Did you know that three quarters of UK children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates? There is a growing disconnect between the UK's young people and the natural world, and i feel it’s important to acknowledge that young people from BAME households visit their natural environment less often than white children or those from higher income families. I believe ALL young people should have the same access to the natural world and I’m confident those with a traditionally limited experience of the environment can become some of the strongest voices for its protection.
Get Out are a new charity that offer environmental education and outdoor adventure for free to the children of Tower Hamlets – the area with the highest rates of child poverty in the UK. Later this year we will hopefully be taking a group of kids from inner city London to the beach to surf, camp and of course do a #2minutebeachclean. Get Out are also working on Tower Hamlets becoming plastic free with Surfers Against Sewage and growing their own organic veg at the schools. But we need your help! Read More
It was dark and we were about to jump overboard into unchartered waters. Fortunately, the full moon lit up the shore a few hundred metres in the distance. Our little ‘dhoni’ boat had run aground on a shallow offshore reef in the Maldives and we had to sacrifice ourselves – the heaviest ‘cargo’ on the boat – with the hope that our lighter vessel would rise to safety with the next swell … Read More
As I walk along the litter-laden coastline of my local beach break clutching a beaten-up old surfboard held together largely with duct tape and good luck, I'm resigned to the notion that it's probably time for a new board.
However, I've been navigating the moral maze of being a surfer and environmentalist for several years now, and it turns out being both at the same time is not that easy. The problem is that, although surfing itself doesn't damage the environment, our common practices as surfers can have a huge carbon footprint and consumption is probably the biggest enemy to our oceans: buying a new board leaves me facing an environmental conflict. So I find myself asking: can we even get in the ocean without killing it? Read More
Artificial waves have been around for more than 30 years, but commercially sustainable facilities still elude the industry and remain surfing’s Holy Grail: an environmentally friendly everlasting wave for an endless summer. Kelly Slater’s high-performance Surf Ranch is the latest and arguably greatest attempt to achieve this. It combines the latest science and engineering to create the longest rideable, man-made open-barrel wave in the world, set in Lemoore, California, a farming town 100 miles from the ocean. Ten years in the making, Slater’s wave pool technology allows competitors to surf without the risk of flat spells or interruptions from local sharks (the latter having become more common at recent surfing events in Australia and South Africa).
Is this the future of the sport or are we at risk of destroying the soul of surfing? Read More
On a recent photoshoot in the Maldives with Torq Surfboards, I asked the brand if we could invite some local female surfers. I thought it would be great to add some diversity to the catalogue. When they agreed, I began to realise the scale of the challenge I had set myself. 'How many women even surf in the Maldives?' I wondered. Not many, it turns out.
Naaisha Haneef is one of a small crew of women who surf in the Maldives. Naaisha and I discussed her story on a humid morning between surfs, and the full interview is in this months Surf Girl Magazine. Read More
There's a scene in Trouble, Lisa Andersen’s new film, where, over archival footage of her surfing Huntington Beach as a teen, she reflects on her early days as a competitive surfer. Andersen says: “I wanted to surf as good as the guys.” And here's the thing: Andersen did surf as good as the guys, but she surfed in her own way – as a woman – too.
After watching Trouble and Surf Girls Jamaica at the London Surf Film Festival, I was inspired to write a piece about my role models as a young female surfer, and the importance they played in my life. Read More
Surf Girl Magazine interviewed me for their latest magazine, we talked about changes in the surfing industry, the people who inspire me and my rise fierce tribe. You can pick up a copy in WHSmiths or zoom in and squint to try and read it below... Read More
Spot the difference? Same ocean, same waves, same result, half the money. If you think the gender pay gap isn’t real, look again. Last week, this photo at the Billabong Ballito Surfing Pro Junior Event in South Africa showing female surfer Zoe Steyn taking home just half the money of her male counterpart went viral. Read More
When I read Wavelength Magazines British Surf Broadcast last week, I was unimpressed by the under-representation of British women, so I decided to unearth the success stories and tell them myself. Read More
A lot of you have been asking about my swimwear over the past few months, so I thought I’d update and repost my sustainable swimwear guide. I try to buy everything I wear consciously and not fall into the consumerism trap too often (all though I'm occasionally slip up and find myself on the high street).
