Meet Renee! This gorgeous warm and friendly soul is in her late thirties, mumma to two beautiful girls and also is an incredible artist (check out @reneetaylorsart). Renee always has a smile and encouraging words for everyone – we love seeing this stunner of a woman out in the surf! 💕
Where are you from?
Originally from Jimboomba (South of Brisbane)
Country town, I embarrassed to say called, “Jimboomba”, (meaning “dry place”, in the middle of no-where). Hence the name no one would know it and ask, “where they heck is that!” I would cringe telling people.
I Grew up with dirt bikes and horses but dreamed all my life to be by the ocean. My Dad wanted land and space, my mum was in love with the ocean, which is why its probably in my blood and I am drawn to it. As soon as I could drive, I would take my dog to the Spit every weekend. I remember my Dad got me for Christmas at 14 years of age, half a surfboard (broken)?? As a joke, when I asked and begged him, I wanted to learn to surf. Not so funny for me. But I was determined and watched surfing endlessly trying to understand it and crave the feeling everyone talked of that was so alive and addictive. I had Kelly Slater and Luke Egan from the 90’s posted all over my school-books.
What got you into surfing and what do you love most about it?
I always had a love for the ocean and all that’s in it, and only ever dated surfers in my life? I was drawn to understanding what the feeling was all about of a surfer and wanted it! I fell in love with Northern Rivers’ beaches of Cabarita and Byron. I got into it before I had children, and then stopped and lost my confidence. I knew I was determined again once I thought of my kids out in the water and I didn’t want to be the mum left sitting on the beach. Now they never go, and I am out before they wake up at sunrise every chance I get.
I remember I was in a really dark season in my life and felt like revisiting my passion for the connection with the ocean and adventure. I have really only surfed four years, maybe 18 months consistently.
I craved this freedom, after raising my kids at a young age and working and studying full time, I forgot how to have fun again for me! I loved reconnecting with other women in a surf clinic run by Belen (Salty Girls), that was non judging and searching for the same reasons to get into surfing.
The biggest relief is not thinking about anything else but surfing when you are out there, no phones, no emails no demands of the world just being in the moment and leaving all your concerns behind. When I started again four years ago, I forgot how complicated surfing was and such an artform and so good mentally for your well-being and connecting to God and Creation.
What do you do for work? Any cool hobbies or interests outside of surfing you want to share with us?
I am a high school teacher in Visual Arts and Food & Nutrition. In my spare time I love to paint my own artworks and commissions, journal, pray and watch the sunrise and sunsets. Just to be in nature and enjoy the simple things in life like a good coffee, road trips and good company with friends.
Describe your perfect surf day?
My perfect surf day would be to surf with friends and one day visit Hawaii, and have the longest rides, stepping and nose riding like Josie Prendergast on my 9.1 foot mal from sunrise to sunset.
Board of Choice?
I am riding at the moment a 9”1 foot mal most of the time and wanting to go bigger! I would love to custom make my next one, now I have been surfing a few years I have clearer idea what I want. I sometimes get confused and want to go short again though and better my turning so fun, on my 6”4 salt and resin board.
What do you love about the Surf Witches?
I remember after surfing with women it was so good to encourage each other and enjoy your failures and successes, laugh with one another and motivate each other to go to higher levels and take risks. Having always someone to go with you and share your stokes, the surf witches are just that. The community and connection with other women of any age and stage of surfing instantly connects you with others.
What advice would you share with other women starting out?
You are never too old to learn! I would encourage anyone starting out to try doing a women’s clinic or class to get good technique and habits from the beginning. It is awesome for your confidence, surf etiquette, skills and understanding awareness of the ocean. There is so much more to surfing than you think when starting out and its great to be in a non-judgemental environment to build your confidence. (I started with ‘Women on Waves’ in Pottsville and then the other one is ‘Salty Girls’ with Belen and Sal Howe in Kingscliff, or Lee Cooper! Our very own surf witch).