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The World’s Top Women Surfers Talk Boards and Brazil

The ASP WQS 4-Star Billabong Girls Rio and the Billabong Girls Pro Rio have been moved from June/July to September. We get the low down on how seven-time women’s world champ Layne Beachley (AUS), new mum Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS), Julia De La Rosa (now residing in Peru) and Central Coast ripper Amee Donohoe (AUS) are preparing for the upcoming ASP leg…


Layne Beachley (AUS)

On Surf… “I have been surfing mostly as Freshwater and Queenscliff, my two home breaks. There has been loads of swell down here in Sydney, but the banks have lacked consistency and quality. It’s always good to have waves though. I love this time of year because the water is still relatively warm, the sun is always shining and the kids are back at school. I’m happy with my surfing at the moment. Due to my work load at this time of year, my time in the water is usually quite limited so I’m pleased with the amount of time I have had in the lineup lately.

I know several of my competitors have been on boat trips through Indo which I’m jealous of, but at least I’m surfing waves similar to the conditions we will face in the next event in Brazil. Finding time to surf and balancing the responsibilities of building a brand, running a charity, organising a fund raiser for my charity, writing my book and searching for sponsors for my surf event has me pretty exhausted by the end of every day.”

On Equipment… “Darcy shaped me a couple of amazing epoxy boards that I’m just loving! To keep things interesting I switch between my 5’10″ round tail and my 5’8″ quad. Both boards go really fast and are super responsive so I’m just now beginning to focus on my equipment for the rest of the year, especially the next few events which are all held in beachbreaks. Darcy and I like to mix it up from time to time, and all my boards are working really well which certainly builds my confidence.”

On Diet… “Way tooooooo much! May is my fat month so It’s time to get back to training.”

On Training… “Training consists of weights, boxing, cycling, sand running, sprints, swimming and yoga. I will be doing plenty of it in the lead up to the next event as winter has certainly got the better of me.”

On Brazil… “I love Brazil. The people are crazy, but very passionate so I love to feed off of their enthusiasm. I have won there before, and have competed in Rio many times back in the 90’s at Barra Beach so I’m looking forward to going back there. I’m also planning to compete in my first WQS event this year which should be fun.”


Julia de la Rosa Toro (PER)

On Surf… “I have been surfing up and down the coast of Peru. I spent two weeks in Mancora surfing there and Lobitos. The waves were a fun size and not many people around which was a bonus. I was happy to surf some lefts after being in OZ surfing all rights. Then I also went on a different trip to Chicama – this is the world longest left. We scored two good days there. The sand bank is perfect right now and on low tide it’s a super long barrel. I’m back in Lima now surfing waves near my house. Peru is really consistent, so I have waves to surf everyday. I’ve mostly been enjoying my surfs and relaxing because Australia was a long trip and I have more than a month before the next event.”

On Equipment… “I’m riding my Channel Islands Surfboards. I’m very lucky to have been sponsored by them for so many years. I have my boards dialed in and have no worries about my boards. My normal shortboard is a 5’9″ Kelly model, and the boards keep their speed and flow through all conditions. Still no major clothing or wetsuit sponsor, which makes doing the tour harder. The prize money I won in Australia didn’t cover my traveling expenses, so what can I say. Lucky my husband, Magoo, is really supportive and helps me financially.”

On Diet… “I have been eating healthy – here in Peru, you can go to the supermarket and get a cart full of fruit for real cheap. I eat fruit every morning and drink green tea. For lunch and dinner, I cook chicken or meat with brown rice and steamed veggies. I don’t like to cook fish, so I usually eat out at one of many excellent restaurants here. The fish here is tasty and always fresh.”

On Training… “Normally I stay fit year round, but before events I train harder. Right now I’m training several times a week. I do a lot of core exercises and cardio too. For cardio, I like to swim or ride my bike.”

On Brazil… “The last time I competed in the ASP Women’s World Tour event in Brazil, I finished in the Quarterfinals. I feel confident in beachbreaks because that’s what I grew up surfing in Carlsbad. Plus Magoo is planning to travel with me which is a bonus because he knows the area and speaks Portuguese. Looking forward to Rio because I haven’t been there yet and it’s something new.”


Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS)

On Surf… “I have been surfing Yallingup, Bears Injidup and Castle Rock. I am trying to catch lots of waves quickly now as I am usually on time restraints.”

On Equipment… “Between 6’0″ to 6’6″ Grubbs – New, faster rockers are going good.”

On Diet… “Lots of fresh food from the markets. Lots of wraps, rice, eggs and cakes.”

On Training… “Swiss balls, yoga, walking and stand-up paddle boarding.”

On Brazil… “I love the vibrancy of the place and enthusiam and friendliness of the people. I have had some good waves in Rio before so will hope it is like that to put in my best performance.”


Amee Donohoe (AUS)

On Surf… “I took off to Hawaii for a month – was grea,t just hung out with Megan and Rochelle and surfed. Back in Ballina now. Waves in Hawaii were super fun, waves have been smoking back here at Ballina – solo sessions with my flat mates – epic winter days! Trying 101 boards so its been up and down. Trying to work on my forehand – it’s all about being tight in the pocket.”

On Equipment… “101 boards – got a couple of Eric Arakawa’s in Hawaii, Kalu customs, as well as working with a bunch of Aussie shapers. My own gear I’m designing looks pretty sweet. I’m looking forward to working with my shapers especially now that Brazil is postponed we have a really long break. I really need to get some boards that go good in junkie beachies – I’m lacking in that department at the moment. A couple of grovellers will top off my quiver nicely.”

On Diet… “Since Peru, I’ve had some undiagnosed parasite so for the last 3 weeks it’s been NO processed suger – not even honey (it’s killing me). No alcohol (not as hard as I would of thought). I’m on one hard core diet, lots of protein and vegetables with a big array of vitamins – fingers crossed it works as the only option left is to go in and have a look around my intestines.”

On Training… “I’ve been doing some work with a trainer – I normally do weight workouts five times a week, this time im working on my weak spots like my hips and core. It’s a long road and tedious workouts which are really specific, but it’s good to take on new forms of training, although I’m missing my mirrors and weights.”

On Brazil… “We’ll hold off until September I guess.”

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