This week the #GirlsWhoShred blog starts a new chapter. We will be speaking regularly with professional and up and coming amateur British riders in the fields of skate, surf and snow to get their opinions on the UK scene. For this first instalment of our UK Rider Profile Series we caught up with Cornish surfer Lucie-Rose Donlan. This is what she had to say about growing up and surfing on the shores of the British Isles...
Rad Girl: Hi Lucie. Thanks for speaking with us today. First of all could you tell us where you are from and what your local breaks are? Have you always lived at the coast?
Lucie Rose Donlan: I live in a small Cornish Town called Wadebridge. I have a few local breaks to choose from but mainly they are Polzeath, Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach.
Photo: Philly Lewis
Rad Girl: When did you start surfing? Turn pro?
Lucie: I started surfing at around 12 years old. My dad got me into surfing as he wanted a "buddy" to surf with. I started to take things further by attending all girls surf days and taking lessons at the local surf school. I don't consider myself to be a "pro" surfer. I have entered a couple of competitions on the UK Pro Surf Tour, but found that the pressure and intensity was too much for me as the level of girls surfing in the UK is really high now and you have to be totally committed and be extremely hungry to be able to stand a chance. I much prefer to "free surf" and enjoy entering the fundraiser Surf competitions as there is no tension and I always surf so much better in relaxed conditions.
Rad Girl: Who are your favourite surfers?
Lucie: Has to be Holly Daze-Coffey from Australia. I just love the glamour she brings to surfing and she totally rips too! I also love Sage Eriksson as I admire her creativity with her boardwork as well as her ability to be a world class surfer
Rad Girl: Whats your favourite wave in the UK and why? And what about worldwide?
Lucie: Favourite UK wave would probably have to be Fistral. When the surf is pumping its so consistent and gives you plenty of chances to catch a great ride. I have only surfed in and around Europe but I have a special place in my heart for Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. There is a break there on El Hierro beach which is mainly used by the locals. Whenever we travel there and its working you can just stay there for the whole day, as it has a left hander on one side and a right on the other...its perfect.
Photos: Mauro Ladu
Rad Girl: Favourite maneuver?
Lucie: Probably would be fast bottom turn as I am still to perfect a lot of techniques! Ha ha!
Rad Girl: What do you most enjoy about skating and surfing in the UK ? And most dislike?
Lucie: I love to skate around the country lanes in Cornwall when its quiet, you can pick up a bit of speed and its also faster than walking! Surfing in the UK can be tough at times especially in the winter when its so cold and then in the summer when the water is a lot warmer but more crowded, so what I would say about what I enjoy most about surfing in the UK is that there are so many different beaches to choose from. I love being able to check the webcams on different breaks and then choose the best waves to surf. Whats so great about Cornwall is that if you drive along the coast roads you basically have your pick of beaches! I prefer ski-ing to snowboarding, having skied since the age of 5. I love to ski in France as the mountain range is vast and the slopes are really challenging. I also love to ski as it is a chance to spend some quality time with my family.
Rad Girl: What are your thoughts on competitive surfing? UK tour?
Lucie: I completely admire surfers who are totally committed to competitive surfing. When I first started surfing I felt it necessary to enter as many competitions as possible. However there are so many great surfers now that have extremely intensive training regimes and you have to be able to put the time in to be successful in the competitions. I realised that entering the competitions was not for me as I always underperform when I feel I am being watched. I still maintain my membership with Surfing GB though and always go along to the competitions as I enjoy the atmosphere and buzz. I know most of the girls that enter now and its great to go down and have some free surfs with them in between their heats!
Rad Girl: Who are your sponsors?
Lucie: I have been lucky enough to pick up some great sponsors. My wetsuit and clothing sponsor is Protest Boardwear, Adams Surfboards supply my boards, Northcore supplies all my surfing accessories and gadgets, WestFrench Ltd who are the OBFive skateboard distributor in the UK send me skateboards and BeShades Sunglasses keep my eyes protected out of the water!
Rad Girl: What does the future hold for you?
Lucie: I am not sure what the future holds for me but I am certain about how I would like it to be. I would like to take my surf instructing to different countries and travel. I would also love to continue with some surf/beach lifestyle modelling shoots and perhaps take this a little further too. Eventually I hope to own my own surf school and would like to design exclusive boards and wetsuits for women.
Rad Girl: Anything else in the pipeline for you?
Lucie: I have had some great opportunities so far this year and have been in talks with a production team about possibly taking part in a reality TV programme called Love Island. I have also auditioned for a part in a new film that is to be made at Fistral Beach called "Bluer than the Sky" based on the book "Blue" by Lisa Glass. Its an amazing story about a local surfer girl that falls in love with a pro-surfer from Hawaii. I am also looking forward to joining Corinne Evans' Girls Surf Tour as an assistant Surf Instructor, Corinne's days were basically where I started surfing so I am stoked to now be helping other girls in the water. In June I am very excited to be taking part in some professional photoshoots and as well as this I will still be enjoying contributing to a monthly blog for Northcore Surf trying out their new and existing products and giving them a review.
Rad Girl: Where can we check out your products/videos/stuff?