Laura Crane is a top surfer, model and burgeoning influencer online. Here, she provides a window into her world…
Laura Crane has been making waves both in and away from the water. The 22-year-old has legions of followers on Instagram and it’s her prowess in the water, as well as her poise in front of the camera, that makes her one of North Devon’s most popular exports.
Crane moved to the west country at the age of 13 and, just 12 months later, found herself crowned UK champion. She hasn’t looked back since, finishing fifth in the 2013 International Surfing Association European Championships, and catching the eye of some of the world’s biggest sports brands.
Now living in Portugal, Crane has modelled for the likes of Nike, Billabong and Chilli Surfboards. Fresh from a two-year stint in Bali, she’s now intent on promoting a healthy body image to her massive social media audience.
“As an influencer, I try to keep my social media really positive. I also wouldn’t like to post about anything that I didn’t believe in myself. I like to give a clear view of what my life is really like.”
So how did she get from North Devon to here in under a decade?
“Luckily it (surfing) came pretty naturally to me,” she says. “I swam from a really young age, which definitely helped. I spent a lot of time in the water! I just had a lot of passion for the sport. Without that I would never have progressed so quickly, or still be doing it now for that matter.”
“But you’ve got to be in it whole heartedly. At the time of the 2013 Euros I was travelling, modelling, blogging and filming whilst trying to be a professional athlete all at the same time. Basically, to be number one, it’s got to be your only commitment.”
Portugal has gradually gained a reputation as Europe’s top surfing destination. Crane names Ribeira De Ilhas in Ericeira, a World Surfing Reserve, as her favourite place to catch a wave. “For me, Portugal has some of the best waves in Europe, maybe even the world,” she says. “I’ve found that the waves are the most consistent of any country I’ve surfed in,” he says. “It’s also not too crowded yet, which is nice!”
Aside from the odd cut on the reefs of Bali, Crane has stayed mercifully free of injuries over the course of a career that has now moved well beyond surfing. She is now widely seen as a major influencer on social media, promoting a healthy body image built around the mantra of ‘strong not skinny’. Unsurprisingly, it’s something that she’s keen to continue.
“As an influencer, I try to keep my social media really positive,” she says. “I also wouldn’t like to post about anything that I didn’t believe in myself. I like to give a clear view of what my life is really like. For me, it’s all about being healthy and happy. I’d like to inspire girls to work hard to have a body that’s strong and can do what they want it to do, not what other people expect it to look like. I would like to think I can be an advocate for girls just getting out there and doing great things. I hope through social media, I’m able to inspire people.”