• To Surf...With Love, Josie Prendergast

To my first love....

Thank you for the feelings you bring, the smiles you create…

You make me feel things almost indescribable. But most of all you make me feel calm.

We are one, connected, and seem to understand each other, even without words. You pushed me, you opened my eyes to the world.

I have loved you since the day I met you, and I will love you forever….

An Interview with Josie Prendergast

They say you learn a lot about a person when you travel alongside them. To journey with someone is to really know them; to totally understand their natural state of being. If things turn awry, you see how they react to stressful situations. And on the flip side when things go well, you witness their true happy self.

Surfer and model, Josie Prendergast, is no stranger to Billabong. We have had the pleasure of calling her a friend for years. We have idolized her surfing skills, seen her light up in front of the camera, and witnessed her acting skills firsthand. But when we traveled to Barbados together for the 2018 summer campaign is when wereallygot to know her.'

Josie is a pro. She handles every occasion with grace and ease, even in uncomfortable circumstances. In Barbados, Josie had arrived to the hotel after 2am, following a long day of flights and taxi rides. We had to be up for an early call time (4:30am, yikes) so we could photograph beautiful race horses soak in the ocean for their weekly bath. Josie was planned to ride one. When one would be groggy and sluggish after a massive day of travel and only two hours of sleep, Josie was more than awake. She was packed in the van, smiling and saying hello to the crew before most of us even uttered a word. Her positive mood and dedication is truly inspiring — we marveled at her tenacity.

The rest of the day, and trip for that matter, went just as smooth. Josie worked out any travel snags with a sweet smile on her face. When the island decided to dump random buckets of rain, she patiently waited it out until she could get back on her board. When we were stuck in the van for hours, she cracked jokes with the crew and took silly pictures. Josie is genuinely grateful to those around her, works tremendously hard, and moves through the day (and waves) effortlessly. As I said before, Josie is a pro, and one that anybody would be happy to travel with.

Get to know this sweet soul in a candid interview below.

How do you think how you grew up has shaped who you are today?

My mother is from Siargao Island, Philippines and my dad is from Australia. I think being exposed to the contrasting cultures has shaped the way I view things, for sure.

How long have you been surfing? How did you get started? What drew you to surfing?

I have been properly surfing since I was maybe 10 or 11. Whether in the Philippines or in Byron, the ocean and waves have been a big part of my life and have been very evident, so getting into surfing was no problem. When my brothers and I were younger, dad would always take us to the beach. And in the Philippines, from my house, you walk across the road and the ocean is right there. Dad has always loved surfing and it’s been a big part of his life so he made sure it was part of ours too.


What inspires you?

Many, many things!

How would you describe your style of surfing? What do you love most about it?

I feel like my surfing style is pretty easy going? I love surfing, just because it makes me so happy and I have met so many incredible people through the sport.

What is a typical day like for you? What's the first thing you do when you wake up?

Up until just a few months ago, I was still studying at high school, finishing my last year. So weekdays would be going to school then coming home to surf. Weekends, it’s surf all day or hang with friends. Now that I am spending a few months in the Philippines as school is done, a typical day would be getting up, having breakfast, hanging with family and friends, going around the island, surfing. So much!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? From whom did you receive it?

There are many pieces of advice that I have loved. One I really like at the moment is, “you live and you learn." Don’t take everything too seriously!

Tell me about your family. How do you balance your world travels with staying close to your family? How would you describe your family to someone who has never met them?

My family are very, very, very proud people. My immediate family lives in Australia, but mum’s Filipino side all live in Siargao. All of my family are so close, as Filipino culture is largely based on family and respect. So whether or not I’m with them, we will always be close and have the opportunity to be in contact through Skype or other social media outlets.

Whom do you look up to?

I look up to my parents because they are so hardworking, loving and strong. They have sacrificed so much. I look up to my family and friends. I also love Malala Yousafzai! Her story is pretty incredible.

A few of your favorites...

Place to surf?

The Pass in Byron bay, or Jacking Horse in Siargao.

Breakfast meal?

Porridge haha.

Band or singer?

Too many! Right now I LOVE Leon Bridges.Way to unwind?

Surf

What does a bikini-kinda-life mean to you?

Being able to live a life where the ocean and surfing is very evident!

When do you feel the most "free?"

For sure the water. Or maybe alone time!