Jess Laing: Resilient and determined, Jess is sponsored by Roxy and has surfed with Chronic Fatigue for the last 5 1/2 years. After being diagnosed in 2004, Jess was advised to leave school to concentrate on her health. Battling to get out of bed and into the water each morning she’s kept up her surfing until recently injuring herself. It’s been a tough 12 months for Jess but she’s not giving up yet. Surfing is her first love and she’ll do anything to be in the water.
Nikki van Dijk: Nikki’s Dad taught her to surf on the beaches of Phillip Island, where she has grown (is still growing) up. At the tender age of 10 Nikki was talent spotted by Rip Curl and in 2007 was the youngest ever State Junior Champion, taking out the Quiksilver State Championships at just 12 years of age. At 14, Nikki won the local trials for a wildcard to compete in the main event of the Rip Curl Women’s Pro in 2009. After surfing her way to 9th place she was knocked out by team mate Steph Gilmore. Now 15, Nikki has been concentrating on the Pro Junior Series and is aiming for the World Tour one day.
India Payne: Not many teenage girls get the opportunity to travel Australia, riding the best breaks and competing against future world surfing champs. But India has, and it’s her focus, drive and easy-going attitude that make her everyone’s mate and such an unsuspected threat. India grew up living by and surfing the breaks of Phillip Island. Billabong has sponsored her for 3 years running, and at 15 she’s well travelled with a swag of medals swinging from her neck.
Georgia Fish: As a young teenager, Georgia moved from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula where she now lives. Sponsored by Billabong ‘G’ as she’s fondly known spends a lot of time training and traveling with India. Known for her fearlessness Georgia shows the First Love audience how to charge in the Hawaiian swell.
Cahill Bell-Warren: Wise beyond his years Cahill has known Nikki, Jess & India longer than he (or they) can remember. Always giving them advice or encouragement at competitions this Torquay Boardrider is a great friend to the girls. Sponsored by Fox, Cory Surfboards, Electric, Peak Wetsuits, Creatures Of Leisure, Futures Fins, Reef, Sex Wax this 21 yr old is immersed in the Australian Surf industry and works for Surfing Victoria full time while saving and training hard to get onto the QS.
Stephanie Gilmore: Four time ASP World Champion, Super Girl, Steph Gilmore is the hero and role model to every young surfer – including First Love girls Jess, India and Nikki. With a goal of meeting Steph in Hawaii the First Love cast and crew spent a month hanging out with Steph on the North Shore and managed to capture her third world title victory and celebration on film.
Alana Blanchard: Dubbed the Hottest Surfer in The World Alana Blanchard is a lady of pure surfing instinct – her natural style and beauty is hard to miss.
CoCo Ho: Hailing from the North Shore’s Royal Family of surfing ‘the Ho’s’ – 19 yr old Coco’s youthful success and unique style is an inspiration to all budding surfers.
Bethany Hamilton – bethanyhamilton.com
Carissa Moore – carissamoore.com