Feature image by @hannahjessupphotography
Say hi to JESS! As well as recently moving to the GC from Bris (YAY for no more hour-long drives for waves!), Jess has had an insane 12 months – starting her own range of eco-friendly surf wax (check out @greengrip.au), helping manage the Gold Coast Surf Meet Ups, learning to free dive, surfing every other day and also going for her black belt in karate (!!!) – this lady definitely keeps herself busy! Find out more about this incredible woman below 👇 💖
Where are you from originally?
I was born in South Korea. I first arrived in NSW with my fam in 2000. Since then, I’ve lived in VIC and QLD. QLD/Gold Coast is my favourite city so far!
How long have you been surfing and how did you get started?
I think I started around 3-4 years ago? It’s thanks to my ex-boyfriend. He took me out to Currumbin at sunset and pushed me on a blue mal. I got up on my first time and it’s changed my life in the bestest way possible!
What level surfer are you – whitewash warrior or chasing green waves?
I can be both depending on the day haha. I love coming down on a green wave but I also love the little push you get from the whitewash. My favourite thing to do is catching a whitewash without paddling and follow it through to where the green wave forms. Minimal effort, maximum fun. Highly recommended.
What board are you rocking?
I’m working on a 6’6 twin fish by Dick VanStraalen I got from my work mate just before Christmas. He had it for more than 25 years. He reckons it’s at least 30 years old. Who knows. It’s an oldie but a goodie. I’m starting to get the hang of it after about a month of practising. My popup is a bit slow on it still and I can only do slow mild turns but I will get there!
What beaches do you normally surf and why?
I go anywhere between the spit and Coolies. I do enjoy the long rides at the points. But I’m trying to go to the beachies a bit more to improve my popups.
Tell us about Gold Coast Surf Meet Ups!
I’ve been helping Chris and Brad to run the Gold Coast Surf Meetups Facebook page for a couple of years now. These legends welcomed me as a beginner surfer and let me run wild creating group chats and events haha. The fellas are amazing advisors and have so much to share to improve your surfing. It’s a great community just like the Surf Witches where all levels of surfers based in GC get together and share the stokes!
What do you do for work? Any cool hobbies or interests outside of surfing you want to share with us?
Workwise, I’m a public servant working as an Intelligence Analyst in the Taskforce Integrity and Fraud Investigation Branch. By night I’m a wax lady making eco surf wax using quality Aussie ingredients – Go Green Grip!
In terms of my interests, I’m currently studying to manufacture and market other surf related products using recycled ocean rubbish.
I practice Karate and will be testing for my black belt this year!
Oh and I started freediving and learning to control my sea sickness lol.
What has been your best surf or ocean experience so far?
There is something special about sunset surf sessions. Once I was sitting at Greenmount when two or three dolphins jumped up about 10 ft away. They were turning in the air and catching waves. They sparkled against the sunset and the water they were splashing glistened. I don’t think I can ever forget something like that. It was a short moment but a lasting one.
Any surfing goals you want to smash this year?
I want to be competent riding my fish and shortboard on bigger days. I would love to be able to carve on a wave that’s bigger than 2ft LOL.
What do you love about the Surf Witches?
Surf Witches are what I love about Surf Witches. I love the community this group has created and it’s not possible without the people in it. I’m grateful for how welcoming and friendly everyone has been and wish I do my part to welcome the next person joining the group.
What advice would you share with other women starting out?
Don’t worry too much about what you look like and just keep practising to build confidence. Your own style will come in good time as you have more water time.
You will also come across some mean people in the water unfortunately. You can’t control what they do or say but you have full control over how you react and respond to them. Keep smiling and enjoy every moment in the water because that’s yours. No one can take it away from you.
Connect with Jess here: