We chatted with model babe & pro surfer Flick Palmateer about her first time riding the wave, all-time favorite surf spot & skincare must-haves for sun-loving babes alike.
What was your “this is it” moment with surfing and when did that happen?
I was six years old the first time my dad took me surfing at Trigg beach, near Perth in Western Australia - I was hooked! My dad has surfed his whole life, and he is responsible for pushing me into my first wave. I entered my first competition age 12 and I won. It was then that I felt compelled to continue competing. I was sponsored that same year by Billabong, and I’m still sponsored by them today. My dad was reluctant to see me compete - I think he was worried that if I lost, I might not want to continue.
Will you be surfing until you’re gray or do you want to get into another industry?
I can’t imagine a time in my life when I wouldn’t be surfing and enjoying the ocean. I’ve always enjoyed art, so that is another passion of mine, and I can’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t be doing that. The ocean inspires my art. Maybe once my professional surfing career winds down I can be making a living from my art? That seems a ways off yet, but that could be one outcome…
Where is heaven for you a.k.a. your all-time favorite surf spot?
I’m goofy foot (right foot forward) so I love Lefthanders! There is a wave called “Lefties” near Margaret River in Western Australia that is really, really fun. It’s a long walk in, and the surroundings are beautiful. Just gotta be aware of the sharks though! Gulp! Up north of Perth, in the desert, there are some other great spots. No internet, no mobile reception, camping in the dust on the edge of the sea. Stunning.
You have ridiculous skin and hair. HOW???? No, but really, how do you care for your skin before and after being in the sun and water?
Thank you! I eat really healthy and drink a lot of water. When it comes to skincare I try and keep it to a minimum. I think surfing everyday in the ocean really helps - the sand and salt water act as an amazing exfoliator. I recently started using Dr Roebuck’s True Blue Ultra Hydrating Serum, and it’s definitely a favourite seeing as my skin can become pretty dry being exposed to so much sun. I just let my hair do its own thing! Every now and then I’ll apply a mask, but the colour is totally natural and the care I give it is minimal!
Like most sports, surfing is still pretty male-dominated. How has that changed since you’ve started and what advice do you have for young women entering the sport?
There are people of all ages, guys and girls, all over the world who love and enjoy surfing - women are very accepted. Performance levels vary of course, but particularly in the past 10 years, the level of surfing on the pro tour has gone through the roof. In the big wave arena, girls are surfing Jaws (one of the world’s most famous big wave locations) and surfing Pipeline, which is a pretty tough place to get waves! From time-to-time, I do encounter a bit of aggression, guys who assume because I am a girl I might not make the wave or I’d be too scared to catch the sets – so they’ll position themselves, ready to take the wave off me. But that doesn’t last long!
Who are some inspirational femmes in surf and your life in general. Why do you look up to/love these women?
In surfing I can’t go past Steph Gilmore. She embodies such style and grace in the way that she surfs and is also such a legend, so she’s such a great role model. It’s as if she has time for everyone. Layne Beachley was a big inspiration for me too, I used to have a signed poster of her above my bed. She wrote “Set your goals, live your dreams” and I’m still doing that! Other than that, I’m inspired by my friends who are smart, have gone to uni, become nurses and school teachers - noble pursuits. And they make me laugh and remind me of what long friendships we’ve enjoyed. And I LOVE Ellen Degeneres and Miley Cyrus! They are who they are and don’t pretend to be anything else! Very inspirational women.
How do you prep yourself physically and mentally before a competition?
I train all year round. I have a personal trainer who sets goals and training routines for me as situations change. I have a big wave prep that involves lots of pool work and breath enhancement training. I sometimes train at altitude - I have a recovery facility near where I am based on the Gold Coast, and I am quite strict with my diet. I also have a warm up routine that helps settle my mind before competing, and I have a coach who specifically helps with heat strategy. It sounds like a lot, but it has become my way of life. I can’t think of anything better than being fit and healthy – it’s such a blessing. I also have a full-time manager who is also my boyfriend. He’s been responsible for helping create all of the above. It is absolutely a full-time job with lots of smart, experienced people helping.
What beauty item do you always have in your bag?
The Dr Roebuck’s True Blue Ultra Hydrating Serum!