Locals Student of the Week | Julie Smith


This week's student of the week is Julie Smith!

Julie has been one of our fastest progressing students at Locals Surf School. We are always impressed to see how fast she picks up skills and how dedicated she is to the sport of surfing. Above is a photo of Julie executing a perfect cross step the first summer she learned to surf! We love watching Julie in action and getting to see how she applies such intense focus in order to reach new levels. In other words, Julie kills it!

Julie's Bio: Julie is from Short Hills, NJ and has been living and working in Manhattan for the past four years. She began surfing in May of 2014 and has since come a long way. She continues to work towards reaching new levels of surfing and hopes to eventually travel the world one wave at a time. 

Q&A With Julie:

Locals: Why do you love to surf?
Julie: I love surfing because it's the one sport where you're forever a student, no two waves are ever the same. I also love surfing because it requires you to be present, you don't have the time to focus on stresses at work or your never ending to-do list.

Locals: What is one of your favorite things about surfing?
One of my favorite things about surfing is how humbling it is. You think after some time that you're getting the hang of it... you pop up, you can paddle into your own wave, learn to turn, ect., but you often don't even realize how reliant you really are on your instructor. The sheer mental component of them being there, spotting and then setting you up for every wave. Riding a wave is the easy part, identifying and differentiating them.. not so much. 

Locals: What is one of your most memorable moments from learning to surf?
Julie: The dreaded but amazing "time out" drill. To learn how to identify and catch your own wave Mike does a drill with me where you have to spot a wave for him and attempt to tell him how to paddle into it, and then he'll wait at the shore until you spot and catch a wave by yourself. He's taught me to just "go for it, you'll never know until you try" its kind of like that saying about missing 100% of the shots you don't take... you'll miss 100% of the waves you don't paddle for.

Locals: Tell us about your custom board!
Julie: The board Mike is working on with me now is being shaped by Paul Schmidt of Paul Surf. Boards are like pieces of art. There is so much that goes into shaping a board, so many intricate details that I don't even understand, it makes it difficult to see them as just a piece of equipment. This one will be matte black, 8'10 and hung in the kitchen of my Soho shoe box! 

Locals: What is your ultimate surf trip fantasy?
Julie: Morocco is my ultimate, to make my way down the coast to Agadir. I would also like to go to Portugal and Ireland when I develop a thicker skin. Ultimately, I want to develop enough of a skill set to explore the world through surfing. I think it is an amazing way to immerse oneself in other cultures.


Thanks for the interview Julie! Next time you see Julie down at the beach say hello and maybe learn a thing or two from her!