Frankie Harrer

Frankie Harrer

Harrer

Base: Los Angeles, USA

Occupation: Pro Surfer

Instagram: @frankieharrer

Frankie started surfing when she was 7 years old in Kauai, Hawaii at family’s the holiday home inspired by her mother, who discovered it just 3 years before that. Growing up in Malibu, USA she continued surfing with ‘the boys’ in Zuma and started making waves by surfing in contests since she was 13. To train the best she traveled so much, that she started to go to school online in the 5th grade.

Interview with the german pro surfer on surfing, inspirations visions and life in general. I’ve met her during the German surf championship 2019 in St. Girons, where she won the Open Women division. The interview took place two weeks later, October 14th 2019 and the following is a transcript of our phone call.

 

Felicitas, Frankie, Katharina and me

Interview

Hi Frankie, thank you so much for taking the time!
We’ve surfed against each other in the first heat of the open woman division at German surf championship. I was super impressed to see you surf up close.
What feeling do you like most about surfing?

I feel like getting barreled is probably the best feeling for me. But also any time I’m in the ocean, having fun with my friend and relax, that’s my favourite feeling.

Could you describe what getting barreled feels like?

It’s a lot of adrenaline, it’s so good you almost can’t remember it, when you come out. It’s like you almost black out for a second, feel’s like a dream in a way.

Are you scared to paddle out sometimes and what do you do to calm yourself down in the line up?

I’m often scared if the waves are bigger, I just try to listen to my intution and feel if I can handle this – and if I feel like I can’t handle it, then I don’t paddle out, because I don’t want to put to much pressure on myself. But if I feel like I’m pushing it, then I just try to relax and kind of do what feels good, without pushing too far.

And from what wave height on wards do you think twice?

Probably like 20ft. (Kalina: =6m, that’s 1.5 trucks high)

Sunrise or sunset surf? 

Uh, Sunset. I don’t like surfing to early in the morning, for the most part. I just don’T get up that early, I feel like I’m a little lazy in the morning. If the waves are good in the morning I’ll occasionally get up early, but it’s not my usual to be up at sunrise. I prefer to have some coffee for a few hours and relax.

Who is your biggest inspiration for surfing?

I don’t necessarily have a certain person, but just anyone, who is doing it while being true to themselves, that has a unique style and doesn’t try to conform to many standards of what your supposed to be as a surfer.

Could you give me an image of what your typical day looks like?

I usually wake up around 7 or 8, then have coffee and some breakfast for a little while. Then, around 8:30 or 9 I go to check the waves, depending on the tide. And go surf. A few times a week I go to a workout training after wards to prevent injuries, so keeping my joints strong. Surfing gets a lot of stress on your knees and ankles. The second half of the day, I spent having fun and hanging out with friends. Often I go surfing again, but just on a softtop or messing around.

Do you live at the beach?

I grew up 2 minutes from the ocean in Malibu, but now I’ve moved to the city. It’s a 45 minute drive and I actually like being in the car for a little while, listening to music and chilling. But if the waves are good I also stay at my mom’s sometimes. I go back and forth between the city and Malibu, which is a kind of country, pretty beach town.

You grew up in a pretty unusual way, going to an online school, travelling a lot and surfing a lot. Are you planning to be more at one place in the future and for example go to college / university?

Going to school doesn’t really interest me that much. I just don’t feel like I really have the lifestyle for that. I’ve been travelling so much, that I’m so used to have a lot of freedom. It’s nice because I can make good money surfing for now. Obviously a professional surfing career, or sports careers in general, aren’t going to last forever, so I’m thinking of doing something more creative after that. Starting a clothing company

What skills, other than surfing, do you want to practice in the next 6 months?

I’ve been tattooing a lot, so I kind of just want to keep doing that and get better.

That’s really cool! What kind of style do you tattoo?

I don’t know what it would be named, but something simple, like a line-drawing, nothing really traditional.

What quote inspires or motivates you?

I don’t really have one, but anything a long the lines of being true to yourself rather than listening to other things. I think that the most successful people just sort of do what they love and what they like and it ends up working out for the most part.

What would you do, if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Uh, I don’t know. Maybe surf a lot of waves, that I’m really scared of.

When was the last time you cried of excitement?

I don’t know, if I’ve ever cried of excitement, but I’m not the biggest cryer. Sometimes I like shed a tear of excitement, but I don’t cry to often.

Haha, I understand. Then maybe a moment where you felt very excited?

I can’t think of it for now. But I guess the last time I’ve surfed really good waves in Tahiti I was pretty excited, because I was with a couple of my really good friends.
Also every time I come home from a really long trip it feels really good. I’m always very, very excited to see my family, my friends and my boyfriend and just chill for a little bit and not be on the road.

Some people say, that we are a mixture of the 5 people that we spent that most time with. Who impacts you the most and in what way?

I have a lot of different groups of people, so it’s maybe not particular people, but I hang out with a couple people older than me, so they give me a different outlook on maturity and how life is, when you have more of your stuff figured out. And then I have a lot of friends my age, I’m 21 now and that’s a little bit more over the place. I try to expose myself to different influences and to mix or take little parts from all the people that I hang out with, because I don’t like to be to one-sided.

My blog focuses on alternative communities. Have you made any experiences in that field?

I haven’t visited a community or anything like that, but we always joke around, that my mom’s house in Malibu is sort of like a commune, because it’s a meeting place for all of my friends, her friends and my sibling’s friends. We’re all just hanging out all the time, so it has sort that vibe. I grew up with everybody being around and everybody being a family.

That sounds really lovely! It was so nice to get to know you a little bit, thank you so much for your time!

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