I first noticed Maddie Peterson when she was mid-heat at the Belmar Pro. I’d wandered downto the water’s edge to chat it up with The Surfer’s View’s, Derek Cicero, when Maddie drove off the bottom of a waist high A frame and gouged a power hack that was one of the most stylish I’d seen all day. ‘Woah’, I said. ‘Yeah, she rips,’ Derek said. And with just those few words, we both knew we had some work to do on our top turns.
It’s no surprise when you watch her surf to learn that Maddie’s all about power and style. She’s a bit of a throwback in that sense. While she’d like to do more airs, her training and desire lie in classic carves that tear the bag out of unsuspecting waves. A dedicated cross-training and plyometrics regime has sculpted her into an unmistakable athlete and she’s still got years of strength building to go. Additionally, she’s peppering in the mental game (she land surfs!), which is key.
And without a doubt, her work ethic has been paying off. She’s won local and national events, including the FSOS Women’s Pro (Belmar Pro), the 2013 NSSA Varsity Division at the National High School Championships and was named to the Pac Sun and Surfing America Travelingteams. And things just got way bigger. When we spoke, Maddie was in the initial throes of a World Qualifying Series (WQS) run that had just taken her to China and was causing her to jump on another flight to Australia for the Hurley Australian Open. Currently ranked 43rd, 2015 willbe a pivotal year and could just end with Maddie securing a place on the coveted Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour.
Keep a close eye on Maddie, as she’s sure to rattle some ‘QS feathers in her bid for an eventualworld title. In the meantime, check out her thoughts below.
Favorite Surfer: Joel Parkinson. He's one of the older guys on tour but, by far, has the best styleand so much power.
Women's Pro Tour: Steph Gilmore. She has a grace and a power that no other girl on tour has. And she seems like such a sweet, down to earth girl.
Advice for up-and-coming girls: Do what you do well, but do what you do and love it. What's the point of doing it if you’re not having fun?
What's your surfing secret (because you RIP): Haha! Definitely has not come easy. Working out has definitely benefitted my surfing. A lot of cross-training and plyometrics is good for power surfing and staying light on your feet. One thing I do is land surfing! I know it sounds weird but muscle memory is everything. Moving in a way you would surf in the water, maybe making some changes to your technique.
Favorite move: My forehand or backhand power carve. I'm one of the taller girls around my age. So that's come as an advantage in throwing a bit more spray.
Move you want to do, but can't yet: I think every girl wants to be able to do a proper air. HAHA. But you don't see many girls doing airs today. I think that would be unique.
Definition of good surfing: Personally, I think a good style and technique is everything. It's what defines a surfer. And power surfing is good as well.
Where do you go from here: I'm starting my first year on the WQS for 2015! I started the year off in China for a 6 star event and made two rounds. Hoping to do better at the next stop in Australia!
Winning is: The best feeling
Losing is: The worst feeling
Who's the next World Champ: Steph Gilmore will continue her title race.
What's next for you: Leaving for Australia tomorrow for the Hurley Australian Open! And then after that, back home finally :)