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Girls Who Surf: Claire Vandermeiren

Girls Who Surf: Claire Vandermeiren

Girls Who Surf™ highlights rad female surfers all over the world – exploring their passion for surfing and what it means to them. Meet Claire Vandermeiren, a surfer based in Western Australia & listen to her story here.

Hey Surfers, my name’s Claire and I’m a Girl Who Surfs.

Where are you from and how long have you been surfing?

I am from Western Australia. I grew up in the city of Perth, but I moved down south to the Margaret River region just over five years ago now and have been living there ever since. I’ve been surfing for just over 10 years now.

Why do you surf and what does it mean you?

I surf because it’s, it’s my outlet. It’s my way to express my creativity and express my personality. It’s my way of creating art. I love to surf because it makes me feel free. There’s nowhere else where I feel like I can just forget about everything. I feel really connected to nature and just being one with the ocean. I surf because surfing always helps me put things into perspective. I feel like I’m totally in tune with the ocean. You never really know what you’re going to get, and I love the unpredictability of being out there and how no surf is ever the same. 

Describe your hometown and what it is like being a surfer there.

My local hometown in Margs is a very unique and special place. We’ve got a really long, long stretch of coastline that has an endless supply of waves. Really. It’s got everything from short boarding to longboarding to huge barrels to big walls. It’s kind of got it all. I love how you can just drive up along the coast. We’ve got no traffic lights and we’re just completely surrounded by nature. We’re surrounded by big huge trees on either side of the road, wineries, and an abundant array of wildlife. I love how open and raw it is across that coast. You’re often always getting to surf with dolphins, getting to see different sea life, and I think that’s a really special place in this world.

What is your favorite local surf spot and why?

So my favorite spot at home – it would be pretty hard to choose considering how many waves we get, but Gracetown will always have a special place in my heart. I think whether that’s being able to go around the back and surf my twinnie in a bit more hollow waves, going to the points and taking my mid-length, or going for a mellow log on the inside, it’s kind of got it all and it allows me to change my board all the time and adapt my surfing and continue to grow and continue to learn. 

What do you love about your local female surf community?

What I love about my local female surf community is that everyone’s just always out there having a go. Whether that’s the little grommies, or the mums, or anyone in between, I think it’s pretty cool to see so many chicks out in the water. Especially within the past couple of years, it’s really grown a lot. I think everyone’s always keen to meet up in the car parks before or to try and go out together as it can be a little less daunting that way. There are lots of meet-ups all the time, whether that’s a yoga and then a surf or meditation, and I think that’s pretty special to our area and I’m sure across the world. 

I also love the feminine energy that we bring to a lineup. I feel like automatically the lineup is a little bit more relaxed. Everyone’s having fun. People are cheering in the channel. Whether that’s because someone just got the biggest wipeout of the day or got the bomb of the day, it doesn’t really matter. I feel like we’re always giving it a crack and I love that about being a woman and surfing as a woman. 

What I also love is to see the difference in the female body surfing. Whether that’s because we use our hips a little more or the elegance it can bring towards the water, I’m always inspired watching other women. I really hope that we continue to paddle out and continue to give new boards a go and new waves a go and continue to help each other learn and grow.

Watch Claire’s full episode below!

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