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Stephanie Pettersen

Our next feature can be credited with being part of a driving force taking Brazilian women's bodyboarding to the next level.

Winning the first ever women's event held at Pipe, Hawaii in 1990, It was the first official World Championship of Women's Bodyboarding!

She absolutely loved nothing more than charging huge waves and now calls Australia her home where she runs her sports training business which can be found by clicking the link on the picture below....

Please let me introduce you to Stephanie Pettersen

"Hi I'm Stephanie Pettersen and I'm 48 years young, i’m from Brazil but now I live in Australia.

I started bodyboarding in the middle of 1984 and I grew up as an ocean kid so the attraction to water sports was natural, I actually tried to go out on a surf board first but then a friend told me about how all the girls were trying this little board called morey boogie, ha! As I mentioned before growing up by the ocean, my father was an OFF SHORE diver, there was no need to push me.

Growing up I followed surfers a lot as well as bodyboarders, in the female scene I had my competitors like Mariana, Isabella Nogueira and Glenda that definitely made me pick up my game, males internationally I always loved BEN SEVERSON's style.

Growing up my local spot was a point break at Barra da Tijuca Rio de Janeiro called Quebra-Mar and Postinho ( the same spot where they last run the WSL comp in Barra Rio)

In Brazil I really liked Postinho, it was a heavy beach break, when it was good there were lots of A frames.

Where is your favourite break in the world? OHHHHHH such a hard question, thinking of all my surf trips I would say Macaronis Indo and Gnarloo North West Oz.

My first board was a Mach 7 Blue, I remember it like it was yesterday ! Walking into the shop with my mother, she brought it as an early birthday present because I was on July school holidays and my birthday was in September. I don't think she had any idea that it would go this far, lol.

I have always been a bit of loner, travelling and surfing, but when I had to travel or surf with someone during World Tour times, it was Leila Alli, Mandy Zieren and Ben Holland.

I compete for fun when I get in the mood, I was thinking to go to Hawaii on the 23rd of this month to surf at Pipe comp Carol Phillips from North Shore girls is organising but I have too much going on at home, not enough funds for it and looking for sponsors.... there isn’t motivation for that anymore.

I won 4 world titles, 3 being Pipeline World Championship events (90/93/94) before the World Tour started and one World Tour 2002. I won 6 Pipe events, still I believe being the holder of the highest number of wins at Pipeline.

I never had time for National Tours since I had a daughter in 1995, which made it difficult for me to travel. I nearly won the 2003 comp, the year I quit, because I couldn’t find a sponsorship support to get me to the next event, even thou I was the recent World Champion.

I am into Holistic Health, I am a Trainer with the focus in using training as a method of longevity, being for athletes or general people. I run classes called Surf Flow and the name of my business is Holistic Trainer here in Australia in a small town called Yamba, where I live with my partner Former Professional Surfer Shane Powell and my 14 year old daughter Pascallie.

I still have support for wetsuits at times from my old Japanese wetsuit sponsors Maxim but I would really like to try to get some natural rubber ones one day, everyone should be doing natural rubber.

Whenever I can, I get a board off Ben Severson BSD, transitional rails. LOVE IT !!!

I wear Kpaloa flippers from Brazil and no other, there are no other fins as good as Kpaloas in my view, lol I still have my old BSD leash from 10 years a go, but I really only use a leash if the surf is really big or if it is in front of rocks, I dislike them VERY MUCH.

Well as I mentioned before I feel sponsorship is in the past for me, not that I don't deserve it, because if I had of had interest I would of left for for Hawaii to go compete at Pipeline....

Over the years I never had support from bodyboarding clothing brands to feel like I want to support them back, BSD was the only one. It seems a hard business to get support being a girl bodyboarder. My favourite brands thou are BSD, Maxim Wetsuits and Kpaloa, my real supporters.

Music? Nothing specific at the moment but I used to love to listen to Sublime. These days is a mix of whatever I’m into at that moment.

What’s your favourite memory of body boarding growing up? My years in Hawaii from the age of 17 till 33, I spent so much time there.

I am a Former 4 x World Bodyboarding Champion and 6 times Winner of Pipeline Women’s Championship!

I began my athlete career at the age of 14 years old back in my hometown Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. Since then I never looked back. For years my life was all about becoming one of the best females riders in my sport. All the years living out of suitcases, hard training and all the unforgettable moments spent in the ocean paid off.

I conquered four World titles and the highest wins at the Pipeline Masters - 6 times - still my record to hold until now :) I spent a lot of time on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, I basically lived there in between all my World Tour travels from the age of 18 until I moved permanently to Australia on the Gold Coast in 1999.

Throughout my competition journey, I also brought two beautiful girls into this world, Yohanah and Pascallie, both currently age 24 and 14 years old.

Once I retired from competitions in 2003, basically due the lack of sponsorship support. I knew one thing then, my new life path had to do with Sports, Holistic Health or Wellness. Throughout my professional career I was always interested in training to improve my performance in the ocean, I was well known to be the training healthy fanatic out of all the riders on the world tour.

I began my new career as a Holistic Trainer in 2008 and since then it has been a whole new learning journey and there is still lots to come.

I was lucky to work with a Swimming Olympic Team from my local town, alongside one of most well-known Olympic swimming coaches in Australia Dennis Cottarel. Nowadays I get to work with surfers and general people who want to maintain their mind body health to be able to continue doing the things they love.

Photo credits include:

Graham Jones

Rowan Keegan

Stephanie it's a shame the sponsorship wasn't there for you, this is an all too common problem faced by a lot of riders, a lot of companies are all to happy to make a couple of quid from our beloved sport but not many are giving back, this is why it is important that when any of us consider buying a brand we ensure we only support those brands that are prepared to feed some of those profits back into our sport......

Following the success of the first two Stevie Maher's All BodyBoard Charters to the Telo and Mentawais Islands there is still one spot left to cruise with the current APB world DK champion Sammy Morretino PM either Sammy, Sam Brown, Stevie Maher or our good selves so you you don't miss out...............

Last spots in Mexico up for grabs with The Puerto Experience please don't miss out contact Heriberto Sanchez for details... The surf forecast for August so far is absolutely pumping.....

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