SIERRA AND HER SLAB SEMINAR
At 16 years of age, Sierra Kerr is fast becoming one of the most exciting surfers on the planet. Whether she's throwing down huge aerials or tackling meaty slabs, Sierra is finding her niche as one of the most well-rounded female surfers the world has ever seen.
FCS sat down with Sierra to discuss her recent antics at The Box in WA, her equipment, her dad Josh's influence, and what she's planning for the rest of the year in anticipation of her first profile film.
First off, tell us a little bit about your whole reasoning for going to WA.
Yeah, we planned on going to WA because I'm filming a surf movie this year. So we're going to be travelling to a bunch of spots and I wanted to go to WA during the CT, so I could get some of my friends to come surf and shoot. That's kind of why we went during that time. We didn't even expect it to be pumping but it ended up being really awesome.
Have you surfed a wave like The Box before? Or were you just throwing yourself at it?
There's a reef around here, that's kind of similar, but The Box is still, way shorter and steeper where you take off in the slab. So yeah, it's kind of the only wave that's even close to it. But when you think about it, they're still completely different.
Had you spent much time out there prior to going to WA?
Yeah, I’ve spent a bit of time there but it’s not too often that it gets super good. So when it's fun, we'll go surf it a lot. My dad loves that wave, but I usually like going to Greenmount when it's good, so I sometimes miss out on it, but when I do get there it's a pretty cool wave to surf.
What did you expect from WA before heading over there? And what did you especially expect from the Box?
I haven't really been there for about 10 years. I've been to Mandurah, but it's a lot different compared to Margies and everyone was like, ‘Oh, it's a raw ocean.’ So I was expecting it to be a lot of big lines and a lot of water moving.
Even though I like surfing small waves and doing punts and stuff, nothing really beats the adrenaline rush of getting a thick slab. So, if there's swell, I'm always happy and ready to go.
What about your headspace? Were you excited? Were you nervous? What were your emotions like before heading over?
I didn't really know what it was going to be like as I didn't really look at the forecast too much as we had already pre-planned the trip. When we got there, we heard it was gonna be pumping the whole time, with some really good days for The Box. I was just excited to go and see it. But I was also nervous because I heard it's a pretty nuts wave.
Talk to us a little bit about what sort of equipment you're riding. You obviously had your JS boards, but what about fins as well?
I think it was a JS Monsta and it was 5’6"1/2” - or something similar to that - and I rode that pretty much the whole time out there. It was my first time riding it because I just got a bunch of freshies before I went over and they went really well in the tube which was nice. For fins, I was using medium AM pretty much the whole time at The Box. When it’s a bit bigger and when I need a bit of a stiffer board I'll use the AM and then I use the medium Filipe Toledo fins and the Kolohe Andino fins as well. I pretty much use those three fins the most. The fins I use depend on my board, more than the conditions. If it’s feeling a bit loose then I'll put the AM's in there. If the board is feeling a bit stiff then I’ll go to the Kolohe’s or the Filipe’s, but usually, I'll try the board with the Filipe's and then see how they go.
Talk to us a little bit about your plans for this year.
I’m doing a few less comps this year. I'll still do a couple but we're going to travel more and film my movie and go to some different spots. Hopefully, we can go to Tahiti or South Africa and Brazil. I’ll probably go around the CT time there so we can shoot with Molly (Picklum) and Caity (Simmers) and get them in the movie.
What is it about all those surfers who you hang out with that you find inspiring?
It's just cool to be around friends, especially friends that surf so well. We all push each other. When they do something sick, it makes you want to do something sick and it's super encouraging. I love just hanging out with all those kinds of people. I've been wanting to do a movie since the beginning of last year, maybe even earlier. Last year, I went on a trip with Caity for her movie and seeing how everyone was super psyched about it got me really excited to get mine done.
Your dad Josh was known for putting together some amazing video parts. Do you look to him for inspiration?
Yeah, for sure. He didn't do many comps early on, except the air shows when he was younger, and he just wanted to freesurf and get better at surfing and make movies. I think it's really cool and I want to do that. I’ve watched some of his videos and they're so fun to watch.
"I’m doing a few less comps this year... we're going to travel more and film my movie and go to some different spots."
You mentioned going to Brazil and a couple of other places around the CT’s, but is there anywhere off the grid that you might want to hit the minute a swell pops up?
Kinda. We've got a couple of places, but I’ve got to wait for it. There are such good slabs that you can just go to, within an hour's flight, so if they're getting good then maybe we’ll take a trip down there and hopefully score some waves.
When are you anticipating the movie coming out?
Hopefully, the beginning of next year I reckon.
Now that you've got a bit of a taste for slabs, how do you want to step it up from here or are you quite happy going back and surfing Greenmount for a little bit?
No, I like it. They're fun to surf. Even though I like surfing small waves and doing punts and turns and stuff, nothing really beats the adrenaline rush of getting a thick slab. So, if there's swell, I'm always happy and ready to go.
SIERRA'S SLAB EQUIPMENT
FCS II Al Merrick Tri-Quad Fin Set
Al Merrick's 'AM' shaper fin. Raked side fins produce exceptional speed and drive.
FCS II Kolohe Andino Tri Fin Set
Kolohe Andino's 'KA' signature fin. Delivers a lively mix of drive, pivot and release.
FCS II Filipe Toledo Tri Fin Set
Filipe Toledo's 'FT' signature fin. Ultra-light material for fast progressive surfing.