I was unaware of the women’s surf scene for such a long time. I know, such a shame. How could I close my eyes to something the surf industry didn’t expect? And then, I met some rad chicks on the road that taught me that women can surf, plus, have a lot of fun on a surfboard. Smiles, laughs and passion are included, and lots of talent. From that moment, I knew I had to be more curious about these talented girls, so I started to learn every detail about any women that take their board, head to the beach, and go shred, no matter how many guys there are in the water. We are in a new generation where women’s skills are recognised, and there is nothing else that could make me more joyful than that! Evolution is the only thing we are constantly looking forward to.
So, while digging through other countries and surf contests, we found Ellie J Brooks. Ellie J Brooks is the kind of girl we would love to have in our girl gang. We can definitely consider her as part of our #girlcrush. She’s crazy on a surfboard, she’s passionate, she’s living the dream in Australia while trying to qualify for the World Surf Tour and she’s simply a beautiful human being. Wait until you discover her and the next thing you will probably say is ‘’I want to be like her’’. We wanted to book a flight to Australia and ask her a ton of questions while sipping on coconut lattes (please Canada, makes some), but life isn’t that magical, so we only got a hold of her by email.
Ready to be impressed?
Ellie, where are you from and how did you get involved with surfing? I believe surfing was probably part of your culture while growing up, wasn’t it?
I grew up on the Gold Coast, Australia, surrounded by gorgeous beaches. It was hard not to get involved with any kind of water sport! Dad taught me how to surf when I was around eight years old, pushing me at Palm Beach, our local surf break! He surfs as well, so it was perfect. I then started nippers (surf lifesaving), and I was really competitive with that, but my love for surfing kept growing, and that’s all I wanted to do!
Last February, you won the Burton Automotive Pro and then, last June, you finished second in the Los Cabos Open of Surf. You are now top 40 on the WQS (World Qualifying Series), and top 8 in Australia. How do you feel?
2015 being my first year in the qualifying series was amazing, I learnt so many things about myself and competitive surfing, I got to travel to some amazing places, and it made me realise how lucky I am. I missed two events in 2015 due to injury and sickness, but still managed to achieve my goal of top 48. After winning the Burton Automotive QS 6000 Pro, it gave me so much more confidence in myself, especially backing it up with a second place at the Los Cabos open of surf in Mexico. The feeling of winning is indescribable, very addicting. Right now I am having so much fun, enjoying every second and learning a lot along the way. I am so excited for 2016, training harder and preparing myself for the year ahead!
What is your favourite board to ride?
Favourite board would have to be my Woody Jack 5'8 x 18 5/8 rounded square tail! It’s a 'true dat' model and I love it!
You were travelling quite a bit last year, leaving Australia to go to Mexico, California then El Salvador. Do you like to travel or you find it hard to be far away from home sometimes?
No doubt about it, I love travelling! The places surfing takes me are incredible. I get to travel the world while doing the thing I love the most: surfing. It’s always challenging not knowing what to expect, but it’s always exciting. Home is definitely where the heart is! But there’s no better feeling after a long trip than coming home to your own comfy bed and coconut lattes haha.
Contests seem... stressful! At least, from what I've seen. Are you stressed when you compete or it became a routine for you?
Not going to lie, contests are extremely stressful, but I have learnt / still learning to overcome the stress. Being relaxed is probably one of the most important aspects in my surfing. If I'm relaxed and having fun, the rest comes naturally. Nothing worse than being in a heat and feeling uptight and stressed! Sometimes you can't help it, but that’s just the sport, it’s not all the time!
More girls are surfing these days and shredding. How do you think it's going to be in 5 years - even more women out there?
The level of Women's surfing is increasing incredibly! Girls are pushing each other more than ever. Every year the level increases on tour and in the WQS. It’s a good thing!! We are just trying to keep up with the guys, haha.
Who was your inspiration while growing up?
Steph Gilmore and Mick Fanning, pretty common answer to a question like that for most people but there is a reason for that! They are just all around genuinely amazing people, in and out of the water. You can learn so much from them. I have grown up around both of them on the Gold Coast. If you asked me this Question 10 years ago, I would have had the same answer!
What's next for you? Finishing University while constantly chasing the waves?
Yep! I am currently studying business and event management at University and surfing! My boyfriend lives in Angourie so I get to travel down south a fair bit, which is nice; I love it down that way. I am just enjoying being home, for now, hopefully, a sneaky trip to the snow! Training hard and preparing for the upcoming year!
Also, I'd like to add to the last question how lucky I am to have the best support team helping me achieve my dream!