TWENTY-ONE QUESTIONS WITH CARISSA MOORE. The ASP World Champion answers questions from former world champs, tour veterans, young fans & surfing legends.

[frame_right src="" href=""]© Jason Kenworthy/Red Bull Content Pool[/frame_right] Presented by In Carissa Moore's first full year on Tour, she accomplished what so many have predicted for her over the years of her young life, an ASP World Title. It's difficult to imagine the kind of pressure she was under to accomplish the goal. While most surfers are given a number of years to find their footing in the pro ranks, you could almost feel the industry's expectations that anything short of a world title would be a letdown. But there would be no slip-ups, no letdown, no unfulfilled goals ...Carissa charged through the Tour schedule, pushed performance boundaries in a groundbreaking film and did so with Hawaiian grace and style. After Carissa won her World Title, we planned to interview her as quickly as possible ...but so did every other surf media outlet on the planet. By the time our turn came around, all my questions had been asked numerous times. Instead of rehashing what had already been said, we asked a group of former world champions, legends, filmmakers, industry folks, free surf pioneers and local groms to post up some questions for the new World Champ. I don't think this has ever been done before thank you to all who participated. You have my deepest appreciation! --Chris 1. Asked by Heather Hudson, Executive Producer of The Women and the Waves Heather Hudson: If you could go back to any era in surfing history and surf with anyone, who would you want to surf with and why? Carissa Moore: I would probably want to go back two years and have a surf session with Andy (Irons) or go back to the early 90's and surf with Rell (Sunn). Both people are great ambassadors to our sport and role models to me. 2. Asked by Kelly Nicely, Current #13 on the ASP Women's Longboard World Rankings Kelly Nicely: How has the tour changed for women in the past few years and how do you think the future of the women’s tour is headed as far as equality with men and women? Carissa: I think the talent on the women's tour has come so far the past few years. The girls are definitely pushing the limits of their performance. Unfortunately, the state of our tour is in what seems to be the worst it has ever been. I can only hope that one day we will have the same kind of following that the men have and we will gain more support and events. 3. Asked by Kim Mearig, 1983 ASP Women's World Champion Kim Mearig: Since you've won the world title so young, are you content or do you want to beat Kelly's record? Carissa: Haha, I don't know if I will ever beat Kelly's record or even come close but I would love to give the world title a run every year I am on tour. 4. Asked by Serena Brooke, ASP legend & owner of Serena Sportswear Serena Brooke: What type of diet and training do you do to keep in shape, do you think it is important to your surfing? Carissa: I think it is so important to eat right and train to perform at your best. You definitely could just surf and be amazing but for the overall package and piece of mind it's great to be on top of those things as well. 5. Asked by Sara Taylor, freesurfer & video star of Circus Tricks, Illegal Turns, and Hayley Gordon's Empty Lowers Sara Taylor: If there was something you could change about the tour what would it be? Carissa: If there was something that I could change about the tour it would be to have more events at amazing venues! 6. Asked by Cori Schumacher, Writer & 3x Women's Longboard World Champion Cori Schumacher: Within the realm of surfing, the sponsorship dynamic is one of the most influential socializing agents for young surfers. How old were you when you were first sponsored and can you remember if how you felt about yourself changed then? If so, how? When you made the shift from being sponsored by endemic surf companies to your current sponsors, did you feel a shift in yourself as well? If so, what did that feel like for you? Carissa: I was very lucky and got sponsored when I was seven by Roxy. I was very naive and didn't think much of it, just how cool it was to get a box of clothes every month! Also, when I made the shift from being sponosred by endemic surf companies to my current sponsors I didn't really make a big deal of it. I think my family did a really good job of keeping things simple on the sponsorship end so I could just enjoy surfing. [frame_center src="" href=""]Frontside carve at the US Open in Huntington Beach. © Chris Grant/[/frame_center] 7. Asked by Kassia Meador, photographer, longboard stylist & current #2 on the ASP Women's Longboard World Rankings Kassia Meador: What is your favorite post shred snack? Carissa: I love a nice green smoothie. 