Lee-Ann Curren: Between Waves and Music
ROXY team rider Lee-Ann Curren is a pro surfer from Biarritz, France, an accomplished musician and the daughter of surf legend Tom Curren. Growing up in a family of surfers, she followed her dad’s footsteps and quickly established herself as one of the most promising surfers in Europe and in the world. Between surf trips, Lee-Ann Curren also shares her time with her other passion: music. Currently the 25 years old surfer is one half of indie-rock duo Betty the Shark, who she sings and plays guitar for. Lee-Ann will be in Lebanon from July 26 to August 2 to attend the Lebanon Water Festival and try our country’s waves.
Your father, Tom Curren, is a surf wold champion, your mother surfs too. How was it like growing up in a family of surfers?
Watching my mum and dad go surf with their friends when the waves were good really made me want to learn fast so I could do the same. My dad was often traveling to compete so I sort of had an idea of what his job was but it was a bit abstract to me. Learning to surf with my little brother Nathan and my cousins and friends from Biarritz always really pushed me as we were pretty competitive together.
Did you like surfing immediately? What did you like or dislike about it at first?
I liked surfing from the first time I saw someone stand on a board. I remember my dad putting me at the front of his board when I was a baby and making me surf on his back. I always loved being in the water and playing in the waves from as far as I can remember.
What is the most exciting surfing destination you have visited?
Every new destination is exciting, like right now I am about to go on a trip to South Africa with Bianca Buitendag, and coming to Lebanon in July is also really exciting. Just the fact of maybe surfing in the Mediterranean is different and unexpected. Going into the unknown and surfing new spots is always a thrill.
What is the best and most difficult thing that comes with being a pro surfer?
Traveling all the time, you get to see so many places and meet people from all over the world, and spending so much time in places that you can call them a second home. But being away from home a lot can be a bit difficult when you try to be organized in your life or when you miss your mom, haha.
How do you find a balance between your surfing career and your personal life?
When I get home, I really take time to rest and spend down time with my friends and family, and do every thing I can’t do the rest of the year, even if I don’t surf as much as when I’m on the road, but it is how I find my balance.
You are also an accomplished musician. You play guitar and sing and have your own rock band “Betty the Shark”. Where does your passion for music come from?
I fell in love with music ever since I got my first cassette of The Cranberries when I was 5. My dad also plays music so I learnt a little bit with him and also taught myself bass and guitar. Playing with the band now is a big part of my life. It is just something that makes me happy and fulfilled. I learnt a lot from playing with the other band members and it is amazing performing with your friends, working ahttp://lebanonwaterfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Music2_Lee-Ann.jpgs a team, when in surfing you are usually on your own. Right now we are working on a new album with a lot of new Space Sounds from Charphil’s synthesizer and funky beats, and we’ll be playing a few gigs this summer.
Have you ever visited the Middle East? What are you expecting, coming to Lebanon?
I’ve actually never been to the Middle East, but I’ve made some really good Lebanese friends on my last trip to Ivory Coast, and I love the Lebanese culture and food so I’m looking forward.
What are the things you are really looking forward to experience in Lebanon?
Looking forward to walking around the town, seeing the markets, eating local food, seeing live music and taking part of the Lebanon Water Festival, swimming anhttp://lebanonwaterfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Music2_Lee-Ann.jpgd maybe surfing in the Mediterranean sea, learning more about the culture, meeting people…