Meet surf star Sally Fitzgibbons

Wow Sally all grown up!


Meet surf star Sally Fitzgibbons

Liz Graham
November 12, 2011 11:30PM

Sally Fitzgibbons: I keep things simple. Picture: Supplied.

THE 20-year-old champion surfer abstains from alcohol and has a simple, healthy lifestyle.

It’s only been a few years since Sally Fitzgibbons chose to pursue surfing over her other sporting love, running. In that time, however, she’s shot to the top of her field. The young Australian snagged the No 1 rank earlier this year, during her close contest with fellow Aussie surfer Stephanie Gilmore on the world tour.

Fitzgibbons finished runner-up to Gilmore, and is currently ranked No 2, but that hasn’t dented her ambition or discipline. Here’s what she says about keeping her body and mind in top condition.

>> Exercise

“I train year-round and I’m always trying to improve. I like to keep fit and on top of things – you always want to be able to catch a great swell when you see one.

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“I’m in the water every day, but the amount of time I spend in there depends on the swell. If it’s good, I might do a few two-hour sessions a day. If the waves are small, I’ll do more out-of-water training.

“I have a daily fitness program, which involves core-strength exercises paired with cardio, either running or biking. I try to do weights every second day or so.

“Core strength is really important to me. I had a lower-back injury a few years ago, which hindered me for six months. I was forced to stay out of the water and rest, which I’m not good at doing! It was tough, but it was also very educational, because I worked closely with a physio and learnt a lot about strengthening my body.

“Finally, I like to stretch in the evening. I always travel with a Swiss ball and roller, which helps me do this. Using the roller is like a form of massage; it’s great.

>> Food

“I keep things simple: nothing too processed. I stick to basic proteins, like meat and fish, with vegies and salad. I have small portions frequently. Breakfast is my favourite meal and I’m a creature of habit with it. I enjoy muesli with fruit and yoghurt.

“When travelling, I experiment with different foods. The healthiest options aren’t always available, but I don’t panic about it. I choose the best option and remember that a treat has to be just that.

“I don’t drink. It’s a lifestyle choice for me and everyone has their own decisions to make, but I do pride myself on mine. If my actions can rub off on others, I’m stoked.

>> Beauty

“Being outside so much has its pluses – you get a nice tan, and your hair streaks itself. But I have to take care, especially in tropical climates where the sun can be extremely damaging.

“For my face, I opt for a zinc sunscreen with foundation, such as Shiseido Sun Protection Stick Foundation.

“I have a bag of things I take with me when I surf because when I hop out of the water I like to moisturise my face and hair immediately, otherwise my face feels like it’s going to crack and fall off. I use a thick moisturiser from QV and a leave-in conditioner by Kératase. I always have pawpaw ointment on hand. I love it for everything and even use it for stings.

“I wear very basic make-up: just eyeliner, mascara and coloured lip gloss. I should experiment a bit more!

>> Wellbeing

“While I get to travel to amazing locations and never get sick of surfing, it’s like any other competitive sport: you pour your heart and soul into it, and it does get stressful. I tend to cry when I’m tired or if I’m competing and things don’t work out. When I lost in the semi-finals in France earlier this year and realised I was out of contention for the world title (I finished second overall), there was an outpouring of emotion. I slept for three days after that.

“What helps me handle those situations is the good people in my life. I’ve got a great coach, parents and family. I know you shouldn’t have to rely on others, but I do lean on the people I love…

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