20 Questions with Alys Barton
This year we welcome Ally B as one of Animal’s newest Surf Ambassadors. With a passion for surfing, good quality post-surf clothing, and the environment, the smoothie lover shares some of her biggest secrets and hints and tips with us…
How old were you when you first started surfing?
I had just turned 13 when I first started
What is your earliest surf memory?
My earliest memory is my dad pushing me into waves on his Webber Shortboard at Langland Point. At that stage I couldn’t even stand up!
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
To always have confidence in your ability to achieve your goals…Keep fighting and don’t give up!
Which surfers do you look up to?
I really look up to a lot of my local surfers (Pat, Logan, and the guys at Langland) as they really pushed me at my local break! I also really look up to my not-so-little brother now who rips (surfs)! He is always the best person to surf with. He is such a laugh and makes surfing so much more fun - always challenging me to do better in everything I do! He is my best friend, Brother, and coach.
What surfboard do you use and why?
I use either Epoxy or PU Shortboards, depending on the conditions. My favourite board is my 5’4 Epoxy. It is short, fast, and great for speed turns - making it easier for my surfing to go to the next level.
What do you eat/how do you fuel up before a big competition?
Well, to be honest, I don’t have the best athlete’s diet! But before a heat, I always have a pack of blueberries and a bar of darker milk Cadbury chocolate. I do like to have eggs on toast but with the eggs on the side because I don’t like my food to be mixed! I also really love an Innocent smoothie, chicken nuggets, and I am also obsessed with Goats cheese and halloumi. On top of all this, I love making Acai bowls with loads of fruit.
What would you say to someone who wants to try surfing but struggling to take the leap?
You only live once so go surf! Just take your best friend, brother, sister, dad or mum, and go have some fun catching waves! Surf schools are also a great way to get started.
What do you pack in your bag when heading out surfing?
I am very forgetful (like my younger brother) but when throw my stuff in the back of the van, I usually take:
- wetsuit (although I do often forget this)
- surf leash and leash tie
- surfboard (5,4ft-5,6ft)
-LOTS OF SNACKS
Who has been your biggest support/fan throughout your career?
My dad, mum and elliot (my Brother). I couldn’t have even started surfing without them!
What is your proudest professional moment so far?
It would probably be going to the International final of the Ripcurl Gromsearch twice! And, more recently, beating some now Olympians is in the recent QS WSL events in Europe.
Where is the coolest place you have ever surfed?
I am a massive fan of Barbados . It’s such a magical place and I have made so many good friends there. I can’t wait to go back soon.
How do you handle pre-comp nerves?
Pre-competition nerves are super hard to deal with and some people just do not get them! Personally, I get super nervous sometimes and its tricky to control, but I think the main thing is to try and focus on is trusting your ability and remember that it is just another surf.
What is your favourite beach in the UK?
I love surfing my local beach (Llangennith) especially when the ‘crew’ consisting of my friends is down there! I also love Fistral beach and the beaches in Cornwall because the water is a lot clearer than home and it’s so nice to surf in!
What do you do to wind down after a big competition?
Usually, I will hang out with Elliot or my friends and chill out! I normally fall asleep super early though after a big competition because I just have zero energy left.
Which competition are you most looking forward to this year?
I have already done quite a few events so far this year on the QS/PROJUNIOR WSL league. However, I am really looking forward to getting back to the Animal Open at Boardmasters which is the second UK competition of the year. It is such a cool event and I love the vibe there! Then after that I will hopefully be heading to France for the QS in Anglet.
How did you cope with lockdown? What things did you do to get creative/train?
I actually really enjoyed lockdown. Firstly, there was no College!!!!! Loved that! but I really enjoyed spending time working on my fitness. I linked up with a legend called Ben Jenkins (Lift Coaching) who has helped me become so much stronger! This has given me more confidence in my surfing and my ability to land manoeuvres.
If you could invite one person to dinner with you, who would it be?
I would probably invite my boyfriend who I have been with for 9 months … we still haven’t gone to dinner because I’m always surfing!
What song do you have on repeat this summer?
Ooooooo, REAL GONE from CARS Disney! lol
What is your favourite Animal product?
I am in love with the new Animal range because it is so bright and colourful! But my favourite piece is the Corina Women’s Recycled Cycling Shorts in green. They are so comfy, and I wear them all the time at the gym! Plus they are sustainable… like OMG !!!!
What do you like most about this year’s collection?
I love the colours in this year’s collection. The palette is really summery and bright. I am also in love with the amount products to choose from! It is too hard to choose because they are all so beautiful. I also cannot believe that the range is eco-friendly!