Rip Curl Blog
'Master & Apprentice’ Starring Bethany Hamilton And Erin Brooks
Most people will only dream of having Bethany Hamilton in their corner, for Erin Brooks dreams do come true. The two first met when Erin was 9 and at the very beginning of her surfing journey...
Fast forward 4 years and we land here, in Waco, Texas. The two spent three days lighting up the pool with their impressive air game, powerful carves and barrel riding from dawn to dusk. Each seemingly effortless air-reverse reminding us that the progression of female surfing is in very good hands.
Watching these two generations powerfully glide above and below the lip, their excitement audible to the entire Waco amphitheatre, there’s no doubt Bethany and Erin are at the forefront of female surfing. Pioneering a new wave of progression. Whether it’s charging waves of consequence or stomping a no-grab air reverse - the example has been set. Erin and Bethany are two surfers among a long list of women and girls who are raising the bar, pushing the limits and redefining what it means to be a woman in the water.
“I’m pumped for women’s surfing as a whole… [the progression is] what I’d expect with the next generation and the inspiration they have now! They are gonna rock it and have so much fun!” – Bethany Hamilton
Talking about progression… the consistent conditions offered at the pool provided the perfect training ground – Bethany and Erin left no challenge unturned. If you’ve watched the clip, the proof is in the pudding, particularly when it came to ramping up their air game.
“It’s almost like surfing in a skate park! I love doing airs because they are so challenging… There are so many I want to learn but the one I want to learn the most right now is a ‘Kerrupt Flip’” explains Erin. (We expect to see a video circling the internet in the near future of Erin nailing the Kerrupt Flip, it’s only a matter of time...)
Erin is under Bethany’s wing. Their big sister-little sister bond unquestionable, a bond strengthened by the way they approach surfing and the characteristics they share. Bethany touches on this in the clip, however off camera she explained “I see a lot of myself in Erin… I’m tenacious too and I think you need that in aggressive style surfing.”
Their tenacious qualities in sync, pushing, encouraging and learning from one another both in and out of the water. Master & Apprentice explores this bond over three days in Texas where the two surfed until they couldn’t.
Bethany bringing a wealth of experience to the table and Erin soaking up the perfect opportunity to be a sponge. From competitive surfing to travel, from the QS grind to facing adversity and overcoming life’s hurdles. The wax on, wax off approach in full effect.
As Erin Brooks explains, whether it’s dialling a new trick, going for a skate, or just being a good person, “Bethany has taught me to never give up no matter what I’m facing in life. She also shows kindness to everyone she meets, and I try to do the same. Bethany never lets fear or excuses get in the way of accomplishing her goals.”
Erin is inspired by Bethany, but what she may not realise yet, is that it certainly goes both ways.
Name: Bethany Hamilton
Stance: Goofy foot
Home beach: Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii.
Years on Rip Curl Team: 20 years and counting.
Key attributes: Supermum, Unstoppable big wave rider, and World Tour aspirant.
Erin describes Bethany as: Inspirational, powerful, sweet
Name: Erin Brooks
Stance: Goofy foot
Home beach: Velzy Land, Oahu, Hawaii.
Years on Rip Curl Team: 8 months and counting.
Key attributes: Supergrom, air specialist, and World Tour aspirant.
Bethany describes Erin as: Tenacious, excited, focused