Hawaiian surfer Monyca Byrne-Wickey may only be 17-years-old but she’s already creating ripples in the women’s surfing circuit. We catch up and get the inside scoop on her favourite tunes, travels and surfing tactics…
Name: Monyca Isle Ho’omelelaka Lee Byrne-Wickey
Sponsors: Billabong, Nike 6.0, Von Zipper, Vertra, Killer Dana, Dakine, Kazuma Surfboards.
Home town: Hana
Briefly describe yourself…
I am a friendly, laid-back girl who loves my home town, relaxing with my friends and family, and surfing.
What is your philosophy on life?
My philosophy is to always strive for what you want, no matter how out of reach it may seem. And always do it with a smile.
How long have you been surfing for?
I’ve been surfing for about 8 years now.
What do you like about surfing?
I like being in the ocean and just having the feeling of letting go. I also love to surf with my friends and share the fun together.
How has your winter been?
My winter has been really fun. I’ve been travelling a lot lately and it’s been a great experience for me. I’ve also had some really fun waves.
Where have you been surfing?
Since November I’ve been to Brazil, Australia and Oahu, and I’m going to Indonesia in a couple of weeks.
Do you get nervous before competitions?
I don’t get too nervous unless it’s a big event, but in that case I can get a lot of butterflies.
What is your favourite riding spot and why?
My favourite surf spot is Koki beach. It’s my home break and it’s a great training wave. It changes a lot, making it different every time.
What do you take with you when you travel?
I take a lot of stuff because I like to be prepared for anything, but the normal stuff is my boards, clothes, computer, toiletries, towels, sunscreen and school books.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
My biggest inspirations are my parents because they live such a happy and healthy lifestyle and they’re just the greatest, most fun-loving people ever.
Can you give us a run down of your average day?
On a weekend I usually wake up around 8am, eat some scrambled eggs and toast, cruise with my mom and dad for a little bit then call up my friends to see how the waves are. I’ll then go and surf for about two hours, then go eat lunch at Hana store. After that, I might go surf again but if it’s not so good I’ll go swim at a pond or something until my mom or dad comes to get me. When I get home I’ll probably have a snack and watch some TV or do some homework then eat dinner and go to bed.
If you could have the perfect day, what would it involve?
Best friends, good waves, sun, croquet and chilli and rice at Hana store on the wall.
What do you do when you’re not surfing?
Swim, hula, play croquet, hang out with friends and family.
Do you have other secrets for staying in shape?
Yeah, my secret for staying in shape is eating a lot. It sounds weird but I eat more than any girl I know and I think it helps my metabolism work faster and that keeps me skinny but other than that I have no idea why I’m not obese. Ha ha!
What are you most looking forward to about the coming season?
I’m most looking forward to graduating and starting the World Qualifying Series.
Any advice for girls who would like to start surfing?
Don’t wear surf shorts because they give you a rash, and ask an experienced surfer to surf with you so they can give you tips and keep you from getting in other people’s way!
I can’t get enough of… home.
My three suitcase essentials are… bikinis, iPod, sunscreen.
The top five tunes on my playlist are… anything by Sublime, Bob Marley, Lauren Hill, Amy Winehouse or Snoop Dogg.
The five people I would most like to meet are… Martin Luther King, Britney Spears, Jesus, Madonna and Snoop Dogg.
I feel pressure… to get further than even I expect.
When times are tight… mow a lawn or two.
My ultimate motivation is… family.
My biggest fear is… losing friends and family.
When the day is done… I like to cuddle up with some ice-cream and a movie.
My favourite quote is… “never give up” is probably the best one out there.
Favourite foods… tacos, spaghetti, chilli rice.
Life is hard when… I spend too much time thinking about nonsense.
Life is good when… we’re living it.
Before I die I want to… go the Great Wall of China, sip coconuts in the Bahamas, have kids and a family, live my dreams.
Watch footage of Monyca in action here!
Images courtesy of Billabong.
Words: Elisa Routa