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jettygirl online surf magazine's second annual new year's feature

Leah Dawson, Second Annual Jettygirl New Year's Feature, 2009. Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine

Presented by Blue Surf Sanctuary

leah dawson photos by liz cockrum


JettyGirl: While faltering economies, political turmoil and energy issues dominated most of the headlines during the past year, much of 2008's good news slipped through the cracks. What's the best thing that happened to you in 2008 and what are you most hopeful for in 2009?
Leah Dawson: The very best thing that happened to me in 2008 was finishing my bachelors degree at the University of Hawaii. That has now allowed me to chase my dreams in regards to traveling the beautiful world. For '09, I really hope to win the world longboard title of course, but as far as a year long goal, I hope to start my first surf film.

JG: Tell us about the first time you ever stood up on a surfboard. Where was it and what were you riding?
LD: I believe the first time I experienced the ultimate, I was three years old on the front of my dad's longboard on the beautiful beaches of Melbourne Beach, Florida. It's been a ride ever since. My first board came from an episode of the Mickey Mouse Club that my dad produced. The board was blue with an 80's trim on the side. I wish I kept it. I traded it for one of Slater's buckled boards that I found at Quiet Flight in Cocoa Beach. That pretty much took me until I was 12 when I broke it on my first surf trip to Cabo.

JG: What is your current favorite board? In 2009 do you have any plans to experiment with different surfboard designs, materials or fin configurations?
LD: My favorite shape is either Donald's Noah Comp or his DT2 Noserider. It's tough to say though, because my Beach Break Surf Tech Model has treated me quite well, especially in the infamous heavy surf of the North Shore. My favorite boards are all broken! As for next year, I'd like to ride some heavy old school logs, to get me back to the roots. I'd also like to start riding an Alaia. Also, I want to play around with some innovative shortboards that Donald is creating now. He's a mastermind. So I guess its up to him what I try!

JG: Do you have any heroes? If so, who and why?
LD: Heroes...first two are definitely my parents. Their love is a perfect role model. They are actually renewing their vows for their 30th Anniversary in a week or so. As far as in the surfing world, I would have to say my good friend Serena Brooke is an impeccable role model because she has always represented the love of surfing, not just the competition or the industry side of the sport, but she has lived the spirit of surfing. Also, Bonga Perkins continues to impress me because he remains youthful in surfing but wise with his growth. He has continued to be at the forefront of the progression of modern longboarding.

JG: In 2009 we'll see the best single maneuver ever done by a female surfer. Who do you think will pull the move and what do you think it will be?
LD: Best new manuevers...I'm excited! I think as far as shortboarding goes, I think Carissa might start pulling some insane 360's or reverses. But longboarding, thats a tough one. Kassi's got the heels down pat, Jen's got a sick fins first shove it, and Kelia will continually set a bar with her kicks...I've been practicing my hand stands though, so expect to see me either pull it or eat it on my face.

 

Next Surfer: Lynne Dickinson  

 

For those of you who like to jump around instead of going one by one, here's the complete list of surfers...

Alizee Arnaud Elizabeth Pepin Silva Kassia Meador Nicole Grodesky Schuyler McFerran
Amee Donohoe Erica Hosseini Kelly Nicely Nikita Robb Serena Brooke
Anna Garaway Frieda Zamba Kim Mayer Nikki Brooks Shaney Jo Darden
Anne Beasley Weber Heather Hudson Crummer Kim Mearig Paige Hareb Shannon Switzer
Ashley Lloyd Heather Jordan Kyla Langen Pam Burridge Silvana Lima
Bethany Hamilton Holly Beck Kym Campbell Pauline Ado Sofia Mulanovich
Betty Depolito Jacqueline Silva Lauren Sweeney Pauline Menczer Sormarie Nieves
Chanelle Sladics Jenna Balester Laurina McGrath Prue Jeffries Stacey Guy
Christa Alves Jenni Flanigan Layne Beachley Rebecca Woods Tammy-Lee Smith
Claire Bevilacqua Jessi Miley-Dyer Leah Dawson Rochelle Ballard Yvonne Mendel
Cori Schumacher Josie Drude Lynne Dickinson Rosy Hodge  
Courtney Conlogue Julie Cox Marissa Graham Sage Erickson  
Danielle Beck Kaitlin Maguire Mary Osborne Sally Fitzgibbons  
Darlene Conolly Karin Kendrick Megan Abubo Sam Haddad  
Donna von Hoesslin Karlee Mackie Nicola Atherton Sara Taylor  

 

Image Caption: There aren't too many surfers that could probably ride a barn door, but in our opionion, Leah Dawson is one of those surfers. in 2007 at the Women's Pipeline Pro, Leah proved the point of her versatility by making the finals in both long- AND shortboarding...and coming away with 1st and 2nd places. Photo: Liz Cockrum / lizcockrum.com

Blue Surf Sanctuary


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Additional Resources:

Liz Cockrum Photography

Donald Takayama

 

 

Blue Surf Sanctuary

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