Interview conducted by Kate Prince
Sophie Hellyer is 26 and lives on the North Devon coast and is a professional surfer. In her first year of competition Sophie won the British and English titles and this year won the Student Surf Tour 2013. She was on the Roxy Team for 10 years but now rides for Cushe. Sophie has a degree in Events Management and lives in North Devon where she grew up surfing with her dad and sister.
What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning and why?
I always brush my teeth because I hate not feeling fresh; my father was a dentist … so the importance of keeping my nashers clean was made very clear!
What do eat for breakfast and why?
Normally, I’ll have a healthy cereal like fruit and fibre with almond milk but I also love a fruit smoothie or fruit juice and green tea.
What is your work place like?
I am so lucky, I coach surfing for a living so my office is the beach! I spend most my time on the North Devon coastline at a couple of different beaches depending on conditions.
What do you eat for lunch?
I normally try to make a wrap if I’m at home with salad and veggies and I love lentil and hummus and coriander wraps. It’s harder on the road but I still try and have something nutritious and healthy. I don’t really eat much dairy so it’s very difficult in service stations and most cafes.
Do you snack?
I snack all the time! I try to eat a banana every day just to make sure I’m getting something healthy, because when I’m travelling it is hard to control what you eat and you can end up grabbing a bag of crisps.
What do you have for supper?
I like cooking but nothing too complex! I love making Thai green curry or stir-frys with lots of yummy green veg. I feel so much fresher if I have a healthy dinner.
What is the healthiest thing you do every day?
Laugh… I’ve always had really good stomach muscles and I’ve never done sit ups. I swear laughter is the key!
What is the hardest thing about your training programme?
The amount of travelling I do makes it really hard to stick to a training regime, and also the conditions make it impossible sometimes. I love to surf and skate; but at the moment the weather conditions just aren’t permitting it. When I can’t surf I try to swim or play football.
What do you find hardest in competition?
Surf competitions are really hard because the conditions impact it so dramatically; sometimes you’re just unlucky and nature doesn’t swing a wave your way.
What do you like most about competition?
I love seeing all the other girls that compete at competitions; we are pretty spread out across the country so it is nice to meet up and surf with each other.
Do you have something in your diet you consider a ‘super food’ and do you eat that before competing?
I eat a banana before competing and green tea to keep me warm and hydrated.
Where is your favourite place to compete?
I only compete in the UK so my favourite place to compete is Croyde Bay in North Devon. The waves are always fun and I know the break well.
Is there anything you do every day without fail and why?
Check the surf! I can’t plan my day until I’ve checked the conditions, tide, swell, wind etc.
Which three celebrities (dead or alive) would you love to train?
I love people who can make me laugh, so Will Ferrel, Mila Kunis and Steve Coogan!
What is your biggest luxury in life?
I love good products. I use a really good sun cream, moisturiser and conditioner because the sun and salt water batter my hair and skin!
What are the three things can’t you live without?
Lip balm, sunshine and green tea!
What do you go to bed thinking about?
Probably ‘what will the surf will be like tomorrow?’ I’ll always check it before bed to know if I need to get up early.
What is your motto in life?