8. Asked by Shea Hodges, Hawaiian freesurfer & star of Shea Hodges: Freedom in Motion Shea Hodges: It's apparent that in the last few years the level of women's surfing has increased dramatically. The widespread use of the internet and social media has helped create more of a "do it yourself" attitude for the aspiring surfer that doesn't have the means to travel the tour and compete. Do you feel that women (like men) should have the option to be professional free-surfers and not only Tour surfers? Carissa: Yea, I definitely think that women should have the option to be a professional free surfer. 9. Asked by Hayley Gordon, filmmaker & owner of Hayley Gordon: What was your greatest or funniest misadventure/disaster on your surf travels? Carissa: Funniest misadventure was .... 10. Asked by Di Mattison, blogger, surfer & surf instructor extraordinaire Di Mattison: What do you think about the "marketing image" available to women professional surfers? Why do you think it is that the guys are able to be marketed with a wide range of types - jock; punk; gangsta; artist; hippy; intellectual - and that there's only one type for women: happy, sporty, beach babe? I do see that Steph plays her guitar and Sally is really into sports, but I don't see their overall image(s) being far from the mark that the surf industry has set for women (image-wise). Carissa: I know. I think it's crazy that guys seem to be way more marketable when women are the ones who are way more into fashion and the way they look. I think all the women on tour have awesome personalities and something unique and special about them and just need to be marketed in the right way. 11. Asked by Lauren Otonicar, owner & creator of Tonic Haircare Lauren Otonicar: What is your animal amalgamation? (If you could be a combination of 2 animals what would you be and why?) Carissa: Bird and dolphin so I can fly and swim underwater for long periods of time. 12. Asked by Ashley Beeson, middle school shredder in the Western Surfing Association Ashley Beeson: Do you have any tips on how to do those “sliding 360’s” frontside and backside? I want to learn how to do them myself. Carissa: Just keep messing around with it and eventually you'll figure it out. It is a shift of weight from the front to back to front again. The key to spinning is getting the fins out of the water. To get the movement down, take the back center fin out, that's what I did in the beginning, shhhh. 13. Asked by Kim Wooldridge, 14-year veteran of the ASP Women's World Tour Kim Wooldridge: Which women surfers did you look up to or were inspired by when you first started surfing? Carissa: Layne Beachley, Rochelle Ballard, Megan Abubo... 14. Asked by Amee Donohoe, ASP Women's World Tour veteran and contest director of the annual RA Girls Surf Show Amee Donohoe: Being the most progressive female surfer ever and inspiring generations, how are you keeping yourself inspired to continue to push your level of surfing? I watch your free surfing and your contest surfing and you go big with such flare but are you secretly attempting "sex change varials" now that the judges know what they are? Carissa: Haha, well thank you, I am so flattered. My dad is definitely the one to thank for pushing my level of surfing. He is the one who helps me think out of the box, challenges and encourages me to go bigger. Also working with guys like Shane Beschen, Myles Padaca and Pancho Sullivan have inspired me so much. Being around their male energy is so new and exciting. 15. Asked by Lola Blake, President & CEO of Chick Sticks by Lola Lola Blake: Do you have a pre-heat ritual that you do or think to yourself before your competitions? Carissa: I always sit down and have a quick chat with my dad before paddling out, listen to some Eminem and Bieber and say a little prayer. Carissa Moore at the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach Pier. Photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Surf Magazine. Carissa Moore towards the pier in Huntington Beach. Photo by Chris Grant, Carissa Moore banks off the foam at the US Open of Surfing. Photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. Carissa Moore at the US Open of Surfing. Photo © Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine2011 ASP Women's World Champ, Carissa Moore, ripping onshore peaks in HB. Photos © Chris Grant/ 16. Asked by Cori Schumacher, writer & 3x Women's Longboard World Champion Cori Schumacher: How important has your heritage as a Hawaiian been in your approach to surfing and what is the most important aspect of this heritage for you? Carissa: It's definitely motivated me to want to do my best to represent my heritage. The most important part is being able to do something I love and having fun everyday. A lot of hardwork but it's all worth it. 17. Asked by Jessi Miley-Dyer, ASP Tour veteran & 2012 ASP Women's World Tour Manager Jessi