Words by Sam Haddad & main photo by Roxy
Six-time world surf champion Stephanie Gilmore is by far the most decorated female wave rider of the modern era. But that isn’t why you should join the 477,000 other people who follow her on Instagram.
She rarely posts contest pics anyway, though if she does they’re always an original and considered take on competition surfing. No the reason you should follow her is for the pure, unadulterated escapism. The chance to step out of your regular life and into a halcyon world of surfing at its most soulful.
She wins Instagram like she wins surf contests. Not by performing the most progressive and aggressive manoeuvre she can muster but by using style to get things done.
Instagram can be a tricky thing if you’re an attractive female sportswoman. Do you flaunt your hotness in the hope of gaining maximum likes and maximum coverage for your sponsors? Or do you cover up because you’re an athlete not a model, and want to be judged accordingly.
Stephanie Gilmore has always charted a different path. She doesn’t gaze longingly into the camera or post tonnes of skimpy bikini pics; constant cleavage shots this is not. But she does post stylish shots of her wearing swimwear that wouldn’t look out of place in a fashion spread.