Lakey Peterson is one of the rising stars of women’s surfing at only 18 years old. Though she got a later start than most other pros, she’s quickly advanced to No. 7 in the world and one of the most progressive female surfers ever. Everyone knows it’s only a matter of time before Lakey is at the top of the food chain, eating up titles and flying over everyone else on tour.
We had a chance to talk Lakey about her life, the upcoming 2013 world tour and her new surf movie “Zero to 100.”
SURFBANG: You had a decent year in 2012. You won the US Open of Surfing–one of the biggest events of the year–and youÂ took a third in the New Zealand Surf Festival. What are your careerÂ goals for 2013?
LAKEY PETERSON: Thank you! 2012 was a carzy learning year for me with so many ups and downs. I am really looking forward to 2013 and taking what I have learned from last year and applying it to this year. My goal is simple have fun and make other people smile. But of course I also always want to win. I want to win the world title, but I am just going to focus one event at a time.
SB: Women’s surfing is progressing at a rapid rate and you have been atÂ the forefront of that movement. Women are taking to the air and it’sÂ amazing to watch. Do you think you’ll be trying to do more airs inÂ competition this year and do you think that would encourage moreÂ people to watch the women’s tour?
LP: Yes it is! All the girls have been ripping and its awesome to see. I think 2013 is going to be the best year yet for women’s surfing… I think all of us want to take it to the next level. From me personally, yeah one of my goals actually is so throw a few more airs and progressiveness into my surfing this year.
SB: Perhaps one of this biggest surprises of the year was Nike’s split from the surf industry after only a few years virally promoting itselfÂ with surfing. How do you feel about the changeover from Nike toÂ Hurley? Why do you think Nike tapped out?
LP: All of us that are with the Hurley family now have been getting asked that question a lot lately. It is pretty crazy, but in my opinion it is great! From the short time I have been working with Hurley they are amazing. Its really a family vibe and they take great care of everyone as Nike does too. It makes sense because Nike owns Hurley, so they pretty much are just putting all their eggs in one basket to make the greatest surf team and company in the world. We are all really stoked about everything.
SB: Â Your film, “Zero to 100,” premiers in less than a month–you must be excited!Â Can you tell us about it?
LP: I am so excited! It premiers Feb. 10 at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara you can get tickets here.Â I am just really excited for the world to see a side of me that they never have before–the up and downs. Our goal is to make people laugh, cry, and want to do push ups by the end, haha. But yeah, it’s going to be a mix between my best surfing segment to a full on documentary about me and my life. My goal is to really just inspire people to follow their dreams and not to let others get in the way of that.
SB: So it’s like a mini biography right? Can you tell us how you got into surfing?
LP: Yes kind of, but you will have to go see it to really find out. I started surfing in Manly Beach, Australia when my family was taking a trip around the world. Â I was 5 years old at the time and immediately fell in love with it.
SB: As surfers, we always seem to cherish our first rides like our firstÂ kiss. Do you remember your first ride? Where was it?
LP: My first ride was in Hawaii when I was 3 years old. My Mom’s friend took me out on her longboard and we rode a tiny wave all the way to the beach. I had water wings on and a diaper, haha.
SB: What is one thing that people would be surprised to learn about youÂ after watching this film?
LP: Again your will just have to watch and find out, but it really shows my personality. I think most of the world just sees my interview persona, but not me just being me with my friends and family and “Zero to 100″ will have all of that.
SB: You seem to work with Aaron Lieber a lot. He filmed “Leave AÂ Message” and now he’s filming your documentary. Can you tell us aÂ little bit about your friendship and working together?
LP: Yeah, I first met him when I signed with Nike and started filming for “Leave A Message.” I really like his work and he’s really easy to work with. It made sense for him to do my movie just because we get along really well and have the same vision for it.
SB: Where in the world would you like to see a new stop on the women’s tour?
LP: Lower Trestles!
SB: Outside of the traveling and surfing, what is your favorite thingÂ about being on tour? Least favorite?
LP: My favorite thing is getting to travel the world, meet and experiences so many things at such a young age. I feel extremely blessed. Â Least favorite is probably how much I am away from home, its hard to be in a new hotel room and a new bed every week for four months. It gets tiring after a while.
SB: Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, what?
LP: I am really into cooking. However, I am not good, so my New Year’s resolution is to get really good at cooking.
SB: Transworld Surf named you one of the hottest girls in pro surfingÂ in 2012 and I’m sure all the guys out there are dying to know aboutÂ your relationship status haha. So are there any current prospectsÂ vying for your heart, Lakey?
LP: Haha, well, wouldn’t you like to know. Â It’s hard to be in a relationship with someone when I travel so much. I have had a few little things here and there, but at the moment I’m not with anyone… I feel like the more I look for a guy and want a guy, I wont have any luck, but if I just don’t worry about it then the right person will come at the right time.
SB: You do a ton of charity work, which is great, especially at such aÂ young age! How did you get into that and what motivates you to helpÂ others?
LP:Â Its something that is really close to my heart. I feel like I have been so blessed and been given so much so I feel like I am in such a great position to be able to give back. Honestly, the thing that motivates me the most is how good I feel after I know I have helped someone or something. I do a lot of work for Clean Water Organization and there is no better feeling than giving a child clean, safe water to drink for the rest of their life.
Watch the “Zero to 100″ trailer below: