Steph Gilmore is a woman who remains fiercely independent, wealthy and could well be considered the shiny Kelly of female pro surfing.
And when you think about it that way, with the surfing she has done and is doing, all with that big smile on her face, she may easily be counted among the most courageous surfers, male or female, of all time.
Tall and strong and gifted with equal parts strength and fluidity, Gilmore has overcome wild odds to simply outclass most men in both personal behaviour and surfing skill. Surfing’s first million dollar female pro, Stephanie Gilmore has not only overcome legions of female opponents, but the chauvinism of the male surfing scene as well.
Which may be her biggest achievement. "In my eyes," Stephanie says, "the best female surfer is someone who pulls into big barrels and can take getting scraped on the reef, but can then turn around and be graceful and stylish in beautiful waves in the most feminine way possible”.
Stephanie recently visited the fine Indonesia archipelago before the CT kicked off, heading straight for Grajagan and then rounding out her trip with some blazing Keramas super sessions.
And in her surfing could be heard the echoes of every ambitious, talented professional female surfer that had ever come before or after her reign. Still a joy to watch, better than 99 per cent of any of the men in the line-up, perhaps someday her surfing will finally serve to erode, once and for all, the misguided, misogynist attitudes our sport has suffered from the beginning. Forcing all us men to see the truth and the change.