An exclusive interview with Coldwater Classic Pro Surfer Jarrad Howse
Outdoor adventure blogger Jared Thurber recently got the chance to chat it up with O'Neill pro surfer Jarrad Howse about his Santa Cruz experiences and Coldwater Classic. The Classic falls at an exciting time in Santa Cruz, with the filming of the Jay Moriarity biopic this month and super swells out in the lane. Check out Thurber's interview of Howse below!
Starting on October 26th, after battling it out in the face numbing waves of New Zealand and Scotland, elite surfers from around the globe will surf it out at Steamer Lane in the final bout of this years O’Neill Cold Water Classic. Jarrad Howse, the first South Australian to qualify for the WCT (world championship tour) is one of the elite. Howse, was kind enough to take a minute from his envious surf schedule to share his thoughts with us…
How many years have you surfed in the CWC? Three years, this will be my fourth.
What has been your top moment so far? The adventure. Before the CWC I'd never been to any of the locations, so to experience them during an event takes the edge off competition and creates an awesome atmosphere.
What has been your lowest? Needing a 3.97 on my last wave to win $50,000 (Winning CWC Series for 2009) and scoring a 3.96. Ouch
What do you do to get ready for competition? I've got a pre-heat procedure that I've been fine-tuning over my 25 years competing. It goes something like this. Watch the conditions 1 hour before my heat starts to familiarize myself with the ocean, listen to music to pump myself up and so I wont be distracted, suit up 20 minutes before my heat starts, do a short dynamic warm up to switch on and get out there!
What is your favorite wave in Santa Cruz? I'd have to say my favorite is The Lane, its walking distance from my hotel, super fun to surf from 2 to 10 foot and the perfect amphitheater to watch when you’re not out there.
When not surfing, what do you plan to see and do in Santa Cruz? Santa Cruz is such a colorful place that when I’m not surfing I enjoy walking the streets taking photos and people watching. It’s so different to anywhere in Australia.
How do you spend your days off when touring? At first it was all about surfing. As I got more settled and matured a group of us (golf geeks) left clubs in France & Hawaii and played on every flat day. It’s a perfect healthy time waster.
When did you pick up O'neill as a sponsor? I picked up O'Neill when I was 20 years old, the year before I started chasing the WQS. I still remember how happy I was that I was going to be paid! It was a tiny amount but I felt like I'd made it!
Any reflection on surfing in the place where O'neill got started? When I surf in Santa Cruz it reminds me a lot of where I grew up in Southern Australia, cold water, seals, heavy waves and the fear of sharks. I feel right at home there and equally stoked that 60 years ago Jack O’Neill took the first step to keeping us warmer and surfing longer.
If you could custom design your very own surf break, what would it be? It would be a hollow left & right peak that started out a reef bottom and gradually tapered and wrapped into a sand bottom point break. Handle any sized swell and never got under 3 foot!
Don't forget to look for Howse in this year's Coldwater Classic in Santa Cruz!
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