Name: Sophie Jayne Leathers
Years Bodyboarding: 2
Which female riders and male riders inspire you the most & why?
Lilly Pollard (pictured below) has an amazing attitude towards her surfing and her positive, friendly vibes set a great example for women in the water. While I was at work experience with Riptide magazine, Lilly broke her neck and back and I think it’s amazing how quickly she recovered and got back out there charging which shows how determined and passionate she is.
Above: Lilly Pollard. Photo: Alex Gibson
Alexandra Rinder has been absolutely ripping lately! It’s insane how advanced she is at the age of 16. I would love to pull off the same moves that she does and I’d love to travel around the world bodyboarding professionally.
Pierre will always be a personal favourite of mine not only for his style of surfing, but for his personality as well. I was lucky enough to meet him at the ‘Passing Through’ premiere last year in Wollongong and he seemed to be a really nice, approachable guy which showed me how cool the sport of bodyboarding is and the humble nature of the people within it.
In regards to your riding, what is it that you'd really like to be able to do in the future?
I’m so determined to be able to pull off the big moves and surf big waves as well. This sport is always about going big in every aspect and that’s something that I’m really drawn to. I really feel that my surfing seems to “come alive” in bigger surf and I really enjoy the thrill of it all. I would love to surf bigger reef breaks and show the boys up! Haha
As for moves it would be epic to conquer them all, especially big air moves. The thing I look forward to most is travelling and surfing different waves in new locations, because if I can get a wave it doesn’t matter what I can and can’t do, being amongst it will count regardless.
If you had to explain the feeling that bodyboarding gives you to a group of girls your age that had never ridden a bodyboard before, what would you tell them?
I would explain to the girls that just being out there in the waves and amongst the beauty and the power is exciting and motivating. Once you’re out there, anything on your mind instantly fades away and you focus in on the ride and enjoying yourself. It’s the funnest way to keep fit without a doubt.
Bodyboarding is a male dominated sport, but there is no reason why girls should be put off by that. It’s also really encouraging to hear that the bodyboarding community is stoked to see women out on bodyboards and I hope the future brings more women to the sport.
What would you like to achieve in the sport of women's bodyboarding?
I’d really like to inspire more women to get out there on a bodyboard and have fun even if it’s just going for a wave every now and then in the white wash. Women of any age can benefit from bodyboarding because it keeps you fit and mentally healthy.
PHOTO: Sophie taking mum out for a shorey bash :)
I hope to encourage young girls especially to give bodyboarding a go. I think it would be awesome to have more women based competitions where they could raise money for the health of women etc. Anything to help encourage girls to get on a board and get out there.
My dad and my brother bodyboard also and we've just started going to competitions together and my brother is getting into taking photos of our sessions so I'm really looking forward to the years ahead. It's an exciting time for us!
- Sophie Leathers.