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Surf Sensation: Shauna Ward Interview

Shauna Ward, 21, grew up surfing her home break of Bundoran, Ireland. Now she’s on the Vans surf team and taking the contest circuit by storm. We catch up to chat about the holy trinity of surf, sleep and stretch…

Have you always loved watersports?
Yes, I learned to swim before I could walk, I loved the water when I was a kid.

How did you get into surfing?
My dad brought myself and three brothers to the beach all the time to surf when we were growing up.

When did you decide to commit yourself to surfing full time?
When I was 15 years old, I made it into the Irish Junior surf team for the first time and went on to win a bronze medal at Eurosurf.

Do you consider yourself to be an adrenaline junkie?
No not really, I definitely enjoy getting the adrenaline pumping but I wouldn’t say I’m a junkie!

Can you give us a run down of your average day?
Not really – all my days are very different, on a really good day it would be surf, eat, sleep, surf, eat, sleep and so on…and maybe a bit of partying in there too!

What are your plans for this autumn?
Plans for the next wee while is a trip to Madeira, to compete on the BPSA Triple Crown. It’s the first time they have a women’s event at Thurso – the wave looks amazing.

What’s your favorite surf spot?
Lakei pipe.

How do you prepare for a big competition?
Sleep, rest, stretch, eat well and surf as much as possible leading up to it.

What is the atmosphere like behind the scenes?
You can see the good and bad parts of people in and around competition so it’s an interesting place to be.

You must travel a lot: what are your suitcase essentials?
I always pack as light as I can so it’s the bare essentials for me: boards, suit, wax, blue-tac, music…

What have your greatest achievements been so far?
Becoming Irish Champ, British University Champ and getting 19th spot in the World Surf Championships. I also managed to get a 1st class honors degree along with a three year sports scholarship at University of Ulster, which was quite an achievement.

Who or what are your inspirations?
Good people with positive attitudes.

What affect does your career have on your personal life?
Surfing doesn’t have a damaging effect on my personal life – it enhances it if anything.

How do you relax when you get the chance?
Party! And taking time to chill out with my mates.

What’s up next for you?
A nice cup of tea.

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