Your name: Charlotte ‘Chachi’ Connell
About you in a few words and how you got to surfing:
I’m undeniably clumsy but what I lack in talent and coordination I make up for with enthusiasm.
How I got into surfing: Although I spent a lot of time in the ocean there weren’t any girl surfers around where I grew up so I always just body-surfed. Until one weekend, when I was about 15, these two gregarious and gorgeous sisters on longboards dropped into my local beach, passing through on a road trip south. Watching how much fun they were having inspired me to give it a go. From that moment I insisted my dad teach me how to surf and I’m eternally grateful that he is a patient and persistent man who took me surfing almost every morning after that.
Local break: Bondi and Blueys Beach (about 3 hrs north of Sydney).
What I love about surfing: I love how everything that worried you on land melts away as soon as you take that first duck dive. I love how the conditions are always changing and no two waves are the same. I love how close you are to nature out there and how you are completely at the mercy of her whim. I also love that euphoric feeling of gliding across a wave. I love that community feel you have surfing your local break. And I really love that I surf with my dad.
What I hate about surfing: The feeling that you’re missing out when you’re not surfing.
What advice would you give to ladies starting out on their surf journey: Have fun and remember to smile. No matter what ability you are at, if you’re having fun then you’re a good surfer in my books. Having said that, always be respectful out there and be mindful of your surroundings.
Favourite surfspot in Oz: Blueys Beach, we have a family house on the beach, it’s an original beach shack my granddad built in 1962 and really hard to beat.
Favourite surfspot overseas: a tie between Rio Nexpa in Mexico for its long cappuccino coloured lefts and Balian in Bali because it’s such a fun, long and mellow wave but there’s many more places I’d like to explore.
Favourite surfboard: my MR twin fin, it’s beautiful and a real pleasure to ride
Favourite surfer: Steph Gilmour, apart from totally shredding she’s incredibly graceful and I love her style, she always makes surfing look effortless and enjoyable.
Favourite surf movie: Point Break – it’s a classic
What you do when you are not surfing:
I’m communications manager for an international sustainable seafood organisation, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). I’m really passionate about my job and I really do believe that my organisation is having a positive impact on the world’s oceans. We’re empowering people to be part of the solution. By choosing MSC ecolabelled seafood, an everyday simple choice, you can help encourage fisheries to be more sustainable and ensure there is an abundance of life in our oceans.
If I’m not working or surfing, chances are I’m eating, sleeping or dancing.