2017 has seen young British surfer, Emily Currie storm the ranks of Europe’s elite, upsetting the status quo with her youthful attack in both shortboarding and longboarding events.
With surfing set to make its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020, Currie wants to use her strong 2017 campaign as a launch pad to maximise her chances for 2020 Olympic GB Surf Team selection.
Currie said: “Being in the Olympics has always been a dream of mine and now that surfing has the opportunity to become part of it, I will do everything I possibly can to be representing my country as part of our first ever Olympic surf team.”
A triumph at the UK’s first wave lagoon Championships, Surf Snowdonia and a third place finish at Thurso Surf Festival in Scotland this past November saw the 20-year-old Olympic hopeful crowned British Women’s No.2 overall in the UK Pro Surf Tour rankings.
A field of 14 surfers tackled four of the UK’s toughest wave spots during the circuit, but consistency and strategy proved Currie’s greatest weapons, fuelling her heats with effective wave selection and skills combinations to maximise her points per heat.
She said: “The UK tour was a steep learning curve for me this year, I was so close to taking the overall title. Everything went right for me at Surf Snowdonia. It’s an interesting wave to surf because all the variable elements of surfing are taken out. The wave is the same size and strength every time and you know which direction it will come from. You just have to keep your head and perform consistently.”
In stark contrast to the automated waves of Surf Snowdonia, strong cross-shore winds and changeable swell conditions plagued the coastlines of the Scottish highlands throughout the Tour finale, the Thurso Surf Festival. A strong points lead at the top of the rankings had the title within Currie’s grasp, but the ocean’s fickle ways saw it slip between her fingers.
“I wanted to perform better at Thurso and surfed a solid semi-final heat,” said Currie.
“But I didn’t find the waves during the final that would allow me to maximise my scoring potential. Had I found them, I would have taken the overall title. But that is the way it goes sometimes in surfing, it’s the nature of competition. Every element is changeable and knowing how to make the most of the conditions is a constant learning process. I can’t wait for what is to come next!”
Bude’s finest also honed her longboarding skills earlier this year as part of the World Surf League (WSL) European Longboard Tour, nose-riding her way from Gaia, Portugal to Newquay’s Fistral Beach. Currently ranked 3rd in Europe, Currie cemented her highest ever WSL position since joining the Longboard Tour in 2015.
Surfing England and the British Longboarding Union announced earlier this October that Currie would be one of four longboarders chosen to represent England in Wanning, China at the 2018 World Longboard Surfing Championships. The event, which traditionally ran as a discipline of the ISA World Surfing Games made its stand-alone debut in Huanchaco, Peru in 2013.
Emily Currie will join fellow members of the British Longboard Squad, Ben Skinner, Ben Howey and Jen Pendlebury in Hainan Island next January as Team England’s youngest longboard competitor.
Robert Green of the team’s management told Surfing England: “We are proud and excited to be attending the event with such strong surfers, who we hope will challenge for medals in both individual and team placing’s.”
Together they’ll take on the world’s best longboarding teams at the infamous left-hand point break, Riyue Bay and showcase a ‘transgressive’ array of longboarding styles.
11X European Longboard Champion, Ben Skinner coined the term and explained its meaning to Truthfal: “It’s this whole thing with traditional longboarding vs. progressive riding and what we’ve evolved into.
“What we’re doing on longboards now is a mixture of the two, hence the word. We‘re mixing traditional manoeuvres with a modern take, as well as doing the hang tens and nose rides. None of that changes.”
The World Championships in January will see Currie kick-start her 2018 longboard campaign. Emily said: “I’m so excited to be going to China for the first time. I’ve watched the WSL Longboard Championships there every year and it looks like such an amazing wave. I’m honoured to have the opportunity and to represent my country again!
The team are currently fundraising in preparation for the 2018 World Longboard Surfing Championships in China. Robert Green told Truthfal: “At present, the team is self-funded so any help would be greatly appreciated as we prepare to go for gold in Hainan, China!”