JettyGirl School of Sick Tricks: "Junk
Surf Motivation" by Lexi VonderLieth
Photos by Chris Grant/JettyGirl.com
VonderLieth and I have been trying to meet up
for photos over the past couple of months. Our
schedules finally gelled and we agreed to meet
somewhere between Los Angeles and San Diego, ending
up on the shores of Newport Beach. As luck would
have it, we were greeted with cloudy skies and
less-than-ideal surf. It's always interesting
to me to see how surfers respond when faced with
non-photogenic conditions. Lexi falls into my
favorite camp, the type of surfer who wants to
hit the waves no matter what it looks like. Special
thanks to Lexi for sharing a few of her junk surf
tips in this new segment of JettyGirl's School
of Sick Tricks. Enjoy! --Chris Grant
expectations of good surf in California begins
when you wake up at the crack of dawn, stop by
your favorite coffee stand and begin your trek
to check the waves. The excitement builds as you
imagine barrels at your local beach break, groomed
with a perfect morning wind. You have the anxious
feeling creeping through your body because you
want to get to the beach before all your friends.
You think about all the peaky barreling waves
breaking without you.
round the corner to your beach, full of ANXIOUS
EXCITEMENT. Then, your heart sinks and your energy
drains out of you when you see 1-3 foot surf...
that combined with a dead low tide and onshore
morning sickness from the winds last night. GREAT!
what do you do? You're at the beach, it sucks,
you're all alone and your jacked up on coffee.
You can't just go back to sleep now, so you sit
and watch and hope magic waves appear, but after
30 minutes of checking the waves, you have a decision
out and surf? Or go home?
was always told that if I could learn to surf
well in junky, small surf, then I would be able
to surf well in anything. I do believe that.
how do you get motivated to have fun in onshore,
low tide, junky surf?
on one move.
A lot of times when there's junky surf I will
try to work on one move, like trying reverses
or airs. If there’s onshore wind, airs can
sometimes be easier depending on the wind direction.
If there are quick corners, reverses will be the
move to try. It seems whenever it's good, I'll
just do a lot of carving turns or snaps, but when
its junky, trying moves I wouldn't usually land
doesn't seem as much of a waste.
can't get any worse.
There are a lot of days where the waves look so
fun and so good, you put your wetsuit on, throw
on sunscreen, wax your board and run down to the
water. Somehow, it's timed perfectly that right
when you hit the water, the wind switches and
it turns to junk. Well, if it's already junky,
you have nothing to lose.
a great workout.
I hate going to the gym, so any chance I can surf
I will because it is a great workout and beats
being in a gym. You work out so many muscles in
your body when you surf and you burn a lot of
If you ever want to get better at surfing, surf
in junk. It only helps you. Plus, if you ever
want to compete, contests are held in junky surf
a majority of the time.
leashless. I feel naked without my
leash, it's weird. However, I love surfing
without it because I try that much harder
to pull turns or moves. This is because
I don't want to swim in. We rely on our
leashes a lot more than you think and it's
fun to challenge yourself.
This was new to me. I saw a feature on Surfline
where a bunch of guys went finless on a
small day in Hawaii. So one day I was with
some friends and went to try it. I honestly
felt like a little kid because I had so
much fun trying to do 360's. It's like learning
to surf all over again.
honestly felt like a little kid, because
I had so much fun trying to do 360’s.
It’s like learning to surf all over
I also feel when I surf every chance I get, that
I keep a rhythm with the ocean. I start to surf
more consistent. Paddling out when the surf is junky
keeps me connected and my surfing has a steady beat.
Plus, the rest of my day is that much better because
I got to surf.
Lexi VonderLieth is sponsored by O'Quinn
Islands Surfboards, Smith
Monica Surf Shop, Creatures,
and Red Bull