Lizzie Stokely - Roxy Team Surfer
Lizzie Stokely was only 18 years old when she surfed Shipsterns Bluff for the first time, the globally renowned, big wave surfing location on the southeastern coast of Tasmania. She was the youngest female in history to surf the wall of the giant 'Shippies' wave. Lizzie has been part of the Roxy team since 2015 and has big plans for her surfing career.
When did you start surfing?
I learnt how to surf at the age of six. I grew up on Bruny Island, which is the most southern Island of Tasmania. It gets freezing in winter, so often people would see me at the beach in my three steamer wetsuits (all worn at the same time), gloves, booties (with woollen socks underneath too), and a little hood that my dad made me because my head was too tiny. I have always been the only junior surfer growing up on the Island, so people thought it would be hard for me to push myself. I attended Bruny Island Primary School, and had three people in my grade – including myself.
What was your first surfboard?
A little Elnino blue foam surfboard! My big brother and little sister started out on it as well. Such a trusty little board, but we left it to some kids in East Timor on a surf trip because they were keen to get into surfing.
What is that you love about surfing and about the ocean?
I love the freedom and variety. There is no sport in the world like surfing; different breaks serve as different playing fields, and every wave is different, so it’s impossible to get bored. I have a busy lifestyle, so being able to go surfing and get in the ocean acts as a meditation. I love the feeling of being ‘surfed out’, where you’re absolutely buggered and sun wacked after a long day of surfing!! It’s the best sport in the world.
You were the youngest girl to ever surf the globally renowned Shipsterns Bluff, one of the biggest and craziest waves in the world. Can you explain how did it happen?
I decided to surf Shipsterns because I have always loved to push myself, plus I love big waves. Once I was physically fit enough to cop a wipeout, I contacted the regular surfers and made the trek down there. I spent the first half of the day paddling into some, and then got to tow in the afternoon. I absolutely loved it, it was one of the best experiences of my life! I have always look at Shipsterns as a nasty, brutal wave which I didn’t want to be involved in, but about a year ago I started to consider it, and then the idea was in my head! I started imagining getting barreled at Shippies, and got really keen to get down there. When I was in the water, a part of me just wanted to catch a wave and get flogged, so then I could get the worst part out of the way and break the ice; and that definitely did happen! I got some hefty wipeouts before I made any waves, but my adrenaline levels were high so I kept paddling back out there for more each time. When I made my first wave, I was so stoked!!
How has being part of the Roxy team changed your life?
The Roxy team are so supportive! I love being involved, and they are always there to help me progress my surfing endeavors. The girls on the team inspire me to be natural, confident, and believe in myself. Roxy aims to make girls feel confident and daring, and be enthusiastic about life! It’s definitely a positive community to be involved in, especially during the rise of female surfing. I’m really grateful for the kick-start they have given to my surfing career.
What do you want to achieve in the next few years?
I would love to be travelling around the world, competing, free surfing and big wave surfing. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, and I am set on making it happen. I have the option of university, but I believe that following your passion is a number one priority in life, so I will go for it! I also want to keep my love of surfing alive, and inspire other girls to follow their passions in life and just get out there and do it!
Where can we find you online?
Posted by: Marta Gallardo, on July 24, 2016
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