Photo by Jeanne RiceThe reality show "Surf Girls" airs on MTV Mondays at 10:30 p.m. The show follows 14 young women as they surf some of the world's best spots, angling for a chance to compete in the Roxy Pro Fiji championship. Lauren Stinson is one of the girls. She was born and raised in Surfside, the tiny beach community between Sunset Beach and Anaheim Bay. I talked with Stinson on May 12, just a few hours before the show debuted.
I've lived in Surfside almost 23 years. I've lived there my whole life. When my mom was pregnant with me, we bought the house. It's right on the beach. It was so much fun growing up here.
I'm a beach girl. I prefer to be outside enjoying the sun and waves and ocean. I've played in the ocean my whole life. When I was a kid, I'd go out on my Boogie Board, but I didn't learn how to surf until I was a junior in high school. Everything about surfing looked awesome.
My best friend from since I was very young surfed. One day, I saw her going down the line on her long board, and I thought, "Oh, my God, I want to do that." I went out a couple of times on her long board, which she called Big Blue. The first few times, we were just whale watching and didn't catch any waves. But the third time out, I stood up. Oh, my gosh, it was the greatest feeling in the entire world.
I'm usually in school, but I took a semester off to do the show. I work as a shooter girl at a nightclub in Huntington Beach. At $2 a shot, I make pretty good money. I used to work at Live Bait. It was pretty [divey], but I made a lot of money. I was there for two years, working as a shooter girl and working the beer bar.
I went to a community college in Pearl City, Hawaii, and then Golden West in Huntington. I lived on Oahu for a year. It was really tough to go to school there. I would be driving to class when I would see these perfect barrels.
My friend is a manager at Huntington Surf and Sport, and she has a lot of friends in the surf industry. One of her friends asked her if she knew any girls between the ages of 18 and 24 who surfed, who could go on this show. She told me about the casting call, and I thought it was great.
Why did they choose me for the show? I don't know. I'm a freak—that's probably why they chose me. I'm sure they were judging on looks and personality. You have to love the ocean. Obviously, you have to know how to surf. They gave me an interview, and they asked me some very personal questions: Do you have a boyfriend? How's your love life? Are your parents still together? What was the worst wipeout you ever had? Stuff like that. A lot of the girls were very outgoing. But I'm more of the shy type.
The best place I've ever surfed would have to be Indonesia. I went to Bali for a month with my best friend and my boyfriend. The waves had perfect shape. There were beautiful, glassy conditions. The water is so clean you can see the bottom even when it's 20 feet down. I didn't want to come out of the barrels because the water is so warm and crystal-clear.
When I surf, I'm reflecting about my entire life. I'm thinking about God. I think about everything. I think about what I want to make of myself. It can be quiet or real mean and aggressive surf. It depends on what mood I'm in that day.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.