Interview with a Guru: Quincy Symonds

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When we think of our role models and gurus, it’s easy to default to an adult figure. But lately, I find myself drawn to and inspired by a handful of talented, focused and courageous “younger people”.  After a recent encounter with Quincy Symonds and her squad of gun female junior surfers at Surfing Australia’s High Performance Center, I left full of inspiration. Quincy (a.k.a. “The Flying Squirrel”) is one particular young gun surfer/skateboarder, carving up waves double her size with flair and skill. She’s hungry for success – you can just see it in her eyes. She brings the intensity and focus of a seasoned veteran. And she’s eight years old. This girl is moving in the direction of her choice -up.

We’re honoured to introduce our next guru, Quincy Symonds, and her parents, Kim and Jake, as they shed some light into the life of this rising star.

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Quincy

Do you have any surfing role models? Which surfers do you look up to?

Bede Durbride is a great role model in surfing, he was injured very badly at pipeline in 2015, lots of people were not sure if he would ever surf again, but now he is ripping like never before. Bede is always really nice to me. Bede is a huge inspiration to be right now. Some of the surfers I look up to right now are the Maui Boys (Albee Layer, Matt Meola, Clay Marzo, Kai Barger, Torrey Meister, Nic Von Rupp) because they are pushing so many limits in surfing.

If you look to the future, where do you see Quincy Symonds in 10 years from now?

If I close my eyes in 10 years I want to be a professional surfer on the World Tour (if that is what it will be called then) or getting the Biggest Bestest Barrel at Teahupoo in Tahiti

What do you love about surfing?

I love the feel of the water moving and getting barrelled.

What’s been your best moment?

I have so many best moments I do not know which one…… One of my favourite surf days was in Fiji at Fiji Pipe, it was only me and my dad and 2 other people out it was amazing. Oh and also on my 8th birthday I nearly got the best barrel of my life, and we had the jetski all day.

Do you get scared? How do you overcome fear?

I don’t scared when I surf, I just go to my happy place.

What do you think it takes to be a great surfer?

Practice, concentration, and effort I think are the key things.

What are your hobbies outside or surfing?

Skating, playing the drums and guitar, kicking a football or soccer ball, tennis, ping pong, badminton, baseball, throw and catch, basketball (except for when I broke my finger) everything is my favourite hobby.

What is your favourite snack?

Anything that is food is my favourite snack….. except for tomatoes….

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Kim & Jake

Tell us about Quincy’s personality

Quincy is very focused in what ever she wants to do. She is always trying to improve herself, whether it be as a surfer, her strength, her mind etc she is always challenging herself to be her best. She also has an amazing sense of humour. Oh and Q also believes that the day is not complete until you have fit everything and anything into every single moment.

How do you manage Quincy’s drive and still allow her to be a kid?

We really let Q steer when it comes to her surfing and training. Its really not hard as she is so dedicated to this adventure it seems to come natural. We watch closely to the times we really need to make sure she takes extra rest and things like that, but mostly she is pretty in tune with herself and her daily goals. I guess we don’t really see a big difference between doing something as an adult or as a kid…. yes sure adults have to pay bills and things like that but we can all choose to do something or be something and whether you are 8 or 80 its really the same thing. I guess what I am saying is some of the biggest kids I have met have been adults.

How do you help Quincy deal with setbacks?

We really try to stay positive and look to the future, half an hour, a day, a week every moment it a step closer to being back on your feet. Q is also very lucky to be surrounded by an amazing group of people who understand her and what she wants so that helps so much. Setbacks are also a great way to reset and rejuvenate in a way.

What is your proudest moment as a parent?

Such a tough question. There are so many amazing moments to being a parent, I often catch myself and wonder if it can all be real. First smiles, first steps, hearing “I love you”, hearing “thank you”, watching a small part of you grow into their own person and find their own path in the world. I guess one thing I will admit to is in the last 12 months there have been several moments where I have been pleased to have sunglasses on so that people don’t think I am crazy for standing on the beach with tears running down my face as I have just watched Q check another box off her personal achievement list. There really is so much to be proud of when you are a parent, its impossible to choose one moment.

You can keep up with Quincy on Instagram (@theflyingsquirrel__) and Facebook & Twitter (@Quincysymonds).

Interviewed by Lydia Lassila – Olympic Champion. Mum. Entrepreneur