Unlocked: Sierra Kerr In "Pre-Kerrsor" - Stab Mag

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On her 17th birthday, Sierra drops a sizzling 2024 Stab Edit Of The Year Entry. Edit: Jesse Little

Unlocked: Sierra Kerr In “Pre-Kerrsor”

Plus, we ask Sierra if World Titles belong exclusively to Gen Z now.

Words by Stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Editor’s Note: “Pre-Kerrsor” will be playing exclusively on Stab Premium for the next three months.

The Stab audience probably knows Sierra Kerr best from Stab High Indonesia (where she landed the best air in women’s surfing history), her hard-charging finals appearance in the recent Vans Pipe Masters, and her 2023 Stab Surfer of the Year victory for best female junior.

Between these highlights, she’s done plenty of other things — like spending more time in Oz (she has duel U.S./Aus citizenship), investing sweat equity into Teahupo’o, and becoming the first surfer to join the Nike footwear team (for surfing and golf) since the swoosh pulled out of surfing back in 2012.

In 2024 alone, Sierra has won the WSL World Junior Championships, a QS 3000 event at the URBNSURF wave pool in Melbourne, and released her first Stab Edit of the Year entry, Pre-Kerrsor, which you might have just pressed play on.

Pre-Kerrsor was filmed over a year-long period after Sierra sustained a concussion and knee injury that kept her out of the water. It features some of the best women’s surfing ever seen — consistent airs, proper slabs, fierce turns in big waves, and cameos from Caity Simmers, Bettylou Sakura Johnson, and Molly Picklum.

Preset to full-rote-age.

Surfing has a long history of breakout profile pieces — think Julian Wilson’s Scratching The Surface, Kelly Slater in Black and White, Taj Burrow’s Sabotaj, etc.

To accompany Sierra’s self-directed edit, we called her to discuss her CT ambitions, her dad’s influence, what part of her surfing she’s working on the most, and if a non-Gen Z woman will win another World Title after what we saw at the Pipe Pro last week.

Stab: Who’s more competitive, you or your dad?

Sierra Kerr: It’s pretty even. Whenever we’re playing golf or surfing, my goal is pretty much to beat him to become as good as him, and I think his goal is to beat me to keep up with me. Anytime we’re going against each other, we want to win [laughs].

How involved is your dad with giving you pointers on air/barrel technique?

He’s a good combination of letting me figure things out on my own and letting me know if he sees something I can improve on. He definitely gives pointers, but he wants me to learn on my own.

How was that process of figuring out Teahupo’o and improving your backside barrel riding?

I’d gotten barreled backside before Tahiti, but it was never anything that good. I’d probably had 10 backside barrels that I was happy with before Teahupo’o. But, then at Teahupo’o, I was getting 5-10 barrels I was happy with every day. The goal was just to get better at backside barrel riding and that definitely happened.

Toward the end, I was trying to play with different barrel techniques and stalls and just feel out what works the best. I was just experimenting with what I could do inside the barrel pretty much.

Sierra is on Team Australia and she’s old enough to compete in the Olympics, hmmmmm. Frame: Jesse Little

It was cool seeing girls from your generation do so well at Pipe last week. You’re a few years younger than them, but when do you plan on making a run at the CT?

I’m definitely wanting to wait a little bit, like Caity did. I’m filming all this year to come out with another edit. I’m not trying to qualify yet. I just want to get better at surfing and enjoy things, then maybe in a year or two I’ll try to figure that out.

What are trying to work on the most in your surfing right now?

I’m working on doing bigger turns in bigger waves, like at Sunset for example. That’s not something I’ve worked the most on. So this year I want to try and get better at those slower, bigger types of waves.

A lot of surfers tell us that the CT can feel lonely and cutthroat, and that it can be hard to make friends. You’re gonna be on the CT with girls who are your best friends now — do you think there’s a way where you can be best friends and still want to beat each other on Tour, or will it always be a little weird?

I think you can make the most of it. It’ll be hard, but I try to separate me as a competitor with me as a person and make them two different things. When the horn goes, that’s when I’m a competitor, but besides that, I’m a friend and someone that just wants to have fun with you.

Stab just did an opinion piece where one of our writers predicted that a Millennial woman will never again win a World Title, thanks to this new group of extremely talented Gen-Z girls on tour. Do you agree with that?

I mean, there’s a good chance that could happen. But, the older girls are still really good, so you never know — it’s hard to know with competition sometimes. You never know what’s gonna happen. But there’s definitely a good chance that the younger girls could own all the Titles for the next bit.

You’ve got a lot of stickers on your board — are you interested in the business side of being an athlete at all, or do you let your team/dad handle that side?

The team involves me a bit, but I’d rather just focus on my surfing and let what comes come. So, I’ll let the adults deal with most of it [laughs]. But, I’m still in the loop. I mostly search out the fun and the sponsors come from that.

You recently got on Nike, have you gone to the fancy Oregon campus yet?

I haven’t yet! I was gonna go a few months ago but I couldn’t make it. Maybe I’ll go up there and surf around Oregon a bit.

Are there any up-and-coming girls that aren’t getting the attention they deserve?

Oooh that’s a good question. I can’t think of one right now. Honestly, I think if you do something really good, it’s going to get attention. And if you do more, it’s going to get more attention. I think everyone’s starting to get the looks they deserve right now. I reckon it’s about consistency.

What would you like to see more of in surf movies?

Definitely the mix between good waves and bad waves. I like when someone can step up or down to whatever the conditions are and show it.

In your post-win interview at the WSL World Junior Champs, you said you were gonna take your winnings and buy a car, did you?

I bought my brother’s car off him! it’s a 4-Runner, it’s so nice I just love it. I just got my license for Oz, so I might get a car here too, we’ll see.

P.S. Happy 17th Birthday, Sierra.

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