Surf Getaways women: Chloe Collins
Chloe joined our Byron Bay Surf Clinics almost a year ago, and it has been beautiful and inspiring seeing her evolution during her surf journey until today. We asked Chloe a few questions to know more about her connection to the ocean through surfing, why she decided to take up surfing and how it has changed her life. She’ll also have some words of encouragement for those of you who are thinking about giving surfing a go.
Where are you from?
I’ve been in the Ballina and Byron region for about 6 years. I’ve lived between Australia and the UK most of my life (dual nationality), my early childhood was in a small town in the Cotswolds in England – nowhere near any ocean but we did have a lot of green hills.
What do you do when you’re not in the water?
I spend a lot of time near the ocean, to be honest…it’s my happy place! I love walking the coastline around Ballina with my dog, running on the beach, and discovering new beaches in the region. If I feel low in energy, it really lifts my mood and makes everything feel much clearer to be near the water.
How long have you been surfing?
I did a Surf Getaways intro/beginners clinic last summer (2020) after a friend told me about it. It was the right thing for me at the right time. Previously I had tried a few one-off lessons with other local surf schools, and whilst they were great fun, I really found that for me, having female surf instructors made a huge difference to my learning. I SO love this about Surf Getaways. Their instructors are very intuitive and adapt to your needs and I have so much confidence in the team. They really work with you on your own journey and have so much patience and enthusiasm for what they do.
Why did you take up surfing?
I have often watched the surfers at The Pass and other surf spots and just knew it must be the most brilliant feeling to be so connected to the ocean and at peace in the present moment. Surfing seemed to me to be a really pure and powerful connection between human beings and nature. I wanted to experience that feeling even though I had some fears about the ocean, my desire to be part of that experience far outweighed those fears. I wanted to have no regrets or “what ifs”.
Apart from the joy of surfing the waves, what else has surfing given you?
In this mad COVID-19 world surfing has really helped to ground me helped me to stay positive, and provided a sense of connection and a community of amazing supportive inspiring women.
It has also given me greater confidence and a sense of true self, helping me to realise I don’t have to be perfect. You can’t pretend or hide when you are on the board – you turn up as you are in that present moment. It has made me much more aware of when I am in or out of alignment with myself or my body - more so than meditation or yoga. I also appreciate how it has given me the courage to confront some long-held childhood fears about the ocean (yes, sharks and Jaws!) and to conquer them. I’ve come a long way since being a kid crying hysterically in fear of a lobster on a family holiday! I’m still on the journey though and will take as long as it needs to!
What would you say to a woman of any age considering trying surfing for the first time?
Don’t overthink it - just do it. It is life changing, empowering, and so rewarding. Allow yourself to make mistakes, be willing to look silly (although you won’t look silly – you’ll look awesome!), have fun and enjoy it! Do it at your own pace and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Just be YOU! The rewards you will get out of surfing far outweigh any fears. Life is so much more meaningful with surfing in it, no matter what level you are at - just do it!! If you had asked me a few years ago if I would be surfing, I would have laughed in your face and now look at me!
If you're new to surfing, make sure you download our FREE beginners guide to surfing today!
Tell us about an empowering female in your life and how they influenced your life / career / surfing?
My mum was the most empowering female in my life. She raised me and my sister as a single parent, travelled the world with us, and really encouraged me to think big and live courageously. She was always challenging me to step outside my comfort zone and do what made my heart sing. I was devastated when she passed away and I really lost my “True North” and best friend. That was a really tough time. Surfing provided me with some healing and positive female role models that I really appreciate and value. I know my mum would have loved surfing and would have been proud of me just getting out there even when I fall off!
A special mention also has to go to Jane Collins at Surf Getaways, she is an amazing instructor and all-round awesome human. The impact she has had on women learning to surf in our community is massive…I am constantly inspired by her love of surfing and the ocean. She is a national treasure!
Tell us a fun fact about you, something non-surfing related
I talk to inanimate objects way too much….and always get caught….trees, flowers, my car, my coffee cup….but seriously, what's not to appreciate living in this beautiful part of the world.
If Chloe has convinced you to give surfing a go and to join our community, you can check our Surf Programs and locations on our website. And if you are the adventurous kind, check out our Surf Tours that cater to all levels and visit some of the best surf spots in the world.