Interview: Lee-Ann Curren
Indecision is refreshing, isn’t it? It’s real. So often we’re fed post-heat interviews, magazine spreads, and press-conference babble from pro surfers hell bent on heat performance and tour rankings. Or, on the other side we see anti-competition gypsies swearing off surfing events for life. Black and white never seemed so clear. But Miss Lee-Ann Curren, 22 years old, ain’t cut from that sorta’ cloth – and how sweet it is.
Surfing Ain’t Life
Lee-Ann spent 2010 on the ASP World Tour. She missed an event through injury but still finished 14th, a pretty decent result for her first gig in the major league; a little girl’s dream, perhaps. Perhaps not. “Growing up it was my dream to be on tour; I eventually qualified, but after spending that year on tour it kind of made me think,” says Lee-Ann down the phone line from Bali, in her saturated French accent. “Surfing on tour doesn’t [always] mean good waves. I mean, it was a great experience and all … but perhaps I don’t want it as much as before, I don’t think. It’s hard to say. I still love competing, … it’s just different now.”
Surfing Ain’t Need to Be the Future, Either
“In the past I’ve tried to be super surf-focused, but I guess I wasn’t really happy doing things that way,” says Lee-Ann. “Roxy doesn’t mind that I’m not a contest machine. I’ve tried that but I don’t think it’s for me. I still love competing in good waves and making rounds, though, which is why I still do it.” The future? “I don’t really know; perhaps I’ll give it a few more years and see how it goes. I’d love to be able to surf good waves and do the contests I want to do.”
She Digs Australia, Especially WA, Though Maybe a Little Less This Year
“It wasn’t my best start,” Lee-Ann freely admits of her Australian results earlier this year. She surfed the Roxy Pro trials, Newcastle, and Margaret River, where she skittled out in her second heat in tricky conditions. “I was hoping for a better result in WA. I got some good scores in the first round, but the waves got difficult to surf after that because of the wind. I only needed a small score to progress but I couldn’t get it,” she said. “But I really like coming to Australia, I’ve been here every year for while now. I especially like Western Australia as it reminds me a lot of California with the good waves and really dry climate; I’ve always had really good trips there.”