Talks: Rosy Hodge, the only woman on the Men´s CT!

Rosy Hodge

Originally from South Africa, the WSL-Analyst Rosy Hodge has travelled the World as a former competitor and lived out of a suitcase from a young age. Now, she´s settled in San Clemente, California close to Trestles and Hawaii following the Tour around the globe, interviewing our heroes, providing and entertaining us with great Pre-and post heat Interviews as well as analyses from a woman´s point of view in a (still) male-dominated industry.

We´ve caught up with Rosy during the MEO Ripcurl Pro in Portugal, to ask her about her Job and the strong progression in Women Surfing.

Rosy Hodge, from competing on Tour to reporting about it

Rosy, how did you become a WSL-interviewer and analyst? Have you ever thought about following the tour from the ‚other side‘ as a competitor already? 

Honestly, no. I kind of got like a shy personality type so it was very daunting for me, to think about having to interview all my favorite surfers and my heroes so it was kind of like, taking myself out of my comfort zone and getting comfortable and learning a skill set that I didn´t know… like…It´s something that I understood, being a former competitor but then, maybe it was just breaking out of my shell and getting comfortable with doing it. 

Competing on the CT was a big part of your own life too, you know how the emotions go after winning or loosing a heat, being pumped and devastated all at once - Does that make it easier for you in your job as an interviewer or is it tricky sometimes, having to ask questions when you know someones is just sad or angry about their last heat? 

Yes for sure, I think it can be tricky, just knowing what everyone is going through and seeing the disappointment or sometimes the stoke of people. It´s so easy to be really happy for surfers when they do well because you know all the hard work that´s gone into and then the same side of that is, knowing all the hard work, seeing how disappointed  people can be when they loose, especially when it´s fickle and they didn´t get the opportunity to do their best. 

The WSL -Team seems like their having so much fun doing their job which makes the reporting real authentic. How close are you all? 

Yeah it´s so fun, cause we have become like a little family. Even after 4 years of traveling together for so long we´re just as close as ever, which is so rare because I think people will often get sick of each other by this stage but we´ve all really gotten close over the years so I still think of everyone being really good friends and when I´m away from them I still like to keep in touch or hang out with them if I´m in the same area as them. 

Love this bunch of animals🍻 Finals day, who's ganna win?? @wsl

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Ok so you all get along really well. That´s great!

But let´s get serious: Who is or are your favorite Surfer(s)? We´d like to hear names! 🙂

Oh that´s so funny! I think my favorite surfer always seems to change. Obviously I am always backing the south africans like Jordy Smith or Bianca Buitendag cause I´m from South Africa. But you know, I think I like everyone sometimes for different reasons but everyone on tour is just so incredible and I’m inspired by all of them. 

How adventurous really are the interviews you do from sitting on a surfboard, out in the line up, right next to where the waves are breaking and the action happens? 

Back to work today 🔨 @asp #itson #cascaiswomanspro 📷: @brentbielmann

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Yeah that is definitely one of the more fun elements of the job, getting to sit out in the line up during Teahupo or J-Bay or one of those kinds of events or Maui, watching the Ladies at Honoloua. I think part of the reasons why it´s so fun is that excitement factor with big sets coming in, but most of the time we are so far in the channel that it doesn´t really matter but we´re close enough to really feel the excitements. 

I bet most of us think, you get to surf a lot with the job you have. But you´re also on duty a lot during comps, how often do you actually get to surf while covering an event? 

It all kind of seems to depend on how busy we are. On the days we do like 20 Heats, we don’t get to surf on those days. It´s honestly quite a tiring job. At the end of the day you´re pretty drained so you know, if I have a little bit of extra energy I´ll run out for a surf and then on the lay days, we just take full advantage of it. 

Wet the gillllz 🐡 Thanks for the pics @jrkenworthy

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Do you think your job has changed your own surfing and if so, in what extend? 

It´s so crazy because we watch so much surfing, you would honestly think that you´d start to improve. But I think this also makes you appreciate the surfing everyones doing, cause sometimes you´ll watch it all day and then go for a free surf in the same conditions and you realize how tricky it is and how switched on the athletes are so it definitely makes me appreciate the standard of surfing on tour at the moment. 

Rosy Hodge about Women Surfing and it´s development

Speaking about surfing…

Women Surfing in particular has gained a lot more attention lately. The Ladies are delivering huge performances and the WSL has been promoting and supporting the Women´s Tour more and more. What do you think about the development in Women Surfing? 

The standard right now in women surfing is mindblowing! It’s been interesting to see how everyone has developed over the years because I’ve known pretty much everyone on Tour since they were super young, so I’m just really proud of the level that it is at the moment. Every time we come back to snapper rocks, when the tour kicks off again, it’s so impressive to see the way the ladies have lifted the level in the off season.

Do you reckon the ladies' level has come closer to the men’s?

"{...} you could pretty much put them into any heat situation and their surfing is strong enough to be compared to anyone..."

Yeah, sometimes when I watch the ladies surfing, I’m like WOW! You could pretty much put them into any heat situation and their surfing is strong enough to be compared to anyone and I think that’s also the appreciation or respect that you’re getting seeing from the male athletes and female athletes alike. Everyone on tour respects each other so much.

Can you give us a little preview for next year´s Women´s Tour?

I think, next year, - I haven´t seen the schedule yet - it’ll kick off in Australia again, but I am always surprised, every year. I kind of am always the last one to know what’s going on (laughs). I think it will be another great year, for sure and I look forward to seeing what events are back on the schedule and hopefully we still have those ones that we all love like Fiji, Lowers, Honolua, Australia, Brasil, every event on tour has a special place in our hearts.

Will there be a women’s event at Kelly’s surf Ranch?

I really hope so, I personally think Steph Gilmore is one of the best people on this wave. The ladies put on such great performances on there and I don’t see why they wouldn’t have an event there.

Thanks Rosy, keep on rockin!