15-year-old surfer Ellie Turner from Bude is one of the most exciting prospects in European women’s surfing today. 2016 was an amazing year for Ellie, including first place finish on the UK Pro Surf Tour and a hugely impressive 4th at the ISA World Juniors – the best ever result by a British surfer at the ISA’s on an international level.
And if that wasn’t enough, she picked up a major sponsor, RipCurl, after winning the European Grom Search finals at Watergate Bay last year.
She started 2017 in style, picking up from where she left off. Ellie placed second at the first European Pro Junior of the year in Costa De Caparica, Portugal. And, she came first in the women’s open at the first UK Pro Surf Tour event of 2017 – the Personnel Solutions Surfaced Pro.
We caught up with Ellie in between competitions to find out a bit more!
How did you get into surfing and who inspired you to start?
Ellie: I come from a family of surfers so from an early age I was encouraged to get into surfing. We’ve always gone on holiday overseas to places where the surf’s good.
What did you find the hardest thing about learning to surf and how did you persevere?
Ellie: It’s difficult to say what the hardest thing was because I was young so it was so long ago I can’t remember. I just remember enjoying everything about it!
At what point did you decide you wanted to be a professional surfer?
Ellie: I’ve always loved surfing ever since I was young but I didn’t really start surfing competitively until I was 12/13.
How do you balance school with training and surfing?
Ellie: I’ve always gone to school when I can but I’ve taken a few months of this year because I have to go away so much for competitions. I spent the winter surfing and training in Indonesia with my family – which was amazing.
What’s your favourite surf break and why?
Ellie: I love surfing at my home break in Bude with my friends and family but I also love Indo – there’s such a wide variety of surf spots and it has such perfect waves!
Which surfers do you aspire to and why?
Ellie: I would have to say my inspiration comes from Steph Gilmore and Coco Ho. I love the way they surf because they have such nice styles!
Which has been your toughest event so far and what’s your ultimate dream with your surfing?
Ellie: The Grom Search finals was pretty tough but also all ISA events because the competition is so great. You’re up against an international field and everyone is really good! Last year I got some good results so I’m just hoping to keep it up this year. The big dream is obviously to make the World Surf League championship tour! I’d love to get there!
What do you think about surfing being an Olympic sport and will you be trying out for Team GB?
Ellie: I think it will be great for British surfing because it could promote the sport more and hopefully get Team GB more funding. I would love to make it to the team if GB makes it into the Olympics. At the moment it isn’t clear which countries and how many representatives will make it. But if I could be in with a chance of going that would be amazing!
What advice would you give to other young girls who want to get into surfing
Ellie: Just to get out there and surf as much as you can but above all, enjoy it!
Good luck Ellie!
Image credits: Courtesy of RipCurl Europe