Stephanie Gilmore has achieved the distinction of being the first ever surfer, male or female, to win the ASP World Title consecutively during the first three years of competing in the Tour. And she's only 21. To top off a year of victories, she just scored her third consecutive win at Billabong Pro Maui and her second consecutive win at the Vans Triple Crown. Gilmore's living the dream, and she knows it. Outside Online caught up with the Aussie wonder at the tail-end of an incredible year.
How did you feel when you won the World Title for the third time? Did you know it was coming?
This year, it was kind of comfortable, familiar territory when ithappened. Of course, it was unbelievable, but at the same time, itfeels pretty normal to me.
What was the most memorable event over the last three years for you?
Winning in my rookie year was pretty cool. They're all kind ofdifferent in their little ways. The first time was a relief because Ihad so much expectation, from my peers as well. And then last year wasreally hard because everyone was, like, out to get you. And then thisyear, winning at home as the world champ, it's such a hard thing to do.You have the whole weight of the town on your shoulders. Everyone's onthe beach watching, and they want you to win so bad, and when youlose, it's such a bummer. You feel so bad for everyone. So this year,when I won at home, it was a highlight.
What are your favorite surf breaks around the world?
Hawaii's a pretty special place. Indonesia, west Sumatra. The wavesthere are incredible. They're so perfect. It's so much fun out there.And I have to say, home. I love home. I grew up surfing all the time.We're pretty spoiled there, too. The waves are really, really good.
You've been traveling a lot. Is it part of a sponsor tour, or just you on holiday, or both?
It was my own doing. Actually, that was the highlight of my year. Wehad events canceled in the middle of the year, so we had, like, fivemonths off. I guess everyone else was training and surfing and goinghard, and I was like, You know what? I'm going to do somethingcompletely different. I'm going to travel. I'm going to go to Paris andNew York and do all this awesome stuff and enjoy my other passions,which are music and fashion. So, I did that, and Rip Curl documented my travels.
What was the best part?
Driving up through NorCal, along [Highway] 1, was just unbelievable.The coastline there is so stunning. It blew me away. And then New York.I went up to Woodstock. You drive, like, an hour and a half north ofManhattan and then you're in green rolling hills, just being a hippie.
So you didn't really focus on training. You just had a good time. Went surfing wherever you wanted.
Basically. I was kind of like, I'm going to try a different approachthis year, because the last couple of years, I surfed my brains out inbetween events. I was just consumed by trying to win and surf better.
How did you feel going into the Vans Triple Crown this year?
Hawaii's amazing because it's got every emotion, all mixed together.You come over here with world titles on the line, Triple Crown on theline, and people trying to requalify for the World Tour, the waves aregonna be big--it's like you're so scared but excited at the same time.I got here and got some really good boards--equipment is probably themost important thing here--and kind of got in the Hawaiian vibe.