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I ,M m a s F Re h o me EE e ! ke

Australia's magazine for surfing women

Image: Bethany Hamilton BY Trevor Murphy

Featuring :

Bethany Hamilton

Women in the shaping bay Summer Swimwear Review Surfing the Maldives with SSG

5 SU M M E R 2015/16

A note From the editor Almost 12 years ago, I bought a tee in a shop that I instantly loved and still wear. It’s plain white with pink writing (which isn’t really my thing) and just four simple words across the chest: Surf Like A Girl. It’s been my favourite shirt for years and I’ve always been proud to surf like a girl, often despite all the negative comments that the phrase carried with it. Recently there’s been a whole range of articles about what women’s surfing “needs” and about what it is to surf like a woman. Look no further, because I have the answers! Women’s surfing needs to stop being classified as a thing. There is no one way to surf like a girl/woman. Let me be a bit clearer. Women ride logs, do airs, enjoy competing, surf with friends, ride massive waves like Mullaghmore and Jaws, surf with power, surf with grace, surf with babies (before and after), travel, stand up, lie down, SUP and so much more... but simply because it’s women participating in these things doesn’t make them the same thing. There is no one way to surf like a woman because we are amazingly diverse and the way we, as individuals, choose to surf represents that diversity. Women’s surfing doesn’t really need anything except for the wider surfing community to recognise that. So I say embrace it. Surf like a girl. After all, you already do...


Sunshine Surf Girls

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contents 06 07 08 Readers’ Pics

Feature your surf pics in SSG

Letters to the Editor

Win a pack from Drifting Sol

Product Reviews

Check out some of the rad gear SSG have tested

10 14 20 24 30 32 34

Bethany Hamilton

On babies, bodies and life…

Longboarding Brazilian

Chloe Calmon was born to be a longboarder

Keely Andrew

The harder I work, the luckier I am

Swimwear Review

SSG reports on the best surf bikinis

Ellie Miller

Ladies in the shaping bay

Teena McIlveen

The lady of many colours

Ten Girls, Ten Days, One Boat Read about SSG’s all-girls surf trip to the Maldives

39 40 42

Christmas Liver Support

Some simple tips to stay healthy over Christmas

South Africa’s First Female Surf Coach

Busi Toshloba helps young girls improve their self image with surfing

Surferpreneur Sally Parkin

Founder of The Original Surfboard Company

Contributors Fran Miller Thea-McDonald Lee Alani Short Waves of Change Helen Orr Jaymie Faber Aaron Lieber Timothy Hamilton Trevor Murphy Edith Watson Tara Christie

Fellipe Ditadi Natalie Jacques Sally Parkin Ellie Miller Katie Juster Hayley Berry Grabagrom Cil Krusic Waves of Change Charlie Shoemaker

The team Editor: Liz Davison

Advertising: advertise@sunshinesurfgirls.com Publisher: Sunshine Surf Girls; Emma Krusic

ABN 14 452 593 792 Contributors opinions are not necessarily those of Sunshine Surf Girls © All rights reserved

Graphic Design: Melanie Kilby

Recycle: www.sunshinesurfgirls.com

After you and your friends have enjoyed reading me don't throw me out... use me as a layer in a no-dig vege garden! S u n s h i n e S u r f G i r l s Editi on 5 Su m mer 2 015/16


Ellia Smit h

Image: bohemian sea

Jess Star ling

readers pics

Tru Star ling

S end S SG your pic s to feature in the mag or on social m edia . Email hi @ s un s hines ur fgirl s.com Tag u s on Facebook, Twi t ter or In s tagram @ s un s hines ur fgirl s # s un s hines ur fgirl s



Letters to the editor Hey!

'Oh, to Surf!'

I'm a closet traveller, disguised as a domestic 'nice girl' so I can tell you that soooo many wild ideas are born from a place or a feeling of imprisonment. My days are filled with dreams of endless overseas travel, living the local culture, meeting the best people, jungle trekking, surfing warm tropical water (and cold Scandinavian water too) and experiencing true freedom. Luckily I live near the coast, so surfing allows me brief peeks through the window of freedom.

Fresh in the morning, sea colours of blue, The surf is calling to embrace you. Deep in its heart, wild in its way, Teasing and twisting it invites you to play. 'Come play in my arm, cry joyfully in it, I'll cool and refresh your youthful spirit'.

My message to anyone who cares to listen is... live the life you were destined to live, which is the life of your dreams. Don't let anyone tell you (and especially don't convince yourself) that you shouldn't! End of rant. Thanks.

Grete Evans I’ve always thought that travelling is the best way to not only learn about others and to discover the world, but also to discover yourself. It can be hard work to find yourself and to follow your dreams, but it’s always worth it. Thanks for the reminder Grete. Ed.

Congratulations Grete

you have won a prize pack!

¬O'Neill LS Fashie ¬Rip Curl Swell Backpack ¬Rell  Sun; the Queen of Makaha book

I just received my first issue of Sunshine Surf Girls as a subscriber. An awesome read and it's great to see a publication just for us! The focus on whole health, relaxation and photos showing positive body images for happy healthy active women is a welcome trend. I also loved the article on Natural Remedies. Keep it coming – thank you!

Caroline Rouse

You sing as you surf, upon the crowns, Riding the wave 'til it breaks with the sounds. A crash and a thunder, tossing your body, Like a string of pearls in a whirl of wonder, Regaining momentum for another chance, Your arms and legs regroup for the dance. Jumping and spinning upon the crest, Your board is your partner to beat the best. Duck in the tunnel, out at the end, Curling the line you bounce and bend, As you push to keep it rolling on, till You’re into the shallows and the surf is gone.

Glenda Pitt That’s really evocative. Thanks for sharing Glenda! Ed. As women are 50% of everybody in this world, but ironically tend to have not as much recognition as the other 50%, I feel that female people need such a lot of great promo. I salute this magazine for their intellectual, positive and insightful articles.

Christine Glennie Secretary Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast Branch It’s bizarre to me that there aren’t more avenues that celebrate women’s surfing and we’re proud to recognise and support this shared love of ours. Ed

We understand that every woman is different and we work to promote acceptance of that diversity. Thanks for the feedback! Ed.

Image: salt images

Drop our E d a line and you could WIN a se t of f ins and shirt thanks to the tea m at Drif ting Sol . Email your letter to editor@sunshinesurfgirls.com

WIN Sunshine Surf Girls

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product reviews Bees Knees Organic Surf Wax; Tropical (for water 23 degrees and above)

1. It is super sticky. Even my hands are sticky after waxing up my board. 2. It is sustainably made from natural, non-toxic, bio-degradable, renewable ingredients. In a nutshell, this is a big tick for the environment and for your body so you can feel good about using it! 3. It smells nice… which is very important! One thing to remember is to remove all of your previous petrochemical wax to get the best out of your Bees Knees. Treat yourself and the environment with Bees Knees Surf Wax. Grab a block from your local surf store or from www.beeskneessurfwax.com to test it out for yourself.

