Schuyler McFerren is a talented California surfer who was the winner of the ASP Women’s World Longboard Championships in 2006. No longer competing, she is just as stoked on surfing as she was when she was a little girl. We caught up with Schuyler to find out more.
What was your life like growing up?
My life growing up was amazing!! Between living in Montana and California, I had some wonderful and unique experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. My family is awesome; they were always very supportive of anything that my brothers and I were into. Both my mom and dad surf, so as soon as I showed an interest in surfing as well, they were really excited and encouraging.
When did you get your first surfboard?
Well, the first surfboard that I got that was completely and entirely mine was when I was about 12. Before then, I had been riding whatever my parents had in their garage—mostly an old 6’8” egg with yellow stripes and a 9’0” longboard that had its fair share of dings.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
The very first time I stood up on a surfboard I was only about eight years old, and my family was camping in Cardiff for a couple weeks during the fall. We were still living in Montana at the time, and I was really unfamiliar with the ocean and slightly intimidated by it. My mom took me out one day that had teeny tiny waves and pushed me into a couple. I remember loving it! Little did I know that we would be moving back to California in a couple years and I would make surfing into a career.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young girl?
Well. as a young woman, I looked up to my grandpa and grandma a lot—and still do. They are two amazing and inspiring people, and I have learned a lot from both of them. My parents, as well, were two people that I looked up to a lot.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out and why?
France. It’s definitely one of my favorite destinations, mostly for the culture factor. The art, the cities, the fashion, the people, the food… it’s incredible. I’m dying to go back for a couple months. The waves were always really fun when I was there too.
Who/what inspires you?
So many different things, but mostly books, music, art, travel and friends.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
That life is completely relational. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people in your life and how you treat them.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
Nope. I’ve learned a lot throughout my 22 years of living, but I have absolutely no regrets.
What are you most proud of?
Probably winning the 2006 ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion title. I make some pretty delish coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookies too.
What is your opinion of the state of professional longboarding in 2010?
To be honest, I haven’t been involved in the scene very much lately and I don’t feel qualified to comment on it. I do know that the girls are ripping and that they just keep getting better and better.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
The role that surfing has played in my life has changed over the years, but the love for it has been constant. Right now, I’m concentrating on finishing my college education and pursuing other career paths outside of surfing. I’m incredibly thankful for the places that it has taken me, the people I’ve met and the amazing experiences I’ve had all because of surfing.
What is your favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
I have three noseriders that I could never part with and that are crazy fun. Any one of those boards at Noosa or Swami’s would be perfect.
How did you discover surf mats? Explain why they’re so much fun.
I had grown up using the cheap inflatable mats from RiteAid that would pop after about four or five waves. One day at Swami’s, I saw Ken McKnight riding one and we struck up a conversation. He connected me with Paul Gross at Fourth Gear Flyer. Paul sent me a couple to try, and I was immediately hooked. They’re really fun because they’re so different from riding a surfboard, and they’re great to take out whenever the waves aren’t very inspiring or you just want to mix things up a little.
What’s your favorite meal?
Salmon salad with avocado, mango and papaya. It’s one of those meals that just always, no matter what, sounds great to me.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
It’s constantly changing, but this week’s flavors are Vampire Weekend, Magnet, Kid Cudi, Arcade Fire, and As Tall As Lions.
What causes/organizations do you support?
I sponsor a little girl through World Vision, and I’ve been involved in various ministries with my church.
What are you most grateful for?
The tremendous people in my life.
What’s next for Schuyler McFerran?
Graduating (eventually) with a degree in Business and Economics. Hopefully starting my own business one day. Traveling and taking more pictures, surfing as much as possible, and enjoying each day as it comes along.
Find out more about Schuyler McFerran here.