March 03, 2023

Give us a glimpse into who Lauren Hill is... Where did you come from and where has 
life taken you?
I’m a surf rat from a little barrier island off the East Coast of Florida. I now live just outsideof Byron Bay, Australia with my partner Dave Rastovich and our son Minoa.I’ve ridden and travelled with my trusty Bings all over the world, and have made a living sharing stories - via film, pen and podcasts.
If you could list a few of your favorite creative projects over the years which would theybe and why?
I loved writing my book She Surf: The Rise of Female Surfing. Having a place where women’s stories and surf history can live in perpetuity felt like a worthy contribution. Probably my favourite creative project is our podcast, Waterpeople. It’s a place to hear from all kinds of waterfolk from around the world about the aquatic experiences that shape who they become back on land – and how unifying these aquatic experiences can be as a global
culture of waterpeople. We’ve gotten to chat with people we deeply respect and admire – Gerry Lopez, Susan Casey, Paige Alms, John John Florence, Peggy Oki, Jack Johnson, Liz Clark, Albe Falzon, to name a few. We’ll be starting our fifth season in a few weeks.
When talking about "The Physics of Noseriding", where did the idea or inspiration come from to create the film?
The subtlety of longboarding really captured my heart from the time I started surfing at 14 – I love the weight and glide of a heavy board in trim. And I love the sort flying/falling feeling of levitation that I find in a high
speed noseride. I chased this sensation -- I’ve been surfing for more than 20 years now and mostly riding longboards - but I didn’t really understand why it was possible. It seems like it shouldn’t be possible to perch on the nose of a longboard, you know? But it is. I made the Physics of Noseriding to explain how it is literally, physically possible.
What is your take on the surfing boom over the last decade and how does longboard culture play a role in this massive growth?
The re-emergence of longboards has played a huge part in making surfing more accessible. It’s just a way more fun and user-friendly entry point for the way most people ride waves. In my mind, the biggest contributor to our most recent surfing boom is the way the culture has changed, which probably goes hand in hand with longboards being more readily available. When I was coming of age in surfing through the early 2000s, the magazines were pretty much exclusively filled with white, southern Californian guys rip-shredding. If women were featured, it was exponentially more likely that she would be posing in a G-string on the beach
than surfing. As the population of core surfing has diversified with more women, more people of color, just more of all of us. The culture has also had to change.
I think we’ve been in a really exciting period in surfing these last 10 years, where female longboarders have been at the forefront of what is visually fresh and exciting in terms of performance, not just beauty. That’s why I wanted to let women do most of the technical surfing in The Physics of Noseriding.
Even though most line-ups are more crowded these days, I think the swelling diversification of what it means or looks like to be a surfer is really healthy for our culture.
Tell us about the people you featured in your film and why you chose them.
I wanted to feature (some of) the surfers that I most admire for their ability to go steep and deep with their noseriding (and their surfing in general). The surfers who elucidate the difference between adequate noseriding (which is what I mostly do) and critical noseriding -- Belinda Baggs, Ari Browne, Leah Dawson, Rosie Jaffurs, Lola Mignot, Josie Prendergast, Matt Cuddihy, Elise Trigger, Crystal Thornburg-Homcy, Dave Rastovich, Crystal Dzigas and Kelis Kaleopaʻa. I love that they make it look easy, even though it isn’t. That’s why I played with camera angles and different ways of shooting for Physics – to be able to see the very subtle
adjustments, sometimes just the shift of weight from blade to arch of foot, that can make the difference in exceptional logging. Board design is pretty important when it comes to advanced level logging.
What are some of your favorite boards you've had that have helped you elevate your abilities?
I’ve been lucky to have such beautiful, refined shapes to ride over the years, thanks to Matt and Margaret. In terms of logging, the Cali Square Tail has been my go-to for perfect peeling Aussie points. It just makes noseriding so easy. When I’m surfing back home in Florida, or a beachbreak here, but still want to ride a longboard, I’ve found the Trimulux to be a very versatile shape. I’ve also found Matt’s midlengths – like the Slalom – have been gateways in my transition
from loggys to middys.
You've written a lot about surf history, culture, and ethics. Why are these components of surfing so important?
To stick to your question, these things not at all important to the solo surfing experience. But if we’re talking about the culture of surfing, then they matter because our history, culture and ethics shape who we grow into as evolving human beings, and who our children grow
into. I’m interested in the stories we tell as a culture. I’ve always been curious about why surf culture is the way that it is – who tells our stories? What’s their motivation? How do their stories impact how we feel about our own surfing lives? Whose stories are not held in our collective consciousness? Why not?
As with surfboard design, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to do better without knowing where we’ve come from.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
I find a lot of meaning and satisfaction in the process of making, so I’m always chipping away at some creative project. There are always more ideas than time to see them all through, especially at this point in life. I have a five-year-old and I’m committed to being the kind of present parent that my parents couldn’t be because they had to work so hard to get by as single parents. I have a couple of new book concepts I’m refining, but right now I’m producing the next season of Waterpeople and enjoying the arrival of surf season here in Aus.
Where can people find more of your work and get to know you better?
@theseakin on Instagram or my website

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