Wanderlust Festival

Yoga, meditation, surfing, bliss. In October, we were lucky enough to attend Wanderlust Festival on the Sunshine Coast for the first time. In case you haven’t heard, Wanderlust is kind of a big deal and we very quickly realised why. Over five days there are yoga sessions, surfing lessons, yoga-surfing lessons, meditations, live music, great food and inspirational talks amongst many other highlights which work together to create good vibes. As a sporadic yogi at best, I thoroughly enjoyed attending some different classes, chilling out with a meditation, gaining nutritional advice from the team at the Swisse tent, and listening to Cameron Shayne speak about Radical Honesty. (If you ever get the chance to listen to this modern philosopher then go for it, he blew my mind!). However, if you would like something a little more challenging, our Editor attended the Walking Meditation and reached such a Zen state that she walked 1 metre in one hour with a grain of sand between her fingers. Yes, one metre. There is something for everyone at this festival! One of the best things about Wanderlust is that it brings people together from all over the world into a blissfully happy atmosphere where the energy is amazing. It truly inspires mindful living.



Image: Grabagrom

This is my new favourite wax. I don’t consider myself a wax expert, but I have tried quite a few different brands and I do know that it’s frustrating when wax isn’t sticky enough. Here is why Bees Knees is my pick after a recent test in the Maldives:

The Longboard Travel Guide 


Author: Sam Bleakley. Publisher: Orca Publications Chock full of dream worthy lineup photos, The Longboard Travel Guide book describes 100 of the best longboard waves in the world and offers insider tips on how to ride them. The book covers every aspect of surf travel: where to go, where to stay, what to take, how to surf fit for your trip and how to stay healthy while travelling. Although The Longboard Travel Guide is written specifically for longboarders I loved getting a better insight on lots of the destinations that have been on my ‘go to’ list for years and think that this book would appeal to any surfer with itchy feet…

The Surf Girl Guide To Surf Fitness 


Publisher: Orca Publications ‘Whether you want to be more confident in the water or make a dash for a world title, training is vital.’ – Rosy Hodge From outdoor workouts to surf-inspired yoga, the Surf Girl Guide to Surf Fitness is a comprehensive guide to fitness and well-being for surfing women. A team of experts in association with Roxy and Surfgirl have contributed to the 194 pages of this colourful and informative guide. The stunning images of Steph surfing heaving barrels in the Mentawais were enough to motivate me to hit the ground and do some push-ups but if exercise isn’t your thing, there are sections on nutrition including some yummy recipes, herbal remedies and sleep advice. Surfers at all levels will find inspiration in this guide. I highly recommend it as a gift for the surfer who has everything.

Surf n Rak Ideal for storing shortboards or longboards ¬  Horizontally mounted on the wall ¬  All supports are covered with non-marking foam rubber on all contact points ¬  Each support will hold 15kgs ¬  Kit includes 2 raks and all fixing screws ¬  It’s a question that plagues many surfers… how do I store my boards? For almost 20 years, Surf N Rak have been providing an answer. I had to rearrange my collection recently, bit the bullet and got some proper racks. Why didn’t I do this sooner?! They’re easy to attach and make my boards so much easier to get to! The soft padding on the supports means no dings and I love that I can store all kinds of boards on the one rack.

We have one SR4 R ak valued at $14 5 to giveaway! To enter, email hi@sunshinesurfgirls.com with SR4 RAK in the subject line. AUS and NZ residents only.


7 SUNSHINE SURF GIRLS - 95 mm x 68 mm


SSG 1/8 95 x 68

The ONLY Travel Insurance that covers Surfboards IN the surf If your board snaps you can claim it ! Get up to $700 a board ALL Medevac Flight costs ALL Medical & Hospital costs $12,000 Luggage Loss or Damage The BEST Surf Travel Insurance - For ANYWHERE Worldwide

INDO SURF TRAVEL INSURANCE www.indosurf.com.au Sunshine Surf Girls

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Bethany Hamilton

On ba bies, bodies a nd life…

Be thany Ha m i lton beca me a house hold na me whe n, i n 2 0 0 3, she lost he r arm i n a shark at tack. howe ve r, It ' s he r li fe si nce that has de fi ne d he r and wh i ch conti nue s to i n spi re and e ncour age wome n of all age s. Af te r becom i ng a mum e arli e r th i s ye ar and gai n i ng a wi ldcard to the Swatch Wome n ' s Pro,

Image: Aaron Lieber

we sat down to le arn more about th i s a m a zi ng wom an.

SSG: Lots of parents struggle to try to find a balance between their surfing life and family life. Here in Australia we’re really lucky to have a group called Surfing Mums where we meet on the beach and parents swap looking after the kids… how do you think you’re going with that balance so far? Are you lucky in that your husband, Adam, isn’t a surfer?

SSG: You’ve never really shied away from big waves or taking a lot of calculated risks in the surf, do you feel like that’s changed since you’ve had Tobias? That you’re going to maybe take fewer risks, or that you’re going to think differently about it? You know, when you’re paddling into Teahupoo or something?

BH: No, he surfs but he doesn’t need to go everyday whereas I want to surf every day! But we both have our little things we want to do each day and take turns. He’ll watch Tobias while I surf and then sometimes I’ll get a grandparent or my brother or sister in law to watch Tobias… we have a good community of people but it’s definitely a balance because you have to plan everything out and be ready to go when you can go and, especially the first six months of his life where I’m nursing him…

BH: I think I’ll really have to see when I’m in that situation. I mean, of course there’s that feeling that you have a little being that you’re raising, so there is a sense of responsibility as a parent to not be doing stupid things. But I still have dreams of surfing big Teahupoo and I want to catch some big waves at Pipeline too, so I don’t know! We’ll see how my whole mentality changes but I haven’t really been put in that situation yet as it’s all just been fun, summer surf – so we’ll see!

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SSG: You got the wildcard to the Swatch Women’s Pro this year, do you think we’re going to see you back on the competitive circuit sometime soon?