Miley-Dyer: You're one of the only girls on tour I've seen donate their prize money to charity. We used to donate our time to various causes when we have been overseas but I've never given money (would love to but not exactly rolling in it, haha). Do you think that we should do more community work around the contests that we go to? Would you like to see more of it? Carissa: I think we definitely should and I would love to see more of it. As professional surfers we get to travel the world and do something we love, how lucky are we?! I think it is important to give back to the communities that aren't as fortunate but have given so much to us. 18. Asked by Margaux Arramon-tucoo, French artist, longboard stylist. Star of Hayley Gordon's film, "This is Margaux" Margaux Arramon-tucoo: Does surfing for a living, traveling, now being world champ and all that comes with it, inspire you in other areas of your life? Carissa: Yes of course! I realize that my life is amazing and in order to keep it I just have to keep working hard at everything. It is all so worth it. 19. Asked by Savannah Fliers, local ripper & huge fan of Carissa Moore Savannah Fliers: Where do you see yourself in 20 years? Carissa: I hope raising a family, married, a teacher or a coach and of course still surfing! 20. Asked by Savannah Fliers, local ripper & huge fan of Carissa Moore Savannah Fliers: What advice would you give to girls who want to catch more waves when surfing in a lineup surrounded by wave-hungry guys? Carissa: Patience and time. If you put your time in at any spot and are respectful you will gain respect yourself and will catch waves. And as you improve the guys will want to watch you rip! 21. Asked by Bilandra Chase, Mom, installation engineer & the better half of NK Surfboards shaped by Raz Bilandra Chase: You two have worked so closely for so many years. What did your dad say to you when you won the world title? Carissa: My dad and I are best friends and seriously there is no person in the world that I would have wanted to share that journey with than my dad. He was stoked. When I won in France he gave me a huge hug and then said, "Knuckles. You did it!" Pretty awesome moment. One for the memory books for sure.
*Video courtesy of Red Bull
Additional Resources: Carissa Moore's Red Bull Profile Carissa Moore - Official Website, Biography, Surfing Photos & Videos Carissa Moore on Twitter

The Complete List of Our Top 5 ASP Picks

Our 2011 ASP Women's World Tour Preview is based on Top 5 predictions from the following list of World Champions and past, present and future surfing superstars. It is really interesting to see how similar the picks are from such a diverse group of people. Once you've perused the list of Top 5 picks, jump on over to our 2011 ASP Women's World Tour Preview.
Paige Alms 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Coco Ho 5. Tyler Wright Wendy Botha 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Sally Fitzgibbons 3. Carissa Moore 4. Coco Ho 5. Silvana Lima Meah Collins 1. Carissa Moore 2. Stephanie Gilmore 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Coco or Tyler 5. Silvana or Courtney Jessica Grimwood 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Silvana Lima 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Tyler Wright 5. Courtney Conlogue Shea Hodges 1. Melanie Bartels 2. Silvana Lima 3. Carissa Moore 4. Courtney Conlogue 5. Rebecca Woods Kim Mearig 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Chelsea Hedges 5. Courtney Conlogue Marissa Shaw 1. Carissa Moore 2. Stephanie Gilmore 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Silvana Lima 5. Courtney Conlogue Bo Stanley 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Silvana Lima 3. Tyler Wright 4. Carissa Moore 5. Sally Fitzgibbons Valentina Vitale 1. Carissa Moore 2. Stephanie Gilmore 3. Tyler Wright 4. Sally Fitzgibbons 5. Silvana Lima Jamie Baittinger 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Sally Fitzgibbons 3. Tyler Wright 4. Courtney Conlogue 5. Carissa Moore Serena Brooke 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Courtney Conlogue 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Carissa Moore 5. Coco Ho Shelby Detmers 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Coco Ho 5. Silvana Lima Nicole Grodesky 1. Sally Fitzgibbons 2. Stephanie Gilmore 3. Silvana Lima 4. Carissa Moore 5. Claire Bevilaqua Alexia Jeri 1. Sally Fitzgibbons 2. Stephanie Gilmore 3. Silvana Lima 4. Sofia Mulanovich 5. Coco Ho Wini Paul 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Sally Fitzgibbons 3. Carissa Moore 4. Tyler Wright 5. Coco, Courtney or Chelsea Jolene Smith 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Laura Enever 4. Melanie Bartels 5. Courtney Conlogue Lauren Sweeney 1. Silvana Lima 2. Carissa Moore 3. Stephanie Gilmore 4. Coco Ho 5. Sally