Meet our latest Great Gidget Kim. Absolutely love the interview with her. You can just feel the surf stoke and passion for the ocean between the lines :-) After reading her interview, I got so hyped up and motivated that I just had to go for a surf. Thanks for sharing your inspiring surf story with us Kim! You rock lady.
Enjoy the read, Gidgets!
Your name: Kim or just Kimbo or Kimmie
About you in a few words and how you got to surfing:
I was a late starter to surfing and started at the age of 14 on and off when I could get to the beach. My mum tells me she can’t believe I’m a surfer and such a beach lover, because at a young age I really didn’t like the seaweed or the sand for that fact. They used to put a blanket or towel on the sand and I wouldn’t move off it! Hahahahaha how different things are now… fast forward 30 odd years and you will find sand in my house, car, and bags and even in my bed!
I used to beg and plead for my mum or dad to take me to the beach to go surfing because here’s a twist…I was brought up on a farm! Yep a farm girl that loved riding motorbikes but who loved the ocean just that little bit more. Our farm wasn’t that far away maybe 30 mins to the closest beach, but it felt like miles away to me as I always wanted to be closer, so that I could go whenever I could.
So how does a country landlocked gal get into and fall in love with surfing and the beach? Well it’s a different one that’s for sure…
I suppose the first spark ignited in between my toddler hood and early teen on our annual holidays to the Sunshine Coast for 3 weeks in September. Who wouldn’t fall for the ocean when it was always warm, sunny and the water was blue and inviting. I was always a strong swimmer and I’m sure I inherited that gene off my gorgeous mum as she was always swimming and in water as she was a swim teacher.
So for years I drove my mum and dad crazy to go surfing, and I would often stay with my aunty down on the coast on some weekends to get my dose of the ocean and waves. But for me this still wasn’t enough and then by chance a friend of mum and dads who happened to be a keen and awesome surfer found out about my plight for more waves and talked to my parents and said he was happy to take me of a weekend. Yippee I couldn’t contain my excitement and often got little sleep of a Saturday night before the big Sunday. I declined parties, functions and events so that I could go surfing on those Sundays, and just quietly I’m sure my mum and dad loved this as I wasn’t a party animal, in my teens (don’t worry that came later).
These Sunday mornings would soon become a real adventure and the highlight of my week. The early mornings were soon forgotten when I put the board on Baz’s car roof and sat in the car. There would be morning of the earth music playing and he would tell me surf stories of when he was younger. Baz was great to me as he had 2 daughters of his own, that never took to surfing, and I was like a sponge absorbing all I could from his experiences. I learned so much from where to paddle out, what breaks worked when and introduced me to the ‘gang’ who I got to know over the years :-) My mum would have lunch ready for us when Barry would drop me back home and he was always in awe at how much I could eat after our mornings surfing.
Back then there were no ‘women’s’ wetsuits so the wetsuits didn’t fit that well and I would come in with a crutch full of water, I soon adjusted and became proficient at changing under a towel and the bit that I am for ever thankful for is I always surfed with men. I never saw a woman out in the water with me until over 6 years down the track. Surfing with men I soon had to learn to be self-sufficient and hold my own. And I’ve grown up with this male influence and am not too intimidated by surfing with the guys.
Over the years obviously my passion for surfing just grew and once I was 18 well all I did was surf and surf. I even threw in University, (I was studying Acupuncture), to go surfing and I actually found a job where my job was surfing! Woo Hoo :-) This job took me surfing all over the Surfcoast and to Cactus in South Australia. It grew my confidence in and out of the water. It didn’t pay real well and my dad eventually stepped in and told me to stop being a surf bum and go and do something with my life. And well I did…
From there I became a Scuba Diving Instructor living, surfing and teaching Scuba Diving in places such as the Great Barrier Reef, yes it has surf :-) , Western Australia in its many beautiful places such as Dunsborough, Margaret River, Exmouth, Faraway Bay, Broome, Darwin, back to the Great Barrier Reef and then eventually home to the Surfcoast. I was in heaven doing a job I loved and surfing, except if I went for a surf before work, cause then I had trouble equalising scuba diving due to saltwater in my sinuses :-)
My husband whom I met when I first got back to the Surfcoast, is a surfer but even he will admit not as crazed as me :-) We’ve been together for 12 years and in that time have taken surf trips to Fiji, Hawaii, Vanuatu, and around Oz. In the year before deciding to have a family I lived my surfing dream. In 10 months, I had surfed a cyclone swell on the Gold Coast, waves in Vanuatu, warm water and waves on 2 Hawaiian islands and it was all top off with an all-girls boat trip to the Maldives :-) I had always wanted to do an all-girls trip as it’s not often I get to surf with girls and my hubby and I decided it was time for me to do one before we started a family. (Don’t worry my hubby still says that I owe him a boat trip cause I went without him :-))
I try and surf as much as I can and for as long as I can. Now having little Coco who is 3, my hubby and I tag team it and parent duties. And at this stage Coco loves the ocean, beach and waves.