Image: Aaron Lieber

Image: Timothy Hamilton

BH: I was really honoured to get the wildcard and it was a lot of fun. It was interesting not competing for a long time and then trying to get back into it and such a short time after having Tobias. I think I’ll do select events here and there, but it’s definitely not my number one passion. I’m working on a film, Surfs like a Girl, that I really want to focus on. It’s a lot of fun too because I’m being able to travel and surf really good waves which is totally awesome. I have the support of my family too, so we’ll all go together and tackle that. SSG: You took time off filming Surfs like a Girl to have Tobias, when can we expect to see it on screens? BH: I think it will be out around September/ October 2016. SSG: Can’t wait! Both you and Carissa Moore have spoken out recently about how the media and society at large speak about women’s bodies. Do you think the

surf industry perpetuates the sort of “body perfect” ideal? BH: It’s interesting, I think it’s such a tough subject because on one hand, women are hard on themselves and on the other hand, the media are too. I’ve found in the surfing culture, there’s also this whole sexual appeal that the women and men have put on themselves as… I don’t know. It was funny because before I got pregnant, I’d seen all the average magazines and they’ve got ”How to get skinny in 10 days” which is super unrealistic. Then, once I got pregnant I bought a bunch of pregnancy magazines and I started seeing a whole flood of stuff for post-partum recovery and a lot of it was “How to get your body back in six weeks”. For most women, that’s really unrealistic and unhealthy in a sense too. I think it’s important for women to rest after they have their baby and give their body some time to heal. It’s such a big feat that you go through. I think there’s always a healthier approach to taking care of your body and your health and focussing on that rather than a ‘perfect’ you

or an unrealistic you. I had the honour of writing a book last year to encourage girls to live in a healthy way, to choose healthy options on a day to day basis and promoting a fun approach to eating healthier and exercising. Just encouraging girls rather than condemning them… “Oh you gotta be like this to be beautiful” or whatever. SSG: Do you think that’s something the surf industry needs to take more notice of? That they have a role to play in body image as well? Because there’s only so much the athletes can do themselves? BH: I think it’s on both ends actually. I mean, if you don’t want a butt shot, then don’t wear a really, really tiny bikini! The girls are surfing amazingly and there are action shots to be had and shown off. It would be awesome if the surf industry would support that more. But I am seeing that people are really appreciating women’s surfing more and more, the high performance of it… I think on everyone’s part, there can be steps taken to appreciate a woman’s talent, and I think it’s ok to appreciate her body, but not in an overt, sexual way. SSG: You have such a high profile as a role model and a source of inspiration for other women, not just within the surfing community but within the wider community as well. How do you manage that? Do you feel any pressure to act a certain way or to be great all the time? BH: Yeah, it’s hard sometimes… I think now, being married, my husband is super supportive of me and that has helped me balance out a lot. When we’re at home, we’re just home having normal home life for the most part, and that gives us a break in a sense. I try to put

content out, or share parts of my life that are uplifting and positive. I feel really honoured to be a role model but there’s not a lot of role models out there, so I want to do the best I can with that. I want to be myself but I also have to sometimes think through things and make a plan like, “Ok, I want to encourage girls, how am I going to write this out” or like when I wrote about the post-partum body I wanted to encourage women who had just had a baby to not feel so pressured to get back to it really quickly. SSG: I guess it can be a bit tricky finding that fine line between being yourself and being who the public want you to be… BH: Yeah, and at the end of the day, I definitely am me and I’m not perfect but I love to encourage others, especially young girls, to live their dreams. Through their ups and downs and struggles, to know that God loves them, that they are talented and beautiful and to let them shine through their talents and their beauty… SSG: You speak a lot about how your faith is a really important part of who you are and that it drives and inspires you. What other things in your life motivate you to keep going through all the different struggles and challenges that you have faced in your life? BH: I think that now, at the end of the day when struggles come, being a wife and mum are the most important things to me. It’s such a change of mindset so sometimes when struggles come our way, we really have to cling together as a family and we’ll get through them together.


Longboardin g Brazilian Br a zi lian, Chloe Cal mon, le arnt to surf i n the most i con i c longboard i ng spot i n Br a zi l – M acumba be ach – so she was born to be a logge r. Curre ntly numbe r t wo i n the world she has he r sight s se t fi rmly on the world title.

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INTERVIEW by edith watson, images by Fellipe Ditadi “I don’t exactly remember how old I was when I first stood up on a board. My dad always brought me to the beach, and he has been surfing for 40 years! I got my first board when I was 10 (a fun board). However, when I was 12 I borrowed my dad’s long board and surfed some small waves, and after that… I never gave it back!” “I was led to my path of surfing in a very natural way and I always had this competitor fire in me. Being in the water as much as I could, was the best thing to do. I’d go to the beach with my dad and his friends on the weekends, always listening to their stories about waves.”

"I started competing in some local events at my home break. I turned professional when I was 14, and at 15 I won the wildcard to compete at the World Longboard Championships in Biarritz, France. It’s my 6th year on the tour and I’ve been enjoying every moment of it.” “As soon as you stand up on a wave, you get so immersed in this moment, connected with the ocean, your board, and most of all yourself. Longboarding is all about style. It doesn’t really matter what kind of board you’re riding, as long as you’re feeling the energy and peace, nothing else matters.”

“I do have a 5’10 Mini Simmons, it looks like a small log. I like shorter boards too but the different ones, like fishes & single fins… the glide is just different from the usual short board, and it reminds me of riding my big boards. However, what I like about longboarding is that it is versatile. You can surf totally progressive, walk way back and forth to the nose and even do airs!” “I’ve never shaped my own board but I have been into many shaping rooms and have watched a lot of boards being made. I am a very curious person, so whenever I meet up with my shaper I question everything. I would really like to shape a board some day.”

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“I have two favourite shapes: a modern and a traditional. The traditional is a 9’2 single fin adapted for the waves we get at home (bumpy beach breaks). It is flat from the middle to the nose, but it has a narrow pintail. So I can have the stability at the nose, but at the same time, smoothly do some turns as well. The modern is an epoxy 9’0 board, very wide, big nose and pintail. It is light so you can do big turns by putting all the power into the fins, yet you can still gracefully walk up to the nose.” “For me, surfing is all about enjoyment; enjoying the moment, enjoying the ocean and enjoying yourself. I find my balance when I’m in the water. Surfing is way more than just a sport, it is a whole way of living that influences the way you think and act, and your connection with nature – it only has benefits. I think that, whatever board or wave you are surfing just HAVE FUN. Dream big and work hard for what you want, always try to have a positive lifestyle and say good things… the universe will give it back to you.” Chloe radiates inner happiness and a joy of nature. With grace, style and determination, it’s only a matter of time before she reaches her ultimate goal: to win the world title.

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keely andrew Ke e ly Andre w i s re ady to take on the

world i n 2 0 I6 as a rooki e on the WCT. images by fran miller “Practically from the day I was born, I spent every day in a pool or in the ocean. I was 8 when I first started to surf. There’s always been an extremely competitive rivalry between my two brothers and myself, so it was only natural to join them in the surf.”

“Before a comp I choose to not listen to music. I’d rather listen to my own thoughts and focus on my mental game. I can block everything out around me and that allows me to get in the ‘zone’.” “Big waves are always a challenge with the uncertainty and power that come with them. One of the reasons I love competing is because a heat will make you paddle out in the bigger conditions and teach you to surf them both smartly and critically.”

“Female surfing is definitely a growing sport. Even locally I see a lot more girls getting out there in the surf and giving it a go. On the world stage, it is becoming more recognised, and various companies are starting to throw more money behind the sport; especially with the top female progressive surfers such as Carissa, Steph, Lakey and Tyler continuing to push female surfing to the next level.”

“Every day I am learning more and more and growing as a person and a competitive surfer. I am really excited to display my knowledge at the pinnacle of our sport. It’s not every day that your dreams come true – I am lucky enough to have had it happen at a young age.”

