Charlotte Bayliss: the British surfer set on making 2017 her year

WE TALK to Brtish surfer Charlotte Bayliss about her jounrey to becoming an athlete who has travelled and competed around the world.

Charlotte Bayliss

Surfing has taken Charlotte around the world and seen her build a solid reputation for herself in the sport.


CHARLOTTE BAYLISS was encouraged to give all sports a go by her parents from a young age. She’d surfed a couple of times before she went on a week-long course at 14 but it was from then that she was really taken with the sport.


In recent years Charlotte has seen the fruits of all the effort she has put into the sport. She won the Ladies Longboard English Championships a couple of years ago and was fifth in the Salinas Longboard Festival in 2016. She was, in fact, in first place for the British title last year but ultimately finished fourth. She hopes she can learn from that this year and go on to finish even higher.


Read on to find out what it is about the sport that makes Charlotte tick and find out some of the highlights she has enjoyed along the way.


When did you start surfing and who encouraged you to give the sport a go?


I moved to Jersey from the Midlands when I was seven and my parents had always encouraged me to take any opportunities to try new things. I had a few surf lessons here and there over the next few years then when I was 14 I signed up to a week-long summer camp. I had such an amazing instructor called Linzi who really encouraged me and got me riding green waves. From there my love for the sport grew and after saving for my own board my parents would pack me into the campervan and bundle me down the beach so that I could get my practice in. They would be there in all weathers and helped me tackle my first winter with hot chocolates and hand warmers waiting for me!


Charlotte Bayliss

Charlotte took a week-long course in surfing at the age of 14 when she became really taken with the sport.


Where did you grow up and what kind of opportunities did it give you to surf?


Moving to Jersey was the best thing that could ever have happened to me. It gave me so many opportunities in so many different things from meeting amazing friends, having a great education and being surrounded by such beautiful scenery. The lifestyle for many people over here is to finish work and school and head to the beach, particularly in the summer months. Jersey is only a 9 x 5 mile island so you are never far away from the waves. When I was at school I used to head to the beach whenever I had a free period and I’d often get up at first light to get a surf in before school. This carried on when I started working and I still do it now. I’m lucky that at the moment I work odd hours so even through the winter I get some time off in the day whilst there is some daylight. I really can’t complain!


Charlotte Bayliss

Countries Charlotte has surfed in have included the US, Australia and New Zealand.


Where in the world has the sport taken you to and what have been some of the highlights?


I have been so lucky to travel all over the world with surfing. I’ve been to Santa Theresa in Costa Rica 3 times and this is one of my favourite places; the waves and weather are incredible and the people are so welcoming. I’ve also travelled to France, Spain, Ireland and Portugal in Europe and then travelled further afar to California, New Zealand and the East and West Coast of Australia. Each have their own highlights but if I had to pick a couple it would be California for it’s incredible range of waves and New Zealand for it’s insane beauty.


Charlotte Bayliss

Charlotte is currently working hard to become ISA recognised.


What have been your biggest achievements in surfing to date?

As far as competitions go I am always proud that I won the Ladies Longboard English Championships a couple of years back and I was stoked to place 5th in the Salinas Longboard Festival in 2016. I competed in the Noosa Festival in 2016 as well and this was an amazing opportunity. 2016 was a bit upsetting as I was aiming for the British Title and I was sat in 1st at the last event however I had to write off this event due to a chest infection. I ended up in 4th but after working so hard it was a bit heart breaking. Since then I have focused more on tackling new techniques and improving confidence and I feel a greater sense of achievement when I master something – I’ve been working on my hang 10’s since getting my new board and I’m feeling more confident with each surf.


Charlotte Bayliss

After great promise Charlotte was slightly disappointed with how 2016 ended but will give everything to achieve what she knows she can once the new season begins.


Who do you look up to most in the surfing community?

Carissa Moore. I was lucky to meet her briefly when I was in Margaret River last winter. Tyler had just knocked her out meaning her chance at the title had just been taken from her. She had such a beautiful personality and although you could tell she was heartbroken she took the time to speak to everyone who had been waiting for her as she walked back to the tent, posing for photos and signing peoples posters. I feel that she has made a massive impact on women’s surfing not only in the way that she absolutely shreds but also in the way that she promotes healthy living and body positivity. She’s awesome!


What are you currently training for and what are your plans and ambitions for 2017 and beyond?

Jersey is currently going through the registration to become ISA recognized so if everything comes through in time we hope to take a team to Biarritz for the ISA world championships so I’m hoping to qualify for that. In September the team will then travel to Norway which has always been on my list of destinations I would love to visit so I’m planning to put more time into my shortboarding and aim for that event. There will then be the British Longboard Tour events with the first one being in Jersey at the end of the Spring.

I’m hoping to try to travel to warmer climates soon and it would be amazing to do some coaching so that I could meet some new ladies to share waves with. Long term I’ve got plans to head back to California and New Zealand and would love to explore some of the more untouched areas of Indonesia. Surfing takes you to some epic places that’s for sure!!

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