Wave Of The Week: Lizzie Stokely Barrelled At Shipstern Bluff

25 Mar 2016 0 Share

360fly | WAVE OF THE WEEK

When: 22nd March 2016
Where: 
Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania
Surfer: 
Lizzie Stokely
Filmed by: Howard Groves

A southern Tasman swell looked positive for big wave surf spot, Shipstern Bluff early this week. The local crew decided it would be good enough to pack up and head out. Among the group was 18-year-old Tasmanian surfer girl, Lizzie Stokely.

We spoke to Roxy team rider, Lizzie after her epic ride this week. 

I grew up on Bruny Island located off the south-east coast of Tasmania and started surfing when I was around six years old. I have always been one of the only junior surfers on the Island but I am a very motivated girl. Even though I have grown up in an isolated and often cold environment I have made the most of the amazing waves that surround me and have pushed myself to reach the standard of the surfers on the mainland. 

Shipstern Bluff is a wave that I have always thought about but have usually came to the conclusion in my mind that there was no way I would never surf it. Until a trip to Indonesia last year where I surfed some solid swells and came home with a bit of a passion for bigger waves. I loved the adrenaline rush of the waves I surfed that trip and suddenly surfing that fear of Shippies morphed into a challenge. Before even contemplating going out at Shippies I needed to build my fitness to a level that I could handle a wipeout.

SEE ALSO: Russell Bierke Has Problems

Just a week ago I was looking at some pictures and thought “man I think I want to give it a crack”, so I called Zeb Critchlow, one of the regular surfers down there. I asked if he could help me out to get down there next time it was on, and just a couple of days later I got the call that they were heading out!

Zeb and Tim Bonython hooked me up with a boat to get down there and we made the mission before dawn on Tuesday morning. But there was a slight hitch in the road. I was driving to the boat dock and my car broke down and I thought to myself, 'this is a sign I shouldn’t go.' Luckily the boat crew picked me up and the day was smooth sailing from there on in Well, kind of.

On the boat ride out I should have been nervous as all hell but I was too busy being distracted by the lumpy big swell lines. We were jetting over them so fast and with so much power. Sitting on a rock hard metal seat at the front of the boat left me pretty bruised before I even surfed a wave.

As we arrived underneath sharp, towering peaks of the iconic Shipstern Bluff headland and I was in awe of the amazing coastline that the southern side of Tassie had to offer, there is seriously no place like it in the world. I was a bit nervous as I saw the first sets thunder through, but I jumped off the boat thinking that I might catch a wave, or I might just chill and suss the place out.

The first few waves, I actually paddled in and was not expecting it at all. I was sitting out there supposedly sussing out the lineup and getting a feel for the water movement and then next minute Zeb turns around and yells 'This one's yours Liz!”

Lizzie, in the barrel of her life, Photo by Jimmy Smith

Lizzie, in the barrel of her life, Photo by Jimmy Smith

At that moment there was no second guessing, I just turned around, started paddling as hard as I could and took off looking down at a massive drop like nothing I'd ever seen. I remember just thinking 'bend your knees, watch out for the step, and make sure you take a massive breath when you get down to the bottom of the wave in case you wipeout'.

Funnily enough as soon as I got half way down the wave I hit something, and got totally axed. I was underwater for a bit but tried not to focus on the tumbling and backflips so I and just relaxed. As soon as I came to the surface I was so high on adrenaline and had the biggest smile on my face. I paddled straight back out into the lineup ready for another one.

On the third wave that I paddled onto, I got into a tricky situation. Marti Paradisis called me into a pretty gnarly looking monster and I couldn’t say no. I turned around and could hear the roar of voices from everyone in the channel so I just put my head down, nailing the takeoff it thought I was sweet, for one second before I saw out of the corner of my eye a step forming. I was not ready for it when I hit it and jumped over it. I kind of landed the step but fell forward off my board and got held down for what felt like eternity. It was a pretty heavy wipeout but strangely I was still frothing to get straight back out there, ready for another one.

The tow in was so much easier then the paddle. I had never been towed behind a ski before and didn’t know how to float myself properly to start moving. It was a great day to learn, being out at one of the craziest waves in Australia. HA! After practising for a solid 20 minutes Zeb towed me into my first wave.

SEE ALSO: Destroying The Glass Ceiling, Vaughan Blakey's Interview With Shane Dorian

I under-estimated the amount of speed the whip in would give me and just gunned it the whole way, slicing the face of the wave. I was about a metre in front of the barrel the whole way, so when I got off Zeb took me back out again to give myself a chance to sit deeper.

