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linda benson at ucsd legends event, surf photography by chris grant, jettygirlsurf photography by chris grant

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linda benson, jettygirl for september 2006 linda benson surf photo gallery linda benson surf video clips


PJ: You were the first woman to ride Waimea Bay. Can you describe what it was like out there your first time?
LB: It was scary and I do remember that I was thinking "gotta get through the shorebreak" and I paddled out on a board I had never ridden before. It was probably a 10’6" board. I borrowed it from the littlest guy. You know, everyone brought two boards over to Hawaii. A longboard 9’0 and then their gun. So I borrowed this gun from the littlest guy, he was a flamenco guitarist, David Chaney, and I paddled out. Fred Van Dyke was just getting over towards the line up and he wiped out and he popped up and his board had broken in half. Then John Severson had wiped out and he was swimming and he looked at me and said "You're crazy". He paddled in and got his camera. I was scared but at fifteen you are kinda, no fear. The couple on the beach that were my chaperones were very nonchalant about it. Really, we didn't think about being the first girl or anything. It was just...that was the place that was breaking that day and so I was just going out.

PJ: When you were out riding huge waves, did you pray to anyone or anything? Are you a spiritual person?
LB: Yes I do. I believe in God and certainly a couple times asked for assistance to get back on shore. I do ask for help and guidance every single day. I think it is important and I wouldn't want to be on this planet without some sort of aid, higher power or belief in God. So you know, it makes it a lot easier for me anyway.

PJ: You are a true pioneer, that is obviously your spirit. What is it that keeps driving you to do all these things, blazing trails for other people?
LB: Well, I guess when I got the World Championships at Ocean beach. I mean I wanted to do it. I just didn't know how. So I was kind of paralyzed and I didn't know where to begin and we did it, we started and I am just in this. I am just here in this capsule and there is no getting off. I have learned that because the women are so appreciative, I know they are and I think that you want to keep doing it. You want to make a difference for them and I think it is the women themselves. In France they (ROXY and the ASP) had never dealt with the longboarders and it was a bit different, because they are so appreciative (and maybe that won't stay like this forever). So appreciative of anything anyone does for them. People like them and I know the people at Roxy do. I heard one of the marketing people say, "they are so appreciative."

You know we want to help them. That's what they said. So you know I think maybe that's what maybe helps. That is why everyone does it. They are so nice and deserving. If it weren't the case, then maybe we wouldn't be so dedicated. But it is a great cause and a great thing to do and I feel lucky to be able to give back. I've gotten so much from surfing. I mean incredible. I mean, my life, it hasn't been perfect and certainly it hasn't been without its trials and tough times. But as far as everything I've gotten from surfing, it is incredible and I'd never be able to pay it all back. But I can try and that's what I am doing.

PJ: What's your favorite time of day?
LB: I like the morning because that's when there is no wind for surfing. I get up pretty early and I like to enjoy my coffee and I kind of think about the day. I like all times really. Whatever. (smiles)

PJ: Linda Benson's favorite food?
LB: Healthy. You know healthy with the occasional treat of probably sweets of some sort. Favorite foods are healthy foods. They make me feel good.

PJ: Outside of surfing, what is your favorite thing to do?
LB: (pause) I like projects. I like to garden. I kind of like to invent things and do stuff like that. Just poke around with no deadline. What does that mean? (laughter) I don't even know what that means? Yeah, just kind of feel around with whatever I do.

PJ: Who inspires you and why?
LB: Oh gosh! Well, so many people have inspired me. (long pause) I am not going to be able to think of this, but there have been so many people that have taken whatever they are doing, way past any expectations. The people that do things and put themselves aside. I think that is admirable. All the Mother Theresa’s and that sort of thing. People that help other people I would say.


Linda Benson Interview | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |        


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