For the last two summers, Malibu locals and visitors alike have witnessed a waif-thin, impossibly young goofyfoot bloom before their eyes. Her style polished on the ruler-straight inside track at First Point, 14-year-old Brooke Carlson has put in more time at Malibu the last two years than just about anyone (save for Malibu Carl and some of the parking lot characters) and it shows in her remarkably deft footwork and quiet, careful style.


Just four years since she grabbed a boogie board at a Junior Lifeguard camp at Leo Carillo, she’s already racked up a handful of big event wins, including a prestigious Call to the Wall victory at her beloved First Point. Her prodigious talents and happy-go-lucky attitude have earned her some influential fans, with longboarding legends like CJ Nelson and Kassia Meador, not to mention the entire Malibu talent pool, taking Brooke in as its own. And it’s easy to see why. On crowded summer days at Malibu, while chaos ensues at the top of the point, Brooke hangs in the cove, picking off inside peelers, perching tens and hanging heels, kicking out into the shorebreak and dropping into a knee paddle without skipping a beat. At the Call to the Wall this year, between winning heats, she could be seen walking through the star-studded crowd, handing out popsicles to the heatstricken crowd, smiling ear to ear.


We caught up with Brooke while she was at home, taking a break from her schoolwork, and from her new project, Brookie Bu, a line of her own handmade boardbag and drawstring boardsocks.

What drew you to logging initially?


I always loved watching longboarding. I got my first longboard two years ago. I saved up a bunch of money making seashell necklaces, selling them to my friends and family, and got a 8’6” Becker. I started going to Malibu a lot then, and just fell in love with learning to crosstep and walk on the board, trying to ride waves the way it sort of started, I guess.


Was there anyone whose style you looked to as you were getting good?


I definitely watched certain people at Malibu, whose style I really loved. Girls like Kassia, or I’d go look for videos of Kelia Moniz. I’d see them at Malibu during the summer. I’ve gotten to do some stuff with Kassia, and she’s always so nice and has such good vibes.

Did style come natural for you, or did you have to work on it?


Well, I always thought smooth style was really important. But I don’t think you can really teach style. Or, well, you can work on it, but it either comes naturally, or it doesn’t. At first, for me, my feet were doing it right, but my hands were all over the place. I did have to work on that. But my feet were always in it. I didn’t have a coach, but I had so many people who were helpful, you know, try this, or try that.


When did you start doing contests?


I started doing NSSA stuff when I was like 12. Last year, I started doing WSA, surfing my division (which was normally one heat—there weren’t many other girls my age), and then I’d do the age above me so I could surf more. But I’m going to start doing more of the Coalition contests. I won the Call to the Wall this year. My first Coalition contest was the Call to the Wall in, I think, 2014, at Malibu. The Malibu contests are my favorite.

You were saying you’re starting your own company. Making boardbags or something?


Yeah, it’s called Brookie Bu. I’m making my own boardbags and drawstring socks, and hopefully much more. I want to eventually make and sell swimwear for girls my age. I’m hoping to have my website up at the end of the year. The money will go to travel expenses so I can go to contests and see what different places and cultures and surf breaks are like.


You’re like the tiny mayor of the Malibu cove these days. I can’t remember a session out there where you weren’t in there.


I always loved the inside at Malibu, because I always thought it was really cool when someone rode a wave all the way to the sand. I always wanted to do that. It made waves feel, I don’t know, more complete or something. And then when you’re sitting in there, you can watch all these amazing surfers go by and study what they’re doing. I figured it was a great way to learn to do it right.

I feel like you’re living this little, like, Huckleberry Finn Malibu gromhood, hanging in your little tent down there, surfing all day.


Well, my mom knows people are looking out for me and keeping and eye on me, but that didn’t happen until we started to have real relationships with a few of the people down there. I feel so lucky to get to meet those types of people, and surf such a perfect wave.


How often would you say you’re at Malibu?


During the summer?


Yeah


Every day.