Each summer, Southern California beaches are flooded with raw young talent, vying for surf industry attention and chasing competitive victories at every turn, from the NSSA Nationals to Surfing America, expectations build as future rippers emerge. Among the sport’s next generation of professional heavyweights, 11 year old Noah Beschen checked in at Lower Trestles this year, for an intensive daily summer training session with dad, coach and professional surfer, Shane Beschen. Spending time with Noah and Shane, it’s rad to see the father/son/coach relationship as Shane’s ASP experience and Noah’s intense drive combine to constantly develop his dynamic surfing style. Persistence, practice, and a desire to be the best. Its amazing to see that kind of dedication from so many kids, at such young ages, and it’s easy to forget just how hard 11 year olds are throwing down these days, until of course you’re blatantly reminded. Here are two videos of Noah Beschen proving that hard work creates results… the above my own film and edit, the below filmed and edited by Shane Beschen and seen for the very first time right here.
The journey for a rookie on tour is never an easy one. They immediately find themselves battling more experienced competitors, new line ups, tougher judging, and ultimately themselves. High level competition, regardless of the sport, ultimately becomes a mind game… all top athletes have physical talent, but true champions emerge when mentally able to overcome the competition. Professional surfing, specifically, tests not only the athlete’s raw talent and competitive drive, but their innate ability to identify a winning wave. This became truly evident on my recent trip to France, where Stephanie Gilmore won her 5th ASP World Title. An extremely talented surfer in her own right, Stephanie’s real competitive edge comes from her expert wave selection.
In turn, watching an athlete develop their mental game, as I’ve been able to do following Lakey Peterson as she navigates her first year on the ASP Women’s World Tour, has been an amazing experience. While Lakey’s 2012 season was void of competition wins, her ability to take each loss in stride and channel it into motivation to work even harder has been captivating. It’s nothing short of inspiring any time one is able to witness an individual mentally overcome the obstacles of achieving a goal, in this case it’s a surfer named Lakey.
Below are a few photos from our latest journey in Biarritz, France. US Open is just around the corner so be sure to follow the final few heats that will decide Rookie of the Year and check back for behind the scene photos from the US Open.ASP, Lakey Peterson
In Nike Surfing’s newest :30 spot, Julian Wilson dissects the choreography of his near-perfect score at Brazil’s 2012 Billabong Rio Pro. “A really big first turn, air-reverse to finish, and something in the middle”… the secret behind Julian’s 9.83 wave. Check out the play-by-play above.
Filmed/Edited by Aaron LieberJulian Wilson, Nike
Taranaki, New Zealand, the third stop on the 2012 ASP Women’s World Tour. Rightly-so, this leg of the trip was tagged with the running moniker of ‘fun’. At 17 years old, Lakey is truly living the dream. The waves at the TSB Bank New Zealand Surf Festival were as good as they get… paired with amazing weather, beautiful scenery and great friends, you really can’t ask for more as a competitor. Bettering both of her first two tour stops, Lakey found her way to a the semi-finals in Taranaki, notching the highest single wave score of the event with a 9.85 and securing a current 6th place ranking on the World Tour. But beyond that, she’s having fun with it and taking the time to enjoy each place she goes. On some of her down time Lakey did some exploring in the NZ bush, walking lush botanical gardens and helicoptering into the legendary Jurassic Falls. The pictures below tell the story better than I ever could, so check out PART II of the EN ROUTE with Lakey Peterson photo journal below, and since I’ve already labeled this part of the trip with the word ‘fun’, heres a few ‘fun’ facts about the island country of New Zealand. Check PART I here.
1. A kiwi is not a fruit – it is New Zealand’s native flightless bird and a slang term for a New Zealander. Kiwis call the fruit “kiwifruit” – they are also known as Chinese Gooseberries.
2. New Zealand was the first country to have its three top positions of power held simultaneously by women: The Prime Minister (Helen Clark), the Governor General (Dame Silvia Cartwright), and the Chief Justice (Sian Elias).
3. New Zealand was the first major nation to have universal suffrage. In 1893 it became legal for all male and female citizens of New Zealand to vote. (facts provided by: www.listverse.com)
Copy & Photos by Aaron LieberASP, Lakey Peterson
The world of sports is constantly in search of the next super-star. A relentless game of “who was, who is and who will be.” In Basketball, it was Micheal Jordan, it is Kobe Bryant and it will be Lebron James… or so the debate continues. In the competitive dog eat dog fight that is women’s surfing it was Layne Beachley and her 7 world titles, it is Stephanie Gilmore and her current 4 world titles, and then theres the question of… who’s next? The 2012 Women’s Tour is stacked with amazing young talent. Leading the pack, with 1 world title already under her belt, 19 year-old Carissa Moore is an obvious favorite, although just one of many Carissa finds herself competing right alongside the ripping-likes of Coco Ho, Laura Enever, Sally Fitzgibbons, Malia Manuel, Courtney Conlogue and Tyler Wright. And yet still another name emerges, as 17 year-old Lakey Peterson qualifies to the 2012 Women’s World Tour and steps-up against the best in the world. Introduced to surfing in Manly Beach, Australia at age 5, Lakey didn’t actually start taking surfing seriously until age 11. Three short years later the virtually unknown 14 year old competed in her NSSA Open Women’s Division debut, landing the first-ever air in a women’s contest, Lakey made surf history to claim top honors and garner industry-wide attention. Jump three more years and the now 17 year-old Lakey is competing against the best 17 women in the world. Only time will tell what will happen in the next three years and who among all these amazing talents will rise to the top to create their legacy. In the meantime, check out PART 1 of Lakey’s 2012 ASP photo-journal below, from the second stop on the World Tour in Bells Beach Australia, and stay tuned for PARTS 2 & 3 to drop shortly.
Copy & Photos by Aaron LieberASP, Lakey Peterson
I first met Gabriel Medina when he was 15 years old. We were on the Gold Coast of Australia and I was working on the Women’s film, Leave A Message. I remember picking him, and a few of the Nike girls, up to go for a surf/film session. Didn’t really expect much, the waves were pretty average. We ended up surfing a beach break where Dane Reynolds, Dusty Payne, and Bruce Iron’s were all at as well. Gabriel paddles out and completely schools everyone. I was amazed, the kid did a few full rotation air reverses, a superman, blow tail layback, and alley-oop. A few short years later and he’s qualified for the World Tour and wins 2 out of his first 4 events. Here is a piece I made a few months ago that gives you a taste of what this kid is capable of.Gabriel Medina
I recently had the opportunity to shoot some water footage with Kolohe Andino for a video that celebrates his qualification to the World Tour. Being able to work with Nike and athletes like Kolohe is always inspiring and being apart of something like this inspires me even more. I want to create my own legacy… And hopefully it inspires you too!Kolohe Andino, Nike
It was Transworld Surf that really opened the door for me into video work. In 2005, 19 years old, after an internship the magazine brought me on board to produce original content around the U.S. Open, WCT Pro at Lowers and Pipeline Masters in Hawaii. Not long after my time at TWS, I began work on my first full length surf film, “The Pursuit,” a two year project that went on to premier at 30 events, in North America, Europe and Africa. In 2009, ideas became reality as I traveled with and documented Brett Simpson’s one year campaign to qualify for the WCT, later releasing the film “GO BRETT” in early 2010. The following year, after teaming up with Nike, I debuted “Leave A Message” in May of 2011… and now, as I write this, I’m traveling with the Nike surf team, I’m wearing out passports and compiling footie for the next drop. Big thanks for the support and stay tuned.