Fitzgibbons Kim Wooldridge 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Sally Fitzgibbons 3. Chelsea Hedges 4. Carissa Moore 5. Tyler Wright Rochelle Ballard 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Tyler Wright 4. Silvana Lima 5. Coco Ho Chloe Buckley 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Coco Ho 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Melanie Bartels 5. Silvana Lima Amee Donohoe 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Tyler Wright 3. Carissa Moore 4. Courtney or Sally 5. Silvana Lima Bethany Hamilton 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Tyler Wright 5. Silvana Lima Di Mattison 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Tyler Wright 5. Silvana Lima Lakey Peterson 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Tyler Wright 4. Laura Enever 5. Coco Ho Valeria Sole' 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Carissa Moore 3. Sally Fitzgibbons 4. Tyler Wright 5. Coco Ho Sara Taylor 1. Stephanie Gilmore 2. Silvana Lima 3. Chelsea Hedges 4. Carissa Moore 5. Jessi Miley-Dyer Emily Wratschko 1. Carissa Moore 2. Tyler Wright 3. Stephanie Gilmore 4. Sally Fitzgibbons 5. Courtney Conlogue

An Afternoon with Serena Brooke, Pt Two

Serena Brooke photo by Chris Grant, JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine An Afternoon with Serena Brooke, Part Two of Two JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine's Interview with a Living Legend (If you missed Part One of An Afternoon with Serena Brooke, click here.) JettyGirl: The Serena Brooke Days back in the early 2000's inspired hundreds of young girls to follow their passion for surfing. Do you ever run into surfers who were first introduced and/or encouraged to surf due to participating in your events? Serena Brooke: Definitely. There were a lot of young girls that came to the events back then. I remember Courtney Conlogue, Anastasia Ashley, Karina Petroni and lot of other girls that I've met since that I didn't even remember because they were little groms up in Huntington when I'd go up to the US Open. They had started surfing and would come to my Days up there. It's really cool. It’s something to be proud of and to look back to. Hopefully I put good positive spin on helping some young girls get the encouragement and confidence to start surfing and do what they love. Once you get into surfing, it speaks for itself but those days were really good because they put a lot back into the younger girls and into women's surfing. They were really fun to run. ( JG: We asked a couple of surfers who participated in Serena Brooke Days to share their experiences from back when they were groms. Check below to see what Courtney Conlogue, Anastasia Ashley and Amy Nicholl have to say about Serena Brooke Days. )
"Serena Brooke Day was at 9th Street (Taco Bell Reef) in Huntington Beach, CA. I will never forget Serena Brooke Day. It was very special for me. This was actually the first surfing event and contest I had ever done. I was only 9 years old. I remember being stunned when I saw Serena driving up in her yellow Ford truck to the event. The event was so much fun and there were a lot of girls participating too. My mom joined in and participated in the surf clinic. The surf that day had so much current and some good waves. I wanted to perform the best that I could because I wanted to get on the podium to have Serena Brooke hand me my trophy. Mike Morgan was also the announcer for the event and that's where I met him for the first time. I ended up winning my division and getting Overall Best Performance. I still have the trophies. After this day I wanted to become a World Champion! The day left a big impression on me and I'm currently trying to qualify for the WCT and competing in all the WQS contests this year. Thank you Serena! " -Courtney Conlogue
"Serena Brooke Day was the best day ever! I remember when Serena Brooke Day would come along every year and it was the contest I would look forward to the most. There were great prizes, a fun atmosphere, and it was really empowering for women's surfing. It represented what surfing was about, having fun at the beach, and showing that female surfers are the future. Serena Brooke was someone I looked up to. She was a pioneer for women's surfing. She is beautiful with a polished surfing style and a great personality...she is the complete ultimate package. Serena showed that you could be a beautiful girl both inside and out, and still rip just as hard as the guys. That was inspiring. Serena Brooke Day also showed how much Serena gave back to women's surfing and how much time and energy she put into the event so that young girls could really have one day at the beach. Serena helped push women's surfing to the forefront to where it is now." -Anastasia Ashley
