A North Narrabeen prodigy, 17-year-old Laura Enever has reached a milestone of sorts in her young career as a professional surfer. When this down-to-earth Aussie native gets time away from photo shoots and traveling with the Roxy team, she trains at home with the likes of Barton Lynch and other male World Champions. Hurricane Laura is a worldwide phenomenon blowing through one prestigious contest after the next seizing titles such as the 2008 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Championship, 2009 Billabong Pro Junior Coffs Harbour, and 2008 Triple Crown Rookie of the Year.
Laura's most recent victory, the 2009 Billabong World Pro Junior Championship, congregated the world's best juniors in North Narrabeen to battle in decent 2- to 3-foot surf. With a homebreak advantage, Laura dominated every heat wearing a red rash guard and a smile. I had the opportunity to speak with her about the event, her goals, and her superstitions.
You made the semis two years ago and the quarters last year. Can you describe how it felt to make the finals for the first time, and then take the win?
Enever: We are all a big family down here. I've been surfing North Narrabeen since I was 8 with my dad. My friends made banners and they were all down there and everything. When I made the Final, everyone was on the beach so excited, so happy...just to see everyone so happy for me made me even happier. Everyone was like "You can do it! You can go all the way! Yeah, this is your year!" It's so good to have support and everyone behind me. It's the best thing ever to be able to share it with everyone. When I won, I won it [the Championship] for North Narrabeen instead of me. That was really cool.
How did the presence of family and friends impact your performance?
In my first heat, I got really nervous. I wanted to do really well in front of all my friends and family and in front of everyone. I had freaked myself out a bit too much, but after the first heat I was like "Yeeeeeaa! I’m just going to have fun! Everyone is going to love me no matter what. I want to have fun and show everyone how I can surf at home." So I put myself in that frame of mind and had the best time the rest of the event...It was like freesurfing at my homebreak.
What do you do to prepare for a heat to keep you focused?
I give my mom and dad a kiss. I go down the beach, warm up, and do some cartwheels and jump around and stuff. I listen to some music, but I usually listen to the exact same music and I wear the exact same bikini. I’m kind of superstitious like that. I find that if I do the exact same thing it keeps me in the right frame of mind.
In the quarterfinal heat, you were neck-and-neck with Felicity Palmateer. How did it feel to have such a close battle with a fellow Aussie after defeating Tyler Wright in the previous heat?
It was a really close heat against Felicity. She got the last wave and then she fell on her last turn. I think she would have had the score if she didn't fall. It was actually pretty scary. It was kind of a bummer that I met up with two Australian girls in the third and fourth round. It's a bummer because I know those girls--hopefully next year we can get a couple more Aussies up in the finals.
What is the next step in your surfing career? What are your goals for the coming season?
This season I want to keep getting better and stronger. I'm going to keep doing the junior events and do the WQS as well. I don't really have any plans. I just want to keep experiencing everything.
Most of your fans are young female surfers who dream of winning the title which you now hold. Do you have any advice for the competitive surfer?
Keep surfing and have fun! I never want surfing to feel like a job. I do my best with it and have fun.