Australian surfer Rebecca Woods has just retired from pro surfing after 10 years on the elite ASP Women’s World Tour. After the final 2013 event in Cascais, in which Carissa Moore took the crown, we chatted about the best surfers on tour, the trouble with marketing surfer girls and how pros need to surf slabs
How was Cascais?
Cascais was a good event to add to the calendar for the women. I think it has the potential to grow legs and flourish into a good all round event. It would be nice if it moved to a location such as Ericeira as anything over reef adds another element to the women’s tour, we have a lot of beachies.
Coco Ho said she thought the tour should finish in Hawaii, where would your last dream stop be?
I agree, the whole industry is there. I watched a one off heat at Pipe with Steph [Gilmore] and Tyler [Wright] and they killed it. It is nice for the women to be able to show their skills in front of the whole industry. Maui was such an amazing way for us to end the year in the first few years I was on tour.
What did Carissa Moore have that none of the other surfers had this year?
Carissa is so well rounded in all conditions and she has refined every aspect of herself as a professional. Everything aligned for her, I think winning her fist title has been a lifetime goal and it took it out of her the year after. She also had the experience of winning her first title to fall back on.
Who else impressed you this year?
You first qualified for the WCT at 19, how has it changed since your first year for the better?
I think people’s attitude towards female surfing has changed on the whole and this is growing in strength.
Any changes for the worst?
I think the quality of waves has fluctuated and at the moment is not great but there are a few events in the pipeline and the only way is up for a changing tour in 2014.
Is there a problem in the way surfer girls are marketed and marketing themselves these days?
I think marketing of female surfing is a difficult one. The media love it, causing a stir. Look at Anastasia Ashley putting her ass out to the world and getting millions of views, has anyone watched her on a wave? Has she ever made a heat?
Surfing is an amazing sport and its athletes are all amazingly beautiful and gifted each individually. If it can be marketed for the positive impact it can have on females lives then I think it is headed in the right direction.
What changes do you think the new tour owners will bring next year?
I am not sure to be completely honest it should be interesting to watch. Change needed to happen.
If you could make one change what would that be?
Wave quality and some slabs on tour.
Is it true you plan to retire now?
Yes I’ve decided to hang the hat and walk away, you have to know when it is time and that time is now for me.
Has it been difficult to finance all the travel?
Yes the last two years I have come in financially slightly under where I needed to be to break even. For me at my stage in my life that is not somewhere I want to be. The prize money is doubling for the women next year though so that is awesome.
My studies haven’t finished, I was doing business but now want to go down a different path and do something in the health field. I’ll be working to save for uni (doesn’t sound as fun as the tour but I have had 10 years in the top and it has been awesome!)
Do you still live where you grew up?
I still live at home, I have been in and out over the last few years living in different areas and trying different things. I love home and it will always be home. It is quiet and picturesque with great waves and good people, but at the present time in my life I am not sure I will be staying there.
I’ll be running Surf Coaching trips for anyone who is interested. Fun for everyone, different locations and some good feedback for anyone looking to improve their surfing. Visit www.becwoods.com