EXCLUSIVE: Surfdome Meets Steph Gilmore
We had the supreme pleasure of catching up with the world’s most inspiring female surfer to talk dream waves, fantasy festivals and why she loves the city as much as the sea…
Firstly, congratulations on your win at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, you were amazing!
Thanks so much!
After a tough year last year that win went some way to prove you’re back with a vengeance. What did it mean to you to win the first event of the 2012 circuit?
To win the first event is always a sign of how you’re going to approach the year, and there is definitely a higher degree of assertiveness in my game plan. To win at home feeling stronger, physically and mentally than ever before, and to be chaired up the beach by your friends is an incredible feeling!
Do you have a favourite event or location for competing?
Each event has its own qualities. Two years ago my favourite would have been Honolua Bay, Maui – that place is magical. But now it would have to be Snapper. It’s a natural amphitheatre, a stage almost, and it’s a world class wave. It’s also my home break so my friends and family are around to make it extra special.
How about for relaxing?
I spend a lot of time on the beach and in coastal places, so I love to hang out in cities when I can. New York always has 10 too many great things to do. I spent my last birthday in Paris; we ate, drank wine, shopped, it is a beautiful place.
Are you planning on coming back to London any time soon?
I would love to spend some more time in London this year. The history in London is cool; the pub scene is awesome and unique to London I think. The underground music scene is fun to be a part of. East London has gritty charm. Actually I think that’s what i like about London all over – it’s gritty charm. And you guys drink tea, I’m a fan!
So have you ever surfed the UK’s shores?
Yes a couple of trips, one was to Newquay for the contest in 2006 and once to Bournemouth just to hang out for a few days, which was a beautiful, surf crazed town, but there was not much surf on offer!
It’s funny, I actually try not to miss things because that’s when you find yourself wanting to be somewhere other than where you are. You’ve got to enjoy where you are at the time, otherwise life on the road would end quickly.
Festival season is in full swing over here – what’s your one festival must-have item?
A ticket! And a good pair of shoes!
Do you have any killer festival memories you’d like to share with us??
I stood side stage at a RATM show. Watching Zach de la Rocha perform ‘Killing in the name’ for a thick and loaded crowd was incredible.
What sort of music and bands would feature on your ideal line-up?
Rammstein, Jay Z, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Jack White, Rolling stones.
I understand your pretty good yourself on the guitar… do you come from a musical background?
My dad taught me to play when was young, and my sisters have always been musically inclined. I just really enjoy it, getting lost in the sound of a guitar. Our house always had some music on when mum was cleaning or the weekend hanging out with friends. I just don’t think I could live without music.
You’re a bit of a fashionista too, what would be your ultimate festival outfit?
Ha, I don’t know bout that. But for a festival I always put on the most worn things in my wardrobe. My old faithful, comfy, most worn-in T-shirt, shorts and shoes. Add crazy sunglasses or a hat to bring the fun.
- Steph in Vogue Magazine
It’s still early on in the 2012 surf events calendar and you’ve already stamped your mark – what are your surf-related plans and ambitions for the rest of the year?
The ASP women’s tour year is short so I’ll be putting the majority of my focus on performing well at each event to keep ahead. The last half of the year is all play time! Projects, filming, surf trips, city living… whatever my heart desires really.
What is your ‘perfect wave’ criteria?
Warm water, a perfect barrelling 6-8ft A frame over reef on take-off then onto sand to finish.
Finally, what does it mean to you to be a Quiksilver women’s ambassador?
It means a world of travel, dancing on waves, creation and inspiration to be whichever young woman I wish to be.
A huge thanks to Steph Gilmore and good luck for the rest of the season!