Sports Figure of the Month: Lakey Peterson

This award is made possible by American Riviera Bank

Lakey Peterson

Lakey Peterson, whose Nike surf film premiered in May, is on the most-recent cover of ESPN Rise Magazine.

Young Santa Barbara surfer Lakey Peterson likes to do it all and in May she almost did. Already a decorated surfing talent at the age of 16, she can now say she’s a star of the big screen and a magazine cover girl as well.

Lakey received the red carpet treatment at L.A.’s California Science Center for the May 19th Premier of the NIKE 6.0 all-girl Leave A Message, a ground-breaking surf flick that is sending big waves through the sports world for progressive styles said to be as good or better than the guys.

Her California Surfer Girl good looks also grace the current cover of ESPN RISE magazine (note custom-shaped Al Merrick Channel Islands Surfboard in hand) with the header: ‘THE NEXT WAVE Lakey Peterson Makes a Big Splash in Women’s Surfing.

For these outstanding achievements, Lakey Peterson earns the Presidio Sports’ Sports Figure of the Month Award for May 2011.

In fact, May was quite a month for her – including movie launch and new Cover Girl status, she travelled to surfing contests in Peru (Quiksilver World Junior Surfing Championships), then jetted into June and France (ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro) and then off to Portugal (ASP 6-star Estoril Billabong Pro).

And that’s coming off an April where she won the women’s division for the Rob Machado Pro Junior…

All in all, at only age 16, she’s having the time of her life!

She is due back to town in time to personally present Leave A Message’s June 28th Santa Barbara premiere – with all proceeds benefitting Hands40thers (H40), a local teenage driven-non-profit organization ‘that builds clean water treatment systems in impoverished and disaster stricken region around the globe.’

Surfing since age five and competitively at 11 — Lakey turned pro a couple of years ago. She also shines on the PacSun USA surf team and is the first female surfer ever to land an aerial in competition.

Not surprisingly, she aspires to be the best surfer in the world.

“She will be,” according to Peter Park, her personal trainer at Platinum Fitness in Santa Barbara, who has trained other world class athletes.

“Along with her gifted, natural abilities, Lakey has that certain competitiveness, focus, confidence and drive to be the very best – that’s something you can’t teach. You either have or you don’t. She’s got it!” Park shared.

Lakey Peterson

Lakey at the ISA World Junior Championships in Peru in May. Lakey then traveled to Europe for two contests before returning home in June. (Dave Peterson Photo)

It’s all abundantly clear in the film – a near 30-minute highlight reel of ‘groundbreaking aerials and long barrels’ at exotic beaches around the world — Australia, California, Hawaii and Mexico — over the last two years, featuring Lakey & Company.

“It’s incredible,” says Tom Czarnowski, her ING sports agent. “They hit it out of the park!”

NIKE says that it’s ‘… a message that transcends well beyond the lineup: this generation of surfers has changed their sport.’

Leave A Message director and surf team photographer, Jason Kenworthy, agrees, “…what these girls are doing has to be seen to be believed.”

But, perhaps, Lakey — the defending Women’s ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion — sums it up best:

“It’s gonna give the world a whole new look and prospective of women’s surfing.”

And it’s all, literally, coming to a theatre near you.

Check it out at the Lobero on June 28th.

Following her dream and providing inspiration to a new wave of surfers and kids everywhere — it’s ‘two thumbs up’ for our latest Presidio Sports award winner — local girl Lakey Peterson who is certainly riding high in the crest of life …


  1. G.R.Loustalot says

    She seems to be a very likeable young lady as well . I’m an old barnacle and surfed with her a bit this winter at a local spot. She had no reason to talk to me , yet was very friendly and no big ego trip like some of her male counterparts. Wish her much success !

  2. Jim W - Atlanta, GA says

    Great piece!   I would say that even if I wasn’t the writer’s brother!  Loved it –