“A lot of my motivation comes from the love of the sport. It’s a unique lifestyle and I am fortunate that I am able to live it.”

“I am now looking forward to living in the moment and taking in every event and everything that competing has to offer.”

“The harder I work, the luckier I am ”.

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Tested by three surfers... all the same clothing size but different body shapes. Star ratings = functionality of the bikinis in the surf.



swimwear review gypsea

Sunrise over Manly Beach, Australia, blended with coconut trees in Sri Lanka. Photographed and created by Holly Tree.



Italian rocks, photographed through a microscope by award winning photographer Bernardo Cesare.

Acadia top 

RRP : $55 funk y with the criss -cross sides on the top and are also reve rsible – BON US! ««« T: This is a flattering top and worked well for my figure.««« L: This top was really cute but didn’t fit my boobs in at all. I’d recommend going up at least one size if you’ve got boobs. «««

E: I love the cut of these bikinis, they are

Nami bottom

RRP : $55 surf as the bottoms weren’t super tight, a size dow n in the bottoms would be a better fit for me. «««

E: This set required a little adjusting in the T: I like the cut and style of these bottoms

which mean they look

L: I loved the design of these but I needed

to go up a size for them

good and are functional. «««

to fit perfectly. «««

RRP : $55 Crossback surf top  ring. The top fit really E: This pattern is gorgeous and very flatte «« ««« . sting adju well and didn’t require for my figure.  he criss -cross top wasn’t the right shape T: T , even with sides the at in cut and low It was sitting rather ««« . back at tie nt adjustme was really comfy. L: This top was great, fit well, stayed on and


RRP : $55 Mid cut bottom ng surfi e whil E: The bottoms were a little loose on me drawstring. ««« and would be perfect if they had a the right amount  idcut bottom was very comfortable. It was be functional. T: M and good look to r of fabric and elastic in orde


L: I like the style, fit and full coverage of thes

e bottoms. ««««

Available at gypsea.com.au/gypsea and gypsea.com.au/ar tist-program Available now – limited collection. free shipping on orders over $100.




suit the e gav it , ing ter flat y is ver s! illusion that I have hip erage cov full e vid pro The legs ust the and I didn’t have to adj «« suit at all in the sur f. «« waist h hig T: I loved this suit. The ties k nec ng, lini band, double table, and fabric was comfor ealing. quality and visually app table sui y ver s wa The shape l fee re figu my de ma and wear to d nee feminine. Didn’t extra for h eat ern und top bik ini suppor t. ««««« fect L: This suit is pretty much per to d ten s and I love it, but it doe to the slide on the board due «« «« er. lay ble dou

E: The cut and style of this

top sur f, it stayed E: This top was great in the for table. com s wa and ll we on really sur f in. to s One of my favour ite top


into but  his top was hard to get T: T it’s and ing ter flat the straps are re. «««« figu my for pe sha ht the rig d everything L: This top was great and hel r hair e you in place well. Make sur clasp or doesn’t get caught in the * «««« ush *bl one und e it will com bottom s were great E: Like the top, these bottom and I didn’t on yed sta y the in the sur f, ese are have to adjust at all. Th pe. ««««« sha y bod flatter ing for my se which the T: I like the short boy leg of «« «« pe. sha works well for my well lly rea L: These bottoms stay on g e-le sid the of but the width was unflattering. «««

o’neill RRP: $109.99

long sleeve surf suit E: The patterns on this suit are

lovely and the material is super soft. It is comfortable however I would go down a size to ensure a more snug fit around chest and arms. ««««

T: This suit fits my body shape well. The leg length provides good coverage so it’s great in the surf.


L: This is a soft, comfy suit and fits

well in all the right places. It’s a good idea to tuck the long zipper string in to avoid accidentally pulling it open as you’re pushing up though! ««««

swamis playsuiti

in the  his suit is quite long E: T . me for d rke body so it wo yed sta it and le tab for com Ver y ed ust adj I f. on well in the sur es in the legs a couple of tim t’s to tha but ts, eou wip ger big e hav you en be expected wh «« «« se! the like s stick pin and T: This suit was comfor table a fer pre uld wo I . ive attract ra lining shorter boy leg and ext t, sui the of f hal for the top bik ini ar we to e hav ’t don I so top underneath. «««« of this L: I really liked the pattern long too s wa y suit but the bod does cut leg boy the and for me « «« my thighs no favours!


E: The cut and colours of this

it suit look great on, and ht rig the all in ll we fit me ble places. I did find the dou le litt a s wa lycra layer g slipper y when I was lyin «« on my board. «« t T  T: his suit was quite difficul , but into to actually get ver y once on, this suit was ng flatter ing. It felt amazi s arm ¾ e Th in the sur f. tom bot cut c ssi cla and pe. was suitable for my sha


L: This fits really well and

fec stays on. It would be per s. if it had full length arm



jolyn lity vents at the like I a. lycr and tic elas through. the front so water can flow «« «« . fing sur Good top for T: The material in this top is quite pe thick and durable. The sha body. and style works well for my

E: This top is made from great qua

active and E: The back of this suit is really attr e for sur fing. mad l Wel lity. qua at the lycra is gre


loveable. eas ld The fit was functional. It cou I didn’t have to a favourite in my sur f attire. le sur fing and whi ents stm adju e mak wor ry to low back cut. and ps I loved the high cross stra

T: This one piece swimsuit was very ily become


L: I really like this suit. I never kne

w I was a

suit convinced one -piece kinda girl but this

bali bottom

tomcat top

fixed back onesie



L: This top is really cute and flatt


and but didn’t keep my boobs in « «« lot. a up rode

E: These bottoms fit me well and

you are great to sur f in because ring wst dra l rna inte the can adjust to fit. «««« T: These bottoms are really «««« comfortable and flattering.

L: These are great bottoms.

Fuller coverage, waist string are and comfy design mean they lly ecia esp s pair to go my of one ««« when the sur f is bigger. ««


re ver sib le

rip curl

RRP: $89.99

RRP: $49.99

solstice fixed triangle bikini set in hot pink RRP: $39.99

mirage solid reversible racer top E: Two pairs in one! I love a reversible bikini. The top looks quite small and I wouldn’t normally go for a top like this one but it really works and is now one of my go-to tops for surfing. «««««

T: These bikinis were obviously made to be

long-lasting and durable. The material is quite thick (reversible) and elastic support quite tight in both the top and bottom. ««««

L: This is a great top. It fits really well and the

style of the back means it feels like you’re wearing nothing but without the nipple rash.


mirage solid reversible hipster bottom E: The bottoms look great and are very comfy however I would go down a size so they are a little more secure in the surf. «««

T: As with the top, the material on

these bottoms is thick and the elastic support quite tight. ««««

L: These bottoms fit really well. I wish they had a string for bigger days because they felt like they may come off.


