Back To Top
Beach Grit

mobile banner
banner

Finale! Girl Goes Into Orbit!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Can Filipe Toledo teach Lakey Peterson how to nail a full-rotation air in four days? Watch!

If you’ve followed this four-part Girl Goes Into Orbit series you’ll know where we’ve been and what to expect in the final episode.

In case you’re new to the game, here’s the story: one month ago, BeachGrit, took the pro surfer Lakey Peterson to Mexico with one goal – to land a four-foot-above-the-lip full-rotation air.

Call it a 540 if you want. Call it an air 360 if that thrills too.

It’s been a pet project of mine to push women’s surfing beyond what is, mostly, a series of often stylish, often not, top turns and cutbacks. Why don’t girls do airs? Why should they? Only reason the men are doing ’em in competition is because of Gabriel, Filipe, Jordy, Julian, Josh Kerr and John John.

My theory is girls surf alongside boys until their early teens, and since it takes a fair bit of guts to get out there among the boys, the girls are usually among the best. Then, instead of improving alongside the boys as they get older, they plateau as they surf in girl-only competitions.

List the excuses you hear about girls and airs. They don’t have the physical strength. They don’t have the ability.

It’s all one big misconception.

Kids do ’em. Kooks can do ’em.

Why not girls?

My theory is girls surf alongside boys until their early teens, and since it takes a fair bit of guts to get out there among the boys, the girls are usually among the best. Then, instead of improving alongside the boys as they get older, they plateau as they surf in girl-only competitions.

And, since being a pro is such a thing, they train with coaches, but instead of growing into great surfers they turn into great competitors.

So let’s work on it.

To accelerate a process that John John says takes a couple of years, and compress it into four days Filipe Toledo and Brett Simpson joined Lakey as tutors. She’d surf. Come in. Swipe back and forth with the Hurley Surf Club app that gives a split-screen, side-by-side comparison with two surfers. In our case, Filipe’s airs and Lakey’s air attempts.

Cruel? Not as much as you’d think. Because Lakey can surf.

How’d it play out? Watch!

And, if you missed the other three episodes, watch those here.

Comments 0