"2002 was the year I went to Serena Brooke Day and I was twelve. I think it was in Cocoa Beach or St. Augustine FL. I won the little girls division. I remember the waves were one foot and really glassy and I got Serena to sign my surfboard. My board had a slightly rounded nose, pink with colorful hibiscus flowers up the rails. LOL. It was a big deal seeing a pro in town since Lisa had already moved away. I was super excited, and I also won a $500 scholarship which has come in handy! The experience definitely gave me inspiration and I made an awesome friend that day who I still keep in touch with. I think that same year Rochelle Ballard had her surf camp too, so the influences really helped my surfing. I am sure I blushed when they gave me the award. And by the way, I still have the trophies!" -Amy Nicholl

Serena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant, JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine JG: In addition to the legions of young surfers you encouraged during Serena Brooke Days, you also used the events to reach out to the community …giving thousands of dollars to local non-profits like youth shelters and child abuse prevention centers. Do you recall any particularly touching moments that resulted from you reaching out to the community like that? SB: Yes, there were a lot of really good and touching memories from donating and putting back into shelters and those types of organizations. I went to some of the shelters and met some of the girls. A lot of them were really timid and shy and I'd just have them come down to the beach and even if they didn't want to surf but just hang out and watch, I'd give them a pack and things like that. For me it was just good to see them smile and get them stoked for a day. There are definitely a lot of memories for me that made it all worth it. To me those types of charities are really things in the community that you want to give back to because they are defining the next generation. Many of those women are probably going to be mothers themselves one day and they're going to continue the cycle in either a good way or negative way. The direction they take will determine whether there's going to be some kid who has a mother with a lot of problems or a mother that had some problems but got over them and moved on. JG: Since you have sisters who surf, when you were at the height of your professional career and would return home for a visit, did your family treat you any differently than when you were a regular grom? SB: I didn't spend a lot of time at home when I was going back in between trips because I have five sisters and they're spread out all over the country. Not really, no, they were exactly the same. They say things like, "Um, you're never here. Where are you? Where have you been?" I remember more so when I first started getting in the paper all the time and I was a young girl, my sisters were like, "People want to be my friend because I'm your sister so screw you!" type of thing (laughs). I had to weave through that side of life …being treated differently in school or by my sisters' friends and things like that but none of that stuff ever bothered me. I was just the same. JG: In your Firsthand on Fuel, Megan Abubo mentioned that while on tour you'd pull random pranks like pouring honey outside their door. Growing up with surfing sisters, did you ever soap each other's wax or anything like that? SB: Oh, we did pranks all the time. Growing up with my sister Christine we'd play tricks on each other continuously. Putting stuff in wax, vegemite in the hair while you're sleeping or drawing on people. I did all that stuff growing up. I thought it was rather funny to play pranks and do silly stuff and that continued on in my first season on tour. There was a lot of craziness overseas. Growing up and being in different countries and learning about the different cultures and incorporating those into pranks was pretty fun actually. Serena Brooke at Cardiff Reef, surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine JG: Which is most memorable …the first time you stood up on a surfboard, the first time you got barreled, or the first professional surf contest you won? SB: Probably the first contest I won because it was from the trials to the main event and it was unexpected. I surprised myself. JG: Which event was that? SB: The 1996 Rip Curl Pro in Hossegor, France. I had only been on tour one year and everyone that I was competing against were my idols. I'd have a heat with Pauline Menczer, or Neridah Falconer, or Pam Burridge or whoever it ended up being and when I beat them, I was like, "Wow, I beat my idol" type of thing and it kept rolling on from there. It was pretty special. I was stoked! JG: When you stood on stage that first time, was it surreal? SB: It was definitely surreal just standing on stage at that first pro contest I won. I remember