TransWorld SURF: So far how’s your year gone? You just finished seventh in the Maldives. Are you happy with the way things are going?
Ben: Yeah, definitely. It’s still really early in the year and things are just starting up now and I got one result out of the way so I’m stoked. Just gotta keep plugging away.
How are things back home? Are you pissed Dawson’s Creek is done now?
I don’t know that the Dawson’s Creek hype was ever such a big deal. They were there for so long I’m just glad they’re out of there.
What’s new with you? Has anything changed in your life lately that nobody knows about?
Not much. I’ve just been trying to do a bunch of trips. We just finished that Quicksilver movie. It should be out at the end of summer.
What’s it called?
Circle One. That was kind of a long process. We got skunked on a lot of trips so we had to do even more trips. That was good to get out of the way. I’ve just been filming a little bit with some of the guys—with Taylor Steele for his new thing. I’ll just keep trying to do a bunch of photo trips and all the contests. Basically just trying to do everything I can. I got into some WCT’s so I’m gonna be doing some of those. Basically just keeping it going non-stop.
What’s worse, losing a heat or getting skunked on a trip?
I think probably losing a heat because you can fly all the way around the world and lose the first heat. Then you’re like, “Why did I come half way around the world to lose the first heat? I think that hurts you even worse than getting skunked on a trip.
What’s the scariest thing about traveling to you?
I don’t know. I don’t get too sketched out on traveling at all. A lot of people are freaking out about SARS and all kind of things going on around the world, but it doesn’t really bother me at all.
What are you more scared of when you’re on the road, SARS or STD’s?
Aw, STD’s for sure. There’s a lot of dirty people out there.
It seems like you spend a lot of time with Australians. Do you learn a lot from them? Do you have fun hanging out with all the Aussie’s?
For sure. The Aussie’s are hilarious. All their slang and just the way they put things is hilarious. It’s pretty much just a non-stop laugh when you’re around them. They know how to have a good time.
Do they make fun of you because you’re a Seppo?
Yeah, they do but it’s all good. I make fun of them back.
Do you call them c—ts?
Around the world, what’s your favorite beer?
Cooper’s in Australia. Cooper’s takes the win hands down. I’m trying to get some shit back for Christmas.
If you could go on a date with any chick in the world, who would it be?
I don’t know, maybe the dark skin. I’m into the dark meat right now. She’s just … I don’t know.
If we were to put your singles ad in the newspaper, what would it say?
Looking for eighteen to 25, dark skin, dark hair. Caribbean style.
But what if you break up; they might put a voodoo thing on you, Caribbean style?
Just have to see what happens.
When you order a surfboard from a shaper, what is the most important aspect you look for? What’s the most important part of ordering for you?
I’d say to make sure it comes out light. Everyone’s riding really similar boards right now. Usually I’ll just give them my dimensions and always try to make sure it’s super light. A lot of times if you don’t say you want it light, it will come out like a log. That just seems like it has that much more drag. Lighter boards seem to be a lot more responsive to me. You can put them wherever you want and that means a lot to me. I always make sure they’re light and I almost always get glassed-on fins now.
What are your dimensions?
>My normal shortboard is 5’11 by 18 by 2.125, squash-tail.
What about fin systems?
Most of my boards have glass-ons. I’ve been messing around a little bit with Lockbox and Future fins lately and they seem to be working pretty good. But most of the boards I really like have glass-ons.
How many boards do you break in a year?
I don’t break that many. Sometimes I’ll go on a little spell where I’m breaking a few, but I’m not that hard on boards. It’s just hard for me to find one I really like and feel comfortable on. That’s my hardest thing. I’m not really hard on boards, as far as breaking them goes, but sometimes I’ll got through a ton of boards just trying to find one I really like.
What’s your favorite television show?
I don’t watch TV.
What’s your favorite movie?
I don’t know. That’s tough. I guess I don’t have one.
What’s your favorite band?
All around, probably Bob Marley would be my favorite.
If you were at home and you could do anything at all, what would it be?
I’d be surfing or kite surfing.
Kite surfing’s your new thing?
Yeah, I’m psyched on it. I’ve been messing around on it the last couple months and got the hang of it and it’s super fun to do when it’s flat. I’ve been taking it with me on the road, too. People complain being away from home and it’s flat and there’s nothing to do and you get homesick it kind of keeps me busy.
How important is that for your surfing, to have another interest to take your mind of it?
It’s so important. It’s hard to travel all year long and only be there for surfing with nothing to do in your free time. When it’s flat and windy, sometimes for weeks, you can lose your mind and party too much. If I go somewhere where there’s good skating, I’ll bring my skateboard a bunch. So I have that and my kite surfing. A lot of those places are really good for kite surfing. So if it’s flat I don’t even care. It doesn’t bug me one bit. I’ll kite and be just as happy as I am surfing.
Did skating impact a lot of your surfing?
I used to skate a ton. I still do, but I haven’t been skating much lately. I used to skate a ton when I was younger, even more than surfing. I always thought my skating and surfing were completely different. I didn’t ride a skateboard like I rode a surfboard and I didn’t surf at all like I skated. It’s two different things. There’s two totally different approaches to everything. Skating is all light-footed and in surfing you push a lot more.
Are you going to be at the US Open and should the Caribbean ladies be looking for you there?
Definitely. Most definitely. I will be there.