We met Francesca on our Surf&Yoga Escapes and we just had to feature her as a Great Gidget. Francesca started surfing in her 50ies after going through a tough time healthwise. She’s been hooked ever since and tries to get to surf as much as possible even though she lives five hours drive (!) from the closest beach. That’s what we call determination. It only goes to show that it’s never too late and determination goes a long way when it comes to surfing. We love having Francesca on our Surf&Yoga Escapes (she’s been to two already :-)). She’s got such a positive attitude to life. An inspiring Gidget all-round :-). Read her interview.
Your name: Francesca Terry
About you in a few words and how you got to surfing: I am an adventurous Pisces, fun loving and passionate about staying positive in everything I do. Mother of three and business partner with my amazing husband. I got into surfing unexpectedly on a holiday in Hawaii. It was ‘Pink October’ and we were celebrating my graduation from some heavy medical treatment. My husband encouraged me to try it and says he will never forget my elation from surfing on that day. Apart from my marriage and children my first surf experience is way up there with the best.
Local break: Because of the geography of where I live I can’t really lay claim to a local break however I make it to Bondi quite often also fortunately I spend some time in the Illawarra.
What I love about surfing: surfing has made a great impact on me, the opportunity to step off the grid is important to us all because it is so difficult to maintain the quiet time in our lives and clear the clutter from our heads. Surfing is unique, the flow experience of riding a wave is a form of active meditation. The ocean is like a giant spa you sit in the water in this tranquil way feeling totally at peace waiting for the waves to come. Each time you paddle out it is different and you need to take the appropriate responsibility. When you catch a wave, where you look is where you go. The same thing can be said about when you get up in the morning, if you focus on positive outcomes and positive results, what you would like to happen in your day, there is a good chance it will.
What I hate about surfing: I don’t like paddling out alone, it’s good to surf with a friend. Bad conditions, especially when you have been waiting all week to go out also other surfers who can be inconsiderate.
What advice would you give to ladies starting out on their surf journey: Any woman at any age can experience the joy of surfing if she has the desire to do so. Your confidence in the waves will build as you gain more experience. Have fun and make sure you keep the stoke alive!
Favourite surf spot in Oz: Greenmount, Coolangatta. I love that you can enter the water from the rocks at the side and the conditions are generally pretty good more often than not.
Favourite surf spot overseas: “Pops Reef” on the south shore of Oahu Hawaii. It’s a long paddle about 1km but once you reach the break it’s worth it. It is really beautiful and not uncommon to see lots of sea turtles while you’re out there.
Favourite surfboard: I love my 7ft 2 Mini Mal although my brother is in the process of purchasing a custom Bob McTavish Board…I think I am going to tag along to Byron Bay with him when he goes to take delivery.
Favourite surfer: I was really moved by the story -‘The Legend of Eddy Aikau’ His bravery was inspirational, there are so many fantastic surfers but I think my answer here is Eddy Aikau.
Favourite surf movie: I did love the original ‘Point Break’ but the iconic ‘Endless Summer’ is unforgettable, however let’s not forget ‘Gidget goes Hawaiian’!
What you do when you are not surfing: When I’m not doing endless house renovations I love spending time with my beautiful family. Also I enjoy hiking,Yoga, good novels, my garden, Toastmasters, music, anything creative and definitely travelling. Sometimes I think about the future and our eventual retirement, then I realise it won’t be hard for anyone to find me……because I’ll be at the beach surfing every day!