Surfing, traveling without the drama

FOR pro surfer Holly Beck, it’s all about being outside. Whether she’s catching waves in Portugal, like she is this week, or hanging out with friends here, it’s all about sun, sand and surf for this 22-year-old Palos Verdes Peninsula native.

Endless weekend

I’m a pro surfer so I’m sort of on permanent weekend, but my friends aren’t, so my weekends are sort of a Friday-through-Sunday thing like most people.

A mellow start


I do a lot of surf contests and most of the time the finals are on Saturdays, so leading up to the weekend is sort of the stressful anticipation of the final. Friday night’s not a party night because Saturday usually is a big contest. I hang out with my friends or my family at home in a mellow situation, have a good, healthy dinner -- pasta or something with a lot of carbs -- and go to bed early.

Show time

I get up early Saturday morning and compete, and then Saturday night the contest is over so there’s always a big after-party somewhere nearby for all the competitors to get together and let loose. It’s usually a bunch of girls getting ready to go out and have dinner. Surfer girls aren’t like most girls with the whole makeup and “What are we gonna wear?” drama, so there’s more time spent just laughing and joking around about the contest. Then we meet up at the bar or whatever, wherever the place happens to be for the after-party. All the sponsors are there and the media and all the guy competitors. We just sort of have a good time, dance or hang out.

On tour

The great thing about being a surfer and on tour is that each weekend the contest is at a different place, so we hit up whatever the favorite place is in that town. One weekend it will be Santa Cruz, the next San Diego. On tour throughout the world it’s the same thing. We go to France, and we do the exact same thing. The cool thing about it is that even though you’re all over the world, you’re with the same girls. It’s like a traveling group of friends.

Sleeping in

Sunday I sleep in ‘til 8. On a normal day, I get up at 6. As a surfer, you can’t sleep in too long or you miss the opportunity to go surfing. So Sunday is recovering from the excitement of the contest and partying the night before. When I’m at home, I usually grab a granola bar and some fruit and a cup of coffee and go down to the beach where I grew up surfing -- Burnout in Redondo Beach. It’s not that good of a wave. It’s sort of inconsistent. Friday and Saturday is more like surfing the really good wave, and Sunday is the day to relax and just be social. I hang out with all the boys I grew up surfing with, paddle out, catch a couple waves.

Family time


After that, I usually go home and eat lunch with my sisters. I have four younger sisters, so hanging out with them is a big part of being at home on the weekends. They like to go to the beach, go on hikes, go skateboarding. Or we just hang out around the house and play. They’re all real athletic and outside-oriented like I am. They don’t like going to the mall or watching TV. So we take the dog for a hike or whatever. It’s fun.

-- Susan Carpenter