London Girls Surf Club share their love for the ocean

Surfing and the city don’t normally go hand in hand, but when you get the bug for waves you never look back. I got into surfing 2 years ago after an impromptu trip to Newquay. I was at Boardmasters festival and my boyfriend was in the skate competition, I had some time on my hands and saw an advert for some surf lessons – then the rest was history. 2 years later and it’s been the greatest decision I ever made, regularly chucking my board in my camper van and heading for the waves it’s made me a calmer person and given me a whole new way of looking at life! Sounds cliched, but it’s changed who I am and I wanted to share my love for the ocean with fellow city girls, hence “London Girl Surf Club” being born. I wanted to give other landlocked ladies a chance to get in the ocean and experience surfing, we’ve just completed our first trip and it couldn’t have been more fun, there was tattoos, there was cliff jumping and most importantly there was SURFING. We all made friends for life and now we are planning many more adventures.

Intro by Kylie Griffiths
Photography by Carl Wilson
Special Thanks to: Vans, Aussie, Instax and Croyde Surf Academy

 

LILY BW
www.instagram.com/lilybw

When was the time that you first went for a big wave?
When I was 14 years old with my dad who taught me surfing. For years I’d been catching small waves and was desperate to catch the perfect ‘green wave’. One morning my dad forced me to get out of bed at 6am. He took me to Chapel Porth beach in Cornwall. There was no one was there. Just my dad and I. After a few failed attempts I finally caught the perfect green wave. and that was the moment when I knew I was hooked.

Who is the most important person in your life? My family is the most important people in my life

Happiness is?
When was the time that you first went for a big wave?

Happiness is? Love

Favorite city? London

Favorite beach? Chapel porth, Cornwall.

City or Countryside? Half city and half county!

Favorite food? My mummy’s Sunday lunch

Favorite band? Gorillaz

 

 

LILY BW
www.instagram.com/lilybw

“It’s been a interesting experience growing up surfing with my dad. When I’m out in the water with my dad I get respect. When I’m on my own, there’s a lot of aggression and curiosity. There seems to be rules for men and women. It’s about we change that.”

What was the hardest part about learning to surf?
Learning to paddle hard and fast over enormous waves without panicking!

What do you expect from life? Happiness, love, and peace

Where do you see yourself in the future? Photographing the world and I explore the waves around the world.

What does it mean to be human? One heart

What’s your favorite exercise routine? Waking up early in the morning and going for a run with my dog Dylan.

Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday? Yes!

How much time are you spending on social media? Sometimes too much and sometimes too little. I use instagram to share my photo stories and to connect with friends families and strangers around the world.

How often do you keep in touch with family and friends? Everyday, 10 times a day!

Are you a good listener? Yes! especially for a deaf person with a cochlear implant! :-p

What gives you peace? The sea.

 

 

KYLIE GRIFFITHS
www.instagram.com/kyliegriffiths

When was the time that you first went for a big wave?
In Sri Lanka and I remember it vividly, I still don’t surf huge waves, but I was out with a bunch of people and I wanted to keep up so I went right to the back. This huge wave came in and I had to go for it as I left it to late to jump off my board. But I wasn’t really ready as I hesitated, so I flew off my board and got tangled in my leash – it was TERRIFYING but I am still glad I pushed myself to try.

Who is the most important person in your life?
Oooph, what a hard one. I would have to say my friends, my fiance Carl and my mum! My mum and me are super close she’s basically my BFF so she’s a pretty integral part in my life.

Happiness is?
Surfing

Favorite city?
Biarritz – there’s cheese and surf what more can you need!

Favorite beach?
Hirikiteya in Sri Lanka, it’s my favourite place in the world.

City or Countryside?
Countryside. It used to be the city – but I’ve recently fallen in love with the countryside.

Favorite food?
PIZZA!

Favorite band?
It changes all the time, currently The Offspring. I’ll always be a 15 year pop punk girl at heart.

What’s your experience of surfing as a woman in a male dominated sport? And do you feel there are more women surfing today?
I definitely feel there are more women surfing, I love Coco Ho, Stephanie Gilmore and Laura Never – they are my girl crushes in surfing. I do find it intimidating when you go out to a line up and it’s male dominated, but I think its subconscious as one thing I love about surfing is how welcoming everybody is and I’ve met some truly rad guy surfers who we surf with loads, who are great friends.

