You were the first woman to ride Waimea Bay. Can
you describe what it was like out there your first
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.
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."
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
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
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.
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