Every month Drift will be bringing you up-and-coming talent from around the globe. This month Emily Williams from Wales…
Where are you from?
The city of Newport in South Wales
What do you love about surfing?
Travelling, making new friends and seeing them getting a sick wave at the local on the best day of the year, then catching the bigger one behind them!
What’s in your quiver?
I’m lucky enough to be a team rider for Fourth Surfboards, so have access to some sick boards.
My current favourite is a 5’ 7” Shank model, made from epoxy rather than PU. Really liking the epoxy so far, it’s super light and tough and hasn’t got any pressure dents or dings from the local reefs so far!
I’m using it with FCS II Performers which seem to suit it, there’s plenty of drive but it’s still really loose.
For the bigger days my step-up board is a 5’ 10” Doofer. I’ve surfed this in Scotland, the Mentawais and Fuerteventura but don’t get much chance to use it in Wales!
I’ve got a bit of a board collecting habit growing; they’re so hard to let go of! It’s great to pick them up and remember the places I’ve surfed or comps I’ve surfed them in.
Where’s your favourite place to surf?
Tough one…. I love surfing my local Llantwit Major, but have to admit the blue, warm water and more powerful surf at breaks like Pitstops in the Mentawais are hard to beat. I went to the Matungou Resort last September with the Fourth Surfboards team and even though we didn’t get classic conditions the waves were sick!
What did the word adventure mean to you when you were small, and what do you think of now?
When I was small, we used to go to France skiing in our camper, which was always pretty exciting, helping to pack the van then driving down through France and starting to see the snow on the hills. Waking up in the morning with the van covered in snow and mountains all around felt pretty adventurous then.
Now, adventure is still about travelling and experiencing new things, meeting new people and learning about different cultures.
It’s about getting lost in a different country but always managing to get to the sea.
What in life gets your adrenaline pumping?
Big surf, the first time surfing a new break and watching sport (especially when Wales play at rugby).
Where would be your dream surf trip location to travel to?
Australia, it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go since I was little. There are so many different places there to explore. Just a quick 5-year trip would suit me!
Do you do any training out of the water?
Yeah, I go to the gym, swim and skateboard. Living inland makes it difficult to get down in the winter, so all the training out of the water definitely keeps me fit when I can’t get in.
Who do you look up to the most? Does anyone outside the surfing world also inspire you?
I think I look up to lots of different people and learn something from each of them; Oli Adams for his attitude and Luke Hart and the team at Fourth, they work so hard to continually improve their boards.
I’ve had lots of encouragement and help from all of the Welsh crew, people like Tim Jones, Liam O’Shea & Gwen Spurlock (to mention just a few) who’ve put so much back into surfing. I really like their unselfish attitude.
What’s your biggest goal?
To keep surfing and enjoying myself. I want to surf to the best of my ability and keep competing for as long as I’m enjoying it.
If you weren’t a surfer, what would you want to be?
When I was younger I did a bit of Track Cycling and so I’d probably be a cyclist. They seem to be able to include café stops into their training rides too and I definitely love a bit of tea and cake aha!
Three things from your bucket list:
I don’t really have a bucket list; I just like to make the most of what life offers.
If you were going to shape a board, what would it be?
A traditional twin-fin for the summer waves!
Do you have a favourite pre/post surf snack?
Not really, I’ll just eat anything that’s around!
What’s next for you this year?
I’ll do a couple of UK comps, finish my A-levels, have a long summer travelling and then go to university. So this year is pretty jam-packed!
Head on over to surfergirl.cymru to keep track of Emily