INTERVIEW: Catching up with Jenny U

If you don't like girls who charge harder than you, you won't like Jenny Useldinger. At the beginning of the year she messed up her knee at Maverick's, and by now she's itching to get back in the water. SURFING caught her on her cell, and after a few "Can you hear me now's," we got her into the office and found out how she is killing time before she heals enough to tackle Mav's again.

SURFING MAGAZINE: How have you been lately?

JENNY USELDINGER: Been doing pretty good, doing a lot of recovery on the knee, but enjoying life.

What happened with your knee?
I got sucked over the falls at Maverick's, well, I was paddling over this big wave and it kinda just got me and ate me. Got sucked over the falls backwards on it. It just wasn't that good of a wave to be going over on.

How long have you been out of the water?

Since January 10, I've got 2 months to go and I just want to make sure I let it heal up really solid. I don't want to have it injured again right away and end up spending more time out of the water.

How are you occupying your time while on the injured list?

I'm doing a lot of singing and I've been recording a little bit. Just helping a friend out in Santa Cruz. He's gonna produce a local CD. Just reggae style.

How'd you spend your winter months?

It's pretty much been an endless winter; I've been on the road since the winter of '05. Just cruising. I had a really great run; after South Africa I managed to make it over to Costa Rica. Spent about five weeks at Teahupoo in Tahiti. That was the time of my life; I fell in love with that place. I went back to Hawaii right after Tahiti. I got to paddle Phantoms for the first time this winter. I was pretty stoked. I've been towing it, so it was nice to get out there and paddle. So that was pretty fun, got to split a peak with Tyler Smith, local Santa Cruz legend. And just been having a lot of fun out at Sunset and Waimea.

What are your feelings on women surfing big waves?

I think it's pretty amazing. Women are definitely charging and breaking new ground. It's really exciting to see the women getting so fired up out there, and it's definitely seeming like it's a man's world out there, but I don't think they mind the girls out there. I've actually been thinking a lot about this lately, with all the down time. After being in the ocean for so long (my mom was a professional surfer in the late 70s early 80s and surfed with me until a week before I was born.) If you spend this much time chasing your passion, it's kind of like -- Where am I going to take it next? -- and naturally it keeps going in this direction.

Word is you'll be recording some shows for SURFING.

Yeah, I'm really excited about it. I think it will be really fun. I got to host the Women's Pipe Contest in Hawaii this year and that was really exciting to see thee women charging out there and really getting to interact for them, as I was signed up for the event before my injury. I really got to relate with them on a personal level. So, I'm really excited to talk with the athletes and just... get their opinions.

Other future plans?

Just to get the knee totally strengthened and {{{100}}}% at this point and really just a lot of manifestation of surfing whenever it wants to come. And hopefully living the endless winter, I'm working out a deal with Roxy now, so I'm really excited to work with them and see where this is going to take us.