E: The bright colours and style of this suit really

stand out. The cinching at the back of the bottoms is flattering and the unique styling of the back of the top make it a good-looking pair of bikinis. These are comfortable and great for lounging around in.  top ««« bottom «««

T: The top fits very well (bra clasps) and the

bottom (quite cheeky) is very comfortable and flattering. The material on the bottoms is thin and doesn’t include much elastic. The bottoms entail ruffling and I always find this works well for my shape. I wouldn’t suggest charging in these. They are one of my favourite bikinis but more so for smaller days and chilling.   top ««« bottom «««

L: This suit was super cute and I love how soft

the fabric was. The bottoms fit really well but I had too much boob for the top. Go up a size if you’re busty.  top ««« bottom ««««


pacifica beelovers top  ding the T back strap. It has pad E: This top is really flattering with to my smaller bust. ««««« entary in the top which is complim comfortable. «««« T: This top fits very well and is very d. Love it! ««««« L: Every thing about this top is goo

RRP: $49.50

beehi ve pant  bottoms stayed E: Very comfortable for me. These ««« in place dur ing wipeouts. ««


T: These fit well and stayed on. «« the tie for when the sur f L: These fit really well and I love oms. ««««« e bott gets a bit bigger. My fave Hiv

RRP: $49.50

RRP: $49.50 RRP: $49.50

RRP: $49.50

RRP: $49.50

Drawstring sides


bee a star top e too big for me, the padding E: Comfortable but top was a littl side. ««« occasionally moved to the tic t and I like the thicker elas T: This top was a good fit for my bus « band along the bottom. «« e. «««« top so that it stayed in plac this st adju to m L: I couldn’t see

Drawstring in waistband


bee a star pant like the drawstring at the side E: These fit me well. I especially e. «««« so you can adjust the coverag cut elastic on the bottoms did T: Great with lots of coverage. The «« in a little bit on my legs. «« d too. Win! stay on, fit well and look goo y The at. gre L: These pants are

beehive top

E: This top was a little bit bigger than the Beelovers pair but it stayed on well in the surf. ««««

T: This top fit me well but did require a little adjusting in the bigger surf. «««

L: This top is good for smaller waves (or smaller


boobs?) but came unstuck in bigger surf. «««

buzz pant

E: These bottoms were too small for me and quite tight so I would go up a size. «««

T: I love the colour of these bottoms. This size was

Top RRP: $49.99

L: These look super cute but were too small for me.

pant RRP: $39.99

a little small for me. ««« I’d go up a size. «««


coral coast top & tropic pant E: This top is very flattering and surprisingly secure in the surf. The bottoms were also a great fit for me in the smaller surf. 





T: T  he top was beautiful and hugged my body in all the right ways. The bottoms were

a style which I don’t normally prefer. They were framed with quite thick elastic, which I feel digs in too much.  top «««« bottom ««««

L: I love this set. It’s a good fit, stays on and keeps everything in place while still being

really flattering. The bottom would be perfect if it had a string for bigger days.  top ««««« bottom «««« Sunshine Surf Girls

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waves halter-n eck


E: This suit looks amazing on.

Due to my small bust I felt like the suit would gape but it didn’t. The coverage that the bottom s provided was determ by how tight you tied the ined halter neck and I found with my longer body, the were a little more high y cut than other one piece suits. «««« T: I loved this swimsuit. The patter n was super cute (white background wit blue waves) and the sha h pe was adorable. I loved the halter neck design cheeky cut at the back. and I didn’t need to readjust in the sur f as the suit fitte well overall. «««« d L: This is a great suit for log ging or cruising on sm aller days but my boobs fell out in bigger sur f. «« «« 

ab ag ro Im ag e: gr


Interchangeable top and bottom


E: Love it! Unique, cute and

stayed on in the sur f! This suit has full coverage and is ver y comfor table. It was my fave one -piece suit for sur fing in. ««««

white multikini

necessarily my s coverage and are not ging out on han for at in, but they are gre first choice for sur fing rous. mo gla g kin loo and ts g coconu tropical islands sippin bot tom ««« « «« top  ing and the lly sof t. The top is flatter T: The fabric in these is rea bot tom ««« « «« top bottom is ver y cheeky. rks really wo the multik ini and the top L: I really like the concept of me feeling a little exposed. left well for me… the bottom bot tom «««

E: These bik inis provide les


T: This suit looked beautiful,

the colours and design were gorgeous. The shape was simple and functional. The mater ial was not as flex ible and didn’t mo ve with my body. ««««

L: I really liked this suit. It fit

well and was really flatter ing for my body shape and stayed on no matter wh at. ««««« 


dive in E: The fuller coverage of this suit meant it stayed on really well in the surf. ««««

T: I like the material used for this swimsuit. It is flexible

and soft. This swimsuit fits my body perfectly. «««««


L: Super soft fabric, great cut, stays on… love it! ««««« RRP: $69.99

my apron top E: My fave Rhythm top for surfing. The crop top suited my body shape. ««««

T: The stitching down the centre of this top is cute and the fit is really comfortable. ««««

L: I love the way this top holds everything in but is still really cute. Great for surfing in. ««««

Adjustable shoulder straps and back closure

my bralette top E: This top fit me well. It can be worn as a cross-back which gives a little more security in the surf. I liked this pair for snorkelling. «««

RRP: $44.99

T: The front of the top had quite thick stitching through the middle of the triangle, which wasn’t suitable for my cup size. «««

L: I liked that the back can be either crossover or straight but my cup did

run over a bit… go up a size if you’ve got boobs and it will be great. «««

RRP: $44.99

my beach pant E: The bottoms are a little too big for me to surf in but they look fantastic on. I would wear these on the beach any day! «««

RRP: $34.99

T: The fit of these bottoms was really comfortable. ««« L: These bottoms are really flattering and I like the fuller coverage. ««««

Cross back and adjustable tie RRP: $34.99

bingin ruched cheeky bottom

ocean zen

E: These bottoms are minimal coverage so my tan lines were out there for all to see! If they had a drawstring they would be great to surf in. «««

T: I like the ruffles in the bottom that work well for my shape. These are a very cheeky option for surfing! «««

L: These bottoms left nothing to the imagination. Thankfully other surfers were distracted by the other full moon. ««

galapagos bottoms E: These bottoms fit me well and were just enough coverage so I didn’t

feel exposed (I must be getting old!). I would go down a size for surfing to ensure they stayed on. ««««

T: The bottoms would be quite a cheeky option for surfing. The ruffles in the bottom are always more flattering for my shape. «««

L: These were a little too cheeky for my preference but they fit well. «««

fuschia braided cross back E: The top is a gorgeous colour but doesn’t provide much security for surfing. ««« T: This top fit well and the style is really flattering. ««« L: I really liked the design of this top but recommend going up a size to hold everything in. «««

sanblass top E: The colours and style of this top are lovely! It fit me well, looked great and stayed on well in the surf. ««««

T: This was quite a detailed top, which I liked. It was nice to be able to adjust to fit my size with the tie up strings. «««

