Stephanie Gilmore: the profile of a unique surfing champion

January 15, 2020 | Surfing
Stephanie Gilmore: probably the greatest female surfer of all time | Photo: Roxy

For many surfing fans, she is the greatest female surfer of all time. Here's the portrait of Stephanie Gilmore, the champion known for her infectious smile.

It's relatively easy to describe a woman like Stephanie Gilmore.

In fact, you don't need to spend much time with her to appreciate her authenticity, grace, and loyalty to her core values.

Gilmore is more than just a talented, good-looking female surfer. She's special - for those who know her closely, but also, for the average, anonymous surfing spectator.

She has the grace of a ballet dancer and the free spirit of a life explorer. Stephanie is a genuine human being with a powerful competitive drive.

As her father puts it, "she looks majestic on a wave." But how did this accomplished surfer become such an influential sportswoman?

Stephanie Gilmore: the happiest smile on Tour | Photo: WSL

From Tomboy to Inspiring Sportswoman: Gilmore's Personal Details

Stephanie Louise Gilmore was born on January 29, 1988, in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia. Her parents are Jeff and Tracy Gilmore.

She rode her first wave on a bodyboard at the age of 10 and spent her initial surfing years taking on Coolangatta's most popular and crowded surf breaks.

When she was young, Stephanie hated girly dresses - she just wanted to be outdoors, playing sports.

Stephanie has two older sisters - Whitney and Bonnie. Whitney has been managing the pro surfer's career since 2010.

Stephanie's nickname - Happy Gilmore - reflects her joyful and positive personality. But you can also call her Steph.

Steph has no children, never married, and always kept her personal life private. She is a natural-born traveler who loves to explore uncharted territories, waves, and cultures.

The regular-footer's favorite surf breaks are Greenmount Beach (Coolangatta, Australia), Macaronis (Mentawai Islands, Indonesia), and Honolua Bay (Maui, Hawaii).

Stephanie Gilmore: a complete surfer who blends grace, power, elegance, and excellent wave riding skills | Photo: Moran/Red Bull

In December 2010, Stephanie was violently attacked outside her house by a mentally ill homeless man named Julius Fox.

The stranger hit the surfer with an iron bar, breaking her left wrist and injuring her head. Fox was sentenced to four years in jail.

And because what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, Steph overcame the incident and resurfaced stronger than ever.

Out of the water, Gilmore loves playing electric guitar, golf, and table tennis, and taking pictures. She has also done modeling work for surfing and non-surfing brands.

And, because she is a woman of multiple interests, in late 2011, the Australian surfer flew to New York to meet Canadian choreographer Noémie Lafrance.

The duo discussed the similarities between surf and dance, and the human body expresses itself in both activities.

As an environmental activist and humanitarian work, she is in the advisory board of Sea Shepherd and supports World Vision and Coeur de Forêt.

Stephanie Gilmore loves Rihanna, but also Slayer and Marvin Gaye.

Actually, her musical taste is eclectic, and her favorite playlist also includes Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Hole, No Doubt, Jeff Buckley, Missy Elliot, P.J. Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, Sonic Youth, Tame Impala, Roberta Flack, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Connan Mockasin, and Daft Punk.

Make no mistake. Gilmore takes music quite seriously.

Whenever traveling around the world, she often carries one of her two favorite guitars - a vintage Epiphone Crestwood or a Fender Jazzmaster.

Steph faced a live audience for the first time when she shared the stage with Jimmy Buffett to play "Volcano" and "Margaritaville."

Stephanie also played the song "Bitch" by the Rolling Stones onstage with Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins' side project, Chevy Metal.

Stephanie Gilmore is on Instagram (@stephaniegilmore), Twitter (@Steph_gilmore), and Facebook (@stephaniegilmoreofficialpage) with a combined number of 1,3 million followers.

Gilmore is 5'10' (1.78 meters) tall.

Stephanie Gilmore: a power surfer with excellent wave reading skills | Photo: WSL

A Natural-Born Competitive Surfer: The X-Ray of a Rare Career Path

Stephanie Gilmore is a seven-time world surfing champion (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2018).

In 2005, the Australian got a wildcard to compete at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and won the event.

Steph qualified for the ASP Women's Championship Tour in 2007. In her rookie year, Gilmore won four of the eight events and claimed the world title "on a day off from high school."

Three years later, in 2010, Stephanie won the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year award and was inducted into the Surfers' Hall of Fame.

The sun-bleached hair surfer also won the Best Female Action Sports Athlete ESPY Award in 2011 and 2013.

Stephanie Gilmore is the star of the feature-length documentary "Stephanie In The Water," directed by Ava Warbrick.

Stephanie Gilmore: an accomplished tube rider | Photo: Sloane/WSL

In 2013, the Australian surfer was heavily criticized and accused of sexual objectification of the woman's body for an ad she made for her sponsor, Roxy.

In 2018, Gilmore equaled Layne Beachley's seven world titles - they are the most successful female surfers of all time.

Stephanie has been training with elite performance coach, Nam Baldwin, but she has also had a few pool sessions with Laird and Gabby Hamilton.

The NSW surfer will be one of the two first female surfers to represent Australia in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Stephanie Gilmore is known for her outstanding paddling strength, elegant surf lines, explosive performances, and excellent wave reading skills.

Steph's surfing style is often compared to her fellow Gold Coast surfer, Joel Parkinson.

Stephanie Gilmore posed in a sexy nude photo session for ESPN Magazine's 2011 Bodies We Want and landed the cover of Women's Health and Outside magazine.

To date, Gilmore won 31 Championship Tour events. But she's just begun her happy journey.

Stephanie Gilmore: seven world titles and 31 Championship Tour event victories | Photo: WSL

Stephanie Gilmore | Championship Tour Event Victories

2019
Corona Bali Protected
lululemon Maui Pro

2018
Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach
Oi Rio Women's Pro
Corona Open J-Bay - Women's

2017
Roxy Pro Gold Coast
Maui Women's Pro

2014
Roxy Pro Gold Coast
Swatch Women's Pro Trestles
Cascais Women's Pro

2012
Roxy Pro Gold Coast
TSB Bank NZ Surf Festival
Roxy Pro France

2011
Roxy Pro France

2010
Roxy Pro Gold Coast
Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic
Rip Curl Search

2009
Roxy Pro Gold Coast
Billabong Pro Maui

2008
Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach
Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle
Movistar Classic Peru
Roxy Pro Sunset Beach
Billabong Pro Maui

2007
Rip Curl Women's Pro
NAB Beachley Classic
Mancora Peru Classic
Billabong Pro

2006
Havaianas Beachley Classic

2005
Roxy Pro Gold Coast

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