Flip side of D’bah girls team
The girls behind the national title
❝The tag team format is exciting because the strongest surfers are not necessarily the people scoring the biggest points...
— Freya Prumm
A COUPLE of weeks ago I wrote about the Doyle Twins, Amiya and Brodie, and their part in the D’bah girls historic national title teams win. But it would be remiss of me not to mention the other members, twins Grace and Audrey Styman-lane and Freya Prumm.
Like the Doyles, Grace and Audrey are identical twins but the main difference is Grace is a natural footer and Audrey is a goofy footer unlike the Doyles who are both natural footers.
The Styman-lane twins started surfing at seven years of age at Palm Beach surf school in 2001, inspired by world champions Chelsea Georgeson, Lisa Anderson and Steph Gilmore.
“Surfing together is mostly a friendly rivalry. Audrey is super competitive although she’ll tell you otherwise,” said Grace laughing.
Freya Prumm grew up in Merimbula where she caught her first wave, although a fear of the ocean and uncontrolled eczema that stung in the salt water turned her off at first.
“After a holiday to Coolangatta and surfing Greenmount, I returned home renewed and have surfed consistently ever since. I was about nine or 10,” said Freya who comes from a surfing family.
Freya looked up to Taj Burrow, Dane Reynolds and the depth of Kelly Slater but it’s the finesse of Steph Gilmore that inspires her.
“Whenever Steph is in the water I just stop and watch.” said the Griffith Uni pharmacy student. Freya has competed on the women’s WQS (World Qualifying Series) and will attempt to qualify for the World Tour after graduating.
Freya says competing with the D’bah team is super fun and lots of laughs.
“There are two sets of twins and I just get to laugh at the twin tension when the situation is tight,” she said.
“The tag team format is exciting because the strongest surfers are not necessarily the people scoring the biggest points; you’re largely at the mercy of timing. Tactics do come into play for us, generally I am the one to make up time, but it’s dependent upon the situation.”
Their coach Ray “Poppy” Helton, assisted by Julie O’neil said the formation of the team dated back six years, with all the girls joining the club around the same time after coming from various different places.
Poppy and Julie worked on the tactical order to set-up the winning strategy that has been used for the last four years.
“Every time we surfed we had all our surfers complete in the one-hour time frame. The girls are not selfish and surf for each other and realise if they can all get a score of five for each wave and get the four bonus points for being first team finished they will be hard to beat,” he said.
It’s that type of team formula with consistency and consummate timing that have given the D’bah girls the edge and four consecutive national team titles. “All the girls have a competitive surfing background and are very competent surfers, travel to Indo, Hawaii and other places and can surf well in any conditions,” added Poppy.
TOP MOVE: Freya Prumm shows off her strong backhand snap for the National Tag Team title at Dbah.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Audrey Styman-lane, one of two twin pairs in the Dbah squad, is seen here powering off the lip at D’bah as part of the National Tag Team title.