L: This top really keeps everything in one place but I’d go up a size if you have B cups or bigger. «««

bagira aquatica black with contrasting arm & front zip

E: This was my fave surf suit. It fit well, was very comfortable and didn’t miss a beat

in the surf.

when surfing but I was sceptical about the front zip expecting it to dig into my stomach ««««« it. notice even I didn’t T: A mazing surf suit. This was one of my favourites. I loved the playful coloured arm and plain black body. The stitching was framed to fit my shape. «««««

L: Great fit, flattering shape, stays in place and holds everything in. Love it! ««««« 

uluwatu pink with ba ck zip E: This suit is so awesomely bright and I line were a little tighter than the Bagi

love it! I found that the cut and neck ra Black front zip suit. ««««

T: Great surf suit, super bright in this colo ur but the fit is great for me. ««« « L: This is my favourite surf suit. I love ever retina burning pink !). «««««

ything about it (even the craz y brigh t,

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Ellie Miller Born near London in the 70 ’s,

shape r E llie M ille r didn’ t start surf ing until she was 3 0, while tr ave lling in Spain. We caught up with he r to f ind out more about the UK’s most prom ine nt fe m ale shape r .

images courtesy of ellie miller How did you get into shaping? I got into shaping as I didn’t have the money to fund my surfboard obsession! I’m quite creative and good with my hands, and also very meticulous - so I thought it would be something I’d be ok at. I taught myself to shape in my garage, using online resources for hints and tips. I did the whole thing solo, and it was pretty scary, but also a real buzz, so I made another, then another... then I started getting friends ask me to build stuff for them, and it just grew and grew. Sounds like a great start. Why do you think there aren’t more women shapers? So many people (men!) tried to put me off having a go at shaping. It is very much considered a dark art, and something you

shouldn’t attempt unless shown how by a master. I think that probably puts a lot of people off - especially women – as like most of surfing, it is a very male dominated industry, and what woman wants to stand around and be patronised by a man?! No one could believe the first board I made. It rode really well, and looked as good as many professionally made boards, yet I had no help. I don’t think many women realise it’s possible, so they shy away. They shouldn’t! I think if you have the right aptitude and skills, and are prepared to do a lot of research, anyone can make a surfboard. I might have to give it a go! Lots of people are talking more about the volume of boards now and we’re seeing people surf shorter and shorter boards. Why is volume so important?

Volume forms an integral part of the balance of the design. Most of the volume of the board should be focussed under your torso, foiling (thinning) out towards the edges of the board. Volume helps float you, making paddling easier, and the foiling keeps the board responsive. It’s all a careful balance. A good shaper knows how to balance out the foam. Although there is a trend towards shorter and shorter boards, it’s best not to go too short too soon, regardless of volume! So, do you think that there is an all-round magic board for everyone that suits most conditions? No!

Bugger! How then can I match a board to my local conditions and ability? Talk to your local shaper, or someone familiar with the breaks you ride. They will be able to offer some suggestions as to what board will suit you, but always be honest about your ability. Board design is extremely complex, with many variables, but there are many basic things you can learn about board design which will help you make better informed choices about what to buy. Don’t just take the word of the local surf shop sales person! They will always steer you towards something in their shop. It may be the most suitable thing they have in stock at the time, but it may not be the best choice overall. The right board can enhance your surfing experience, and help you progress, a badly suited board can do the opposite. One thing that often gets overlooked is rocker. If I had to single out one of the most important aspects of board design it would be rocker. Do your research... it’s worth it! You hand shape all your boards. What is the difference between a hand shape and a computer-controlled machine shaped board?

Hand-shaped boards are shaped entirely by a shaper from a blank, using various different hand tools. Machine shaping involves entering all the measurements of a board into a specialist computer program, which is connected to a shaping machine. The computer then tells the machine where to cut. The machine doesn’t do all the work. It still requires a shaper to finish off the rails, and other design aspects. When it comes to riding, there is no difference between hand shaped and machine shaped. There is something special about a hand shaped board if you know it’s been crafted by skilled hands… however, it can be hard for anything other than a computer to completely replicate a ‘magic board’! I think there are pros and cons to both methods of shaping. What are the main differences with the various materials used: epoxy versus standard, timber etc? The main differences between materials are weight vs strength. As a rule, a fibreglass board is heavier than epoxy, and also weaker. Epoxy is considered more ecofriendly, but a fibreglass board built with good materials to a high standard will last just as long. It will however, be much

weightier than its counterpart – if it’s not, it won’t last! I make and ride a lot of traditional longboards where weight is essential to the way the board rides. In my opinion, lighter forms of construction are far more suited to shortboards. So what do you think the future holds for surfboard design and construction? From what I see here in the UK, there is very much a generation of surfers heading towards handmade, locally made, traditional fibreglass boards. I think people are beginning to realise the benefits of custom made boards, and utilising the knowledge of their local shapers. As far as design goes, many shapers, including myself, are looking back to the 1960’s and 1970’s, a time when many of the great designs were conceived but also shelved, to make way for the next big thing. Design moved so quickly back then, that many avenues of design were touched on, but not explored fully. The Mini Simmons is the perfect example of past meets present. Design is constantly evolving. Occasionally (often by chance), someone hits on something special. Add the knowledge we have now, to the ideas of the past, and who knows what will be next?! It’s all fun!

Ellie lives with her partner Danni and dog Lundy in North Devon, England, a mile from her favourite surf spot, Saunton Sands. www.millersurfboards.co.uk

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Tc eena

M Ilveen From local inde pe nde nt shape rs, to global br and na me s – the re are dust y, re sin- coated fac tori e s housing tale nted shape rs and gl asse rs, dot ted all around the Austr alian coastli ne .

words and images by Jaymie Faber In a small 4 bay glassing room in a factory tucked away at the back of Currumbin on Queensland’s Gold Coast, Teena McIlveen is glassing up some beauties.

with Diverse, Teena decided it was time to become a full-time glasser, and she now bases herself at the Clearwater Surfboard factory in Currumbin.

works with all the finer details of glassing a perfect surfboard. Details that seem minor, such as room temperature and ventilation, all affect the final outcome.

It’s Teena’s job to make sure all the boards she produces are durable and perform well. Too much fibreglass, and a board is heavy and hard to manoeuvre; not enough, and it will end up covered in compression dings, or even snap.

Not only is she one of the only female glassers in Australia, her boards have been described as “surfable works of art”.

Always up for a challenge, Teena loves to push the boundaries.

