STEPH GILMORE BY TYLER WRIGHT
Early on I had my brothers to look up to. Owen, Tim and Mikey have definitely shaped my mentality and the way I surf in a lot of ways. They’re all still huge influences to this day. Mick Fanning has been another big one, not just his surfing but his character and the way he conducts himself. To have role models like Mick and Steph in your chosen sport is pretty incredible I think. Steph Gilmore has been a huge influence – not just on me personally but on a whole generation of female surfers. There’s not a big age difference between us but she started out so young – I think she was just 17 when she won that first contest at Snapper. You could just tell right from the start that she was pretty special. I admire her flow and grace on a wave – I don’t think everyone has that. You either have got it or you don’t and Steph has definitely got it. She’s able to connect all her turns together and make it look absolutely beautiful. I think she surfs best on her front side. Put her on a right, any right - barreling right, an open-faced right – and she’ll be amazing. She’s taught me so much over the years. Competing against her when I was young was one of my favourite things in the world and even though I usually lost I learnt a lot. More than anyone knows. Not so much advice passed down but just by watching her surf heats and the way she carries herself and conducts herself on land. She’s set such a high standard and done so such much for women’s surfing and I respect her greatly for that. The further I get into my own career the more I understand and respect what she’s achieved.
TOP EBRATESTITLE PHOTO: LEFT: WIN. WILSONHER TYLER WORLDCELMAIN: KNOCK DELIVERINGOUT BLOW IN A THE MENTAWAIS. PHOTO: WILSON RIGHT: STEPH GILMORE'S WILDCARD WIN AS A 17 YEAR OLD AT THE 2005 ROXY PRO WAS A HUGE INFLUENCE ON A YOUNG TYLER.