Article July 7, 2023
Riding the waves of success: Ben Larg’s journey one year on
In our fast-paced world, finding the right balance between pursuing our passions and acquiring an education can often be a challenge. However, there are exceptional individuals who manage to strike that perfect harmony, inspiring us all with their determination and drive. One such person is Ben Larg, a big wave surfer, Red Bull athlete and former student at King's InterHigh.
Originally from Tiree, an island in Scotland, Ben made the decision to join King's InterHigh 4 years ago which provided him with the flexibility to chase his dreams of becoming a pro surfer while still receiving a quality education. One year on since he completed his studies, we've had the opportunity to catch up with Ben and delve deeper into his educational and professional journey.
Read our exclusive interview below:
"[King's InterHigh] freed up a lot of time for me and it meant [...] that if I needed to go somewhere for a swell or a competition, I'd be able to go."
professional big wave surfer
Why did you first join King’s InterHigh and what was your experience like?
I first joined King’s 4 years ago, and I joined because I was travelling a lot and I was competing a lot in surfing. It was kind of hard to keep up with my schooling; it was hard to be in school and still manage to get enough training and travel enough to keep up with the level of surfing that the other kids were at. When I joined the online school, it freed up a lot of time for me and it meant as well that if I needed to go somewhere for a swell or a competition, I'd be able to go.
Did you always know you wanted to pursue surfing as a career?
My dad was a kite surfer and a windsurfer, and then got into surfing when he was about 30 and started a surf school. So I've been surfing since I was two years old! I don't really think that I thought about it too much, but when I was about 7 years old, I became obsessed with becoming a sponsored surfer. I got into competitions when I was 10 years old. So yeah, I knew that I wanted to be a pro surfer, but starting out, I wasn't too bothered. I just enjoyed it, you know?
Can you tell us a bit about your school experience before joining King’s InterHigh?
I was at a local school on Tiree; it was a very small school. There were only about 70 kids that attended it, so not big at all. When I was at school, I wasn't very similar to a lot of the other kids, and I think I was kind of set aside from the rest of the group a bit because of that. I found it quite hard to make friends at my previous school. When I joined King’s InterHigh, I didn't really think that I would actually make many friends, but they've got a lot of classroom activities and stuff and you work together in groups with people and often interact with a lot of the kids in the class, so it was pretty cool.
How did studying online support your surfing career as that started to develop?
I start to travel more and so needed more support from my teachers. If I was missing classes some days they were happy to help me catch up and work with me on their own time, which was pretty cool as well. That was a big help for me.
What are you up to now?
Since finishing school about a year and a half ago, I have mainly been surfing and doing a lot of travelling. Right now I've got a little bit of an injury! I have a problem with my ear, but I'm going to be going home to Scotland in two weeks and I'm going to get an operation to get it fixed and then hopefully I'll be back surfing and working towards my goal of becoming a professional big wave surfer. That's the goal that I've got just now.
I'm going to do a little trip around Scotland before I go to Portugal in winter time, so that's my plan so far!
What would you say to other young people who might be considering online education?
When I was joining King's InterHigh, it was my mum that was convincing me to do it and I was a bit unsure about it at first. But then I did my first week I realised how good it actually really was, you know? And you can always try it out, see how it goes and if it's not for you, it's not for you, but it surprised me. I really, really ended up enjoying it and I think it was where I learned the most actually.