My introduction to Erin, was actually through the image above. Somewhere along the Facebook timeline I become friends with Alex Swanson. He posted the photo, and I shared it on the Stoke Harvester Facebook page. I was pleased to discover that the surfer in the photo was Erin ‘Worm’ Ashley; surfer, musician, marathon runner, & all around badass.
Is there one session out in the water, that stands out from the others?
It was one of those evening summer sessions where I went surfing Sano with my friend Jeffrey Jones. I was riding a ’68 G&S Stretch (which is one of my favorite old logs to ride). The waves were total rubbish but we were having fun and goofing off. He had just taken a wave so I was sitting on the inside and I took off rode the nose a bit and was doing some silly foot trick when the board spun out right at Jeffrey…splitting his lip open. We spent the next 4 hours at the hospital. He still has a small scar on his mouth… my bad.
How did you get connected with Dano Surfboards?
I don’t remember exactly how, or why I started riding his boards (perhaps that’s a better question for him.) I met him surfing Blackies on these old logs & pigs, and Dano was riding newer versions of those. I really liked what he was into and I suppose he dug what I was doing on the older boards, so we would talk whenever in the water…maybe it just evolved from there.
What are you riding these days?
I usually ride a 9’3 Dano Los Creeper. It’s a double step-deck, hips in back and a 17 1/2″ nose that’s a bit pulled in. I don’t think you could find a more responsive board on the nose or tail. The board completely compliments the way I naturally surf. Besides that …either my hand-plane w/vipers (recently lost to France) or a space pin; which is perfect for ledgy dredgy waves.
Can you tell us a bit about GOGO13?
We’re a band that is an amalgamation of madness, the Aquabats and the B52’s…or so I’ve been told. I play sax and taskmaster. Everyone in the band is incredibly creative and talented outside of the band. Our guitar player is an amazing photographer, and our singer is the art director for the kids show Yo Gabba Gabba. We play for fun and really try to dig deep into the punk ethos, keeping our live shows raw and spontaneous…sometimes to a fault.
Outside of music & surfing, what are your other passions?
I have a fellow that I’m head over heels for….I have two of the cutest & funniest dogs on earth, and read loads of books. In my real life I make desserts (specifically gelato/sorbetto) at a restaurant in L.A. called Mozza. I’m just trying to soak as much of this thing we call life in.
How many Swansons does it take to screw in a light bulb?
I’d imagine two; one to screw it in and the other to take a photo and blog it. (I kid, I kid)
I gotta ask…how did you come to be known as “Worm?”
The nickname comes from the movie Friday w/Ice cube and Chris Tucker. There’s a drug dealer played by Faizon Love called ‘Big Worm.’ He keeps his hair in curler’s and they call him Big Worm, Big Perm. I have this mop of hair that is curly like ringlets at times so one of my sister’s friend’s starting calling me Worm because of that. People thought it was clever and that was that. I’ve always been a nickname sort of person though…maybe I don’t look enough like an Erin.
What’s on the menu for you, in 2012?
I just got back from France for the Roxy pro. Kassia Meador did a longboard invitational and was kind enough to invite me. It was incredibly rad and I got to meet and hang out with some truly amazing & talented people. We even carried Stephanie Gilmore up the sand when she won her 5th world title. How rad is that? I am just hoping to get some really fun waves this summer, go down to Scorpion Bay, run a marathon in October, and hang out with friends.