Five-time ASP Women’s World Surfing Champion, Stephanie Gilmore won her first World Championship title when she was only 17. Now at 26, the Aussie is still dominating the waves after recently cruising into victory at the 2014 Roxy Pro Gold Coast competition, placing her in the front line of the race for the 2014 World Title. We caught up with Stephanie as she talks about her love for the big waves, and how to get more girls to join in the sport.
What’s on your plate at the moment?
The ASP tour just kicked off for the year, so I’ve been surfing and focusing on that, also Roxy just launched the new POP Surf Campaign which I’m featuring in and we’ve been having a lot of fun sharing the collection with the surf and fashion world!
You started surfing at a really young age, when did you realise this passion of yours?
Growing up at the beach is a very lucky thing for anyone to have. From a young age I was consumed by the salt water, sun and waves, but I think it’s more than a passion, it’s my first love and I realised that from the first few times I was out there learning to surf.
How would you encourage young girls to surf?
Grab some friends and head to a local surf school, they will have the best equipment and knowledge to help you get started. Be patient because it’s not the easiest thing to do and you will have a wipeout but it’s all part of the experience, so push yourself, laugh when you fall off and enjoy the ride!
How do you think women surfers are portrayed in the media?
I think we are portrayed authentically, like healthy, positive, sexy beach babes, who love to get out there with the boys, rather than wait for them on the beach.
How did you feel when you won your first World Champion Title?
My dream came true, so as you could imagine, I had some incredibly surreal feelings, but simply ones of happiness.
Sum up your style in 3 words?
Whatever I’m Feeling.
Where was the biggest and wildest wave you’ve rode on?
The biggest waves I’ve ridden are at 12ft at Sunset Beach in Hawaii. The energy in the waves over there is strong and it’s a humbling experience, one that both scares me and thrills me!
What’s your idea of an escape?
An escape for me can be anywhere that is away from a contest, so I love getting lost in a big city, adventuring around a place that is far from the beach but full of life. A good book is also an escape, especially when I’m stuck on a plane.