Like most Aussie kids, Tyler Wright grew up in the water. Getting hooked on surfing with her siblings sparked a career that’s – fast-forward to now – seen her score two back-to-back world titles. Not to mention the Female Surfer of the Year gong at this year’s Australian Surfing Awards (her brother Owen was named Male Surfer of the Year).
But despite her passion for surfing, happiness and success for Tyler aren’t just about the board. They lie in family, adventure, the self-care rituals that keep the 23 year old balanced, not to mention the training she does away from the waves.
We chatted with the Jeep ambassador at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast 2018 tournament to find out what makes her tick.
What does a typical week of training look like for you?
A typical pre-season week would involve surfing twice a day and training. I like a fair bit of variety in my training. Of course surfing is a big part of it, but I also do dancing at Malleebull dance studio on the Gold Coast, Ginastica Natural [a body-weight workout designed for surfers] with Kid Peligro and Breath Enhancement Training with Mark Visser. I really enjoy training that teaches me how to use and move my body differently.
What goes through your head when you're out in the water?
It’s actually quite busy. You’ve got the break, your position, the wind, wave selection, what type of wave you want. Then you have who’s in your heat, where are they positioned in the water? You’ve always got to be aware of what they’re doing, then what you’re going to do. Obviously timing, strategy, technique, tactics, stuff like that. You’ve got to be able to physically handle the workload, plus mentally be able to make decisions in a clear and decisive manner.
Congrats on winning Surfer of the Year alongside your brother. What was that like?
It was quite wonderful. It was a special moment in time that’s for sure, to be up there and share that with him. He’s been on quite a journey himself [Owen made his professional comeback last year after being seriously injured during a surf in Hawaii in 2015].
You joined surfing’s Championship Tour at 16, and have spoken about burning out at one stage. Now, how do you keep some balance?
[My career] is part of what I do in life but it’s not all of my life, so finding that balance is super-important. Going out on adventures is fun for me, and getting away from surfing. That way, when I’m here to surf, I’m here and I’m really feeling it; I’m not wanting to be somewhere else. I’m always very content to be where I am. I use a couple of techniques [to help with this], but the main one is meditating twice a day.
What kind of adventures?
Recently we went out into the Blue Mountains, or I just go back home [in Culburra Beach on the NSW coast] and go on adventures where we grew up. Going four-wheel driving, going to the beach, just getting out and doing something different, seeing Mother Nature. It’s wonderful, and the feeling is incredible.
Who inspires you, personally and professionally?
My coach [former pro surfer Glenn Hall]. And my coach’s wife is pretty incredible. She has three kids. I’m taken away with my coaches; [we] obviously travel a lot, and what she does is just incredible. Full superhuman. She’s just a mum doing what a mum does. Also professionally, Steph Gilmore has always been a standout, as well as [pro snowboarder] Torah Bright. Athletes like them.
Lastly, tell us something surprising about you.
I’m a super free-spirited kid, but I really love a schedule. Never tell me what to do, but if you tell me a time to be there with what I have to do, I’ll be there on time, even five minutes beforehand. I’ll be ready to go.
Women’s Health was taken to the Gold Coast by Jeep Australia to launch the new Jeep Compass.