Athlete of the week – Locana Cullen

Published on 31/07/2023

Meet Locana Cullen – the 12 year old pocket rocket from the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

Locana, or ‘Loci’ as he’s known by his mates, has been surfing since he was two years old. The young gun shared that it was his older sister Dhara, and older brother Balin that started first, leaving him naturally wanting to follow in their footsteps.

“I love everything about surfing,” said Loci.

“It feels so good when you get a barrel or land an air. I’m also loving the feeling of doing more rail surfing lately. 

“I love the people you meet, the places you travel to. So yeah I pretty much love everything about surfing.”

Photo by Mayan Images

When he’s not at the beach, the aspiring young surfer will spend his time on the go. From the skatepark, to the local hangout spots with mates, Loci lives a very active lifestyle.

He also enjoys playing music. Along with his siblings, Loci will jam out in the living room day and night but the family’s selection of instruments isn’t the classic choices. Together they harmonise the didgeridoo, harp and even bongos and won BL’s Blast Off Idol talent events as a family ensemble when they were younger.

And amongst all of that, there’s still time for chores.

“Mum usually has heaps of jobs for us to do too. As soon as we walk in the door she starts telling us the list of jobs that have to be done.”

Loci dominated the competition at the recent Billabong Oz Occy Grom Comp U14’s division at Snapper Rocks.

After holding the win now for two consecutive years, Loci says this would have to be his favourite comp to compete in. 

“It was pretty epic having the Snapper line up cleared,” he said.

“I also love the Occy comp because the semi finals and finals are only two competitors so it’s a bit different.”

Loci also attended the recent Red Bull Rising camp where he joined a team of future stars of the sport for a week on the Gold Coast for invaluable learning opportunities.

Photo by Ethan Smith

Although only young, Locana spends most of his team on the road and travelling from comp-to-comp. With that comes lots of learning.

“A life lesson I’ve learnt whilst being on the road is I try to make the most of each moment and each day,” shared the positive young athlete.

“Most towns we go to I know a lot of the local surfers around my age and we always have so much fun. I also have an awesome bunch of mates at home that surf. The best thing about having mates at home and on the road is it makes surfing and everything you do heaps more fun.”

And when it comes to the surfing itself, he’s continuing to flourish.

“Every comp I am always learning how to improve heat surfing. I’m really impatient so I am working on being more patient and letting waves go sometimes. It’s really hard for me to do that because when I get out the back I just want to go the first wave I can again.”

The 12 year old surfs well above his years. 

And as for future aspirations, the upcoming star from Sydney has big dreams of taking surfing the whole way; from his short term goal of winning Nationals to the world stage.

“In ten years I’ll be 22. I’d love to be on the Championship Tour. I see myself doing just what I’m doing now with Balin, hunting sick waves and competing but without the school work and jobs that would be epic!”

We can’t wait to see the future for super grom Locana Cullen! A machine in the water and an absolute delight on the beach.

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