With three World Titles sitting in her trophy room, nestled alongside a swathe of other awards, Meredith Rose is one of the most successful bodysurfers in competition in the world.
Calling Del Mar, California, her home break, the hotbed of competitive bodysurfing has been a good training ground for her. But it's not all business in Del Mar, and the supportive, amiable locals are more about creating an excuse to get together as friends and whomp on a regular basis.
Continually looking to advance her own bodysurfing, Meredith is also keen to expand the whomping world, encouraging others to take part and even pitching for a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest wave bodysurfed, at over one minute.
Yet despite it all, Meredith remains profoundly humble, loving nothing more than to slide a few waves and hanging out with her besties, Maddux and Blue the golden retrievers.
We caught up with our ambassador for a few questions shortly after winning the first event of 2019:
What’s your secret to winning three world titles? Do you think local knowledge plays a big part?
I think local knowledge can help, but I don’t really surf the spots where I compete. I think wave knowledge, in general, is the real secret. Knowing when, where and how a wave is going to break is key to getting a good ride (and hopefully a high score!).
How was the competition this year? Were there any upcoming younger candidates either threatening your crown or that we should be watching in the future?
The Women’s heats are extremely competitive. I consider all of the competitors in the water with me to be very talented and fantastic bodysurfers.
The world titles are handplane-free – which do you prefer, with or without a handplane?
I almost always bodysurf with a handplane, except when it’s not allowed in competition. I love the extra speed and length of ride I get when I can get on an open face wave with a nice shoulder.
You surf in a wetsuit most of the year, do you see that as an advantage or a hindrance?
I think it’s important to be comfortable. I’m not personally convinced it gives me a noticeable advantage, but I can see how the extra buoyancy and smooth rubber theoretically could be helpful.
What’s your most memorable surf and favourite wave?
I love trying new breaks, so it’s hard to pick one. Currently, a wave not far from Mazatlán, Mexico, is my favourite. The water is warm, it holds a big swell really well, and the rides are incredibly long.
What does a typical day in the life of Meredith Rose look like?
I work as a Consulting Systems Engineer designing large computer networks, so that involves long days in front of my computer and a fair amount of travel, but I love it. After work, I love to bodysurf and run around with my two golden retrievers. A couple of times a week I also do volunteer work for a therapy dog organization, where I take my dogs to visit people in the local hospital. It’s very rewarding.
Have you specifically shaped your life around the ocean?
Absolutely. I’m very drawn to the ocean, and I am lucky to live near the water. Most vacations revolve around the surf. I also don’t eat any seafood, because I’m very concerned about over-fishing.
What drew you to bodysurfing initially?
I’ve always loved being in the water. I could swim before I could walk. I used to bodyboard and board-surf a lot. One day I picked up a handplane at a local street fair. It didn’t take long for me to ditch the big foam boards and exclusively start enjoying my true passion: bodysurfing.
What does it bring to your life?
Bodysurfing has not only taught me a lot about the ocean and brought me incredible amounts of stoke each time I ride a wave, but it has brought many amazing people into my life. I’ve met many of my closest, best friends through bodysurfing.
Tell us about your world record attempt…
I have a GoPro recording of me riding an open-face wave for over one minute. I plan to use that clip or get another one to submit to the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest wave bodysurfed. I hope it inspires others to try to break the record!
Have you got any tips for raising the level of our bodysurfing?
I like that more competitions are starting to use more technical scoring tools, such as the StactApp. I think that will bring awareness to the sport and help competitors and fans become more engaged. The California Bodysurfing Tour is just getting started this year, and I think that anyone who has any interested in bodysurfing should not only compete, but join the Tour.
I consider my biggest title to be the first time I won at “the Worlds”. I’m also very proud of my 2018 winning streak where I won first place in every competition that I entered. The streak continued into 2019 where I also won the first competition of the year: Zuma.