The Carousel caught up with pro-surfer and entrepreneur Sally FitzGibbons in her natural habitat, the beach, to discuss everything from technology to how she inspires our Aussie kids to get moving.
Sally FitzGibbons is not just Australia’s surfing sweetheart, she is an entrepreneur, pro-athlete, philanthropist and has a very strong message to spread. The message is simple- get moving.
In an era of gym junkies and fitspo, Sally urges Aussies to just have fun. Play beach cricket, go for a swim and do an activity that will benefit you mentally as welll as physically.
This philosophy has seen the 26 year old go from strength to strength, with her sights set on an Olympic Gold or World Title. Here, she describes what drives her and pays tribute to her ‘incredible parents’ for helping her achieve her dreams.
“Being active and growing up the way I did is purely about environment and opportunity. I had two incredible parents who never said ‘no’ and road the wave with me, no matter what dream I had, whether that was to become an Olympic Gold Medalist or a World Champion. They never held me back. Growing up in Australia down on the Coast was brilliant as well.
I am very proud and grateful of having built up my own inner champion and believing in myself to be able to attack and chase those dreams.”
“I have so much love for competition and such a great passion for my sport. I am constantly changing and evolving with it. The environment is always changing- the surf, the waves and yourself. You can work so hard and then your results aren’t always what you were hoping for. It is about dealing with that over the years and maturing as an athlete. I am constantly on that journey of trying to see how I can be the best performer and an elite performer and not crack under pressure. You only learn with experience, there are never mistakes, they are all life lessons. I am rolling with the punches and am grateful that at the end of the day I can suit up and ride another wave.
I have been in the waves now for 20 odd years and on the elite world tour for 10 now. You have to trust in the knowledge you have of the ocean. Deep down, even though everything is changing around you, conditions change, waves change, I will have what it takes in that moment to achieve my dream.”
“I love it (surfing) as much as when I rode that first wave. I still take off now and think that there is no wrong way to ride waves. It is just riding this energy. There is no place that I would rather be.”
“Obviously I am trying to become a stronger, fitter and more agile surfer every single day. I am trying to increase my flexibility and range through yoga and stretch routines. I also have a strength component where I work in the gym room.
I always ensure that I have my land and surf training in balance. It is really important for me to build a big cardio engine so that I can paddle all day and through huge waves and be able to survive. I love that my own training has variety in it, and that is what I have tried to put in my fitness app.”
“I always put the best fuel in to get the best out of myself. I try to keep it really clean and pure. Things that grow on trees or are found in the ground, mixed with some quality organic proteins. I am lactose intolerant so that has its difficulties at times especially when I’m travelling. I try to keep everything as raw as can be and I feel that the variety in my food enables me to stay fit and healthy.”
“Being an entrepreneur, there is a real adrenaline rush, not unlike that which I find in my sport and in competition. I have been able to apply the disciplines I learnt in my sports training and transfer them into the business environment.
You have to back yourself as an entrepreneur and I really do believe in my vision. I have my sights set on leaving a footprint on my sport and using the platform and opportunity that I have been given being in the public eye for a bigger cause. That is why I have created the Sally FitzGibbons Foundation and my app. Hopefully I can keep on producing good quality products that I can be proud of and that will live on well past my career as a surfer. It’s been amazing to learn about business and hopefully build a really successful one well into the future.”
“The Sally FitzGibbons Foundation is all about movement and a love of movement. I want our young Aussie kids, our young ones coming through, to decide for themselves that that is what will help them to be their best selves. To be outdoors and to be experiencing life and going for it in a really fun way.
Training has become a bit clinical and sterile in recent years. I wanted to bring some of the playfulness and enjoyment back into being active and encourage our children to move because they love it.”
“The imagination behind the All Australian Beach Body, my fitness app, was purely that I love to move and I love my training every single day. I know that not everyone can pick up the board and head out into the waves like me so I wanted to create something that could get people moving and hopefully plant the seed of motivation that they can encourage their friends and family to join in with them and be active.
The app has been an absolute blast to create and we are just growing that community bigger and bigger.”
“Technology for me, obviously I have my phones and work with Canon cameras. Capturing content in real time and trying to show people through my eyes, what I am seeing and the beauty of travel, surfing and training.
That is what I have loved about the birth of social media – being able to share a little piece of my life every day so that people can have a better idea of my life. I have been able to connect with people right around the world. I always have to check the surf before I go to bed and when I wake up as well, to see what the waves are doing.”