About you in a few words and how you got to surfing:
Little bit about me, I am the smiley faced redheaded mermaid, you’ll find me in my natural habitat drenched in salt water and sand in my hair and more than likely jamming a quesadilla into my mouth. I am a graphic designer, and I seriously love design, of all kinds, all of the things, plus music, I cant live a day without it, I’ll be hummmmmmmming and dancing along to something as I potter about the office… poor work mates.
How did I get into surfing:
This is a good question, I will blame Mum and Dad. Every weekend we were at the beach, like every single one, we would pack up the esky and a giant tub of sunscreen, all the boogie boards and we’d be off for the day, all day at the beach with regular intervals of thorough sunscreen reapplication, you know the one, where you felt like a floppy toy at the hands of your mother working that cream into your skin like a pro.
So for the first 17yrs of my life I was a body bashing boogie board riding misfit, until (not sure what actually happened) but I decided one day I was going to surf and so I did. First just on Dad’s old board, a Bronza from the 70’s straight out of Goodtime surf. I then got a 7’4” and a wetty and it was on, kooking it out at snapper and all sorts of other awesome breaks up and down the Queensland coast. One faithful day out at Snapper I bumped into two old guys and they put me on their 10’ log and well the rest is history, they semi adopted me and I was the only female logger at Burleigh Longboard Club for most of the time I was there and I loved it, screaming down the highway at light speed every 2nd Sunday of the month. Burleigh was a good training ground and so was the rest of the amazing point breaks Queensland has to offer. So I was a classic kook “weekend warrior” for most of my surf life and I had a massive break from it while I have a shoulder reconstruction but since moving to Sydney – so I could be by the seaside and by the city – I am now just a regular everyday kook surfing the most I ever have ever and loving the shit out of every moment.
Right now it is Bondi Beach, it can sometimes be a boat load of fun. When the banks are working and the swell is hitting the right, and all my friends are out, its heaven. I tend to roll up to the mid to north end and hog a right but sometimes I go left, sometimes.
What I love about surfing:
The moments you get, like this morning, the sunrise was ridiculous, it changed every time I looked over at her. Sitting out in the up and down, the constant flow that is soothing and beautiful. Those moments where you pull off something that surprises you and the stoke is unbelievable, the energy and excitement the runs through my body when I have a good wave is uncontrollable, my smile is huge. Even falling off, and I do that so often, its a giggle, like so funny some of the falls I have done. And then there is the friends you make, its a weird bond, and i am so happy to paddle out and see a friendly face and then see them catch a rad wave, makes my day.
What I hate about surfing:
It would be similar to what I don’t like in general. People without compassion. An overdeveloped sense of entitlement, where people for some reason actually think that the ocean can be claimed by them because they just so happened to be born in a certain part of the world. Localism needs a punch in the face (I like the irony in what I just said). Nothing ever needs a punch in the face ever, but I think some people can be a little more loving and caring of each other and the ocean.
What advice would you give to ladies starting out on their surf journey:
When I started I was a headstrong little upstart, so I just went at it with all my being, I mainly surfed with guys which is fun and they push you and challenge you to big things and sometimes to bigger things but you learn. When I finally got some lady surfer friends I thought it was amazing, you chill out and discuss how big that tiny wave felt and talk about how badly these togs where riding up your ass etc etc it brought a whole new level of fun to the water for me and I love it.
I guess my best piece of advice don’t fear the ocean but respect her, the ocean is an amazing place, yes it can get rough but you just push back and give her as much love as she is throwing at you. Go out in all conditions even if its too big your learn how to get out the back safely, too small you’ll get some paddle practice, too bumpy you’ll learn how to be more supple on your feet. Definitely make sure you can swim and hold your breath, and you’ll panic but that reaction is just there to make sure you keep you alive, just don’t let it take over.