Teena started out doing work experience at Diverse Surf on the Gold Coast and, after three months, she was employed as a shaper. It was here she also learned the art of laminating. After more than 10 years

Using high quality coloured resins and tints, Teena produces some incredible looking boards. From the moment she mixes up the resin colours, her mind is on the job at hand, with timing imperative to getting a good result. A good glasser not only understands the needs of surfers, but also understands and

You can view Teena’s surfable art on instagram

“I love experimenting, trying new things and coming up with new colour combinations.” The next step for this talented ‘fibreglass resin artist’ is fins. Although not yet ready to be launched, from the sneak peak we’ve had, we’re very excited to see what this talented lady comes up with next.

theladyofmanycolours and at theladyofmanycolours.tumblr.com


All girls Surf & Yoga adventure in Seminyak, Bali Interested in a Surf & Yoga adventure with MBS & SSG in 2016? Email your name with MBS in the subject line to: hi@sunshinesurfgirls.com

www.soulsurfbali.com Sunshine Surf Girls

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Images this page: helen orr

2015 maldives trip

t en gir ls , t en days – on e b oat – It was 10pm when we finally landed in Malé. Even at this late hour, the humidity hit us as we walked out of the airport and were greeted with a massive smile from Rippe, our surf guide. He quickly ushered the ten of us a short 50 metres to the harbour, onto a waiting dhoni. We set off through the dark, towards our home, the Cobia, for ten days of adventure. The following morning we woke to the sun rising over a group of tiny islands dotted with palm trees, surrounded by crystal clear water, a stunning reef and an empty line-up.

We were at Jails, a super fun right hander with about 2-3 foot of swell. We couldn’t wax our boards fast enough, eager to get in the water and stay there; only heading back to the boat for breakfast and lunch. I have to admit, I had been nervous about spending so much time with a group of strangers in a small space but we quickly became friends. It was clear that we were all here for the same reason; to surf good waves, relax and have a laugh. My nerves washed away as the girls hooted me on to my first wave.

It’s not often that the line-up is dominated by women and the hoots, hollers and laughter that we brought with us everywhere we went, made surfing so much fun! There was no animosity when we were in the water, just smiles from ear to ear and encouragement for each surfer to catch that one perfect ride. The following days saw us fall into an easy routine: wake, surf, eat, surf, eat, surf, eat, sleep. We surfed some great, uncrowded waves and although the girls on the trip were at different levels of surfing, we all scored

Image tara christie

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35 Image: grabagrom

Images this page unless specified: helen orr

Image: katie Juster

Image: helen orr Image: grabagrom

waves to remember. With the swell direction, Jails proved to be one of the favourite spots, but we also had fun days at Sultans, a peaky right hander; Honky’s, a left that grows as it wraps around the island and Chickens; another left with a long fun wall. By dinner time each night, we were so tired we could hardly talk. Midweek, we were jolted out of our surf stupor by a shout from one of the deckhands, “Manta!” Two huge manta rays were performing underwater acrobatics at the back of the boat, so one of the other girls and I grabbed a mask and snorkel each and slid into the water with them. It was breathtaking – literally as one

swam up behind me unexpectedly and I let out a scream! It was an experience I will never forget. So it wasn’t all surfing, eating and sleeping. We did find time in between waves to visit some stunning islands, spend a morning in Malé revelling in buying tacky souvenirs, swim with a pod of hundreds of dolphins, fish off the back deck and snorkel amongst the thousands of colourful reef fish. There was also a sneaky dance party or two on the roof of the Cobia at night, and what trip to the tropics would be complete without a good old fashioned hermit crab race!? No animals were harmed.

After ten days my eyes were sunburnt, my arms and ribs were sore but my face carried a smile a mile wide. This trip ticked all the boxes for a perfect surfing experience; lots of fun waves and amazing adventures all shared with a great bunch of new friends. I can’t wait to do it all again next year… In 2016, SSG are running two all-girls surf charters to the Maldives and we’d love for you to join us! Visit sunshinesurfgirls.com/trips for more details.

Thank you to the supporters of the Maldives Trip

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37 Image: katie juster

Image: hayley berry

Image: helen orr

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ch ris t m a s li v er su pp or t • They are required to produce hormones which in turn impact sleep, mood and sexual function, as well as being responsible for improved feelings of wellbeing and energy.

Whether you consider yourself a professional athlete or just a recreational sportsperson, surfers require good nutrition. We spend large amounts of time in the water paddling, duck diving and catching waves, which means we expend more energy than the average person and therefore have increased nutritional requirements. On top of that, it’s coming up to the time of year again when our diaries are getting booked up with the end of year social events. These usually involve more alcohol consumption, more dining out, and later nights. So if you want to make the most of this fun yet hectic time of year, and still have enough energy to get up for the dawn – I suggest you give your liver a little support. Your liver is responsible for detoxifying chemicals coming from both inside and outside of the body - including alcohol, drugs, chemicals, airborne pollutants, microbes and hormones. Giving your liver some support, especially when it’s under a bit of pressure, will help it to perform its many other functions. This can lead to increased energy and feelings of wellbeing, lower cholesterol levels, clearer skin, improved hormonal performance, and an improvement in your anti-oxidant status, which is important for protecting against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Here are some liver supporting nutrients, foods and herbs you can add to your diet.

B vitamins are found in whole grains, asparagus, avocado, meat (especially organic meat), fish, pinto beans, and to a lesser amount, in dairy products. Be sure to include some of these in your daily diet.

Sulphur-containing foods

Sulphur is a mineral important in Phase 2, which converts fat-soluble chemicals into water-soluble chemicals. Sulphur in plants is found in the allium family such as garlic, onions, leeks and chives. Garlic and chives can be added to salad dressings to give them a lift; and onions and leeks can be added to salads, stews or summer soups. Sulphur-containing amino acids are found in meat and eggs.

High fibre foods

After your liver has done all the hard work by making toxins soluble so they can be excreted them from the body, we want to make sure that we do excrete them rather than reabsorb them. To help this process, fibre binds to the toxins so they can be excreted through the digestive tract. Some fibre-rich foods include linseeds, whole grains, and fruit and vegetables.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale all contain important compounds that help in the production of glutathione, a potent liver anti-oxidant. They also aid the production of cytochrome 450, a powerful enzyme involved in liver detoxification. These vegetables can be added to juices or used in salads (either raw or lightly steamed) to increase the salad’s nutritional profile, as well as to give a different texture, taste and colour.

If you exercise a lot, or if you are consuming more alcohol and indulgent festive foods, I recommend taking a supplement. It is best to take B vitamins as a complex rather than individually, as this is how they operate within the body. Only take B vitamins on their own upon professional advice, and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Vitamins should be taken with food, and it’s best to take them in the morning. Be warned though that they can make your wee turn yellow! But don’t worry, this is just a normal side effect of taking B vitamins.

Milk Thistle (St Mary’s Thistle)

The ‘queen’ of liver herbs. I think it is beneficial for everybody to take Milk Thistle for a month or so, at least once a year, to give your liver a hand with regeneration. Milk Thistle can be bought from a good quality herbal store as a liquid, tablet or as a tea.

B vitamins

B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that are involved in many metabolic reactions within the body. The reasons B vitamins are of specific interest to us as surfers (especially during the ‘silly season’) include: • They are essential for enzymatic reactions which convert fats and glucose to energy in the body; • They are responsible for converting chemicals ingested and produced by the body to a water-soluble form so they can be excreted; and

Natalie Jacques is a qualified naturopath, surf instructor and yoga teacher who works in The Herbal Dispensary in Raglan and founded Wanderlust Surf Adventures.


