a lucrative career as a lawyer working for the government and used his hard-earned financial stability to support the rest of his family. Determined to honor his father’s hard work and continue his powerful legacy, Lucas works hard to make an extraordinary career for himself. He is looking forward to achieving financial freedom to fully support his family in Brazil and bring them to live in California with him.

“I feel inspired by his bravery to overcome so many odds, by being able to provide a great life to himself and his family, even though he came from such poverty,” explained Lucas.

With enough dreams to overflow the ocean (and the motivations and abilities to match), Lucas is ready to expand his comfort zone beyond his younger self’s wildest dreams.