Local break: I love surfing my local breaks around Fairhaven on the Surfcoast of Victoria, because I live in one of the most beautiful areas although cold, but it has consistent waves and it’s rare not to have waves of some sort within a short drive. Like every surfer I have my favourite semi-secret spots, at home, that I love.
What I love about surfing: I love the escape and freedom that surfing gives me every time I hit the waves. I love it for the whole experience, and every day, every surf and every wave is different. It’s like every time I surf, time stands still and it’s just me and the ocean. It’s my place of zen and no matter what’s going on in my life whether it be good or not so good, surfing allows me to clear the mind as I am just focussed on catching, riding and being absorbed by the waves. Yep it really sets me free, but it also challenges me. I use the very first duck dive when paddling out to wash away all my worries in the world and for the time I’m in the water surfing I don’t dwell on or think about anything else. It’s just you and the ocean and to me there’s no better feeling. Some people take drugs or drink for that feeling but for me surfing is a natural high and my choice of drug J Surfing energises me and is my happy place. It is true that saltwater is the cure for everything, well it is for me anyway :-)
What I hate about surfing: A love this deep is there anything to hate? I don’t think so :-)
What advice would you give to ladies starting out on their surf journey: Just keep trying and smile :-) because the best surfer is the one having the most fun :-)
Also if you’re surfing cold water you must have a good wetsuit so that you can keep getting in the water, cause if you’re not catching waves you won’t improve :-)
Favourite surfspot in Oz: Home and all the breaks between Torquay and Warnambool, because that‘s why I live here. But there are awesome waves around this beautiful country of ours, Australia. I really love what the different coasts have to offer and I could say I have a favourite place on all of them. Of course there are some favs and maybe it’s because I have scored them in their prime whilst I was there, such as Tallows Beach NSW, Crescent Head NSW, Dunes in North West WA, Indjinup Beach WA, Lefties WA, Teatrees and Noosa Point Qld, and Treachery NSW, and Green Island NSW. Really there are soooo many great waves hahahahaha. I can just keep going :-)
Favourite surfspot overseas: I’ve loved everywhere I’ve been for different reasons; Fiji was a big and a bit scary but I overcame and got waves, Vanuatu is so untouched and like stepping back in time with so many unridden waves to be had although quite shallow and gnarly, Hawaii was fantastic to surf especially longboard at Waikiki, but my favourite overseas place would have to be the Maldives. To me it’s my paradise with waves.
Favourite surfboard: I actually have 3 now! My trusty 2 shortboards; Hughes surf craft (local shaper) 6’2” x 19 ¼” x 2 5/8” or 6’4” x 18 ½” x 2 ¼”
But anything that can ride a wave will do. And I’ve just recently received my first 9’1” longboard. And I’m loving it too :-) As long as I’m surfing I’m happy.
Favourite surfer: As a grommet myself surfing wise I always loved the style, grace and power of Lisa Anderson, Pam Burridge and Wendy Botha. I loved that these girls surfed and surfed well. But then Kelly Slater hit the scene and I remember watching Kelly Slater in Black and White over and over again. Occy was another favourite along with Brendan Margieson, especially in the Video ‘the Green Iguana’. I watched that movie sooooo much that even my mum knows the songs from it!
But as I’ve got older or ‘cough cough’ and more mature, I look to myself for inspiration as I try to be a better surfer against my own levels or expectations. And that’s what I love about surfing we all start somewhere and improve as we go. Kelly Slater, Parko, Sally Fitz, Steph were all beginners at one time, although some take to it easier and improve faster than others. It’s still rewarding and motivating to take a look back from where you started to how you’re surfing now. I find it’s such a humbling sport no matter who you are :-)
Another thing that I tend to do these days is to look at your everyday charger that may not be a competitive surfer she may be just doing her own thing living life and surfing is just what she does and does so well. Whether it be their grace, style or whether they just charge. You won’t hear much about them in the ‘surfing news’ but they are just doing their own thing. Girls like Amy Kotch, Hayley Shaw – McGuiness, Justine DuPont, all inspire me in different ways such as charging or having fun and laughing and enjoying surfing for surfing. There are so many great surfers out there that when you watch them or talk to them inspire you to be a better surfer or person. You just have to look at your own beach for these amazing women.
Favourite surf movie: Who can go past the first and second Endless Summers. But being a girl surfer and growing up in a male dominated lineup I thought Blue Crush was just awesome at the time too.
What you do when you are not surfing: You can find me training, which includes strength training, mountain bike riding, breath enhancement training and doing heaps of Yoga. I am also a mum to my gorgeous little Coco who is 3 and that in itself is a full time job. So amongst those things I am also a personal trainer, yoga instructor and work part-time for a TAFE. But I always find time to do my love and passion of surfing :-)