Name: Rio Clark
Years Bodyboarding: 14 years
PHOTO: Rio lining up the bowl during a sunset session in Raratonga.
Favourite Places You’ve Travelled to:
Raratonga – clear, warm water and epic reef setups
Hawaii – big waves close to the shore and I loved the power and beauty of Pipe!
Canary Islands – epic, heavy waves on remote islands with a phenomenal bodyboarding culture.
You’re renown for thriving on big and heavy conditions around your home in West Oz and when you’ve been travelling around the world. Explain how you developed your passion for riding big waves and what motivates you to chase these sessions?
I developed my passion for riding big waves from when I was a teenager. I started bodyboarding with so many supportive guys that pushed me into waves beyond my comfort zone and that feeling of exhiliration is still one of the most amazing feelings that I still feel these days when I surf in big, heavy waves.
I genuinely love surfing big waves and feeling my body and mind switch on when the adrenaline is pumping. I have a burning desire to push myself when the waves get serious and it excites me like nothing else!
When you step out of your comfort zone and take a risk and come out unscathed you just feel on top of the world!
I feel that this really relates to many challenges in life and that you need to push yourself in order to grow & conquer boundaries and I think I’m very fortunate that I have acquired that strong quality through bodyboarding and challenging myself in big waves.
We know you love maintaining your body to perform well in the water, do you think fitness plays an important role particularly in women’s bodyboarding? Do you have a vision for fitness in our sport?
Fitness is an important component in women’s bodyboarding and the body tone that comes with having so much fun is a definite bonus! If you don’t come into the sport with overall core strength, leg strength and fitness, you will certainly gain it very quickly.
I love how fit I need to be in order to progress with bodyboarding and the ocean can be very unforgiving at times so strength and fitness helps us deal with things like wipe-outs and fatigue. Being fit in the water means we can have more fun because we’re more relaxed and able to focus on the waves and riding them as opposed to being out of breath, cramping and fearing for the incoming set!
My personal vision is to see women bodyboarders leading the way through living a holistic lifestyle with a fit body that works better, feels better and lasts longer. I will personally be setting up workshops to educate and encourage women in the water. Complimentary therapies such as pilates, yoga and massage are fantastic to balance your muscular conditioning because it allows you to stay strong and supple both in and out of the water. When you have a fit and physically balanced body this leads to more mental clarity while you’re in the water and the result of any fun riding session is a relaxed and balanced mindset to the rest of your day and ultimately your life.
It’s a given that girls love bodyboarding in the summer when it’s small, warm and fun. What attracts you to keep bodyboarding through the winter?
I keep bodyboarding in winter because it IS cold funnily enough! I love being all rugged up when I’m driving to the beach and then running down to the surf with my friends! It’s a great feeling to ride your first wave knowing that you’ve just chosen to be fearless and then carrying that feeling with you throughout the day.
What’s your personal vision for women’s wetsuits and what are you most passionate about?
I believe that all clothing is about personal expression and wetsuits are just another way that we can express ourselves in the water! I’m most passionate about seeing wetsuits that allow women to feel like divine goddess’s in the water and feel like it to! I want them to be comfortable, warm, feminine and sexy. As women, we have worn black wetsuits for a long time because the wetsuit market has been predominantly male targeted. I’m not a fan because I think that they’re dull and you look like everyone else in the water. I want to have fun when I’m out there in the ocean with colours, prints and cuts that brighten up the water!
What are your 3 favourite passions outside of bodyboarding?
Yoga and Wellness.
Adrenaline Sports eg. Snowboarding.
We hear that you’re expecting a baby, how do you feel about coming into motherhood?
Yes!! I’m a mumma to be. I’m really excited about my venture into motherhood. Bringing a little soul into this world is really humbling and it brings me a sense of greater purpose and fullfilment. I love and respect all the mothers out there who bring passion into their own lives through their children and create a beautiful sense of balance and harmony in their family. I’m a little bit scared because it’s human life which is just so precious and it fills me with nervous joy every time I think about it! I remind myself that obviously I’m not the first mother to be, other incredible women have done this before so I’m grateful to have some guidance from other inspiring, heart driven women.
- Rio Clark