Isabella Nichols interview
A ripper surfer and a one-time body double for Blake Lively, The life of Isabella Nichols could have been very different had she stayed in Denmark, where she was born. Instead her family moved to Coolum Beach in Queensland Australia, and at 18 she worked her way to winning the World Junior title in January 2016!
Now on the hard slog of the world qualifying series known as the QS, the Aussie Sun Bum ambassador joins the likes of Paige Hareb, Codie Klein and Tarnea O’meara in back-to-back travel, long haul flights and tough competitive days. Despite the highs and lows of competition, the says the life of a pro surfer is the the ‘best job in the world’! And who’s gonna argue with her? Just take a peek at some of this pics!
20 questions with Isabella Nichols
#1 You’re competing on the WQS, how has the first half of the year been?
The first half of the year has been one big learning curve. It’s been challenging but it’s made me super motivated to step it up for the rest of the year.
#2 What are you most proud of so far in your surfing career?
Winning the world junior event in Portugal would have to be up there, but also having opportunities to work with underprivileged kids is an amazing experience
#3 Can you tell us about any defining moment in your earlier career when you thought “I can really do this”
I don’t think that there was a specific moment when I thought that this is what I wanted. From what I can remember, I’ve always just enjoyed and loved surfing so I’ve just kept at it.
#4 What do you put in your smoothies?
Banana and peanut butter smoothies are the best!
#5 What is your favourite surf-bikini style?
A good simple bikini that stays on when I surf is definitely preferred! Billabong make an awesome pair of high neck bikinis that are perfect for surfing in.
#6 Where do you find inspiration when you get down or low-energy?
Music always pumps me up, especially when I’m tired/down it can put me in any mood that I want depending on the song or genre of music.
#7 Is there one wave / surf spot that you just can’t get out of your head?
There are a few spots, but I can’t spill to many secrets ;)
#8 Going into the WQS each year, how do you set your goals?
I tend to focus on every event as they come, instead of looking at the whole picture and setting goals that way. It keeps it more simple and I know exactly what I need to do at each event.
#9 What one or two things do you currently do in your training that may be the key to your success?
In the gym I’m trying to get stronger through my legs and body as well as keeping agile and mobile. I think these two aspects are key to performance .
#10 How important is diet to you as a surfer?
It’s extremely important. I don’t feel like my diet is a super hectic one, but I still like to look out for what goes in my body and be aware to make sure I put in the right amounts of carbs, proteins and fats.
#11 How do you keep your skin and hair healthy when in the sun and sea all day?
If I don’t put anything in my hair it tends to go frizzy and knotty, so I use Sun Bum hair care products like the 3 in 1 leave-in spray and Beach Formula Argan hair oil to protect it before and after I go in the water.
#12 You were the body double for Blake Lively (OMG!), what was whole experience like?
It was an amazing experience! Being apart of the whole movie making world was awesome and being able to see what goes on behind the scenes of a movie was sweet.
#13 Long haul travel, how do you do it?
To give myself time to get over jet lag I usually get to a surfing event at least 3 days before it starts! And that also gives me time to get used to the contest bank. My lips get chapped on the plane so I bring my Sun Bum lip balm, some mints to chew on, a good book to pass the time, and a neck pillow to add that extra bit of comfort.
#14 What are your thoughts on social media in women’s surfing?
My thoughts on social media in women’s surfing are at two different ends of the scale. It’s super good for showcasing the amazing talents of many female surfers, but I also think that it can be taken to far and to much importance may be placed on the way we use social media.
#15 What advice would you give to younger female athletes feeling the pressure of social media?
Make sure that you’re being true to yourself and not trying to be presented as someone you’re not.
#16 Who is your favourite person to follow on Instagram?
I don’t really have a favourite, I just like to scroll and see what everyone’s doing during the day.
#17 You get to work with some amazing photographers, what do you think make a great surf photo?
I think capturing a unique moment makes a great surf photo. Photographers who take risks to do something different are great because you can tell your own story in the photo, not the same story as everyone else.
#18 What was the best advice you were ever given and who gave it to you?
‘Life’s a sprint, not a marathon’ told to me by my high school surfing coach and it’s stuck with me since then :)
#19 What would you say to any young girl thinking about pursuing a career as a professional surfer?
If surfing is what you want to do then go for it! Best job in the world if you ask me ;)
#20 If you weren’t a surfer, what do you think you would be doing?
I would be on a totally different path in life, I have no idea haha, possibly studying at uni and working a few jobs! Who knows…
Thank you so much Isabella. Good luck on the QS this year!