Team PowerBar members Nic and Tristan Puehse are nineteen year old fraternal twins. They began their sports careers at six years old, as the Skateboarding Twins, with multiple sponsors (including Nike and Gatorade) and were well on their way to the X Games. Their videos on YouTube have been watched more than 14 million times. They were featured in major publications, including the New York Times, and have appeared on numerous shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, ABC Nightline and CNN. They even starred in their own feature film, Nic & Tristan Go Mega Dega.
At thirteen, they shocked their sponsors and fans when they decided to give up their boards for tennis racquets. Now known as the Tennis Twins, we caught up with Nic and Tristan to see to see how their lives have changed since they started their new journey and what it takes to be become the next big thing in the sport of tennis.
You both had a large spotlight on you from an early age. What was it like to have such successful careers so young?
N: It’s cool to look back on it now, but honestly we were just doing our thing and having fun. We didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary at the time.
T: It was great, we were able to experience a lot of success early on but I don’t think we fully understood that we were doing something different from other kids our age.
What was the most memorable experience of your time as the “Skateboarding Twins”?
N: Filming our feature film, Nic & Tristan Go Mega Dega. We had a blast filming and it was featured on major networks like Showtime and Netflix. It is still streaming on Amazon Prime.
T: For me, the most exciting experience was being featured on the Ellen Show. We were on the show twice in two years as part of a segment called “Kids You Should Know.” Being featured on live tv was a huge rush and I’m glad we had the opportunity to be on such a big stage.
At what point did you realize you wanted to switch sports? Tennis seems like large a departure from skateboarding. Was this a new venture or something you had been doing as a hobby up until that point?
T: We were in Arizona filming a skateboarding video and on our day off we decided to pick up some tennis racquets and play a couple games. It was the first time playing for both of us and we fell in love with it immediately. We decided to concentrate our efforts on our new found passion for tennis and take a break from skateboarding.
N: Why we decided to switch sports comes up frequently, especially because we walked away from a very prosperous skateboarding career. I think at 13 we still enjoyed skateboarding but we lost the passion to make it our full time career.
Since playing doubles, you spend a lot of time together. What about working out together do you most enjoy?
T: Training can involve some long arduous hours, so I appreciate that we always have someone to lean on to help motivate one another and push each other to work hard even when we’re having a tough day.
Conversely, what’s the most difficult part of being together most of the time?
N: We’re twins, best friends and training partners. We’re together 24/7 so maybe a difficult part of being together is just that- being together without a break from one another.
How have your nutritional needs changed compared to when you were skateboarding?
N: They have changed completely! Skateboarding requires less stamina, so a strict diet is not as crucial (comparatively) to success in the sport. Due the sheer length of time spent training and competing in tennis, we really need to be aware of what is going in our bodies to ensure that we’re performing at the highest level. Now, I really focus on a clean diet for optimal performance. I always make sure I am properly hydrated before training (I’m proud to say I haven’t had a lemonade or soda in nearly two years) and that my protein intake is where it needs to be to succeed.
T: Since we started playing tennis, my focus on nutrition has changed for the better. I am way more focused on eating nutritious foods that I know will help me achieve my goals and live an overall healthier lifestyle.
What’s your go-to snack or meal before a match?
N: Lately, it’s been the PowerBar Clean Whey Protein bars and the protein shakes.
T: My go to snack are the PowerBar Energy Gels.
What is your personal food philosophy? What do you look for when choosing products?
T: You are what you eat and your body and energy will reflect that
N: I always try to make sure it’s Non-GMO, no artificial flavors or sweeteners.
What do you do to prepare yourself physically and mentally before a match? Do you prepare separately or together?
N: We typically do everything together. When we warm up before a match, we discuss our strategy. I almost always get pre-match jitters and would say out of the two of us I’m definitely the one that gets nervous. In order to stay calm and focused I put on my headphones, go for a warm up jog and tell myself it’s ”go-time” so I can get in the right state of mind.
What are the goals you are hoping to accomplish in tennis?
N: Of course going pro is the first step, but in the long run I’d like to get to #1 in the world and win a Grand Slam title.
T: We both want to compete on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour and have the opportunity to compete for Grand Slam doubles titles.
You both are very market savvy, having lots of publicity in both skateboarding and tennis. How have you amassed such a large following and market success with two completely different audiences?
N: I think it all comes down to personality. We try to always be ourselves; fun, energetic and constantly striving to be better at what we love. If we can inspire others to follow their own passions, that’s a great bonus.
T: I think we have a unique niche being twins. We’re both talented in our sport but most importantly we’re easy to relate to. I think our audience has always appreciated that we’ve stayed true to who we are and didn’t follow the money or stick with skateboarding for the fame. We found a new passion, followed our hearts and I think people are interested in our story and want to see what’s next for us.
You both have already had a huge Clean Start by switching sports, but what is your #CleanStartPledge for this year?
N: Our Clean Start Pledge for this year is to stay in the moment. We want to keep a narrow focus on our goals and ignore any distractions.