getting sprayed with champagne and holding the trophy above my head, just being super stoked and people congratulating me. I definitely took it all in. If I look at photos of it now, it's hilarious. I don't think women's boardshorts had come out yet. I had these long boardshorts on and it's just funny. I just laugh when I look at it. I was a grom. Yes, I was pretty happy with the whole thing. JG: Regarding your equipment, do you prefer the tried-and-true or do you like to experiment with different boards and fin setups? Do you have a favorite all-time board? SB: I'm not as experimental as a lot of people are. I don't really go for the big twin fin, massive fish tail type boards. I still ride fairly conventional equipment, a little bit of a fishy board but it still has the thruster setup even if it's a 5'4" with a rounded nose. I do like trying different boards but I generally stick to a thruster or something that I can still get speed and do a bunch of turns because I like to turn. If I want to cruise I'll ride a Mal, or a longboard or whatever you call it here. Yes, I've had a magic board. The best board I ever had was a Rusty. I got a bunch of photos on it. I snapped it in Indonesia after one of the longest barrels I had ever got in my life at Lance's Right. The very next wave I snapped it clean in half. Oh well, at least I scored that wave before. JG: In this awesome April 2000 Surfing Girl cover shot that I'm holding right here, you’re wearing a one-piece swimsuit and in all the other photos we've seen of you over the years, you primarily wear modest bikinis. Do you think the current trend of 'wear a thong, get the shot run' is detrimental to women’s surfing? SB: I feel like it's an individual's choice. If a girl is choosing to wear one because she feels comfortable in that and she's not wearing it because that's the only way she can get a shot or attention, then great, go ahead. I think it's detrimental to the girl herself if she's wearing it for any other reason than that she thinks it's totally comfortable and that's what she really does want to surf in. Regarding it being detrimental to the whole of women's surfing should all come down to an individual thing where it's what each person chooses. If it becomes where society is expectant on every girl wearing a g-string because one girl likes wearing a g-string, that's where I think it becomes detrimental. JG: In one particular double page ad a decade ago, it looks like you're surfing a gnarly reef pass while wearing red trunks, a long-sleeve rash guard, a face full of zinc and even reef booties. It seems like there was a little more freedom back then to look however you liked or wear whatever you wanted. Would the girls be able to get away with that today? SB: I definitely don't think they'd run a photo of a girl in a long-sleeve red rash vest, long boardies and booties (laughing). I don't think that would be as accepted today because there is more emphasis on wearing the thong, the two-piece or the sexy bikini. We did go through phases where they tried to tell us that we couldn't wear sunscreen while we were on an Indo boat trip because the magazine didn't want there to be any zinc or sunscreen in the photos. We were like, "Pfffff! Fine, don't take the photos then. Hello, we're surfing on the equator. As if we're not going to wear zinc." That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. So that didn't last long. (laughter) There definitely isn't the freedom to wear what you would have worn then. I mean, I had a bowl cut and was wearing boys' boardshorts but that was pretty cool back then. It's a different world today that we're living in. It should be the same, like if you want to wear long boardies and booties and if you're doing a rad turn, then they should run it. But I don't think there's really the freedom to do that like there used to be which is a shame. Serena Brooke surf video clip by JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine JG: Big subject change …let's close this out with something light and simple. Since you've become a recent fan of Bull Taco, we have to ask …is there good Mexican food in Australia? SB: Awww, the old Mexican food in Australia question. Everyone pays out Australia so bad about our Mexican food. There's not good Mexican food in Australia …we're a long way from Mexico. It's like Mexican food Australian style. It's not authentic and a lot of the food is not real Mexican style. I know a lot of Californians come over and are like, "Are you kidding?" We have great Thai food though (laughs). We have more Thai restaurants than Thailand I think. JG: Thank you Serena! Any parting thoughts or shout-outs? SB: Really, just have fun and don't take life too seriously. I think we're here to have fun and enjoy life and not feel guilty about it. Everyone just have fun and keep surfing.