What was the hardest part about learning to surf?
Fear. I’ve never been a big lover of the ocean until I got into surfing so I had to push past that fear when I first got in.

What do you expect from life?
I don’t expect anything, but I hope for adventure.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Surfing on a beach – I’m hoping to move to France next year so ideally in the South of France!

What does it mean to be human?
Not being scared to do what is true to you, don’t follow the crowd, find your own path.

What’s your favorite exercise routine?
I love yoga as it helps with my surfing, I love boxing, and I’ve recently discovered HITT, I have a very short attention span, so I like things that make me switch off or are intense so you have to focus.

Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday?
YES! I think you should live every day to the fullest.

How much time are you spending on social media?
Probably too much. I am trying to cut it down but it’s difficult as I use it for work and manage 4 accounts! I sometimes find myself mindlessly looking at Facebook and Twitter, so I’m trying to wean myself off!

How often do you keep in touch with family and friends?
As much as I can, I think I have become much better at this, as sometimes I used to let time run away with me and not realise how long it had been! Nothing is more important than your family or your dearest friends.

Are you a good listener?
I hope so! It’s hard to tell – but I like to think I give it a good idea.

What gives you peace?
The ocean, surfing is like meditating for me. You are truly in the moment and you are forced to switch off.

 

 

PORTIA FERRARI 
www.instagram.com/portiaferrari

When was the time that you first went for a big wave?
I still haven’t yet haha I’m pretty new to surfing so still grabbing onto being able to hit all the little ones first! But watch this space :)

Who is the most important person in your life?
Big question . . . Can’t really pick between family & my loves so . . . Me? HAHAHAHAHAH

Happiness is? No fear

Favorite city?
I love London

Favorite beach?
I used to live near a black sand beach in Tenerife for a couple of years and it was my go to place anytime I needed to clear my head and become grounded again

City or Countryside?
Depends on my energy both are needed but City more so for me at the moment!

Favorite food?
Pizza and ice cream :)

What’s your experience of surfing as a woman in a male dominated sport? And do you feel there are more women surfing today?
I’m not intimidated by a male dominated sport there’s a lot of things that I like that are Male dominated but change is inevitable. And I pride myself being apart of any necessary change-women are badass and we don’t have to prove that to anyone but ourselves if we feel the need to. Times are changing and insecurities of others always show when other than themselves are rising. Power to the women.

What was the hardest part about learning to surf?
Keeping warm enough to be able to push yourself up on the board without your body being too cold to move quick enough! Hehe

What do you expect from life?
I expect back the amount of good energy that I put into everything I do. You get what you give. If u walk around in a negative cloud expect that’s the type of life you will receive!

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Alive, healthy & happy-everything else is a given

What does it mean to be human?

We’re just oceans of emotion. Accept, embrace and learn from your emotions.

What’s your favorite exercise routine?
All over body toning: Aerobics, HIIT, yoga

Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday?
To an extent but sometimes it’s nice to feel 100% comfortable haha on ur sofa watching Netflix eating chocolate

How much time are you spending on social media?
Too much?

How often do you keep in touch with family and friends?
As much as I can I’ve gotten better but I get distracted with work sometimes and the week flys by before I know it!

Are you a good listener?
Most of the time I get excited like a kid sometimes and I miss bits but if I completely focus YES haha

What gives you peace?
Knowing I’ve given my all and being around people I love

 

 

EMMA BRESCHI
www.instagram.com/emmabreschi

When was the time that you first went for a big wave?

Only time will tell! I’ve yet to catch myself the mother of waves, but I have a feeling I’ll be smashing it sooner rather than later!

Who is the most important person in your life?

I don’t have a designated “important person”. Everyone I love and come across in this life who embraces me for who I am, or share a great connection with … is important in my life.

Happiness is?

Having the freedom and courage to love / be loved. That includes loving yourself.

Favorite city?

I’ve yet to explore all the cities of the world, but one of my favourite cities of course is London.

Favorite beach?

ALL the beaches in Palawan , Philippines

City or Countryside?

All depends on whether it’s close to the Sea.

Favorite food?

Seafood! But I’m trying to eat less fish now and be 100% Veggie.

Favorite band?

That is the hardest question ever known to man! Ugh but I guess my faves right now is Red hot chilli peppers.

What’s your experience of surfing as a woman in a male dominated sport? And do you feel there are more women surfing today?

