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FIVE MINUTES WITH LAUREN SWEENEY

lauren sweeneyThere 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. --Chris Grant

JettyGirl: 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.

JG: 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 simply hurt.

JG: 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 ends meet?
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.

JG: You're currently attending college. Where do you go to school and what area of academics are you focused on?
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!!!!

JG: 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.

JG: 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 on?
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.

JG: 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 and why?
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)

Lauren Sweeney Photo Gallery
lauren sweeney frontside air
Lauren Sweeney, Carlsbad 2007
Photos: Chris Grant


Lauren Sweeney Video Clip
lauren sweeney frontside reverse surf video clip
Lauren Sweeney, Frontside Reverse
Encinitas CA, Summer 2007
Video: Chris Grant/JettyGirl.com

 

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