Witch Wednesday – Meet Fiona

Feature image by @hannahjessupphotography

Meet our gorgeous FIFI! This tiny human has the BIGGEST heart and NO fear – she absolutely rips on whatever board she rides and goes for waves that have us shaking & running for the beach. Fi is the happiest, most supportive surf buddy you could ever hope to find and we love having her apart of our surf fam 💙

Where are you from originally?

 I was born in Darwin and after a huge Cyclone (called Tracy) we moved to Mackay, where I grew up. Mackay was a great place to grown up, as I played so many sports, did bushwalks or snorkelled on the reef. We then moved to the big smoke (Brisbane) for uni. After, trips around the world, jobs around Queensland, I have now settled on the Gold Coast.

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

I started surfing in my teenage years, however I have been an on again off again surfer. Until recently. Now I want to go every day!

I think early on when I was young, there was a feeling that girls don’t surf, or ride BMX bikes or skateboard.  I always pushed the boundaries of what girls should and shouldn’t do. I would see all the boys doing this cool stuff and I didn’t want to sit on the beach getting a suntan. So, if the boys put down their boards, I would go borrow one and give it a go.

When I was 15 my family friends the Messiter’s (who had 4 boys in their family) did a surf trip to the Gold Coast and brought me back my first board, a three-fin thruster with a checkboard pattern. It was awesome! I was hooked from then on.

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

On any given day out in the ocean, I can be found with a determined smile on my face, as I chase those green faces. On other days, I feel like I am only just beginning to learn the art of surfing. Each day in the ocean, I learn something new about myself, the ocean and the power of the waves.

What board are you rocking?

At the moment, I am loving my 7’0 single fin Smooth Clearwater designed by Steve Del Rosso for the days when the ways a rolling through. On more powerful days, I want to carve it up with my 6’3 designed by Clayton Nienaber and try and work on my turns. Both board shapers are based on the Gold Coast in Currumbin.

What beaches do you normally surf and why?

Surfing beaches include the Spit, Narrowneck on Northern end of GC. They are each challenging surf breaks due to the amount of water movement. Then I enjoy Miami, Palm Beach, Currumbin, Kirra, Rainbow and Snapper. I can be found at any of these spots, dependent on the waves (1st) and surf chats and giggles with the girls (2nd), or maybe vice versa preference .

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

I am a primary school teacher in Brisbane at a boy’s only school.  Most of my hobbies or interests relate to sport, so being at a boy’s school, I do a lot of coaching from cricket, to soccer to basketball.

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

So many to choose from: party waves with the SW girls and guys, sunrise surfs, Bali trips or paddling out at Kirra on a crazy big day.

My most memorable surf experience was stepping over a sign that read ‘Warning Sharks’ on a Northern NSW beach (secret spot), and I could see sets of right-hand waves breaking in beautiful A frames, just ready to be carved up. Paddling out to where the waves were breaking and on the horizon a pod dolphins were playing as the first light mist rose gently above the water surface. It was stunning! This memory sticks in my mind. Plus, that day I caught the most epic wave that stretched out in front of me with its green face. I was overhead, big for me (for those of you who know me). That wave plays back in my mind in slow motion.

Any surfing goals you want to smash this year?

I would like to work on my turns and perfect the cutback, so I can throw spray. I also want to go on some more surfing adventures with my friends and continue to laugh.

What do you love about the Surf Witches?

I love the feeling of belonging and connection that being part of the Surf Witches gang creates. I feel like I have found my tribe!!!!!  Women who can do anything once you set your mind to it!!!  Being part of this group, makes me happy and I am inspired each day. Love you Surf Witch Sisters!!!

What advice would you share with other women starting out?

If you are starting out, get a 7+ foot foamy, go for a few lessons and get out in the water as much as you can. Paddle fitness is important, so doing laps in the pool or push up each day with help to catch those waves.  Be patient, it takes time. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the ride!!

PC: @tav_ocean
PC: Unknown. Mackay post cyclone when I was about 15, and was published in the local page on the sports page