Side Note: This is not an ad. I don’t have any sponsors and I pay for all my swimwear, these are just genuinely the brands I wear and love. In no particular order... Read More
I have a love hate relationship with festivals. The issue that leaves me stuck at the checkout wondering whether to purchase the tickets, is that I'm not normally left with good memories of the music, but memories of the sea of crushed plastics underneath our feet. Memories of abandoned tents as far as your eyes can see.
The plastic and waste in general left behind at festivals is heart breaking if you open your sore eyes to see it. In an economy that lists homelessness as a big problem – this seems so wasteful it should be a crime. Read More
I chatted to Boardmasters for ‘Beyond The Break’ - a lifestyle series focusing on surfers who shape the surf scene and beyond; diving into their lives and getting to know them beyond the break.
I really enjoyed the interview and found the questions quite refreshing compared to the normal "What would you take to a desert island?" questions i get asked, so thought i'd share it here also. [side note: i'd take a snorkel and mask, obviously] Read More
Wow! What a great panel discussion we had last night at the ACM POP UP x WOMEN IN ACTION SPORTS.
We delved into the often murky waters of how women are represented in action sports, what was normalised for us in our experiences, challenged the status quo and gained a refreshing and inspiring insight on how was can all contribute towards positive change. Read More
Meet Kadiatu Kamara. She is the first and only woman surfing in Sierra Leone. Let’s make the surfing industry healthier, more diverse and more inclusive, by helping her get to the 2020 Olympics. Read More
Black Girls Surf is an empowerment and development surf camp that supports black girls and women whose career goals are competing in the professional surfing. Through the fundraising efforts they have been able to send athletes to compete and train with professionals to ensure that they are prepared.
On the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013, I encourage you to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Read More
When we demand, they listen.
Since Fashion Revolution started, thousands of brands are being more open about where their clothes are made. Let’s encourage other brands to do the same.
While I was in London this week I met up with my friend Matt Barr for lunch, and we had a good little catch up on the whole media farrago I was in over the last couple of weeks.
We discuss some pretty complex and complicated issues about the relationship between surfing and gender, like how the surfing industry tends to publicly support male dominance, how this builds a culture that serves to support patriarchal ideology, and why I feel it's unhealthy for everyone no matter their gender identity or expression. We also talk about the need for a greater diversity of female role models in surfing to avoid the damaging monoculture we are so often presented with, and touch on the complex issue of the people who ask "what about the men?!". Read More
This morning I went live with Jenni Murry on BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour. We discussed the sexualisation of female athletes, the damagaing monoculture we are all too often presented with in the media, and the importance of more diverse role models.
I was terrifed, you can probably hear my heart racing, but I did it anyway.
You can listen to the show here. Read More
This week was a hard week for me, regardless of whether you've read my previous blog post, this article should explain everything.
As a female athlete, I’m upset by how the media has portrayed me – and I’m determined not to be quiet anymore - click here to read the article.
A massive thank you to the Independent for giving me the opportunity to share my voice. Especially to Chloe Hubbard, Assistant Editor, who was the first female journalist to reach out to me, and Rachael Revesv, Commissioning Editor, for editing like a boss and allowing me to keep my voice.
Empowered humans empower humans. Read More
When the news isn't news and last years blog post is taken out of context, spun into something negative and splattered all over the internet.
In a week where Marielle Franco was shot dead, Palestinian children remain imprisoned and their human rights violated, a week where thousands of women worldwide suffered FGM, whilst the Great Pacific Garbage Patch continues to grow exponentially, a car bomb killed 14 in Somalia, and 28,300 people were forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution each day, my story seems fairly irrelevant.
I’m not sure why this week an article I wrote last year has been splashed all over the papers, my words taken out of context and the true meaning completely overlooked, when there are such hugely devastating and pressing issues all around us.
This has happened to me before and I have kept quiet. I am not a young girl any more, and I will stand up for my voice to be represented clearly and correctly. Read More
October 21st - 25th 2018
I am finally hosting my first ever retreat. Not somewhere tropical, but on my doorstep. This is not just another surf & yoga retreat...
This is your chance to immerse yourself in rural West Ireland, embrace the outdoors and to blow away the cobwebs while stretching your body, calming your mind and soothing your soul.
This retreat experience, created by myself and friend Michelle Moroney who has been teaching yoga full time since 2003, is aimed at empowering women to discover their passions and create lasting change. During this 4-night retreat, through a balance of yoga, outdoor adventure and relaxation, Michelle & I will take care of the agenda so you can really let go and enter into retreat mode. Read More