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South Africa’s First Female Surf Coach

What Busi Tsholoba and Waves For Change are doing for young South Africans.

words by Thea McDonald-Lee images by waves of change

Busi Tsholoba loves the ocean. She lives in the South African township of Khayelitsha and she is a mentor and an integral part of the NGO Waves For Change. Just five years ago, Busi first learnt how to swim. Today, she is South Africa’s first accredited female surf coach. “My journey began in 2010 when I started swimming, and then became a lifeguard at the beach”, Busi explains. “Then in 2013 one of the coaches introduced me to surfing, and after I learned how to surf I became an instructor for the [Waves For Change] course.” South Africa is a dangerous place to be a woman. Many of the young girls who Busi works with have experienced physical and sexual violence in their homes, at their school or on the streets. Consistent exposure to such traumatic experiences often leads to these girls suffering from low self-esteem and other emotional or

mental health conditions. Surf Therapy is changing that. “We find surfing really cool because it helps the kids reshape their image of themselves. They start to see themselves as surfers, and that’s a really positive thing!” founder of WFC Tim Conibear tells me. Establishing trust between adults and township kids is a real issue. With the help of community and international support, there are now 16 coaches in the WFC program, with half of these female. And it’s making a huge difference. “To have a female mentor by your side is nice because we can relate much better to the younger girls, you’ve once been there and you know how it feels. Male coaches can’t relate to them the same way females relate to each other”, Busi explains. “It definitely takes time to build trust between the kids and the mentors, but slowly and surely we are getting there”, Tim notes. It’s because of Busi and others like her that the lives of young South African

girls are improving. When it comes to the surfing part, Busi faces the same challenges females deal with in every line-up around the world. “To be a surfer and a female is sometimes very difficult. When you are in the water and around males it’s hard to catch a wave because they will be staring at you and judging you. They will steal a wave from you and they will out paddle you because they are stronger. But some will be nice and chat to you and encourage you to go for it”, Busi adds. So how is it that surfing is finding it’s way into young girls’ lives and giving them value as humans, helping them to identify themselves as something more? Busi has the answer. “Surfing is a sport of freedom. It helps you to identify your inner heart. It helps you to be able to stand up and be the person that you want to be. Because when you are out there in the ocean, you are all alone, you set yourself free and you get in touch with all your senses. You become self motivated. It helps you to be able to move on and be the person you want to be in life.”

image: Charlie Shoemaker

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What do you do when you want something that no longer exists? Make it yourself of course. This is exactly what Sally Parkin, founder of The Original Surfboard Company, did when one of her much loved boards snapped.

Images Courtesy of Sally Parkin “I learnt how to surf in 1965 when I was five years old. The only type of surfboards at the beach then were these thin little wooden types of body boards which we all called surfboards. Stand up surfing had really only just started to appear in Newquay but still wasn’t happening at the smaller beaches – so everyone who was catching waves, was catching them on these wooden boards. They were four foot long generally, but they did cut down ones for children which were about ten inches shorter – I still have one of the boards I used at that age. Virtually every day we went into the sea with these wooden boards and surfed for hours on end. Really the seed of the idea to start The Original Surfboard Company was in 2007. We had about 10 or 12 boards in the shed and we had three of four just suddenly snap. I was aware that when you went on the beach, very few people were still using the wooden boards and you didn’t see them in the shops any more, so I thought, ‘where do you get them now?’ I did a bit of research and found there was just one very elderly man who had them – it was a bit like stepping back in time you know – so I called him and asked if I could go and see him. At the same time I heard about the World Belly Board Championships and I went along to that. It wasn’t that big of an event, there were maybe 50 people there but they had rows of painted boards – that was the thing you did in the 60’s, you decorated your board – they weren’t just shabby, wooden boards. I think the combination of a few things: our boards breaking, and then seeing the painted boards – I thought that it would be so sad if this type of surfing died out and I wanted to inspire more people, younger people to use them. When I started up the company, there was really no history online about them. If you went to surf websites, they just counted the stand-up boards as surfing and there was no inclusion or reference to these boards being part of surfing… and yet, because I hadn’t

been in the surf industry and because I’d used them since I was five, and everyone called them surfboards, I had the idea of calling it The Original Surfboard Company. The surf industry was calling them belly boards, which I hadn’t really been aware of – apart from the Belly Board Championships – but I thought, ‘well it doesn’t sound very stylish’. The press at the time would just show pictures of old men with large stomachs. I thought if I’m starting a company with the aim of trying to entice more young people to ride them, then calling them belly boards was not going to help! One journalist told me “you know you can’t call these surfboards” but you know, that’s what they were called. It was often called surf riding and that’s the term I use, but it was also called surfing. I think now I’m a bit more comfortable about the term belly board again because I feel like we’ve made the point – but I still prefer other terms. I feel like belly boarding is a term that stand up surfers use to kind of hijack the term “surfing”. In England, Newquay is sort of the surf capital and people say surfing started here in the 60’s, but really it was much earlier than that on these wooden belly boards. These boards really are part of the heritage of surfing. Our boards are the classic British shape – not the very early ones. In the 1920’s they were shaped almost like coffin lids! The theory was that when they first started using these boards, they went to the coffin makers and they were very square. We keep to a later shape from the 50’s,

which have a little turned nose which used to be steam bent and the classic size of 4’ by 1’. I felt it was special to keep the Britishshaped boards, but it’s really interesting to speak with people from other parts of the world and learn that in Japan, for example, they have really differently shaped boards. Initially, our boards were ply, but now we keep to this same shape but with a higher grade wooden board. They’re still ply, but they have a full wood grain infill, they’re super smooth and they’re vacuum pressed to retain the shape of the nose. With the steam bending, over time, they lose their shape, so pressing gives a longevity and helps maintain their shape. In the future I hope that belly boarding is more accepted, that it’s not seen as a laughable old woman’s thing to do. In fact, I think that I’ve seen a real shift and belly boarders now recognise what they are. They are still in the tiny minority of surfers, but they are becoming more accepted – not just here, but also in the States, Germany, Japan and of course in Australia, with Tom Wegner shaping his surfies. I’m keen to have it seen as a distinct form of surfing and I think it’s getting there. One of the great things about belly boards is that they’re so inclusive. You can be any age and any ability, and they’re just an incredibly fun way to catch waves at all levels. I just always naturally enjoyed the feeling with the wooden boards.”

We’re giving one lucky surfer the chance to shape their very own surfie with Master Shaper, Tom Wegener. Tom and wife, Margie will teach you how to shape and then glide on one of the fastest, most fun surf crafts in the world. To win, simply email your details to editor@sunshinesurfgirls.com with SHAPE A SURFIE in the subject line. *Please note this prize does not include transport or accommodation

Sunshine Surf Girls

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Su m mer 2 015/16


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