GYPSEA X BRYDIE
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: