Lottie Lewis

North Coast, Cornwall, UK

Years Surfing: 12ish??

Fave Board: I absolutely adore a beautiful yellow Diplock 6’1 single fin that my boyfriend has loaned me – it’s my go-to every time. It handles big swells and little waves and is so much fun, so super stylish and flies. I also love my Channel Islands 5’7 twinny for big fast days which is a little beauty!

Instagram: @lotlewis 

What/who got you started surfing? I started surfing when I was in secondary school. The school bus used to drop us at the beach and we had a little girl gang of us that surfed after school a few times a week. We went on trips to France when we were 14 and all had massive sleepovers at each others houses. I did everything with these girls, and even though most of them don’t surf anymore we are still super close and go on little trips together. It’s really interesting to see how everyones lives have evolved away from surfing, yet everyone still gravitates back to Cornwall.

What is your philosophy on surfing? Surfing is whatever you make it! For me it’s a way to wash away the day, exercise, calm my mind, disconnect from a life online, meet new people, travel and have fun. For others it’s massively competitive, powerful and all about progressing. In my opinion as long as you’re happy, it really doesn’t matter why you do it. There’s no right or wrong reason to get in the water, it’s all about good vibes and feeling at peace in a place.

Best wipeout story? I mostly travel alone and a few years ago I drove down the west coast of Europe in a tiny car with a tent and my dog. I was surfing a busy city break near Lisbon and was getting next to no waves. In the end I took off on a wave that a guy had taken off on already. I thought he’d also go left, but he didn’t, and we collided. The nose of his surfboard snapped off in my shin, slicing the muscle in the front of my leg, ripping my suit. When I surfaced he was pretty pissed off at first as I’d completely ruined his board, but after he saw all the blood in the water he freaked out and helped me to shore. I couldn’t walk and my dog was waiting confused and patient on the beach. I had been surfing with a guy I’d met a few days before and he had to drive my English car through the city, catch my dog and bring my passport and all my stuff to the hospital whilst I went in the ambulance. I sat in A&E for hours, got stripped naked out of my wetsuit (which I wear nothing underneath) by a male doctor and eventually got stitched back together. I was on crutches and out of the water for a month or so. I considered going home but thought I’d rather heal in Portugal than England. I ended up crutching my way around the city for a few weeks, met an insane amount of amazing women, explored inland in a way I never would have if I was surfing, and had an unforgettable time drinking on the rooftops and making friends for life. I still have a horrible scar on my leg but I wouldn’t take it back for the world!

Surf travel story or goals? There is nothing I love more than packing up my van and my dog and driving away. We’ve tripped down the coast of Europe a few times and had an amazing time hanging out and surfing, wearing next to nothing and eating figs from the trees. When I was 21 I hitchhiked from Nicaragua to Mexico with my dog and my surfboard, sleeping in hammocks and surfing in a bikini. It was a tough trip, at times pretty scary, but unbelievable and once in a lifetime. If any girls EVER feel like they can’t travel the world alone, all the advice I can give is that you just have to go for it. Don’t be scared, just jump!

Who are your surf heroes, and why? I adore Leah Dawson. I think she’s everything that is right with women’s surfing. Her style is total flow, completely effortless. I love that she rides all different kinds of mid-lengths, twinnies and single fins, and she just surfs incredibly! In my opinion a lot of female surfers in the media are massively sexualised, and I think it’s really cool that she is successful and renowned for her style, grace and environmentalist attitude, rather than cheeky ass pics!