ROCHELLE BALLARD: From Yoga DVDs to Screaming Barrels

So what have you been up to since you retired?

It’s the ultimate thing in surfing. It’s the best thing that happens to you as a surfer and it’s what makes you freak out the most…I think it’s really important to be surfing waves that are barreling on the tour.

Actually, I've just been kicking back at home and enjoying myself – just relaxing and doing a bit of traveling through California for the past few weeks. I've been taking a little time off of surfing also and taking some time to reflect on the things I've done through the years.

What are your plans for the upcoming year? Do you have any goals for your first year off tour?

I'm looking to enjoy some fun travels Id like to go to Europe and maybe Italy and do some things that normally I wouldn't do. I get to kind of just kick back and just enjoy places, and wait for waves since I’m not on any real time frame

At the moment I want to go home and buckle down and create a website, get creative and do some fun things with it. I'd like to get a little more involved in my community and promote environmental awareness. I think I’ve built up a name for myself, and at this point it's really nice to be able to use that and to be a spokesperson and give back in any way that I can.

Another thing that I’m really excited about doing now is getting into my yoga. I like to do basic Hatha yoga. I do Beakrams that's a great form of yoga also. I like to dabble, but it's really just a matter of doing what feels right at the time. But I’m actually in the process of making a yoga DVD. I want to make one that's for surfers and kind of for action sports people in general, and that puts me in a place where I need to practice quite a bit and just train.

So when did you get into yoga?

I love yoga. It feels so good. It's so refreshing and it's such a spiritual thing too. You become a lot more in tune with your body and much more intuitive and find your inner strength and peace.

Before I started surfing I was into body work; I actually got my license and I've held on to it all these years because I was like, "Who knows? Who knows what I'll be doing later?" I really like the healing arts and I've been getting into body work lately – it's kind of unwinding the tissue with chi energy, and that's a very powerful thing too because it's a lot more of that intuitive social connection and tapping into it.

What do you think of the new breed on tour?

The next generation – they're here right now and they're a big threat even on the current Tour surfers. I was watching the Snapper Contest in Tahoe, and Carissa was just blowing my mind. She's so light on her feet, but she's got that real Hawaiian approach setting rail and throwing some tail, and it was nice to see her being aggressive and fast on every wave and really just pushing the other girls.

Steph's really young as well, but she's gotten right in that top position where everyone wants to take her down – So even though she's a rookie, she's becoming a vet real fast.