In a break from the old routine we’re running this week’s ‘Pro Chat’ on a Thursday instead of a Friday, so you can spend tomorrow as it was truly intended, stuffing your chops full of Hot Cross Buns. Ahead of Surfing GB’s trip to the World Junior Champs in Panama, we caught up with the super-talented Devon teenager Peony Knight
Interview by Sam Haddad
Hey Peony, how are you?
Good thanks! Really excited about heading off on Friday for Panama!
Sounds rad! Tell us about that?
Well everyone’s frothing, we’re camping on the beach where the contest is being held so we’re hoping that we will get to know the break before the comp starts.
There are loads of other spots out there, so should get some good waves. It’s the World Junior Championships, so I’m excited to be up against the world’s best juniors.
We know Surfing GB has been trying to raise money for the trip. How have you been helping with that?
We have all been doing fundraising events, my brother Taz and I have been doing car washing at the local beach car parks, and we organised a fundraising gig at Croyde village hall. Also we helped out at a surf comp, doing beach marshalling and selling burgers. It’s been really fun, can’t wait to go!
How old are you and when did you first start surfing?
I’m 14 now, and started surfing at about 6 on a surf trip with the family in Central America.
Were you good right away or did it take a while?
Well that trip gave me a head start, it’s certainly a lot easier to practice when your camping next to surf breaks in warm water!
When did you start doing comps?
I started off with local comps at Croyde Surf Club, and when I was about 10 started doing under 12 comps all around the country. Sometimes I had to enter the under 12 boys as there weren’t many girls comps!
When did you get hooked up with Roxy?
I’ve been with Roxy for about a year, I won the Quiksilver King of the Groms comp at Croyde, and I had been the British U14 Champion the year before. I guess it came about that way really.
Is it tough training in the UK in winter?
Yes, especially training with the British Junior surf squad all winter in freezing conditions, and thick wetsuits, boot, gloves always make it more difficult, so I was glad to go out to Morocco with the family over Christmas, and again with Surf Solutions during February. Morocco is great!
Where is your favourite place to surf?
I really love Ireland. I’ve been going there for years camping with my family, it’s beautiful and the waves are sick!!
Which surfers do you admire the most?
Bethany Hamilton because of her courage, and Lakey Peterson as she’s only 17 and she rips!
Is it hard fitting surfing in with your schoolwork?
It’s much harder fitting schoolwork in with my surfing! My school is pretty supportive, but it might get harder next year when I start GSCEs…
Anything else you’d like to say?
Just thanks to Roxy for the support, and Diplock for some sick boards. Anyone who wants to start surfing, go for it!!!