Born and bred in Cronulla, Jazmyn Turner started surfing when she was 8 years old during the summer break. She would spend most days at South Cronulla beach and slowly taught herself how to stand up. A long-time member of Cronulla Girls Boardriders, she shares a few tips about her local.
Cronulla has plenty of surf spots to choose from. Which one is your local, and how would you describe it?
I live opposite Sand Shoes at Oak Park, so that’s where you’ll find me most of the time. It’s a right-hander that breaks over-friendly reef with its fair share of urchins lying beneath. It’s a really fun, playful wave and you’re always guaranteed a few good waves. I’ve come to know the locals that surf out there well. They are always super friendly and let me have my fair share of waves. We are pretty lucky living in Cronulla as we have plenty of surf spots to choose from. Our beaches get pretty good waves, and as it’s a long stretch of beach, it spreads the crowd out a bit.
You’re part of Cronulla Girls Boardriders. What’s that like?
I joined Cronulla Girls Boardriders when I was around 14 years old. It’s a great club to be a part of, and we meet on the last Saturday of every month. All the girls are really friendly, and we all love the same thing, so it makes it super fun. Cronulla Girls Boardriders is a very fun and welcoming club to be a part of. Everyone makes sure everyone feels welcome, and there’s always a lot of cheering happening during the heats.
It also seems like the club is growing bigger every year?
This year we had 77 girls sign up for Cronulla Girls Boardriders, which is massive! We are almost as big as the men’s clubs in the area, which is pretty cool. Kathryn and Jen (Ward) do such an amazing job running everything and always making sure everyone feels welcome. In the last few years, women’s surfing has taken off, and I think this has really shown by how many girls have joined the club. We have girls as young as six joining and charging, which is super cool to see. I believe it’s not just a club; it’s more like a girls surfing community. Girls, no matter what age, can get together and share the love of the sport as well as feel comfortable in and out of the water.
“There’s always a nice vibe in the ocean, and I really enjoy seeing all the younger and older girls giving it a go.”
What else do you like about surfing in Cronulla?
I love surfing here because you’ll always know a familiar face in the water, which makes you feel comfortable and safe. The majority of the time, you’ll also find a good wave. There are so many fun waves in the area, and if it’s flat, we can drive 30 minutes down the coast and find uncrowded breaks. There’s always a nice vibe in the ocean, and I really enjoy seeing all the younger and older girls giving it a go.
Talking about giving it a go, what spots would you recommend for beginners?
I learnt to surf at South Cronulla Beach, so I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a pretty flat, shallow beach, making it easier to walk back out to the break. I work as a Surf Instructor for Cronulla Surfing Academy. What I’ve learned is you always have to adapt to the conditions. Some days will be perfect for running beginner lessons and others not so much. Ideally, low tide is best for beginners, and most of the time, you can find a suitable bank for them.
What about intermediate and advanced surfers?
Anywhere along the beach is good for intermediate surfers. There is always a bank with a big enough channel for them to get out in.
“You might get the odd blow-up between two old guys that think they’re Kelly Slater, but other than that, it’s usually pretty chilled.”
Any good tips about where to fuel your energy level after the session?
Cronulla has so many options for cafes and restaurants, but you can’t beat the acai bowls from Shelly Park Shop. Pilgrims does a delicious range of healthy vegetarian foods, which is my go-to. Ladies Wholefoods at Woolooware also does an epic chocolate smoothie which is perfect in summer.
How would you describe the vibe in Cronulla?
I have grown up in Cronulla and have noticed it slowly changing. Like anywhere, things get busier, and people just learn to adjust to it. I really enjoy the vibe here; it’s a pretty laid-back lifestyle. We are surrounded by some beautiful beaches, national parks and have some great waves on offer. It’s also always pretty chilled around here. You might get the odd blow-up between two old guys that think they’re Kelly Slater, but other than that, it’s usually pretty calm.
I find you have your morning crowds, with the same people, no matter what the weather or waves are like. They’re out there to get a few waves before work or school. Then there’s the next slot of people around 9-10am, usually the old guys who ride mals and love to sit out the back and have a chat. Then there’s usually a bit of a window during the middle of the day before the after-school crowd takes over.
As for the weekend, there’s always plenty of weekend warriors about. I guess wherever you go, you’re always going to have locals of that break be a bit more territorial. I think it’s important to remember to take your turn and share the waves, especially if you’re surfing a wave with a smaller take off section. Like anywhere we get our crowded days. Surfing has become so popular in the last few years. I’m always noticing more and more beginners out there giving it a go, which is awesome to see.