Meet the lovely Emily! Em was one of the very first people to come to our meet ups, back when we couldn’t believe that someone who hadn’t met us thought that we were cool enough to surf with (on our bright pink 8ft foamies). So Em is extra special to us 💖 as well as just being a beautiful, genuine, caring human in general. Loved getting to know more about you Em x
Where are you from originally?
I was technically born a Westie (Sydney) but have lived 5+ years in Port Macquarie (NSW), Melbourne (VIC) and shortly Gold Coast (QLD) with stints in Dublin (Ireland) and Edinburgh (Scotland).
How long have you been surfing and how did you get started?
Boogied a bit as a kid during school holidays but really applied myself when I turned 30. Throwing myself in the deep end at a notoriously rough break in Port. Found better success in gentle point breaks around Crescent Head and Pilot’s Beach (NSW). Didn’t surf as much as in Melbourne, although in the warmer months would head to either Anglesea (Pt. Roadknight) or Cape Woolamai (Philip Island) in VIC.
My brothers surfed and I was partly wanting to hang out with them, but also looking for a physical challenge after taking up CHEK training. My ballet/gymnastics past gifted the balance, but gosh – arm and breath strength has taken (is taking) years!!
What level surfer are you – whitewash warrior or chasing green waves?
Bit of both and everything in between. I don’t like ratings, I might look good to some and totally rubbish to others. I DO embrace just getting out there, doing whatever style works for you, and that some surfs will be epic and some will just feel like a battle… but it’s all good.
What board are you rocking?
A vast collection, my man boogies so I borrow his ‘The Answer’ (bodyboard) from time to time, but flippers give me blisters. Have a bronze-coloured ‘Drumstick’ 3-fin foamie which is fun, my ‘go to’ is Big Red – a 6.10 fibreglass board or if the waves are cooperating; a recently gifted 8ft foamie I’ve nick named ‘The Whale Tail’ cause it’s like riding one… can be tricky to manoeuvre but once it’s gliding it’ll go forever!
*Checks with editor: everyone else nicknames their boards, right? 😉
What beaches do you normally surf and why?
It takes a bit of commitment to strap the boards to the roof of the Barina, so I usually tramp something down to the end of my street (Mermaid Beach). I’ll often check first before dashing back to choose the most appropriate weapon, I mean, board.
Can be easily convinced to go south though; Burleigh, Currumbin, Caba, etc.
What do you do for work? Any cool hobbies or interests outside of surfing you want to share with us?
I’m currently working for National Sport Organisation (not for profit), having mostly developed sports programs, products and people.
I’m partial to a side gig though and have worked at Falls Festival, Ironman and winery gigs (Stevie Nicks!).
What has been your best surf or ocean experience so far?
That’s a tough one. The early days when you’re first ‘getting it’ is where the addiction starts – then you perpetually chase that high ever after. The feeling of flying on water is a difficult one to explain, but is really magic.
I do remember my first surf with Surf Witch co-founders Miranda and Hannah, fresh off the back of their lessons, I knew then the Switches was something I needed to be a part of.
Any surfing goals you want to smash this year?
Loving the challenging of changing up length, following closely @ShapedByShe to understand how board shaping with woman in mind can enhance the experience.
What do you love about the Surf Witches?
Variety is the spice of life, right? I love how different we all are, but that our love of surfing can smoosh us all together. There’s so much to learn, to share, to laugh about and experience. It’s cool seeing newbies, those with experience, Switches making eco-friendly products, creating images/videos, surfwear and boards. It’s the coolest.
What advice would you share with other women starting out?
It’s going to be hard. Nothing worth doing well is ever easy… but stick with it, accept that learning to surf is life-long. Even the best surfers in the World still get hurt, make mistakes and are learning. But it’s awesome and you’ll never regret going for a surf!
Connect with Em here – @emilyrennes