Article seventeen: Surfing
At just 15 years of age, Shell Cove resident Oceanna Rogers has her eyes set on joining the growing list of South Coast prodogies to surf on a world stage.
She’s a regular on the waves and when she isn’t in the water, she’s at home working to build her business, Ocean Love Candles, which stocks a range of vegan-friendly soy candles.
We caught up with this goofy-footer grom to talk about growing up in Shell Cove.
I was born in Shell Cove and I love it! We live on a great street with amazing neighbours, it’s quiet and we get to live a pretty awesome lifestyle near the beach!
I love the ocean, I surf as much as possible and like a lot of people, I have to say The Farm at Killalea is right up there with one of my favourite spots. It’s a great swell almost always and the conditions, regardless of the winds, are almost always good and it’s just a beautiful spot to spend time.
I surf a lot with my Dad and we’ve been able to use our local experience to find a break that isn’t so busy, I’d tell you where but I don’t want everyone to know about it! But we spend a lot of time there when The Farm is packed. We’re really lucky to have so much choice here really.
I started surfing when I was just five but stopped and didn’t start again until I was eight when I had quit dancing and we were spending all our time at the beach.
Since then, I’ve competed in a lot of competitions locally and across Australia, last year I made it to the semis for the QS (Qualifying Series) tour which is the best of the best in Australia for our age, so I was stoked with that and they’ve just released the schedule for this year but no one knows what’s going to happen because of COVID so we’re all just trying to keep training, improving and we just have to wait and see.
I’m pretty lucky around here because there are so many different breaks and beaches to choose from, where a lot of the areas in Western Australia and Queensland, the conditions can be super tricky, so I’ve loved just being here and enjoying being out in the surf as much as possible.
When the surf isn’t any good or it’s too cold, I’ve started spending a lot more time Skateboarding with my brother which has been cool. He got really good and was having a great time so I’ve been joining him at the Skate Park in Shellharbour a lot recently. It’s different from the water, but so fun!
I’ve also been doing a lot of freediving and snorkelling around Bass Point, I just love the water so much and it's unreal around there - I’ve been snorkelling with Grey Nurse sharks around Bushrangers Bay!
I’m looking forward to the opportunity to travel the world and try new waves, Stephanie Gilmore is my favourite female surfer but Tyler Wright is super strong too. She’s done a lot in the surf, but what she does for equality and mental health is amazing and I’d love to be the next South Coast surfer with them. I love Italo Ferreira too – he’s so good to watch!
With COVID-19 putting a stop to any international travel though, there is still a lot of strong surfers in Australia to compete against, even locally, so we’re just enjoying what we have.
Outside of Shell Cove, I think Bendalong Beach has to be my next favourite, we used to go down all the time, 14 years, sometimes for two weeks and it was just so fun being out there.
I’m continuing to hand pour and sell as many candles as I can to help finance a new car and help pay all the travel costs to get to Western Australia to compete!
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To stay up to date with Oceanna’s surfing journey, be sure to check out her Instagram Page - @oceanna.rogers