NewsVans US Open of SurfingLakey Peterson

Downtime with Lakey Peterson

With nearly two months between the end of the Fiji Women's Pro and the start of the Vans US Open of Surfing, the Top 17 on ASP Women's World Championship Tour (WCT) have a heavy dose of downtime. Some pros, like Lakey Peterson (USA), 19, are spending time at Qualifying Series (QS) contests, both to hedge their bets between tiers and to keep a competitive edge. We caught up with Peterson at the 6-Star QS event, Los Cabos Open of Surf, to see what she'll be doing with her breather before the US Open kicks off July 27.

Lakey Peterson Peterson, in the zone. WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

What do you plan on doing once your downtime starts?
I'm really excited for downtime. I'm a bit tired, but excited for summer, I'm going to be in California. I actually just got my own place, so I'm going to move into there and get it all dialed. [I'll] work with Mike Parsons, my coach. I want to improve my surfing in a lot of ways; there's a lot of stuff I need to work on. I'm excited to focus with him, and do a lot of filming. I'm working on a performance piece to put out, so probably a few more trips.

Really just enjoying California, and seeing my family and my friends and regrouping for the Europe leg. I'm looking forward to it.

It's a time to work on surfing and yourself. That's when I grow and become better as a person and a surfer.

Do you have a favorite way to regroup between events? Something you don't get to do when events are on?
It's getting back into a routine. That helps me. Like going to the gym, and surfing, and eating the way I want to eat, and getting really healthy. It's hard on the road. I try my best, but you're always moving, so [a routine is] comforting and refreshing for me, because I never get that.

Is that what you look forward to the most when you wrap up the contests -- being able to get in a routine, to eat your favorite food, things like that?
Totally. It's going back to California, going to my favorite restaurants. I'm really into diet and health; eating what I want to eat, feeling good. It replenishes my body so much. So yeah -- going to the gym, training again, trying different boards. It's a time to work on surfing and yourself. That's when I grow and become better as a person and a surfer.

You have about a month off between events. It's just enough time to really improve, or get really lazy. So what does your training regime look like over the next four weeks?
That's a good point -- you can get really lazy. But I'm going to surf a ton, number one. It's going to be a lot of yoga, flexibility stuff. And as far as gym-wise, I have my trainer, so I'll probably go to the gym five days a week when I'm home.

Lakey Peterson (USA)ASP/Rowland Peterson won the US Open in 2012. WSL

[Also] tons of surfing, tons of video review. I'm super-focused, that's how it becomes my life. I mean, I'll have fun, but I'm going to really focus. I always take it super-seriously, but I'm going back to my regimen and being on the ball with everything -- with my health, the gym everyday, lots of flexibility, lots of bodywork, and lots of surfing.

You've had a lot of point breaks on Tour this year, but next up is the US Open, a beach break. Do you do any particular training for that event? Are you going to be going to Huntington a lot, or mostly staying at Lowers? How do you prepare?
I'll be going to Huntington quite a bit. I want to try a bunch of different boards. Last year [when Carissa Moore won] I was not prepared for it enough. Even though I know the wave really well.

I'm going to try a bunch of different boards and dial in exactly what I want to be riding and what the sandbars are doing.

When you have this much time off, is it tough to switch your mental game back on, or have you been competing long enough that you're pretty much in rhythm?
No. When you have this much time off, first heat sometimes you're a bit slow. But I've been doing this for a while now, so I'm getting used to being able to switch on and off better.

That's something I need to work on is, number one, switching it off, because I don't switch it off -- I think -- well enough. It overwhelms me sometimes. And then I can't switch it back on, so I don't when to trap it all in. That's definitely hard, for everyone. But I've learned enough, and I've done it wrong enough times to where I think I'll get it right.

Lakey Peterson (USA) Peterson, slashing it up at the Los Cabos Open of Surf. WSL

Cabo's kind of in between where you're still surfing a contest, but it's like a vacation. What have you been up to on your lay days?
Cabo's super fun. I'm totally vacationing it while I'm here. We've been going to a ton of different waves. We got a car so [we went to] Shipwrecks, and a couple other waves up and down the coast, so: Surfing, GoPro clips, I'm having fun with it.

And then a couple people are staying in cool hotels, so we've been hanging out poolside, and doing stuff that you do on vacation -- going to really good restaurants. I'm here with Sage Erickson, who's my best friend, so it's been a blast.

Peterson is slated to compete next at the Vans US Open of Surfing. Stop #6 for the Women's WCT, the event will run July 27 -August 3 in Huntington Beach, CA.

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.