You might recognise this lady from some of our Salt Gypsy surf leggings marketing. We first met her last year when she was a guest on our boat in the Maldives. We had one of the biggest, best swells of the season when she was onboard so I was ridiculously excited to have the girls up for getting amongst the 2 – 3 x overhead walls and ensuing barrels. Meet Claire Youmans: a Maroubra-residing, physio-to-the-surf-stars, Kiwi charger….
Hey Claire! How`s life amongst the Australians?? It`s not too bad, there are plenty of us over here…slowly taking over! But yes, they do tend to subtly mock my accent…or even not so subtly haha. It can get a bit busy and crowded in the surf for my liking. But in saying that, I have it pretty good. I currently live out at Maroubra and I have a few late starts during the week where I can run down to the beach and sneak in some nice uncrowded surfs. The weekends are generally manic regardless so that`s where you just need a car to go on missions. There are so many options north and south of Sydney…and I find the further you get from the city, the more it becomes like home (NZ)..less crowded and friendlier people!
Not only are you a schrelping Salt Gypsy model, you`re also a professional physiotherapist – awesome combo! Recommend any stretches for those niggly sore spots we get from surfing? Surfing is such a hard sport to replicate on land but yoga is a really good partner to surfing. Most basic sun salutations will take you through the positions you need in surfing. If you want a bit more strength work, I think the TRX is a great resistance training workout.
You also get to work at the Bells contest every year. Can you tell us some of your highlights from past comps…Yeah, I have worked on the Bells comp the past 3 years, which basically came about after covering the Beachley Classic womens WCT event since about 2007. I have done a fair bit of sports coverage in my job working with rugby and soccer but the surfing events are by far the best…setting up office at the beach watching and treating the world`s best surfers. Any job where they expect you to rock up with your surfboard is a good one surely!
At the Beachley event there is only the top 17 woman surfers, they are really easy to work with and all super nice and grateful. It`s also bloody inspiring watching how much those girls can rip! It`s quite a step up to Bells, much bigger event, and with both the men and women there are a lot more surfers to take care of! Huge crowds, much bigger set up. But still lots of fun. It is great as we (myself and the Chiro) work out of the surfer`s area so tend to have one of the best views in the house. Not a bad few weeks at the office that`s for sure!
And yes, I have had a few chances to give Slater some good rubdowns haha…but of course I can`t give details…you know patient confidentiality and all that ;). But that does go down as bit of a career highlight. Just getting to work with one of the greatest athletes of all time is fantastic and he is super in tune with all his injuries and diet etc. I guess you don`t keep winning world titles at 41 unless you look after yourself!
Your favourite surf spots…
Pines – Wainui Beach, Gisborne (NZ)…where I used to surf everyday after I moved there, trying to learn to surf!
Creeks – Makorori, Gisborne (NZ)…just love love surfing there…really anywhere in Gissy. It`s my favourite place in the world: great people, great lifestyle, great surf.
Bingin – Bali…it gets so crowded but I got my first ever proper barrel there and it can just be so fun and perfect.
Maldives!…We had the most epic trip there last year (and of course such a fantastic surf guide – Danny!!) (Author interjection – I didn`t tell her to write that, promise)….so many fun waves it was ridiculous!! I especially fell in love with Jails and Chickens!
What gets you jumping out of bed every morning going, “Hell yeah life is rad!” The fact that I feel pretty lucky for the things I get to do. It`s easy to get swamped down in this, that and the other with life. But having fun keeps us young and enjoying some moments in almost every day.
Words you live by….
The only constant is change.
If we came to visit you on the metro shores of Oz, where would you take us for some epic post-surf tucker? And coffee? And cold beers perving on some hot Aussies?? Well, the coffee at my place is pretty good. I am a little bit in love with my nespresso machine!! Haha..but that is the great thing about Sydney…so much good food and coffee if you know where to find it…
Meet Me At Molly`s do the best coffee in Maroubra (after my house) but otherwise I frequent Luxe everyday whilst at work in Bondi Junction! For dinner my absolute favourites are Bloodwood in Newtown of the Nourishing Quarter in Surry Hills. For a drink…well I just recently found a new favourite pub: the Bucklers Canteen in Bondi. They let us skateboard around in the pub! Amongst many other crazy antics…definitely the most laid-back and fun pub I have been in in Sydney..and with a killer jukebox too!
*Claire Youmans is a physiotherapist currently living and working in Sydney. She can be contacted here.