Girls Gone Wild: Rochelle Ballard

Happy Tuesday to all of you. Can you tell I’m in a good mood? Well, hell yeah I am. There is something about waking up early on a crisp fall morning and scoring good waves with seventy of your best buddies (at a break that Taylor Knox mistakenly likes to call his turf–when he knows perfectly well that it’s actually located in my town), that puts a shit eating grin on your face all day, cubicle or not. Oh, one more thing, in the new issue, I sorta called out my buddy and Surfer Mag web guru, Scott Bass, regarding the upcoming “King of the Reef contest that coincides with Rob Machado’s contest at Cardiff Reef next weekend. I called yesterday to enter the comp but was denied entry by contest organizers. Sorry Scott, I won’t be there to get smoked by you at longboarding and a paddle race. But that’s enough about me, let’s get back to “Girls Gone Wild.

Today we feature one of the hardest charging ladies in the world, Rochelle Ballard. Assuming all of you loyal subscribers have received your new issue (6#10), you no doubt saw Rochelle’s barrel sequence from Lance’s Right. Well, I was there and saw it firsthand. It was one of the best ridden waves of the day, and there was no slouch crew out there either. Dean Morrison, Jay “Bottle Thompson, Kala Alexander, Brian Pacheco, Stephen Koehne, and Lance himself were out, along with at least twenty other good surfers, making it difficult at best to get a good wave. “Rochy, as she will be called from here on out, waited patiently for an hour before snagging a bomb and weaving her way through multiple sections before getting barfed out into the channel right in front of the “Surgeon’s Table, a super critical and shallow section. “Boss as the other girls called her, ruled and just like in seventh grade, she is one of my favorite surfer girls ever. Meet Rochelle Ballard.

One more thing, in my ever evolving stupidity, I neglected to thank Anthony Marcotti from Saraina Koat Mentawai Tours in the article. If you ever go to the Mentawais, be smart and go through these guys, they have the awesome boats, superb crews, and will take care of your every need. Check ’em out and book your ticket at www.metawaiislands.com.

Rochelle Ballard

I’ve known Rochelle since the seventh grade, when she spent a year away from her home on Kauai attending my junior high school in California. She was the best girl surfer I had ever seen and I was totally captivated by her stories about surfing and growing up in the islands. She disappeared after one year and I didn’t catch up to her until a couple years ago, but as I came to find out, she hadn’t changed much, she was still the same super surf stoked grommet, just making money following her passion.

TransWorld Surf: Where do you see women’s surfing going in the next few years?

Rochelle Ballard: I’ve always had such big sights for women’s surfing. I knew it would eventually get to a place where people would respect it. I love when guys go “Oh my gosh! Did you see what that woman just did!

I did that a lot on this trip.

You know, it’s (women’s surfing) taken some time to get to where it is today–just because the way society is. Once something is accepted–especially involving women, it accelerates at a tremendous pace.

What do you have to say to all the girls that look up to you?

Go have fun. Be inspired and inspire others,

Rochelle was called ‘Boss’ by the rest of the girls on our trip, and true to her title she was the shot caller for the ladies. Surf Lance’s or back to Macca’s? Better ask Roach. Now that Lisa isn’t on the tour, Rochelle is the girl the other girls go to for advice and encouragement–the elder stateswoman of the tour if you will (she’s gonna hate that). Right now, Rochelle is the world’s best female tube-rider, but damn the girl can turn, too.