We had the pleasure to hang out with Kris when she came to our Surf&Yoga Escape a few weeks ago. It fills me with absolute joy to meet people like her. A confident woman, mother of five with a passion for surfing (and life) – the story of a Venus Gone Gidget… A must-read interview.
About you in a few words and how you got to surfing:
I’m an over 45 yr old mother of 2 and stepmother of 3 who works in banking & finance – would you believe I was never a water person but I got into surfing just over 4 years ago to impress a man who I’m now married to! Something flipped in my head the first time I waded out with a 9’ of fibreglass strapped to my leg, and when I emerged that first Sunday at Freshwater battered, bruised and bleeding I somehow knew I’d found something which was going to change the way I look at life, how I learn to cope with the unexpected, value natural beauty and greatly improve the condition and tone of my upper body!
North Steyne, Manly – but Freshwater has a special place in my soul.
What I love about surfing:
When you’re out there, your mind is focussed on the swell and the next wave only – total release. I love seeing the occasional dolphin, and I love surfing with my amazing husband and fabulous kids, particularly early in the morning when the beach is a special place. I also love that connection when you meet another surfer, the shared knowledge of how special it can be to catch a wave, and the fact that it requires patience, commitment and a balanced attitude.
What I hate about surfing:
It hurts, a lot sometimes – I have had some spectacular injuries. Some days you’re invincible and the next day you can’t catch a single wave – and now surfing is part of my way of life, I get jumpy if I haven’t been in the water for a couple of weeks!
What advice would you give to ladies starting out on their surf journey:
Set your own goals and go at your own pace. You do need to get out of your comfort zone – if surfing was easy, everyone would do it! But whilst you need to commit to paddle for a wave and catch it, be kind to yourself and recognise when the conditions won’t suit you – I rarely go out these days if the swell is over 3’, I just don’t enjoy it. Finally, wax your board well, and keep your Eyes Up – this is so important I got it tattooed on my foot in Bali!
Favourite surfspot in Oz:
North Steyne and Freshwater in Sydney – Wategos in Byron Bay (got married there last year!)
Favourite surfspot overseas:
I’ve only surfed in Bali overseas, so I’d have to say Ccangu in Bali where I conquered my fears (encouraged greatly by the local surf guide) and caught a couple of really big scary waves.
My first proper board was a second hand McTavish 8’6” Eightball which still has a special place in my heart! But currently my favourites are a 9’ Walden Magic Model which is super cruisy and a bright pink 8’ Modern Blackbird which can be seen from space and is heaps of fun – I doubt I will EVER surf on anything shorter than 7’!!!
I have 2 – Bethany Hamilton, I don’t know how anyone does what she does. Layne Beachley, for her achievements, as a role model and her contribution to helping people realise their dreams through Reach for the Stars.
Favourite surf movie:
For different reasons: Storm Riders (those guys are total freaks) and Point Break for some great quotes relevant to surfing and life: “Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation makes your worst dreams come true”.
What you do when you are not surfing:
Eat, drink, party, and work hard to pay for my next surfboard or surf trip!! Occasionally I write a blog on topics I find interesting at www.eyesuptoday.com.