British surfer Emily Currie is flying high. Currently ranked second on the WSL Womens’ European Longboard tour, she’s set to take the UK female longboarding scene to a whole new level.
But her talents don’t stop there. She shreds on a shortboard too and actively competes on the UK Pro Surf Tour.
We spoke to Emily about being multi-talented, competition and her hopes for the remainder of 2017!
How did you get into surfing?
“I started when I was about 10 with my uncle and cousins during the summer holidays. It just snowballed from there!”
What drew you towards competitive surfing and how long have you been competing?
“I’ve always enjoyed competing and just being competitive with my brothers. When I got reasonably good, I considered competing but didn’t really know how to go about it. I was at the National Nipper Championships and my friend and fellow surfer Flora said I should come to the Ripcurl Grom Search that was coming up. I did that and never looked back. I was 14 when I entered the Grom Search, so that was 6 years ago.”
What do you love about surfing and competing?
“I’m very competitive so I get a big buzz from it! I just love competing, it’s always so much fun when you’re in the water. Whether it’s with friends or by yourself.”
How do you train for competitions?
“I try and surf all the time in between working. Whenever I can get in I do. Especially in not very good conditions, I get super motivated to go in because I love it. And because nine times out of 10, the surf conditions for competitions are awful!”
What does Winter look like for you? Do you stay in Cornwall?
“This year I did for most of the year. I went away to Israel and Morocco, but that was just for a couple of weeks. Apart from that I stayed at home, trained and surfed!”
Where’s your favourite break in the UK and overseas? Why are those waves so great?
“I love Crooklets beach just because it’s my home break in the UK, where I grew up surfing.
“Overseas it has to be Noosa, Australia. I spent a little bit of time during a 3 month trip to Oz last winter. It’s such a beautiful place – one of my favourite places ever. It’s not as built up because of the national park and there are a few breaks there – really great for longboarding. But the further up the point you go, there’s a really good shortboarding break too!”
What does a day in the life of Emily Currie look like?
“Surfing and eating is pretty much what I spend my life doing! Both make me very happy!”
You ride both a shortboard and a longboard and compete on both. How did you become proficient at both and how were you able to take that into the competitive arena?
“I’m not too sure. I started off shortboarding – that’s what I learnt on and practiced for years. I was then introduced to longboarding by a family friend and loved it. I used his board for years as I didn’t have my own and even competed on it for over a year!
“I now absolutely love both, and it just came naturally to me to start competing, so I did, in both.”
Which female surfers inspire you and why?
“Steph Gilmore will always be my favourite surfer of all time. I love her style – there’s something about it that’s really unique!”
Which do you prefer – shortboards or longboards and why?
“I really can’t decide. I always get asked this question. Every time I toy with it, trying to decide but I really can’t. I love them both so much and for me they go hand in hand with each other and make me a better surfer.”
Do you think surfing’s more biased towards shortboards? Especially in surf media and for some beginners who chose a shorter board too quickly because they look ‘cool’
“Yes I think so. I grew up shortboarding and never even considered longboarding because that was the thing to do. But it’s interesting seeing the guys in Britain who’ve switched, for example, Jack Unsworth used to shortboard, and is now a very respected longboarder with an awesome style.
“I think it’s just who you’re brought up around. My parents knew nothing about surfing, but the thing to do was to buy a shortboard so that’s what I learnt on. Funnily enough learning on a longboard is 100% easier!”
Who shapes your boards and what’s your favourite board in your quiver?
“My shaper is Nigel Semmens, at Ocean Magic Factory. He shapes both longboards and shortboards for me. I think my favourite board is my 9’1ft noserider longboard, it’s a 2+1 fin set up with a square tail – so much fun!”
You’ve had a fantastic start to the 2017 season with nothing less than a 4th place finish. Plus, you’re 4th on the WSL European women’s longboard champion tour. How do you keep the momentum going and what’s your goal competitively by the end of the season?
“Thank you, yes it’s been a really good start! I recently got back from Portugal, placing 5th in the second WSL European Longboard event. Which along with my 4th place a few months ago, puts me in 2nd place on the European WSL longboard tour, which I’m stoked about! It’s a really strong position to be in going into the last event of the year (Boardmasters), so I’m very happy with that, because it’s better than I hoped to be.
“My goal for the year, is to try and get another good result at Boardmasters and keep hold of that 2nd place!”
What’s the ultimate goal with your surfing? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
“I have lots of goals, that actually change all the time but I would love to be in the selection squad for the Tokyo Olympics!”
Image credits: Checkered Photography