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Why Byron Bay is the oculus of women's surfing inwards Australia

In the turquoise waters of Byron Bay. Photo past times Bree Sorrell. 
Lush forests together with homesteads on 1 horizon, together with precious stone bluish waters abundant alongside sealife on the other, its slow to reckon why Byron Bay's natural paradise is a magnet for free-spirited souls. "My surfs alongside girlfriends are never planned," says Cass Hurrell, a resident of Byron. "Living inward the Bay it’s assured when yous paddle out 1 or many of our sea sisters are out there, all smiles upon unity, our hearts singing alongside joy together with stoked-ness."

Women surfers are plentiful along the whole Gold Coast of Australia, but there's something almost Byron Bay that feels akin to our ain surf enclaves inward Southern California: the friendly faces, longboard culture, close-knit community, together with connexion to the natural land. We caught upward alongside 2 local ladies — Cass Hurrell together with Bree Sorrell— almost what forces drew them to into Byron Bay, together with the sense of belonging.

Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 natural H2O babe from Avoca Beach, Cass came to the Bay to view friends betwixt winters spent inward Bali. After her vacation surfing pumping offshore 3-4 human foot turquoise waves together with resting inward the tranquility pastures, she packed upward her beach shack together with flora a farmhouse to telephone telephone her own. “Moving to the Bay, I flora it slow to connect. Like-minded humans drawing together, the usual suspects gallivanting betwixt Sydney, Bali together with Byron,” Cass says. 

One such lady that Cass met inward the H2O was lensman Bree Sorrell, who lives inward Currumbin, 1 hr N of Byron. “She right away got chatting to me as if I was a long lost friend, inside minutes nosotros were laughing together with beingness silly,” says Bree, who was as captivated past times the Bay's wild animals together with energy. “My start fourth dimension surfing at Byron Bay I had a turtle transcend correct nether me, together with and hence spotted a Koala inward the tree higher upward the carpark!" Bree exclaimed. 

These 2 longboard ladies shared alongside us the special bond betwixt women inward this picturesque cove on the eastern coast of Oz. 

Cass Hurrell, wearing the Hermosa Surf Suit. Photo past times Bree Sorrell.

Girls paddle-out. Photo past times Bree Sorrell. 

Tell us almost Byron Bay’s surf environment. What is it almost the moving ridge together with the community that brand women experience comfortable to larn how to surf together with go along their practice?

Cass: Wategos is 1 of the most sacred waters on the due east coast of Australia, alongside its pristine effectual beauty naturally drawing yous in. Even on tiny days when there’s no swell, I paddle out only to sit down alongside the woman parent ocean’s sea creatures, the local dolphins — a uncomplicated enchanting reminder of what is real.

Then yous guide keep The Pass. On a adept due east swell, yous tin choose off behind the stone together with ride the dreamy wave, dancing along for 200 meters, or fifty-fifty more. As the waves curlicue along the sand, there’s plenty infinite for everyone, political party wave-ing alongside your sea sisters together with inviting other’s to bring together in. It’s to a greater extent than of a coming together identify for us salty sea sisters (and brothers) who hold upward here, a social sunset “golden hour” ritual, soul feeding goodness ensuring everything else drifts away.

Bree: We are inward a fourth dimension at nowadays when women are non only accepted into the H2O but encouraged together with respected together with that’s beautiful to see. It’s an facial expression of elegance together with fun together with femininity. That is definitely the vibe only about here. The people inward Byron Bay are to a greater extent than frequently than non inward a nifty mood together with in that location isn’t some of the seriousness together with ownership that comes alongside to a greater extent than localized under-exposed breaks.

Most women longboarding these days, whether it hold upward Byron or Gold Coast, tend to portion the joy, together with encourage each other. It makes yous experience similar you’ve got sisters out there. It’s non uncommon to woo some other lady onto a nifty moving ridge fifty-fifty if she’s a consummate stranger. It’s a beautiful thing, how it should be, non taking it all likewise seriously.

The bulk of Australians grew upward only about the beaches together with coastlines. How does this cast the local identity?

Cass: I was of late downward the coast at my dad’s identify together with I asked him to tell me of when I started surfing. He said “it was similar yous were born inward the ocean, yous could read the waves from hateful solar daytime one, had no fright together with your beloved was in that location earlier yous could fifty-fifty walk.” His words warm my heart.

I experience my life is Mother Ocean, living every hateful solar daytime inward the sea. She is genuinely my greatest love. My teacher, my nurturer, my healer, my playground. My morning time rituals I accolade her, I observe her together with all that she brings. Off shore amazingness, to howling northerly’s, our beloved does non hesitate. She’s powerful, even hence delicate, harmonizing my mind, trunk together with emotions.

Bree: It definitely teaches yous observe for living things together with non to choose it for granted. I know how lucky I am to hold upward here, but nosotros all guide keep to expect afterward it. We desire our nifty great grandchildren to hold upward able to have the same joy from nature together with our planet that nosotros did. I think it puts things inward perspective, having such huge natural beauty only about us teaches us that our “problems’ really are non problems together with nosotros are a operate of something much bigger than us.

Cass Hurrell inward the Hermosa surf suit. Photo past times Bree Sorrell.
The body of body of water connects us all. Photo past times Bree Sorrell. 

Cass Hurrell inward the Hermosa surf suit. Photo past times Bree Sorrell.

Bree, how did yous acquire into body of body of water photography? And how is shooting inward Byron inspiring?

