Q&A with Johnny Fryer

2010 British Champion

I always remember seeing Johnny down the fields at Compton surfing from dawn until dusk, and then in 1994 people began to notice his amazing talent as he became best cadet in the South Coast Surfing Championships at Niton. Johnny grew up surfing on the Island and last year became the first Isle of Wight surfer to become British Champion. I decided to ask some of the youngsters from local schools and sports clubs to see if they would be interested in asking British Champion and Isle of Wight born Johnny Fryer any questions.

1997 Island Champion

Davina age 7: What is your favourite surfboard?

Johnny: I have quite a lot, and it’s hard to choose a favourite. I have one that I won the English championships and the British championships with, so that’s probably my most precious. But its fun to have lots of different ones for different waves.

Abigail age 8: What is your biggest surfboard?

Johnny: My boards aren’t very big (not like the old school longboards). My biggest one is about 6’6ft long.

Will age 9: What was your very first surfboard?

Johnny: ha ha! It was a pink “pop out” board, with black paint splashes on made by ‘circle one’. If anyone still has it, I would love to get it back. It was so heavy and dangerous for me… I was only 6 years old.


Millie age 9: What is the biggest wave you have ever surfed?

Johnny: I’m not exactly sure, probably about 20ft. But surfers measure waves differently, by about half…so we would call it 10ft.

Alyssa age 7: How far away from land is the furthest break you have ever surfed?

Johnny: Some places in Indonesia you go out on a boat to the reef, which can be about 1 mile out.

Saskia age 8: Do you have favourite food or any special diet when you are competing?

Johnny: No special diet, but I just try to eat good, clean food, and lots of it, so I’ve got a lot of energy. I love ice cream and chocolate as well though!


Becky (Gymnastics coach): Who initially taught you to surf?

Johnny: I never had lessons, I just always remember enjoying surfing even when I was about 3 years old. I wish I had lessons, it would’ve saved me making a lot of time mistakes in the early years.

Holly age 7: How fast can you go on your surfboard?

Johnny: I don’t know. It depends how fast the waves can push you. A lot of the time when you surf you try to slow yourself down to stay in the right place on the waves, so its not really about going as fast as possible. But maybe about 30 miles per hour in really big waves.

Emily age 5: What is your favourite manoeuvre?

Johnny: I love getting barrelled, where the wave breaks over you and you stand inside the tube. Its the best feeling in the world.


Bailey age 8: What is you favourite break on the Island and Worldwide?

Johnny: My favourite break on the Island is the far end of Compton towards Freshwater. This is where I spent most of my time learning. In the world my favourite waves are in Scotland and the Islands north of Scotland, but it’s a bit cold sometimes!

Callum age 11: Who or what inspires you?

Johnny: Family and friends, and people who pursue their goals and get the most out of life.

Ed age 15: Where was the first place you ever surfed and how old were you?

Johnny: I think it was at Compton Bay. I used to surf on polystyrene surfboards when I was about 3 years old, but my first real board was when I was 6

Images coutesy of Annemarie Hughes, Roger Powley, Al Reed and Paul Blackley

One Response to “Q&A with Johnny Fryer”

  1. Pacey says:

    Some good questions and good answers Johnny!! Can’t belive how fast the time has gone since we used to surf together!!!

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