What lessons have you learned from surfing that you have carried over into your life?
“I’ve learnt so many lessons from surfing that have carried over into my life, here are a few:
# To go with the flow and not try to push or control things that are beyond my control (like mother nature). That you attract what you fear.
# If you put your mind to anything positively it can and will be achieved. Trust in the power that brought you here in the first place.
# That fear/stress is your enemy and only magnifies a problem or situation in that moment, stay positive and work through each challenge in the moment without getting ahead of yourself, one thing at a time.
# I have learnt that you can always get positive things from what people might call a negative situation, there is always valuable lessons to be learned, with surfing a lot of my injuries have taught me the most.”
What inspires you to give back to the community and be a mentor to young girls?
“I wanted to be a positive role model for young girls getting into surfing whether it be on a recreational or competitive level because there are so many unhealthy or negative choices and pressures on young girls these days that I wanted them to know that what matters in life is what is REAL, not image or perfection or how you should look or be or feel, just have fun and be yourself.
The camps I do are about having fun whatever level you are on amateur, competitive to first time lessons. I also wanted to give back to some women’s charities because that is a huge problem in our society today. I feel strongly about the charities I donate to and every little bit makes a difference, even if I make a small positive difference then that is satisfaction for me, its about spreading the love basically……we all know the world needs more love!”
In the last couple of years the popularity of surfing has really escalated, there’s been Blue Crush and now several reality television shows based around surfing. What do you think is responsible for this sudden increase in popularity?
“The main stream perception and the lifestyle of our sport, its sexy, healthy, challenging and really under used to this point, its a huge sport with tons of positive benefits!”
What are some of the positive and negative aspects you’ve experienced as a result of travelling on tour?
“Positive” – I have learnt a lot about different cultures and aspects of how hard life is for the majority of the worlds population, when your complaining about having no shoes for your feet look around at the guy with no feet! You could always be worse off!
“Negative” or should I say challenging, - Being stuck on planes for days at a time, missing your home, friends and family. Being in a country for a contest, if you lose and all you want to do is go home but you cant because there is another one next week in another country!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Content doing something I love and am passionate about, still surfing and evolving as a person, loving life and contributing to those less fortunate then myself.
Who are your inspirations in life?
People who live in the moment and are not attached to the outcomes, people who are true to themselves and real. I think Cathy Freeman is inspirational, Kelly Slater is inspirational in a competitive sense he just keeps getting better.
What music CD’s do you listen to when pumping up for a session? What are some of your favourite bands and music you always have with you ?
“It depends whether I need to amp up or calm down, I have a wide range of musical tastes whatever suits my mood at the time; Dance, techno, Missy Elliot, Nelly, Mary J Blidge, Iio, Sade, Black Eyed Peas, Ministry of Sound, stuff like that. I mostly listen to fast dance type music before a heat.”
What has been the highlight of your surfing career? Was it an event, a wave, a contest result, or something someone said/did?
“It would have been winning my first WCT event in Hossegor, in 1996 the first one is always the best, from the trial’s to the final as a rookie.
Finally, what does surfing mean to you?
“It’s an of me. When life gets too much, surfing keeps me sane and level and helps me to stop thinking in the box of life it releases insight into the big picture bringing me back to nature, its pure, creative, money can’t buy it.
Every wave you catch you will surf differently you draw your own line; it’s such a unique individual expression in that moment.
Even just being out there sitting in the ocean, can turn a challenging day into a positive one. Surfing has given me a career and so many opportunities to be the person I am today.”