Photo Credits: CHRIS GRANT/JETTYGIRL.COM Return to PART ONE of An Afternoon with Serenea Brooke Read more about Serena Brooke at Watch Serena Brooke surf on JettyGirl's YouTube Channel

An Afternoon with Serena Brooke, Pt One

Serena Brooke at Cardiff Reef, surf photo by Chris Grant An Afternoon with Serena Brooke, Part One of Two JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine's Interview with a Living Legend Serena Brooke surf photo by Chris GrantIn the mid-90's I went for a mid-morning surf at Lowers when a nicely directed head-high swell snuck into the famous Southern California pointbreak. About an hour into the session I saw a girl surf waves like I had never seen them surfed before. Wave after wave she'd drive into flawless figure-8 roundhouse cutbacks followed by extended tail-drop floaters. I actually got out of the water to watch, soon learning that the surfer was none other than Australia's Serena Brooke. Fast forward a decade and a half and over the past couple of weeks I finally had the opportunity to work with Serena. Spend a day with her and you're left with no doubt why she's been one of the most beloved surfers of the past few generations. When you mix talent with good looks, quick wit, intelligence and a dash of mischief, it makes for an unforgettable individual. However, while Serena's every bit a superstar, she's also as down-to-earth as a good friend you've known forever ...and that's what I admire most about her. We're honored and humbled to bring you this interview with a living legend. Enjoy! --Chris Grant JettyGirl: You've been in California for a while now. What will you be up to for the rest of the year? Serena Brooke: I've been in California for a couple months but I'm actually heading home tonight. I'm possibly going to be doing a trip to China for a surfing expedition and then I'm headed to Hawaii for the Triple Crown and to do Bud Light promos. I've actually also got a trip to the Bahamas on a cruise ship with Bud Light Lime. Then, I'm going back to Hawaii after that. JG: You were part of a group of women who seemed to have it all …mainstream women's surf magazines, all-girl surf movies and a good deal of sponsorship opportunities. Just this morning we picked up a random sampling of fifteen surf magazines from the late 1990's/early 2000's and discovered that you were in over thirty full-page and double-page ads. Do you ever feel like you were part of a "golden age" in women's surfing? SB: Yes, I definitely feel like I was part of a golden age. There was the whole 90's boom in the surf world. There was the Hollywood aspect with Blue Crush. There was the women's boardshort revolution with Roxy. The world was thriving also at that point ...there were a lot of girls-only surfing magazines as well. We started getting standalone events on the World Championship Tour. The world economically was doing great and everything was booming at that point. I'm super grateful to have been a part of it. It's definitely a little different these days. There's nowhere near the amount of coverage available in the magazines and there simply aren't many publications either. At the time there was Surf Girl, Surfing Girl, Wahine …probably five magazines that were just dedicated to women's surfing that aren't even in publication anymore. Serena Brooke backside floater in Cardiff, surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine JG: Nowadays, it seems like there's more money for a few girls but less opportunity for the majority of them. A couple of girls on Tour are making a great living yet others can barely scrape together enough pennies to get to the next stop. With more young surfers than ever hoping to make the Tour someday, do you think female professional surfing is still a viable career path? SB: I think female professional surfing is a great career path but it's true that just a select few girls make a lot of money doing that. You know you've either got to be a real standout competitively like a Stephanie Gilmore, just winning everything or you need to be able to market yourself in some way that's outside of the box and be very savvy with always being in the media …you know maybe someone like Claire Bevilacqua who's got Bevo's Backwash and who's always getting herself out there and shooting a lot of photos. I definitely think it's still possible's just you have to put hard work into it. That's always been the same really but right now there doesn't seem to be the amount of spots that there used to be. However, if there's a will, there's a way …and if you want to put in the dedication and the hard work and you surf really well, you can definitely do that. A lot of girls that don't even surf that well can make money and a really good career out of the surf world by pursuing modeling, surfing and that whole thing. There are definitely opportunities, it's just how you want to approach it and what you're willing to sacrifice of yourself. Some people don't want to go down the mainstream path of wearing the tiny bikini and doing the photo shoots and acting a little bit like a bimbo to get attention. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that if that's what you're into but that's not for everyone either. It seems like there is a little bit of a narrow doorway when it comes to making it. It's not really a broad spectrum like it is on the men's side of things. You can be crazy and not the prettiest surfer boy but if you surf great, you can have an attitude and that'll work for you and you can build upon that. However, that doesn't really cross over to women's surfing. They want the girls that fit a certain mold's limiting and one dimensional which I don't think it should be. We're all different. It would be boring if all the girls were exactly the same. I think that the surfing world could definitely learn from the rest of the world and other sports and the reality of what is …which is that we're not all exactly the same blonde haired, stereotyped surfer girl. We have a lot of characters…
"You can be crazy and not the prettiest surfer boy but if you surf great, you can have an attitude and that'll work for you and you can build upon that. However, that doesn't really cross over to women's surfing."

