are a lot of surfers out there getting large amounts
of publicity, some warranted, others less so. It's my
personal view that the best surfers should be getting
a good chunk of available coverage. However, in the
modern surfing era, coverage oftentimes goes to the
latest unproven flavor-of-the-month. Enter Lauren Sweeney,
powerful, good natured and progressive beyond belief.
While other students are being just that—students,
Lauren is not only pursuing her degree but is also pushing
the limits of performance surfing to new heights. If
anyone is deserving of publicity, it's Lauren Sweeney.
First off, how are you? We've heard that you just returned
from a fun trip to Peru. Good times?
Lauren Sweeney: I'm doing real well after a month escape
to Peru. That country is amazing from Machu Picchu in
the Andes to fun beach breaks in the south, and endless
lefts in the north. What's not to love about that kind
of Latin American paradise? I also got to hang out with
my friend Julia Christian and husband Magoo which was
another treat in itself.
The ASP just added the Mancora Peru Classic to the 2007
schedule. Did you get a chance to surf that wave while
you were down there? What's it like?
LS: Yes! That wave is awesome if it's the one I'm thinking
about. All the waves in the north are awesome but Mancora
is just this peeling left that doesn't break too heavy
but is absolutely perfect for carving until your legs
With all the traveling professional surfers do, it seems
like you all lead such glamorous lives. Does image meet
reality or do you have to work in other jobs to make
LS: The lucky ones pretty much get to surf for a living
but I wouldn't exactly say the traveling is glamorous
although it is fun! It's not really a topic for discussion
but I would have to estimate that funding has to come
from somewhere and sometimes that source is a credit
card or another job.
You're currently attending college. Where do you go
to school and what area of academics are you focused
LS: I attend the University of California San Diego
(UCSD) and I'm a history major. This is my last year
and I intend to graduate in June 2008. Stoking!!!!
With the newer generation of competitive surfers coming
up, many of the younger ones are doing home-school while
some of the college-aged surfers are postponing school
indefinitely while they chase the dream of a career
in professional surfing. If a parent of young up-and-comer
approached you for advice, what would you tell them?
LS: I would tell that parent that not going to college
right away is a gamble because the chances of making
the tour are slim and the chances of that kid going
to school after battling it out on tour for years is
even slimmer. But, to each their own.
You're one of the most progressive surfers we've ever
seen. Do you think that launching airs and other technical
maneuvers are a key to the advancement of women's surfing?
And, speaking of airs, what is your favorite variation
and is there any specific new trick that you're working
LS: Flying is where it's at but airs aren't everything.
It's all about style these days and the advancement
of women's surfing is going to come from those who are
pushing the limits above the lip with style. My favorite
air is just a clean frontside air but I did try two
double handed frontside rail grab airs the other day.
Finally, if that secret spot we went to yesterday was
the best it's ever been and you could share the session
with three or four other surfers, who would you choose
LS: My dad because he is my inspiration to work hard
and he deserves a super session, my good friend Morgan
because he needs to be inspired to get back in the water
more often, the bald headed guy* who surfs Pipes because
he just shreds, and Julia Goolia because she needs to
come back to California.
( *We're pretty sure the bald guy who shreds at Pipes
is Rusty Phillipy)
Sweeney Photo Gallery
Lauren Sweeney, Carlsbad 2007
Lauren Sweeney Video Clip
Lauren Sweeney, Frontside Reverse
Encinitas CA, Summer 2007
Video: Chris Grant/JettyGirl.com