British Women’s Longboarding Champion and Saltrock Ambassador Claire Smail reflects on a fun 2015 and looks forward to a 2016 full of travel and adventure.
What are your stand out memories from 2015?
2015 has been a great year for me. I’ve been really lucky and have had the chance to explore new places and waves, including Morocco, France, Portugal and Wales.
Are there any goals you didn’t quite hit that you plan to smash in 2016?
I am going to persevere with shortboarding, as surely duck diving cannot elude me for another year?
What were your stand out moments of 2015 professionally?
It was great to win the British Ladies Longboard Title for the fourth year in a row. That was definitely a stand out moment. It was also a huge surprise to be voted 2nd in the Ladies Longboard division of The Great Carve Peer Poll.
And what are your best personal memories?
One of my best memories is when Saltrock’s short film ‘Officescape’ was shortlisted for the London Surf Film Festival’s Shorties award and then when it was shown at the event. It’s a lovely film which really shows the spirit of the surfing lifestyle, and it was huge fun to film.
What did you try for the first time last year?
When I was traveling in the South of France I was introduced to the delights of cherry Gateaux Basque…it is a truly delicious dessert, if you get the chance you must try it! When I got home I looked up the recipe, it uses 12 eggs! Still I plan to have a go at making it this year.
Which places did you visit in 2015 that you would recommend Saltrock fans visit ASAP?
On the British Tour this year we were lucky enough to have contests at Crantock and Fistral beach. Both places turned out to be really great places to surf, with fun waves and crystal clear water.
I also highly recommend Tenby, in South Wales as not only does it have a new Saltrock shop but is also home to the 2nd best Pizzeria in the UK!
What hopes / dreams do you have for 2016?
My main hope is to surf as much as possible and explore even more new places locally and further afield.
What do you have coming up in 2016?
My brother has suggested that this year I should ‘ride the waves of life’… I think that’s great advice!
What do you hope to achieve professionally in 2016?
I plan to continue competing locally and nationally which will include the Hotdoggers Longboard League and British Longboard Tour. I shall train hard and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the contests.
What are you looking forward to most this year?
Waxing up my two new Diplock Phoenix performance longboards and trying them out in some fun, clean waves.
Which countries you hope to visit in 2016?
I would love to do a big trip this summer to somewhere tropical. Costa Rica and Mexico are high on my dream travel list as their culture and waves look amazing.
Is there anything you plan to do for someone else in your life in 2016?
As the summer arrives I usually spend my free time out in the water with Croyde Surf Club Groms, The Wave Project and Pilton College Surf Team and I’m looking forward to working with this excellent people again in 2016.
What will you try for the first time next year?
It’s a random one but I’d like to cycle from Braunton to Plymouth along the Tarka Trail. It would be a good physical challenge and there are so many awesome things to see and do right here close to home.