Backstage

  • Images courtesy of Chad Riley
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Lakey Peterson

At just 18 years old, Lakey Peterson is taking over the water. She told us about her new movie “Zero to 100,” her tricks for protecting her hair and how she’s managed to capture her teenage years while traveling the world.

How long have you been surfing? How did you get your start?


I was only 5 the first time I surfed, but I played tons of other sports, so I wasn’t like, ‘I’m going to be a surfer’ from day one. When I was 11 or 12, I really got into it and decided that was what I wanted to do; when I was 14, I ended up winning nationals and picked up my first sponsor, Nike. That’s when the ball really got rolling, and it’s taken off ever since.

What are some key competitions you've entered/won?


The biggest one I’ve won is the US Open of surfing last year. It’s in Huntington Beach, CA, and it’s known as one of the biggest surf contests in the world (in terms of viewing and number of people on the beach). That’s my biggest accomplishment.

Tell us about your new movie, Zero to 100, which is available on iTunes.


It’s called Zero to 100 because my life in the surf world happened really, really quickly. It’s about my surfing, and there’s tons of surfing in the movie. It basically tells a story of what it takes to be a woman athlete…the ups and downs and emotions of that. I just wanted to inspire young women and people to go for their dreams and have a fun time doing it.

What is your personal style philosophy?


I’m sponsored by Hurley, and their line is called Tomboy Sexy, which really describes me. I really like all of their stuff. My style right now is that hipster look, and, especially during the summer, it’s kind of retro.

You spend a lot of time in the ocean and in the sun—how do you protect your hair?


I used to have awful hair, and my mom began to tell me to protect it so it would grow. Since then, I’ve taken way better care of it. I apply leave-in conditioner before I go into the water, which really helps. After I get out, I always have a big bottle of water to rinse my hair right away, and then I put in more leave-in conditioner.

Do you have any favorite Oribe products?


I really love the Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream and Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray!

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about taking care of your hair?


It gets really, really frizzy in the sun. I’ve learned to make sure to have a moisturizer at all times.

How do you like to wear your hair when you're not surfing?


I like to wear it all different ways. I’ve been putting it half up lately or in a braid, which I think is fun and cute. I also wear it down a lot…generally natural, but if I’m going to an event, I’ll curl it to give it volume.

What's your favorite place to surf?


The Mentawai Islands in Indonesia. The waves are so perfect and there are always all different types of waves. The water is beyond warm and it’s beautiful. It’s a chain of islands, so we’ll go on boat trips and stay on the boat for 15 days. You see the most beautiful things; it’s jaw dropping. It’s so untouched and removed from where most of the world lives, and it kind of catches you and forces you to live in the moment. I really love it.

Your career skyrocketed at a young age. How has that changed you?


I’ve been really blessed with an amazing family that has kept me humble and real and viewing life from a good perspective. There have been a lot of ups and downs growing up; I’m just 18, but I’ve had a totally different lifestyle than most teens. I have my struggles with it—sometimes I just want to be home, go to high school and go to a high school dance—but I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s not going to happen. I was home-schooled, but because of all the traveling, I feel like I’ve learned so much that you can’t learn in a classroom…things you can’t teach someone; you have to live them. I’ve been really lucky because, at the age of 18, I’ve been able to go places and see things that most people don’t get to in a lifetime. I try to live it up as much as possible and really soak it all in.

Have you considered college?


I’m going to stick with surfing; it’s been working for me. I’ve been researching online college courses, so I’m probably going to end up doing that. I’m really interested in taking personal training or photography classes.

What do you like to do when you're not at the beach?


When I’m not at the beach, I go to the gym a lot. I love training and staying fit and healthy. I go shopping and to coffee or movies with friends, and I’ve been going line dancing, which is so much fun. I like to be as much of a teenager as I possibly can.

What's your definition of surfer hair?


Very blonde, kind of wavy and a very natural look. It has to have that sexy edge to it, but when I’m at the beach, I can’t really style it, so it is how it is.

Who do you think has the best surfer hair?


My friend Sage Erickson has really great hair. It’s kind of the same coloring as mine, and it’s really long and beautiful. We all take care of our hair pretty well.

What are your beach essentials?


My surfboard, a wetsuit and a towel. If I’m spending the day on the beach with friends, I’ll bring a little speaker to play music, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a drink of some sort (if it’s early, it’s coffee). I also love having my GoPro camera, which I take out surfing.

What's one item (besides your surfboard) that you couldn't live without?


My cell phone.

Who is your hair/beauty inspiration?


Blake Lively has really beautiful hair, and so does Lauren Conrad.

What's your best advice for girls who spend a lot of time in the sun, especially during summer months?


Wear sunscreen! I love getting tan, but you will still get tan if you wear sunscreen. Stay healthy and fit, have fun and enjoy yourself!

- JILLIAN RUFFO
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