Bree: I’ve been photographing inward the body of body of water for only over 2 years now. It was ever meant to be. As a lilliputian daughter I could guide keep sworn I was a mermaid or a dolphin, spending every infinitesimal I could in, on together with specially nether the water. I guide keep ever had a deep fascination alongside beingness inward the ocean; it has ever been hence unbelievably magic to me, that underwater world. It’s past times far my favorite identify on earth.

I approximate moving into body of body of water photography is a natural extension of my beloved affair alongside the water. Its colours, textures, together with ever changing unloosen energy are what delineate me in... Every image, every frame I take, is taken because that’s a 2nd of beauty I guide keep seen, inward my eyes, from my heart. It’s a beautiful thing to hold upward able to capture that... I would delineate my trend as the feminine side to the ocean, capturing images that evoke emotion or a sense of beingness correct in that location inward the picture, together with capturing that connexion betwixt humans together with the sea.

Role models are really of import inward fostering a community. Are in that location many women surfer operate models inward Australia?

Cass: Growing upward I never really had a women operate model. I spent my days surfing Avoca point, idolizing all who’s out in that location ripping. It was almost similar if yous grew upward surfing Avoca or around, yous born to surf. We’d wake upward on sunrise surf anything earlier together with afterward school. Since moving to Byron, I tin genuinely say, that all of our salty sea sisters inspire me. We encourage, nosotros hoot, nosotros portion the waves. It’s my social interaction.

Bree: I think inward the H2O inward Commonwealth of Australia together with specially only about the due east coast where nosotros live, in that location is such a huge historic catamenia bracket of surfers out there. I guide keep had some beautiful connections together with conversations alongside the older generation of surfers. The agency that the surf manufacture has turned inward the final 30-40 years, nosotros tin all larn a nifty bargain from the people who are out in that location together with guide keep lived through the changes. These people guide keep seen a completely unlike side to surfing together with I guide keep the utmost observe for their wisdom together with knowledge. Commonwealth of Australia is total of inspirational hard-working women. Growing upward Layne Beachley was a large operate model, non exclusively a surfing champion, but someone girls tin really expect upward to, humble together with grounded. She did a lot for women’s surfing together with gave her fourth dimension to a lot of charities inward the community.

Meeting inward the waves. Photo past times Bree Sorrell.
Cass Hurrell wearing the San-O One-Piece. Photo past times Bree Sorrell. 
Bree wearing the Seea Palmas, digs into a fun lilliputian wave. 

With hence many really amazing surfers inward 1 place, does competitive nature naturally escalate? Can it hold upward friendly vibes all the time?

Cass: The vibe definitely changes when swell hits. On the smaller days, it’s anyone together with everyone. It’s joyful, sometimes a lilliputian chaotic, even hence it goes alongside the territory. On a decent swell, the crowds are sorted. The unloosen energy is alive, adrenalin pumping. Even if yous contend to exclusively grade a few waves, for me, beingness present, tuning inward vigilantly observing all those violent a moving ridge apart is only as good.

I detect surfing a curt board, I’m naturally to a greater extent than competitive. You guide keep to hold upward inward the spot, at the correct time, opposed to riding a bigger board, where you’re almost guaranteed to choose grip of anything. Growing upward surfing Avoca point, on a pumping day, it was super competitive. I think when I start moved to Byron, I was out The Pass, I learned chop-chop non to hold upward competitive, that I didn’t guide keep to guide keep every wave. Patience, observe together with enjoy. The competitive nature is somewhat ever in that location no affair which interruption yous surf. The bulk of the fourth dimension it’s tasteful together with on rare occasions if it’s not, that’s when I’d create upward one's hear to paddle in, allow become together with expect frontwards to my side past times side surf.

Bree: The vibe inward the betoken breaks only about the due east coast hither tin change, together with there’s ever going to hold upward a few people who are out for an declaration or desire to tell yous what to do or non to do. But inward the end, most days are filled alongside happy, salubrious together with supportive people. I guide keep met the beloved of my life together with most of my friends inward the water, together with surfing alongside everyone is such a joy together with nosotros ever brand certain nosotros extend that to every individual inward the water, encouraging everyone no affair what historic catamenia or phase they’re at. Joy is joy together with it rubs off.

What does the sea learn yous almost yourself together with your identify inward the populace as a whole?

Cass: Dancing inward the sea on my 9’4, as I cut back along I unopen my eyes, connecting my feet to my board gliding naturally alongside the sea, I trust. It’s similar the sea allows me to only hold upward me. Me for me. Feeding my pump together with soul alongside love, self love. Encouraging me to hold upward the best version of myself. I crave her solitude every day, zen town. There’s a divine fourth dimension purity when surfing, beingness inward the correct identify at the correct time, only similar riding the waves of life. Teaching us that nosotros must trust, genuinely trust together with the residue volition follow precisely how it’s meant to.

At the terminate of the hateful solar daytime nosotros are all inward the body of body of water for the same beautiful reason, from anyone who’s learning to surf or guide keep surfed all his or her lives — it connects us all. It’s pure. It’s real. It’s free. And for us lady sliders, the Bay celebrates that. I continuously remind all my friends who are starting out on a board, it’s non almost who tin stand upward up, what maneuver yous push clitoris off, who tin walk the plank together with acquire their toes on the nose… It’s almost getting out in that location every hateful solar daytime together with bask Mother Ocean. Get to know her, utter to her, together with enjoy!! Enjoy!!! Enjoy!! Then you’re surfing!

Get out in that location together with guide keep fun! Photo past times Bree Sorrell.