JG: At the 1999 WCT event at Teahupo'o, you suffered a serious concussion but got right back out there anyway, pushing through to the semis. At a place like that, are you even thinking about the other competitors or does the wave itself simply demand all of your attention? SB: I would say at a place like Teahupo'o you're obviously aware of what's going on in the heat and the scores you need but there's so much more going on. I remember my heats in Teahupo'o when it was six foot and ugly and not even breaking well, it was more that you stuck together with your competitor. I had a heat with Chelsea Hedges out there and in the heat before Lisa Anderson had almost drowned and had been pulled up by her hair and basically rescued. Chelsea took a wave in my heat and cut her hip and had a big gash which required numerous stitches to close. That was right before I got hit on the reef. It was more like we were checking on each other. I was like, "Are you ok? You're bleeding…are you good?" Obviously you want to get through your heat and you do your best to jockey for position and get the waves but it's not really like other places where you're just focused on what the other person in your heat is doing. Some of the heats out there when it's big and onshore and not even a good direction and it's shutting down nearly every wave's more about just giving all of your attention to the wave itself, the set coming or where you're positioned. It's quite a bit different than surfing heats in less dangerous places. JG: Is the Tour less relevant for no longer having stops like Teahupo'o on the schedule? SB: I would say yes. We had a lot of quality waves at the events back through that 90's boom I was just speaking about. Along with Teahupo'o, we had Jeffrey's Bay and Cloudbreak which is a big challenging left on Tavarua in Fiji. There were definitely waves that pushed the level up a notch. It wasn't just about groveling around in beachbreaks. We had the Teahupo'o event replaced with an event at a closeout beachbreak in Brazil in Itacare. There's just no comparison (laughs) ...a closeout little beachbreak compared to Teahupo'o. There were a lot of politics that went into that decision. I heard that there were legalities or some girls didn't want to surf it or something like that. But you know …if you don't want to surf it, don't show up and let the alternate go and surf it. I got really hurt there but I still think it was a great event. I was just there in May and if run in the right conditions, Teahupo'o is definitely doable. It's a really challenging wave but that's how you grow the sport.
Photo Credits: CHRIS GRANT/JETTYGIRL.COM Go to PART TWO of An Afternoon with Serenea Brooke Read more about Serena Brooke at Watch Serena Brooke surf on JettyGirl's YouTube Channel

Serena Brooke Photo Gallery

It took four and a half years of JettyGirl to make this happen but finally...FINALLY in 2010 I was able to meet up with the legendary Serena Brooke. Her trip to Southern California was unfortunately sandwiched between the frostbiting cold of our summer and the epic conditions we scored in November so we never really lucked into amazing waves during her stay. A few sets did sneak through though and like the seasoned pro she is, Serena made the most of whatever surf the days brought to us. After you check out the photos, take some time to read our interview with Serena.
Serena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine Serena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine Serena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine Serena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine Serena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine Serena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf MagazineSerena Brooke surf photo by Chris Grant of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine Serena Brooke layback snap, surf photo by Chris GrantBackside floater sequence of Serena Brooke by Chris Grant of JettyGirlLate afternoon slice by Serena Brooke, surf photo by Chris Grant