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Brydie Watson, also known as the Queen of Black and White, is a city gal turned water baby, known for capturing timeless portraits and surfers in their element. Living in Byron Bay, Bryds has gravitated towards a creative life revolving around the ocean. Her portfolio goes above and beyond the restrictions of her water housing, and her diversity has earned her a huge following that just keeps on growing.

We were lucky enough to chat with Brydie about her journey with surfing and how it has influenced her not only as an artist but as a strong female.

Brydie! Where did your love from the ocean start?

I grew up in Brisbane, so I never surfed or anything growing up, but I have this very distinct memory from when I was 6 or 7. I was on holiday in Caloundra with my family, and we were sitting on the balcony overlooking the beach when this van pulled up down the street and this family got out, including two kids around my age at the time. They were blonde and sun kissed and running for the water with their surfboards, and I remember thinking, I wanna be that kid! So, when I was a bit older I would catch the train with friends every weekend from Brisbane to the gold coast to get to the beach, but it wasn’t until I was 22 that I started surfing. I think because I didn’t get to have it every day as a kid I appreciate the ocean so much more. Now, I live in Byron and my whole life revolves around the beach.

When did you start surfing?

I tried to start years ago when I was young and had first moved to Byron, but no one in my circle surfed at the time, so I found it super challenging to stay consistent. It was also pretty intimidating being in Byron with all these people who had grown up by the beach and had been surfing forever. It wasn’t really until I moved to Melbourne and started surfing on the Morning Peninsula. I fell in love with it straight away, and there were no crowds and smaller waves which were perfect for me at the time. When I moved back to Byron it was COVID, so it was way less crowded in the water, so my best friend and I made it our thing to go as much as we could. Now, I can’t imagine life without surfing.

Can you explain how you feel when you’re surfing?

It is just SO much fun! It makes me happy and confident and is the best form of exercise for your mind and your body! But, to be honest, sometimes it can also make me feel frustrated. I think is so important to remember that it’s ok to feel these things too. It only inspires me to get out there more and be brave and conquer these fears. My trip to the Ments was a huge confidence boost, paddling out with all girls and getting big waves that I never thought I could get, it was a special feeling that I’d never forget.

What is your favourite thing about being in an all - girl lineup

It's supportive and loud and everyone is screaming and rooting for you! There’s no anger or rivalry, no one cares if you drop in (most of the time!) we all share waves and you just feel so supported and empowered.

What do you hope to see in the future of female surfing?

Just more opportunities, and to get to a time where guys are more accepting of girls being in the water, and are just stoked that we are out there with them.

Follow Brydie @brydiewatson_

Some of Brydie's magical content below:

A series of inspiring women in the surf & wellbeing space

meet Frances, the author and founder of Fern Magazine

We will be releasing articles throughout the winter season as part of our series 'The Water Women' - about women who are leaving their impact, making noise in the surf and the wellbeing space. But before we launch into our first article with Brydie Watson, we want to introduce the beautiful soul and story teller who has allowed for each one of the inspiring women to tell their stories.

The curator of Fern Mag, Frances Borg is a creative, photographer and a writer who's work is lead by curiosity. Now showing all those who chase the life of adventure and dreams that it can all be so possible.

Photo taken by Claire Vandermeiren

With 5 issues of Fern Mag released, it is now turning digital to reach a wide audience of inquisitive and travel chasing souls. If you have not read Frances' work, do yourself a favour and subscribe to her platform.

Being part of the generation paving the way for a new future where location and financial freedom are intertwined, often we can get lost grappling at our why when it can be a challenge. Frances words have been inspiring us and so many others to chase their version of a bigger life and know that whatever that is - it is possible and will unfold beyond your dreams. So who is a better person to dive deeper into inspiring females in the surf and wellbeing space through 'The Water Women' series than Frances Borg.

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

WOW, We have had a lot happen this year! If you have been following us since the birth of this retreat, we have expanded rapidly over 9 months.

This year we have held 10 retreats with over 100 women from all around the world. Our retreats have completely transformed their lives, some have created a new life by getting out of their comfort zone, leaving a job that no longer serves them, or stepping into a new community.

This year, we transformed from Gypsea Retreats to Gypsea Co, which provides us an opportunity to become more than just retreats. We have now added merchandise, 4-day & 1-day retreats, and are in the process of designing sustainable surfwear.

Gypsie and Rina have become ambassadors for Rusty Women's, the biggest leading WA surf brand. The Rusty Team has also supported our small business by co-creating a Water Women graphic design for our Gypsea Merchandise; T-shirts, caps, and stickers. We are so grateful for their ongoing contributions and collaborations to bring ideas to life!

For our first year of business, we have already expanded to 2 locations; Exmouth and Yallingup for our 4-day retreats, and we held a 1-day retreat in Perth this month.

The business has expanded so quickly this year, that Gypsie and Rina desired another team member to support the foundation of the business. Whilst in Bali, we were fortunate to connect with Phily Jen, our Virtual Business Assistant, operating from Bali, Indonesia. Her input to the business has been nothing short of amazing, keep tuned as we will soon be hiring more frother facilitators.

Gypsea 2023 - What’s Next?

We are going, GLOBAL baby!!!! 2023 April & May we are holding 2 retreats in Bingin Bali Indonesia, and in October & November, we are going to Lombok. On the horizon we have Mentawai being planned, this will be for our intermediate girls looking to be challenged on the reef breaks.


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