Surf star Isabella Nichols talks Blake Lively, first waves + more
By Lucy Glen, 6 March 2017
Say hello to 19-year-old up-and-coming surf star Isabella Nichols - 2016 World Junior Champ, Billabong babe and Blake Lively's body double and casual surf coach for The Shallows. We chatted to her as she prepares for the Australian Open of Surfing in Sydney on travel, post-surf beauty tips and the thrill of catching her first wave.
On working with Blake Lively on the set of The Shallows:
"It was such an incredible experience, she has been my favourite actress since I was a kid. I've watched all of Gossip Girl and Age of Adaline. She is my idol! Blake brought her baby, James, on set and we would sit in the make-up truck and talk. She is lovely - so nice."
On riding her first wave:
"When I was eight, my whole family were camping at Rainbow Beach [at the Sunshine Coast, QLD] and my dad pushed me onto my first wave on a big, long foam board. I remember standing up and catching it and riding it all the way through the flags, everyone was clapping and I've loved it ever since. And I was like THIS IS SO EPIC!"
On the highs and lows of being on tour:
"The best part is that all my friends travel and do the same competition, we all hang out, get coffee and surf together. Also that I get to travel to so many different countries [her collaboration with Billabong has landed her in The Maldives, Tahiti and Hawaii]. The worst part would have to be if it's cold and I have to get into a wet wetsuit it's then hard to psych myself up - especially if the waves are bad."
On her pump-up tunes of choice:
"I'm going through a big Florence + The Machine stage at the moment, but I recently got into Black Sabbath and Nirvana. They are great to listen to when I'm getting psyched up for a surf. I also like all the usuals like Taylor Swift."
"I'm not a girlie girl, I don't tend to wear make-up because I'm at the beach all the time. I like to wear high waisted denim shorts most of the time and Billabong have some really cool casual clothes. I love their prints, especially the floral wetsuits which are really colourful. It's awesome to stand out in the surf!"
Beauty tips for surfer girls:
"I always use sunscreen. I am pedantic about not getting burnt so I apply zinc and Sunbum sunscreen before every surf. My pet hate, though, has to be knotty hair. Every time I get out the water I use coconut oil or conditioner to detangle. Sometimes I find seaweed which is pretty gross".