One thing I love doing in the ocean, smile, I smile and say good morning/evening to all the women out there. I like to hope that it makes them feel more comfortable and then come back for more tomorrow. Smiling is the best way to make friends.
Favourite surfspot in Oz:
Ohhhh damn girl thats a hard question. I grew up in Queensland and we are spoilt in point break heaven up there. I love camping up at Double Island and surfing Rainbow Beach, only 4×4 accessible so it lowers the line up count and all you see is bush and ocean, it is perfect, completely beautiful in its natural state.
I feel like adding a massive list to this, like runners up in the race to be my favourite are: Little Cove/Tea Tree Bay Noosa, The Bluff at Alex (Alexander Heads), Moffat’s (Moffat Beach Headland), The Alley at Currumbin, Greenmount/Snapper in Cooly (Coolangatta), then there is Byron and wow that place probably deserves a medal on its own, there is just this sense, this personality about it that is delightful, I am more in favour of Wategos there but the Pass rocks too, Flatrock, Evans Head, Birubi Beach is ridiculous rad, Cresent is mechanical how good that lines up, we love hitting Collars (Collaroy) on a big southern swell, Mantown is fun, North Steyne, don’t mind Wanda, and totally love the pants of The Farm, like wow!!!!!
Favourite surfspot overseas:
Well I have surfed in Hawaii and New York so far, Java and France next on the list.
In Hawaii, Honoli’i Beach/Rivermouth on Big Island was fun and the water from the river was straight from Mauna Kea, so there was some icy currents every now and then which would perk you up (you can basically snowboard and surf in the same day). Waikiki was ridiculously fun, the wave goes on forever and the shore dump and Waimea is ridiculous and we where told to get out because we did have flippers or a board, was epic for 5 mins. I will one day live in Hawaii, they take being rad and relaxed to a higher level.
You’re probably like NY really? Well yeah, was there in 2013 and I met some surfers at a Pilgrim Surf+Supply movie night and the next day we surfer Rockaway Beach I scored a Hobie 8’6” to slide and it was small but super fun completely stoked off my brain to have surfed in NY!
I get seriously attached to my things, and more so to my surfboards, its a love affair. At the moment I have 4, to logs and two shorties. My Fav right now is 99, I found her on instgram as I followed Aaron Frost @sealegged for a while, loved his shapes and then BAM there is this board for sale and 99 is stamped on her front, which was rad and cool fact a friend of mine at work calls me 99 so I was sold, borrowed a friends car and drove up to Avoca the next weekend. 99 is her stats, she is a “nine foot nine love bus slidin’ machine”, so yeah it’s love.
Belinda Baggs this woman is so smooth, you sit in awe watching her surf it’s amazing she has this grace that is beautiful.
And CJ Nelson, like off hook ridiculous are his skills!
Favourite surf movie:
The Heart and the Sea, by Nathan Oldfield he is an amazing filmography, there is something so beautiful about this film,
this is a link to the trailer: https://vimeo.com/49951982
Single Fin Yellow, by Jason Baffa and oldie but a goodie, I loved watching this as a youngin it is sooo good,
this is a link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl3lv3B6dl8
What you do when you are not surfing:
So many things, see bands, got to festivals, last one was Bluesfest, AMAZING!!!! I love art so I am always off seeing art and photography exhibitions. I have recently jumped onto the yoga bandwagon and love it, feels amazing to connect the body and the mind and slow down a bit. I am also a fan of bushwalking these days too, went on a massive 70km trek through Tassie last year and that changed me, i want to walk around in the bush way more (people who know me, know I hate walking). Hmmm what else, oh I like creating, from painting to crochet to building things to dancing, I love dancing, its super fun and I like to cartwheel, a lot. Probably loads more things…
And before we forget, many thanks to Shaun Tunnicliffe (title photo and last one where Amy is looking superfast), Amaury Treguer from Morning Bondi (smiley Amy pic) and Beau Jones from SoBo (walking the log pic) and for the beautiful shots of Amy!