Lakey Peterson Goes Back-To-Back & Discusses World Tour Possibilities

Last summer, Santa Barbara’s Lakey brought home an NSSA National Open Women’s Title and hopes of being the next surf prodigy to come out of the already star-studded area. This summer, she made her mark yet again, making the final at the Surfing America Championships and winning the NSSA Nationals Open Women’s Division – again. The 15-year-old’s second NSSA National title didn’t come easy and probably not in the way she would have preferred – but a win is a win. We caught up with Lakey to get the rundown on her recent victory.

Your first final at the USA Surfing America Championships you finished fourth after you surfed solid the whole event, did that result make you want to win Nationals that much more?
I wanted to do well in both of them. I really wanted to win the USA Champs, just because it was at Lowers, but I think Nationals was still a bigger contest. I always want to win – so I would have liked to win both.

With two minutes left in the final you were in second place with no waves on the horizon, then Nage got an interference with 40 seconds left – what was going on in your mind after that?
I was just mad at myself for not catching the right waves and surfing better in the heat. But then I got lucky I guess. I felt really bad for Nage, but I was really psyched to win. I mean I always want to surf a smart heat. I actually think I’m overly cautious a lot of the time, which can kind of hurt me.

Do you want to beat Carissa Moore’s record of winning four national titles in a row?
I don’t know if I’ll go two more years doing NSSAs. We’ll see. I’m going to wait for the summer to end and then make my decision on that.

If you don’t do NSSAs after this year, do you think you it is reasonable to say you will be on the World Tour by the time you’re 18?
I’m going to be trying to make the World Tour by the time I’m 18 for sure. I don’t know if I’m good enough to ever make the Tour, but by 18 I’m going to be trying.

Do you feel like your surfing matches up with some of the girls currently on Tour?
I think I’d do pretty well, but I don’t think I’d win like the world title or anything. Once you’re on the Tour, there’s really no mercy and there are certain areas I still need to improve on.

Your street cred is that you can put on rail harder than a lot of other girls. Do you feel like that is one of your stronger points?
Yeah, I think my first few years surfing I focused more on my carves, and then as I started to progress I realized could do airs and stuff like that. But I really want to get a good combo of both airs and power surfing, because I think that’s golden if you can do both of those really well.

In three years, where will Lakey Peterson be?
In three years? In three years, I’ll either be on Tour or trying to make the Tour, but for sure still surfing.