Sally Fitzgibbons is a passionate advocate of having an active lifestyle and a figurehead in the evolution of women’s surfing. She has won 11 World Surfing League World Tour Championships and is currently ranked third in the Women’s World Surf League. Teaming up with COMO Hotels and Resorts, Sally Fitzgibbons brings surfing and wellness to all-female surf retreats in COMO Uma Canggu and COMO Shambhala Estate. The Surf and Wellness Retreat with Sally Fitzgibbons is designed to celebrate women’s strength and ability and to inspire a path towards positive change
WHAT GOT YOU INTO SURFING? WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO SURF?
My environment got me into surfing, growing up on the beautiful headland at Gerroa in Australia surrounded by water. My dad, Marty, taught me how to surf and my mom would take my three older brothers and me down to the beach everyday as our playground.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SURFING FOR WOMEN?
The benefits aren’t just defined for women or men; it is a pure connection to our natural elements that makes your senses dance and feel alive. Surfing has a different meaning and connection for each individual. If you open yourself up to a life in the ocean, it will be the most epic partner to share life with.
WHAT CAN GUESTS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN, EXPECT FROM THE SURF RETREAT AT COMO UMA CANGGU AND COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE?
Just simply the best time! I want the guests to come with an open mind to reconnect with themselves and new energies that are all here to share and have fun. To challenge their senses to all styles of movement but also find the joy in stillness and calm of not having to do more…to be more. It’s going to be epic.
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WHEN AND HOW DID YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH COMO START?
It is only a relatively new relationship. COMO’s values and energy really resonate with me and our vision to share what we both love about life with guests can only be a lot of fun. I’m really excited to be doing my first workshop with them and for it to be so focused on empowering women and on mental and physical wellbeing.
DO YOU THINK MORE WOMEN SHOULD GET INTO SURFING? WHY?
You really don’t have to force surfing on anyone. I feel it will find you when the time is right. It is not just an activity, but more a full immersion in nature that makes you stop setting your day to your watch but more so to the tides, the wind, the adventure to find the best waves on any given day. It really brings a lot of flow and joy to your life and I feel the women that I share time in the water surfing with all around the world feel exactly the same. You become a part of community bigger than you would have imagined.
ANY WORDS FOR WOMEN WHO ARE NOT TOO KEEN ON SURFING?
Open yourself to experiencing new things. You don’t know if you are keen or not until you challenge the unknown and see what’s waiting on the other side. Trust yourself to go there.
See also: Top 10 Wellness Retreats in the World
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
Showing up in all life’s experiences as the best version of myself to learn and grow.
YOU’VE ALSO WRITTEN TWO BOOKS. ARE YOU WRITING A THIRD ONE?
It was so much fun sharing some of my adventures and passions over the years in my first two books. The first book Live Like Sally was more about sharing the beginning of my journey and pursuit of competitive excellence and healthy living. The second book Summer Fit All Year Round was mainly sharing some healthy living tips, recipes and some basic exercise routines. I definitely can’t wait to share more.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
“It’s just that simple”.
YOU PROBABLY SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME IN A BIKINI OR A WETSUIT. WAS THERE EVER A TIME WHEN YOU FELT SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT YOUR BODY?
I have grown and learnt a lot about my true self and going through phases and lessons of really embracing me. Each individual will attest to moments of doubt, insecurity, pressure and learning how to have a beautiful relationship with self.
I really feel everyone could challenge themselves to ease up and be a lot kinder to self, and to really embrace internally and externally who you are and show a lot more love for exactly who you are now, not who you want to be or what you are changing to get better. Just right now. A lot of my experiences with body expectation for self and others has allowed me to shape the lens I now look through. There is no finish line on it, though you must continue to understand and listen to yourself and allow emotion to come and go.
We are living a human experience, I say embrace it.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS
Sally Jayne Fitzgibbons [smiles].
FAVORITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION
Wherever my feet are with surfboard in hand. Surfing just makes me smile every time. I expect COMO Uma Canggu to be one of my new favorites.
YOUR FAVORITE SPA
3 THINGS YOU SHOULD PACK
Your favorite surfboard, favorite thing to surf and exercise in (could be bikini, one pieces or wetsuit) and an open mind to have some fun.
FAVORITE ‘ME’ TIME
Sit still and spend time with ME, listen and provide some space. Also – I love a good massage.
WHAT’S YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE? DO YOU PRACTICE OTHER SPORTS?
I love my processes, preparation and training every single day to be the best surfer I can possibly be. Some of these include: stretching, cardio, breathwork and surfing.
FOOD YOU CRAVE
Any kind of roasted veggies.
THE BOOK ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE
Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
WEBSITES YOU REGULARLY VISIT
Sharing my journey on my social platforms, World Surf League, Magic Seaweed for Surf Forecasting.
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM?
All the surfers on the World Surf League tour, awesome to live on tour together as friends and get inspired by the surf clips and shots they put up from our practice sessions.
YOUR BEAUTY SECRET
Be YOU and embrace it. Jump in the ocean every day. Exfoliate your feet in the sand at the beach.
WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT?
Watching sport and jet lag.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
People who keep showing up to do their best.
YOUR SECRET TO SUCCESS
You don’t have to be patient for the thing you are working towards…it’s all happening right now.