Our next rider is now living in a coastal town in the south western part of Western Australia, located in the fantastic Margaret river wine region.
There is an Aboriginal history dating back 500 000 years making it one of the worlds earliest inhabited areas.
It's early name Quedjinup named by the traditional Wardandi people (sea people) means "Place of Women"
"Hi my name is Rio, I’m 32 years old and live in Dunsborough, Western Australia it’s so beautiful here the waves are consistent and the wellness community brings a friendly and healthy atmosphere.
I was born in New Zealand and grew up in Perth. I started bodyboarding when I was 14 years old so for 18 years now.
I started with my older brother Ben, who was my rock growing up and he encouraged me to challenge myself quickly progressing from Perth breaks like ‘Seconds’ at Cottesloe to the outer reefs at Rottnest in only like 6 months.
It was the same time that the Tension series was released, I remember my first board was a bright yellow Elemenopee that I won at the Tension 3 premiere.
So many people were there I think it was like 500 people, felt like 1000! It was a packed out lecture hall and it was the first night they had a door prize raffle for the board as the premiere before it got snapped throwing it into the crowd.
Such a wild experience just being a beginner winning a board infront of so many hardcore buzzing bodyboarders! Of course In the surf so many people recognised me so I had some pressure to live up to my new board!
I remember taking it over to Rottnest out at Rottnest Box getting Called into Bombs, ‘hey sunshine, next one’s yours!’ Haha they were having banter but also I was young and channeled that pressure into quick progression. Yes I made that barrel! You don’t want to stuff that take off up, it’s a consequential wave. Haha! I was in heaven!
The Perth team were fun growing up, Cottesloe Bodyboard Club was where I developed my love of the social aspect and skill set in competition, I’ve been state champ 3-4 times now.
I have competed around the world, however my strength was in bigger surf and I didn’t feel driven to surf small waves for comps.
I never sourced the support and coaching I needed to succeed what I saw, was a scene driven by high performance so I thought the bigger waves I could surf the better.
I’ve recently made an effort to improve my smaller wave manoeuvres and last year placed 8th on the Australian ABA Tour. I currently am sponsored by Reeflex Ladies and Hardy Shapes. We have an incredible team of women in Reeflex Wetsuits who have designed beautiful ladies wetsuits, reeflexwetsuits.com it’s such a privilege to ride with the best female team in the world (biased yes!)! Just click on the pic below to check out the store.....
I always try my best to support those who support our sport and local companies too. It makes me so happy knowing that supporting a company owned by a professional bodyboarder like Ryan Hardy, Hardy Shapes I am supporting a beautiful family who I grew up having as my hero.
As a Mum now, I co-ordinate our local Surfing Mums group which supports likeminded Mums (and Dad’s/ carers too!) to be in the surf as parents.
We bring our children down to the beach and take turns in the surf, our children and parents create lifelong friendships based in nature and the beach. There’s groups all around Australia, I co-ordinate the Dunsborough group. More information can be found at surfingmums.com if you’re a parent wanting to connect with other bodyboarders, treat yourself and get in touch!
Just click on the pic below for more info....
I have collaborated with my friend Sophie Jayne Leathers to co-found Women of the Waves co. A collaboration designed to connect and inspire female bodyboarders around the world.
Massive shout out to @shanechalkerphotography for their huge contribution too. You can come and hang out @womenofthewavesco more fun to come on there. Happy days!
With plenty of hard work my lifestyle is a dream come true, my local break now is Supertubes, Yallingup like I hoped for when I was a little girl. It’s my favourite wave in our country. There’s plenty of others that are on par with it and they’re close by. Yay! Dreams do come true...! So much love, and thanks to all of the people who have supported me along the way, to my family and friends. You have made me who I am, I so appreciate you all. Arohanui. You know who you are! "
Photo credits include:
Super excited with our affiliation with SENNOSEN wetsuits, super comfy and eco friendly you can also get 10% off by following the link and using promo code KRISTIANMARTIN
Massive congratulations to the legend that is Valentina Diaz for taking out the APB North America 2019 Bodyboarding US Festival at the weekend down in San Diego at Ocean Beach.
Valentina renowned for her fearless approach to big wave charging has teamed up with our boy Heriberto Sanchez of The Puerto Experience to offer an all female bodyboarding masterclass down in Mexico, this is not to be missed hit them up by clicking on the link below to snap up the last few spots.....
We are heading over to Mexico in August and would love to go with an all bodyboard crew so why not come join us.......
You will be in safe hands with The Puerto Experience sampling the best Mexico has to offer, 2 guided surf spots a day and daily activities with media drone, water and land photography, 3 meals a day, 3 beers, water and throw in a bit of local Mezcal 🤙🏻😎 accomodation, AC transport to breaks including some hidden Mexican gems and airport transfers all you have to do is find your flights a steal at 850 US dollars.
There are 2 trips running treat a loved one this Christmas
Trip 1 17th-21st aug 20
Trip 2 24th-28th aug 20
If it's not Mexico then check out the Mentawais with Stevie Maher late June
These interviews are brought to you in association with:
Click on the link below to own your very own MILK Bodyboard