We check in with the former UK Pro Surf Tour Champ and Cooler cover star and find her as bubbly as ever. Not surprising seeing as she’s finished uni and is spending the summer at the beach surfing and coaching
Photos by Kate Czuczman
Hey Gwen, how’s your summer? Awesome heatwave but you must be missing the surf?
Summer has been a treat so far, the weather’s been a lovely surprise. The lack of waves has meant I’ve been a bit bored but I’m not going to complain about the sun though, ha. The waves have come back now anyway, so equilibrium has been restored! YAY
We haven’t chatted for a while so fill us in on what’ve you been up to?
It’s been too long! ha. I’ve just finished uni, graduated and everything. Never thought I’d say that! ha. At the start of June I went out to the World Junior Championships in Nicaragua with the British Junior team to help out with the coaching which was a great experience. It was cool being on the management side of things rather than competing and I enjoyed trying it out. I’m glad I’ve finished uni so I can crack on with surfing and having too much fun!! I’m also currently in Cornwall helping out with some Surf Sistas trips which is cool.
What kind of state is UK surfing in right now?
To be honest, I feel I have been out of the scene for a while due to uni commitments but from seeing the contest schedule for women I’m not sure if it’s going anywhere. There seems to be not many contests for women on at the moment, so I guess that’s a bad thing.
And how do you feel about surfing? Still love it as much as ever?
I still love surfing, but as I’ve grown up my perspective on it has changed slightly due to having more going on in my life. I guess I have a different kind of respect for it now. I feel very fortunate to have been given all the opportunities that it has presented to me, especially all of the travelling.
I did see it and I found it quite interesting and confusing. The trailer was beautifully shot but I didn’t really understand why there was no surfing in it. That’s my basic opinion. If it was a trailer for a surf contest then I believe the viewers’ expectation would be to see surfing.
How is South Wales and where should folk head to first if they fancy a visit?
South Wales is still awesome!! haha!! If folks fancied a visit then head to the Gower or Mumbles. There are lots of things to do and it’s all very pretty!!
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Enjoy every opportunity available and just go for it. Not that I didn’t do that when I was 16 anyways! haha
Is your brain totally better or are you still getting headaches? [Gwen had emergency brain surgery in 2008 which we discussed in our 2010 cover interview]
My brain is fine thank you very much, I still get headaches when dehydrated but just take it in my stride!!
Thanks Gwen, any shout outs?