Witch Wednesday – Meet Jade

Feature image by @tav_ocean

Meet our beautiful Jade! We have loved watching this absolute babe go from a beginner surfer throwing herself into the shore breaks of Miami (who needs gentle point breaks to learn on?!) to now chasing 4ft waves up and down the coast – with the most persistence and determination we have ever seen! The last year her surfing has improved out of sight and we are SO proud!

Where are you from originally?

I was born in Sydney however grew up in Yeppoon from 6yrs so I call Yeppoon my hometown

How long have you been surfing and how did you get started?

I have wanted to surf since I can remember.  I didn’t grow up around surf or in a surfing family so I started buying Tracks Mag and Surfing Life mags as a teen and watched all the DVD’s fantasising that one day I could do it.  It just didn’t happen for me until Covid though.  I bumped into fellow witch Elisha one morning on my walk on Burleigh Hill.  I asked her (fellow gym addict) “What are you doing now since gyms are closed?!”  I was really struggling… She told me she was surfing with a friend in a group called the Surf Witches!  She invited me to come surf, I had a mates board still sitting in my garage for a year so I said ok! I think my first surf was early April. 

What level surfer are you – whitewash warrior or chasing green waves?

I was persistent, like a bad smell…. Following Elisha, Jacki, Tino and Ang out at Miami almost everyday!  Gabby and I would message everyday and check if they were going!  So after a couple of months of falling off every wave, Gabby and I started actually catching them! Tav happened to be shooting the morning I got my first waves! I am so thankful to have that shot of the very first Green Wave!!!

What board are you rocking?

Started on my friends 7’6 but before Xmas had my new 6’8 shaped by Dylan Longbottom.  She’s bright pink and fierce!  Which I love since I love short board riding because to me it feels strong and fierce and powerful!

I do have a 9’ though too as I have found that fun on the small days!  Just for something different.

What beaches do you normally surf and why?

I started surfing at Miami everyday until I got braver and slowly met more people and learnt my favourite spots.  I actually miss the Miami days with the girls and want to get back to that more this year #miamivicecrew.  I think my fave spot though is South Burleigh.  It just feels so beautiful on a good morning and reminds me of Little Cove Noosa

What do you do for work? Any cool hobbies or interests outside of surfing you want to share with us?

I’m an Admin Manager in Retail Property Management for JLL.  I work in a team that manage a centre in Surfers Paradise.  Very thankful to be working for a global company and I hope to transfer one day (when Covid isn’t such a thing) to another area maybe even overseas.

Gym is not my main jam anymore, surfing is my fave hobby for sure! I love that I am finally doing it and I am beyond grateful for all the new people I’ve met and friends I have made!  Some of the women in this group have changed my life and the way I see people in general.  I have learnt to let people in and trust people more and enjoy life.  So thank you all the beautiful witches! 

What has been your best surf or ocean experience so far?

So many I can’t even think!  I think the friendships are the best thing, the laughing till we’re in stitches, the cheering each other on the waves and the coffee chats after a surf.  The fact I have wanted to surf for so long, and have been so persistent, leading to getting up fairly quickly has been amazing.  Also the fact that so often I have seen dolphins so close!  Rays and sharks too. 

Living this life has led to finding more people and social media accounts that support marine health.  I love that I have found Shark Girl Maddison and Envoy and have learnt so much more about the marine ecosystem.  My passion for the ocean has grown immensely and I can’t wait to delve into some study and see if that leads to some volunteer opportunities down the track.

Any surfing goals you want to smash this year?

Um all of them! Haha  I would love to stop having such a bad surf after such an amazing surf so often… I would love to just feel more of those steps forward and less of those steps back.  I would love to learn more patience out there really.

What do you love about the Surf Witches?

AS per all my babble above!  I also love that because of all the witches I have slowly learnt how to better read the weather, how to pick the better spots and the fact that no matter where I go I usually see a witch out there or someone who knows some of us!  It feels like the biggest safety net and support group and I can’t tell you enough how amazing this group is. 

What advice would you share with other women starting out?

I am actually asked this a lot!  Women that are in reach of the witches I recommend join the group.  But to anyone I always share how scary I know it is!  I remember feeling too scared to just get in because I was worried how I would look… not knowing where to sit or where to go out, not wanting to get in the way… so I tell them to find a friend, find a group, ask their local surf shops if they know of groups, get a couple of group lessons with a surf couch because that will help with the basics, confidence, water safety and can help you find friends to practice with.  

Connect with Jadey here – @jadeybabylemonadey

PC: @roblayton_iphoneography
Gabby, Tom, Jade and James is Rainbow one small afternoon