WE LOVE IS­ABELLA NICHOLS

The ju­nior world surf­ing cham­pion schools us on the surf.

Dolly - - Contents -

WHAT AGE WERE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST LEARNT TO SURF?

I was about eight the first time I stood up on a wave. We were on hol­i­days and my dad pushed me onto it.

WHEN DID YOU RE­ALISE IT WAS SOME­THING YOU WANTED TO PUR­SUE COM­PET­I­TIVELY?

I did a cou­ple of com­pe­ti­tions when I was in pri­mary school be­cause all my friends were do­ing the grom comps. When I turned 14, I was like ‘This is a pretty sick job – if I could do it pro­fes­sion­ally, I would like to give it a go’, and it just took off from there.

CON­GRATS ON BE­ING CROWNED THE JU­NIOR WORLD CHAM­PION! WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE?

It was so cool! It was in­ter­est­ing ’cos I didn’t ex­pect it at all, but it was al­ways a dream of mine, so to win was crazy. It didn’t sink in for a while. I was over in Por­tu­gal and my par­ents were back here in Aus­tralia, so I called them and they were in tears and I was in tears – it was a pretty sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence. That was prob­a­bly my big­gest achieve­ment.

HOW DO YOU PSYCH YOUR­SELF UP BE­FORE HEAD­ING INTO THE SURF AT COM­PE­TI­TION TIME?

It kind of de­pends on what mood I’m in or where I am, but I like to lock my­self in the car, blast Tay­lor Swift and sing at the top of my lungs, oth­er­wise I get re­ally ner­vous, so that gets all the jit­ters out. I just kind of, you know, shake it off!

WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF BE­ING A SURFER?

That it doesn’t feel like work – it’s so much fun. And ev­ery day is dif­fer­ent.

HOW DO YOU KEEP FIT?

I train at the gym ev­ery day with my trainer – we do mo­bil­ity, strength and car­dio. I try to eat a va­ri­ety of foods – pro­teins, carbs, fruits and a lot of veg­gies – but I’m not on a diet or any­thing. My aim is to be fit and strong.

A WORK­OUT PLAYLIST IS OBVS VI­TAL – WHO’S ON YOURS?

Florence and the Ma­chine, Nir­vana and Tay­lor Swift.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT SURF­ING?

I love to hang out with friends, read books by Dan Brown and play mu­sic; I play a lit­tle bit of gui­tar – well, I like to think I can, any­way.

TELL US ABOUT THE BIG­GEST CHAL­LENGE YOU’VE FACED.

My mental state some­times gets in the way of ev­ery­thing, like my self-con­fi­dence, and I have to over­come that some­times and, TBH, I’m still not great at it. I get re­ally ner­vous when I go out for a heat and I might blow it and have a shocker some­times be­cause of my mental state.

WHAT’S THE BEST LIFE LES­SON YOU’VE LEARNT SO FAR?

That would be from my old coach. He said to me “Life’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Things will come as they come, and if you put in the ef­fort, you’ll get re­warded. Don’t ex­pect things to hap­pen straight away and don’t wear your­self out – just hang in there.”

YOU WERE RE­CENTLY BLAKE LIVELY’S BODY DOU­BLE IN THE SHAL­LOWS – TELL US ABOUT THAT EX­PE­RI­ENCE.

They were look­ing for surfers who had the same body type as Blake, so they mes­saged my man­ager to see if I was suited. We sent them my surf­ing clips and mea­sure­ments and ev­ery­thing matched. It all hap­pened re­ally quickly. She was my favourite ac­tress be­fore it all, so when I found out, I was like OMG! They flew me out to Lord Howe Is­land and we got straight into surf­ing. It was me and the two guys you see in the movie, and if I wasn’t surf­ing I was teach­ing Blake how to wax a board, or how to put fins in, or how to pad­dle, so I was al­ways right be­side her show­ing and telling her what to do. It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to see how a movie is made.

WHAT’S BLAKE LIKE IRL?

I got to spend a lot of time with Blake – she is su­per down-to-earth. A lot of the time I was star-struck, but she is a re­ally nice per­son and easy to get along with.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO GIRLS WHO WANT TO BE­COME PRO­FES­SIONAL SURFERS?

Just give it a go – it’s the best life­style ever. Keep at it, no mat­ter what any­one says – you can do what­ever you want!

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