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With Roisin Carolan


She’s a vibrant 19 year-old who calls Wategos in Byron Bay her home break, (aren’t we all a little jealous!?) and she can move a longboard around like it’s nobody’s business. She’s graceful and has a style many dream of having. Her name is Roisin and yes, she gets mispronounced by everyone. It’s Rowsheen just so you know.

Here is her story…

Roisin Carolan

“This one Christmas I got given a foamy surfboard from Santa. I went for my first surf that day and have been addicted ever since. I tried out longboarding when I was 11, and it just felt right for me. The feeling of noseriding is like no other. I started to compete around this age as well which really improved my surfing, it pushed me to go out in surf I wouldn’t normally and has given me the opportunity to surf lots of different breaks.”

“When I was 12 my family and I moved from Manly to the Byron Bay hinterland. Riding a Mal really suits my favourite surf spot and home break Wategos. I am so blessed that my family was able to move up here, being surrounded by so many surfing legends such as Bob Mctavish and Alan Atkins has really helped shape the way I see surfing, and given me an appreciation for surfing history.”

“Growing up here has also encouraged me to be creative and helped me develop an environmental consciousness. I really enjoy riding older style boards, and love my old mal. (An old mal is a board made before 1967). I would love to someday qualify for the world titles. But I don’t want to change my surfing to do that. Sometimes I find that comps will change the way you see surfing, and the way you surf, which makes it not as enjoyable. So I just want to surf the way I surf and improve my surfing as I go along. Also swim with lots of turtles in the meantime. I really like turtles. At the moment I’m on my gap year, trying to save up to go overseas. Next year I am thinking of studying Marine Biology. But still not entirely sure yet.”

Any advice for people wanting to start walking the nose on their longboards how do you start and are there any dry land things you can do to practice? The best piece of advice I ever got was to just go for it! Don’t try not to fall off because chances are you will fall off, just try to noseride and eventually you’ll get there. You have to learn the time to go though, lots of people think it’s at the end of he wave when it’s dying off. But, the best part of the wave to noseide on is the sucky section, because you need your board to hold you up there. Also make sure you cross step, it works better and looks 1000000 times better than shuffling.

Roisin Carolan

Who do you surf with? I just surf with whoever is out. I can pretty much always guarantee I will know someone in the surf as I surf mainly at The Pass and Wategos. I am lucky enough to have made lots of surfing friends through going to things like the Australian titles. Most I them live interstate, but we still go on regular surf trips.

Who inspires your style of surfing? I love Kassia Meador’s style of surfing. But you can’t go past Ray Gleave’s drop knee. The king of steeze.

Flat days happen, and even when you have a longboard sometimes its TOO flat (even in magical Byron)… what do you do to keep yourself entertained? I will probably try find a wave. If there are absolutely no waves though I might go stand up paddle boarding, sometimes I try to do SUP yoga with a friend of mine. Or else go snorkeling, go exploring waterfalls or possibly do some art.

Do you have anyone helping you out with your surfing? Yes, I’m lucky enough to have some really supportive sponsors. Mctavish have been such a great sponsor to me, and I am so lucky to be a part of the team. They really encourage me to surf my own style and give me the best boards out. Also being able to talk to Bob and everyone at the factory about boards is really amazing. Their surf knowledge inspires me. If you’re ever in Byron it’s well worth going out to the industrial estate to check out the showroom and factory.

Surfkini are another local brand who sponsor me. Their bikinis never come off, even if you get cooked by a massive set! Stick it board wax give me my wax which smells delicious! Also it’s not petroleum based which is better for the environment and means it doesn’t melt off the board. And do you remember those towels people get when they’re kids that have the hood? Well an English company ‘Cover Up Towels‘ make adult versions. And they’re not just plain they have super funky designs and are perfect for getting changed under.

What do you look for when looking for a new longboard? Well as I said earlier I’m super blessed to be a team order for Mctavish. So when I’m getting a new board I might try out a few to see what I like, and then we adjust the dimensions to suit me. I just got a new board called an ‘Involvement’ which is a replica of what Bob was riding in the 60’s. I am so in love with it! I seriously can’t get enough of it.

You’ve just taken out the coveted 2014 Snowy McAlister Winter Classic in Manly, congrats on the win! Do you travel around to go in many comps? I have had a few sneaky wins over the years. Noosa Surf Festival has probably been my biggest win and it’s always the most fun comp as well… which is more important. If I do well in a comp its just an added bonus!

Moments from Roisin Carolan on Vimeo.


Catch Roisin’s future post’s for The Mermaid Society by following below…

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