The next whip in, I kind of manoeuvred my way through everyone paddling and at one point I looked at the channel and everyone was saying 'get a move on, put your front foot down!' I realised I might have slowed down a bit too much and could feel the lip forming right underneath my feet. I ended up dropping pretty steeply straight into the impending, dark abyss of the Shippies face so gunned it to the bottom of the wave. I looked over at the boats, then saw a section forming about ten metres in front of me and thought “I’m about to get hammered”. I just held my line and the water bottomed out from underneath me to give me one of the barrels of my life.

After one of the biggest days of my surfing career so far and in my life, despite getting flogged a few times I’m hungry for more. I can’t get over the feeling of getting barrelled at one of the most amazing big wave spots in Australia. I will never forget the vision I have from being inside that barrel looking out at the boat crew in the channel. The feeling of making a drop down the wave without knowing what was coming next blew my mind.

If I get the opportunity to surf other big wave spots around the world I will certainly take them. I still have aspirations to become a competitive surfer on the professional tour, but there's no reason I can't aim for both. I’ve competed at the Nationals Titles each year and the last two years I have come away with the Isabel Letham award for the most promising female surfer, so it's good to know that some of my goals on the competitive side of surfing have also been achieved.

I’m stoked that I could make history for female surfing, and maybe inspire a few other girls out there to give it a crack, or even just go for their goals in any areas of their lives. I want to take hold of every opportunity that is presented to me and keep my love of surfing alive until the day I die.

INTRODUCING 360FLY

Virtual Reality Starts Now: Live #LifeUncropped

360fly is unlike any camera ever created. It’s an entirely new way to capture, experience and share video, yet immediately familiar. See it all. 

Be one of the first in Australia to get this revolutionary new camera HERE

VIDEO BELOW, The 350fly Live At Snapper Rocks & Jay Phillips Incredible Barrel in 360 vision.



Tags: video , (create Alert from these tags)

blog comments powered by Disqus
Features
Watch: Episode 10 of RIVALS – Parko, Mick and Dingo Reflect on the Life and Careers of the "Cooly Kids"

Watch: Episode 10 of RIVALS – Parko, Mick and Dingo Reflect on the Life and Careers of the "Cooly Kids"

Including some necessary carpark banter as the get ready for pumping Snapper

18 Oct 2020
Is This the Best Wave Pool in the World?

Is This the Best Wave Pool in the World?

All about that ridiculous new WaveGarden pool in South Korea

2 17 Oct 2020
Recent

Watch: Episode 10 of RIVALS – Parko, Mick and Dingo Reflect on the Life and Careers of the "Cooly Kids"

Including some necessary carpark banter as the get ready for pumping Snapper

18 Oct 2020
Is This the Best Wave Pool in the World?

Is This the Best Wave Pool in the World?

2 17 Oct 2020
The Wonderfully Weird Clay Marzo Backhand Tube Approach, Slater at Uluwatu, and a New (Not Good...) Wave Pool!

The Wonderfully Weird Clay Marzo Backhand Tube Approach, Slater at Uluwatu, and a New (Not Good...) Wave Pool!

1 16 Oct 2020
Watch Tom Carroll & Matt Grainger Break Down Tow-Foiling and Glide an Empty Outside Sydney Reef

Watch Tom Carroll & Matt Grainger Break Down Tow-Foiling and Glide an Empty Outside Sydney Reef

3 14 Oct 2020
Nick Carroll: In the Wake of Yet Another Shark Death, Esperance Is a Town in Need

Nick Carroll: In the Wake of Yet Another Shark Death, Esperance Is a Town in Need

20 13 Oct 2020
Latest News

Watch: Episode 10 of RIVALS – Parko, Mick and Dingo Reflect on the Life and Careers of the "Cooly Kids"

Including some necessary carpark banter as the get ready for pumping Snapper

Is This the Best Wave Pool in the World?

All about that ridiculous new WaveGarden pool in South Korea

The Wonderfully Weird Clay Marzo Backhand Tube Approach, Slater at Uluwatu, and a New (Not Good...) Wave Pool!

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was October 16 2020

Nick Carroll: In the Wake of Yet Another Shark Death, Esperance Is a Town in Need

The WA Government hasn’t been stepping up in Esperance. It better start now.

Popular This Week

Nick Carroll: In the Wake of Yet Another Shark Death, Esperance Is a Town in Need

The WA Government hasn’t been stepping up in Esperance. It better start now.

Is This the Best Wave Pool in the World?

All about that ridiculous new WaveGarden pool in South Korea

The Wonderfully Weird Clay Marzo Backhand Tube Approach, Slater at Uluwatu, and a New (Not Good...) Wave Pool!

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was October 16 2020

Forecaster Blog: Climate Models Tipping Towards a Stronger la NIñA

The 2020 La Niña continues to gather momentum: What will the surf be like this November and December?

Go to Top