Little Eden Lange is Looking for some Air Time
(Top photo by Cody Coleman) The sport of surfing is thriving. Never before have we seen so many young competitors really reaching a top level potential so young. They are pushing boundaries and trying to achieve what their heroes are doing 10 years ahead of them. It’s hard to imagine how far forward women’s surfing will move as these super groms grow up and find their full potential. John John Florence is proving that in the men’s tour right now!
Meet a little ripper who is no exception – Her name is Eden Lange and she first came to our attention with her fin release photo. Can you believe this little pocket rocket is only 12!? Eden is from Saint Augustine in Florida, USA… she points out quickly to me that it’s the oldest city in America! Living in Florida the water is a bit warmer than California but still dips down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celcius). Saint Augustine is on the east coast of the Florida peninsula and gets the Atlantic swells and currents making it all time for swells in the right conditions.
For Eden, her home break is Mary Street where she finds one of her inspirations; Environmental voice, surfer and sea lover Lauren Hill is also from the area (now living in Byron Bay with surfer Dave Rastovich). She says “Lauren is a great person I really look up to her. She’s a great surfer and does a lot to raise awareness about protecting the ocean.”
Of her first surf experience Eden says “When I was 9 my mom signed me up for an all girls surf camp and after that I was hooked. My dad surfs too and so do my younger brother and sister. Dad is so great he helps me pick out which boards are best for what conditions and teaches me a lot about the boards.
You can hear such genuine and electric stoke in her when she talks about her family experiences. “I think surfing together is the most awesome thing ever, we have a lot of fun even if the waves aren’t good we still laugh a lot and we just enjoy being together as a family!”
So what could be the best part of surfing to a 12 year old girl who is exceeding all performance expectations? Eden says “The best part of surfing is when the waves are good and I am surfing with my family and friends. It really makes me feel happy, free and powerful when I do good turn! One of my most special memories is from the first time we travelled to the North shore of Hawaii. It was magical, I got to see all the waves I’d seen in the magazines, it was amazing and humbling all at the same time!”
After finding her feet as a 9 and 10 year old, Eden then transitioned quickly to a short board where she naturally picked up a variety of turns and manoeuvres she says “the only way I could progress was to get a smaller board and spend lots of time in the water finding my balance. Balance is super important so I use an indo board and a bosu ball to build up a strong core and legs to help my turns and positioning.”
But what about when you can’t be in the water? Get your dad to build you a skate park right!? “Yeah” says Eden, “My dad has built a skatepark in our driveway, so we skate everyday and get to practice different tricks over and over at anytime of day or night! Learning tricks on a skateboard definitely helps your surfing. Combined with the skating I try to watch a lot of videos and study the way certain people do manoeuvres but at the end of the day I have learned practice makes perfect!” Wise words, Eden.
She’s already dominating with her powerful carves and cutbacks so where else can Eden take her surfing with all this passion and dedication? “I really want to do an air” she says “I have come so close and done some small ones but a big one is still a work in progress for me. I have been skating a lot and jumping on my trampoline, so I can get used to the feeling of getting high and landing. I am hoping one day I will come flying out of the water, my little brother will be so jealous when I do!” Nothing better than a bit of sibling rivalry to push your buttons and make things happen!
And about her dreams, she’s just as awesome … Eden says, “My surf dream is to travel as much as I can, learn new languages, meet new people and surf the best waves I can find! (And I really want to go to college, preferably near the ocean)” Seems like she’s got it all figured out, can’t wait to see her name pop up in the World Championship Tour in 2020. STAY TUNED!