Witch Wednesday – Meet Danielle

Meet our lovely Danielle! A regular sight down the Alley, always rockin her bucket hat and a big smile! ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ˜Š we loved getting to know more about this incredible lady ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

What’s your ticky box:
โœ…45 -54yoโœ…

Where are you from originally?
I was born in Puberty Blues-ville: Cronulla, grew up in the Blue Mountains and then moved to Cairns.

How long have you been surfing and how did you get started?
I started early last year, just after I turned 50. Iโ€™ve always loved the ocean and thought Iโ€™d like to try surfing but work, study, raising a family and not living near the surf had been a barrier. Finally, it was time to give it a go and I was hooked first lesson.

What level surfer are you – whitewash warrior or chasing green waves?
Chasing green waves, sometimes biting off more than I can chew!

What board are you rocking?
I have a fun 8ft mini mal

What beaches do you normally surf?
Currumbin Alley, Rainbow Bay/Greenmount, Kirra and sometimes Moffatt Beach.

What do you do for work? Any cool hobbies or interests outside of surfing you want to share with us?
I am the communications manager for a science program that is researching and developing interventions to help The Great Barrier Reef resist and adapt to the impacts of climate change. I was originally a journalist and a few years ago I went back to uni part-time to study science. Itโ€™s very important to me that I use my skills to help make the world a better place. I have also been doing circus classes for about six years. While I have no particular talent for circus performance, I love challenging (and scaring) myself and itโ€™s such a fun way to increase fitness, strength and balance.

What has been your best surf or ocean experience so far?
If I can get a long ride on a powerful green wave at Laceyโ€™s, itโ€™s a great day. Bonus points if Iโ€™m with some Surf Witches cheering me on and extra bonus points if I spot dolphins nearby. A few weeks ago I caught a big green wave at Laceyโ€™s and stayed on my stomach, leaning into it for dear life. It started to tube over my head which was so exhilarating, even if I was ingloriously still on my tummy!

Any surfing goals you want to smash this year?
I want to get better at my turns to get more out of my waves and one day acquire some of the confident elegance of the longboarding goddesses I see out there!

What do you love about the Surf Witches?
All that gal-group love. Such a warm, welcoming and accepting group. Surfing can be competitive and intimidating, particularly when starting out. I was so lucky that Surf Witches formed around the time I was learning. Itโ€™s such a powerful, uplifting community. I want to apologise to any SWs who has waved at me in the water and I didnโ€™t wave back. Iโ€™m quite short-sighted and if I donโ€™t have my prescription sunnies on, I probably canโ€™t see you!

What advice would you share with other women starting out?
You can do it! Start with some lessons so you learn the basics, including the all-important surf etiquette. Seek advice about the best board for you and watch other surfers โ€“ the waves they are catching, what they are doing on those waves and where they are getting the waves that best suit your skill and confidence level. I still have weekly lessons with Tracey (Currumbin Surf School) and a small intermediate group because I want to keep improving and love the feedback and camaraderie.

PC: Jane Collins from Surf Getaways
PC: Taken by Danielle’s husband Graham Bergman at Spooky Beach in early January 2020
PC: @shona_lee
PC: Peter Urand