Well with LGSC THERE ARE NOW haha! I’ve always loved the idea of surfing but never got round to doing it. I guess that’s because as a kid I just assumed it wasn’t something a young girl could do. No one told me this directly, but it’s just programmed in your mind and upbringing sometimes to just do “girl stuff”. I wish that I had started surfing at a young age or even skated and learned how to play the drums. But all those things I wanted to do were tainted with the image of it being a “boys only” thing. Even though no one stopped me from wanting to do it, I didn’t have a role model or someone to encourage me to think I could do it. If that makes sense? So I really owe it to everyone involved in this project, for such an amazing experience and giving me the confidence to really go out there and do one of things I’ve always wanted to do! And I hope we as LGSC have inspired others to go for it also! To do that one thing you’ve always wanted to do, whether it be surfing or not, despite it being dominated by the opposite sex!

What was the hardest part about learning to surf?

The hardest part is trying not to get in your head! Every time I fell off my board, I was scared of the idea I’d never get up and make that wave. But then I realised I’ve only been in the sea for about 10 minutes so ofcourse I’m not going to be perfect! Once I let go of all the self doubt, I was able to pop up on my board and surfed my first wave! So it shows that when you put your mind to it, you can just about do anything.

What do you expect from life?

I expect to put happiness first, surround myself with good people and enjoy the ride til the end; with no regrets.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I hope I’m sailing on a boat around the world with my dog Lebron.

What does it mean to be human?

To be human, is knowing that life itself is challenging, but how we overcome that defines who we choose to be.

What’s your favorite exercise routine?

Swimming. I love it so much, and when I was younger growing up in Thailand I used to swim long distances in the sea. Sometimes I wish London had a beach I could swim up and down every morning, cause that would be my dream exercise routine.

Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday?

Absolutely! Settling for comfortable is the worst! Especially if it doesn’t make you happy.

How much time are you spending on social media?

Too much. That’s something I’ve been trying to work on. I need to balance out my time on the phone with my time enjoying life without it.

How often do you keep in touch with family and friends?

I keep in touch regularly, but the good thing with my friends and family, no matter how long we go without talking or seeing each other, when we do get together it’s as if we’d never been apart.

Are you a good listener?

I used to be. But nowadays I tend to zone out and forget what’s being said. It might be because I’m constantly on my phone or running around like a headless chicken half the time. However, I found myself really on it during this trip, because we have to be there for one another, together as a group especially out at sea. Listening, communicating and being aware of what’s around you is key! So that’s something I’m trying to work on.

What gives you peace?

Waking up each morning and making myself a nice warm cup of coffee. That is what gives me that little bit of inner peace each day. That moment to myself where I feel calm and grateful to have another day!

 

 

ELIZA MOORE
www.instagram.com/eliza_moore

When was the time that you first went for a big wave? I’m new to the ocean so I’m still yet to take my big wave. I’m just taking each wave as it comes though and starting off mellow.

Who is the most important person in your life? At this point in my life, it would have to be me? I’m single, young and healthy with no major commitments.

Happiness is? The simple things, and knowing how to recognise and love the simple things. It’s cliche but oh so true. Staying humble and appreciating good health, and good relationships ultimately brings happiness.

Favorite city? Wild and lovely, Los Angeles – city, beach, desert all in one!

Favorite beach? Topanga Canyon State Beach, CA and all the beaches on Koh Lipe, Thailand.

City or Countryside? Ummm… both, with some beach as well?

Favorite food? Mexican and Malaysian street food.

Favorite band? The Growlers, Black Sabbath.

What’s your experience of surfing as a woman in a male dominated sport? And do you feel there are more women surfing today?

To be honest, I’ve not come face to face with any sort of divide between genders within surfing – as of yet. The world of surfing as I know it, is pretty loaded with females. So far I’ve been lucky enough to feel super welcomed and encouraged by both men and women. I think we’re gradually but gladly moving into non-gender specific times within sport. I love to see women be so rad and sick at their sports, it’s beautiful.

What was the hardest part about learning to surf? Overcoming fears of the deep sea. The ocean has all the control, and the upper hand. All you can do is be ready and get to learn it’s moods.

What do you expect from life? I expect nothing from life. It’s more what is life expecting for me!

Where do you see yourself in the future? I see myself always remaining pretty humble, staying creative and generating a lot of love for my nearest and dearest.

