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Where did your love for the ocean start?

Growing up in Hawaii, it was kind of a right of passage. I literally grew up swimming in the ocean, and I was always in the water. It was another home for me, and If I’m not at home you can guarantee I’m at the beach. It’s my safe place.

When did you start surfing?

I got into surfing really late. I was always really sporty through school but didn’t start surfing until high school when I met a friend who was SUPER into surfing. I instantly fell in love with it, and we were going out all the time. I remember feeling addicted, and thinking What the hell have I been missing out on!? Ever since then, it’s become a huge part of my life. I can’t imagine not surfing.

How does surfing make you feel?

It makes me feel very present. I mean everything in water forces me to be present, even with photography, it slows things down but at the same time it's such a rush of adrenaline. You have no control, you have to surrender yourself to the ocean and it's such an amazing mix of emotions. I get so excited but at the same time, I’m so calm. I just love it, I don’t know how else to explain it.

Where is your favourite place to surf and why?

My favourite place to surf is a break called Bowls on the south shore of Oahu, that was where I really started learning to surf a faster wave. And now it’s just become one of the home breaks I am always at. BUT…..also things may have changed cause ever since I went to Mentawais, I can't stop comparing every wave to Burger World. That wave was insanely fun!

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

There is just so much cheering, you can’t not have fun. It’s so easy out there, It’s a supportive environment and there’s not that tension or competition, and I feel like I can have genuine conversations with people and get to know the girls in the lineup. We’re all there for the same reason, to cruise and have fun and get waves.

Can you give some tips to the girls who are starting out their surfing journey?

Honestly, my biggest tip is to stay at a beginner-friendly break when you’re first starting out. The ocean can be very unpredictable and things can get super dangerous if you are at a more advanced break. Even me surfing for a couple of years, I still get humbled by both the waves and the older locals if I’m not aware. Surfing is such a fun and amazing sport that I believe everyone should try once in their life, but it’s important to realize it can easily be one of the most dangerous and accident-prone.

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

It’s already changed so much. I didn’t get into the surf industry until super late when female surfers like Steph Gilmore and Carissa Moore had already made such an impact in the water in regard to equality. But It’s so interesting to see how it used to be, I’m only just learning how much of a gap there used to be, compared with how it’s changing now. Honestly, I think soon there’s going to be a big switch, and eventually, people are going to want to watch women surf more than men. I mean, it’s just so much more badass. I can’t see it going any other way.

Where did your love for the ocean start?

I grew up on a really small Island in the Caribbean called St Martin, so I’ve always been surrounded by water from a very young age. I would go to the beach every day after school and my parents always walked the beach every afternoon - it’s always been such a fundamental part of my upbringing. Water has and always will be around for me. I don’t think I could ever live away from it. I am very much an ocean person, but to answer your question about where my love has come from; I think you are born with it.

When did you start surfing?

I have always loved the idea of being a surfer girl. From a young age I was so influence by blue crush and all those early 90s Roxy pictures and the surf culture that was so prominent when I was a teenager. My parents were very protective when I was little, so I would body board a lot as a kid but I never really got fully into surfing until I moved to Australia much later. When I was 17 and living in France my first boyfriend was a surfer (surprise, surprise), so I was sort of introduced to that world then, but it wasn’t until I was 21 and loving in Sydney that I really prioritised my surfing and started to go every day. I was definitely a late bloomer, but I think a lot of us are and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.

How does surfing make you feel?

Honestly, It makes me so, so happy and It also makes me very, very present. I know this is probably an answer that comes up a lot when you ask this question but when you’re surfing everything else seems to stop. You are focused on the waves and everything that comes along with it. Duck diving, paddling, surfing itself. I feel like I can zone out of everything else in my life and all I’m worried about is then and there. I think in the end, this is why a lot of people find their way to the ocean too.

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

Everything! I only surf with girls! The encouragement and inspiration I get is beyond anything else. I used to be so scared of waves like this (here in the Mentawais) and I remember the first time I came to Indonesia on a trip I was TERRIFIED. I remember going out a bit shaky, but when I saw a few of the other girls drop into a few beautiful waves (and when I got onto mine) the support and noise that comes from the rest of the girls was so empowering. How could I be scared? It’s just enough to keep going. You feel so supported and it doesn’t matter if you fall or if you miss it, in the ocean you’re all equal and everyone respects you no matter what level you’re at - it’s just about being out there together.

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

Boys underestimate girls in the water, that’s a fact, so I would love to see a level of recognition in the water that girls can surf too. Why is there still such a big stigma lingering that surfing is just for boys? We can go on surf trips too, we can paddle for big waves or small ones and we can shred them or surf them gracefully. I think female surfing has come such a long way in the last few years, and even though I know there is still more progress to be made it’s amazing to see so many females getting in the water regardless of their age, ability or gender.


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:

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