Spending her early years in a landlocked city hasn’t stopped Corinne Evans from pursuing her dream of being a professional surfer. After moving to Cornwall at the age of 13, Corinne knew she wanted to work in the surf industry and took a course based on surf media and business, which also incorporated surfing. She took lessons with the local grom (young surfer) club and recalls the moment when she caught her first proper wave: “It was amazing... just the best feeling. I will never forget it.”
When she was 18, Corinne began modelling, travelling and surfing even more. Realising that she could combine modelling and surfing to make a living from doing what she loves, she contacted FOX about doing competitions, surf trips and getting coverage. In 2013, Corinne joined surf brand Animal as a team rider and describes getting sponsored by the company as being the best thing that has happened in her surf career so far.
“Considering that I grew up in a city, it took me a while to get into surfing and the fact that I’m paid to surf and model is pretty crazy!”
Corinne is proof that you are never too old or live too far from the beach to take up surfing and encourages women of all ages and backgrounds to give it a go. Her annual surf tour and festival were created with this in mind.
“I wanted to give women a taste of the surfer girl lifestyle in a fun, friendly environment that isn’t intimidating. When I learnt to surf, there was only one female coach around who I was naturally drawn to. There was me and one other girl in our group, the rest were boys and they told us girls that we would never be any good, which was really off putting.”
The events attract girls, older women, those who live in cities, new surfers and anyone who wants to take their surfing to the next level. They are for women who want to get fit, tick something off the bucket list, make new friends and above all, have fun!
“Last year, a 60-year old lady came along who had decided to try lots of different things - surfing being one of them. Seeing how much fun these women have and the friendships they form through the events is fantastic.”
There has never been a better time for women to get into surfing. The number of female surfers is on the increase and Corinne believes that social media has contributed to this.
“Thanks to Instagram for example, people can see what the pro girls are up to - their lifestyle is so appealing and very empowering. Mainstream media sees surfing as a cool way to promote their products which opens further opportunities for those who live inland.”
“There are more and more girls competing - the level is off the scale. Up and coming female surfers are really pushing themselves and the prize money for competitions has increased - it will only get better.”
And with two wave parks opening in the UK this year, surfing will become even more accessible, especially for those who don’t live near a beach.
For anyone wanting to learn to surf, Corinne has the following advice:
“Get some lessons. You will learn how to pop-up properly and gain essential knowledge about the sea and ocean safety. Surf as often as you can and keep up your fitness levels. Above all, have fun and stick at it - surfing can be hard and disheartening if you are not standing up straight away but when it does fall into place, it’s the best feeling in the world!”
If you’ve been inspired by Corinne to try surfing, join her surf tour taking place in Cornwall, Devon and Wales. For more information, including dates and booking, visit Corinne’s Surf Tour.
If you can’t make it to one of Corinne’s events, you can find your nearest surf school and book a surf lesson at The Surfing Sumo the UK’s no.1 place to learn to surf. The site has tips to you get started and beach guides for the best place to try it out. And with reviews for the surf schools, it’s easy to find one that suits your ability.