What does it mean to be human?
Sending signals. Being human is all about understanding and feeling emotions and empathy.

What’s your favorite exercise routine? I really love Barre and Pilate routines. I like steady flow, medium pace workouts.

Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday? No not everyday. I’m certainly not always working in my higher self, but I’d definitely like to try things out of my comfort zone more often then not.

How much time are you spending on social media? A lot, which is good and bad. It’s time I know I should be spending doing other things like walking, talking and reading. But social media also brings work, collaborations and opportunities so I’m torn.

How often do you keep in touch with family and friends? Everyday, through social media – eek! I wish I spent more physical time with my family and friends.

Are you a good listener? I am. For sure! You have to be able to listen to your friends.

What gives you peace? Having no stresses, no panic, no rush. Smoking a cigarette in the sunshine gives hella lot of peace and comfort, more then anyone will ever know!

 

 

STEFANI NURDING
www.instagram.com/stefaninurdingxx

When was the time that you first went for a big wave? When I was a kid but I had a pretty bad accident surfing a few years ago and this week just got my hyped on it again.

Happiness is? Pizza

Favorite city? Huntington Beach California

Favorite beach? HB

City or Countryside? City

Favorite food? Pizza

Favorite band? Nicki Minaj

What’s your experience of surfing as a woman in a male dominated sport? And do you feel there are more women surfing today? I skate more than I surf and my experience is just that there aren’t many women and there should be so many more so pls bbz don’t be scared come thru!

What was the hardest part about learning to surf? Laughing too much and looking at everyone else throwing shakes hahaha

What do you expect from life? A freaking good time

Where do you see yourself in the future? The image that springs to mind is me sipping a mojito like in the sort of movie scene where there is a tiki bar on a beach somewhere sick wearing a gold bikini.

What does it mean to be human? Feeling crap a lot but working hard and having fun.

What’s your favorite exercise routine? Pilates

Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday? Yes :)

How much time are you spending on social media? A lot

How often do you keep in touch with family and friends? A lot

Are you a good listener? I think its the most important thing you can be.

What gives you peace? My puppy bruiser. :) **

 

LAUREL
www.instagram.com/classiclaurel

When was the time that you first went for a big wave?

I went surfing with my Dad in the summers when I was younger. I remember nose diving straight into the wave and tumbling all the way to the beach. It’s pretty shocking the first time.

Who is the most important person in your life? 

I would like to say my mother she keeps me sane and sometimes makes me go insane too but I can’t say her with out mentioning also my little sisters and my dad.

Happiness is?

Freedom to do as I please when I wake up on the morning

Favorite city? Florence

Favorite beach? Probably Croyde where we went

City or Countryside?

I try and get a balance of both. It’s the only thing that keeps my head ok.

Favorite food?

I’m in New York at the moment and I just had eggs Benedict on top of pancakes and maple syrup. My two favourite breakfasts in one.

Favorite band?  Talking Heads

What’s your experience of surfing as a woman in a male dominated sport? And do you feel there are more women surfing today?

To be honest I don’t think I’m deep enough into the surfing world to comment on this. Let me know if you wanna know about the music world though. (laughs)

What was the hardest part about learning to surf?

Paddling is a bitch

What do you expect from life?

I went on a ferry to jersey city yesterday as the sun was setting and I was standing on my own taking in the view of NY in the background and had a moment of pure elation. That’s what I would love from life that feeling over and over again.

Where do you see yourself in the future? Fuck knows – I’m not so into plans

What does it mean to be human? We’re meant to be a little more evolved than animals but I’m not sure that is so true

What’s your favorite exercise routine?

I don’t really like exercise. If I lived on the beach I’d surf every day, and I’ve been trying to mess around on a skateboard recently but gyms just bore me to death

Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday?

I do tend to push myself a bit to far and then once I’m in a strange situation freak out and wonder why the fuck I did it.

How much time are you spending on social media?

Way to much time. I’m pretty conscious of it at the moment. Trying to slow down the cyber time.

How often do you keep in touch with family and friends?

Pretty constant. Me and my best friend live in different towns but text all day every day. Same with my mum really. I love spending time on my own. But I guess you never really are alone with a mobile now right

Are you a good listener? Not really. I’m working on it.

What gives you peace? Having a few minutes alone in a beautiful place to take it life.