Lilly Pollard- Barrels, Good Air and Her Body Body Boarding Mission
Champion Body Boarder Lilly Pollard was born in Sydney Australia in 1981 and started bodyboarding on the Central Coast NSW at the age of 15, influenced by her brother John, to become a "surfie chick!"
Loving bodyboarding straight away, she began competing and placed third in her first two events, which set the ball rolling. Lilly then went on to compete in many state and national events, winning the Junior Women's Aussie Title and then went on to compete on the Australian Pro Tour.
Lilly is now four times Australasian Pro Tour champion, winning in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 Tour champion.
We regularly catch up with Lilly as she is our Body Boarding Coach of choice and she is such a pleasure to hangout with, but let us introduce you to her.
Lilly where are you based?
Cronulla, Sydney NSW where I coach at the BodyBoard Academy
Tell us about some of your career highlights:
My three big wins on the World Tour!
- 2014 Pipeline Pro Champion, Hawaii
- 2011 Encanto Pro Champion, Puerto Rico
- 2007 El Confital Pro Champion, Canary Islands
But really, the best moments in my life stemmed from my love of bodyboarding; whether it was travelling to compete on the world tour or when I was living in my car traveling around Australia searching for waves. My love of the ocean opened up a whole lot of other unforgettable experiences.
Favourite bodyboarding location & why?
My favourite wave is down in Jervis Bay. That region just has the best bush walks and wildlife in and out of the water, and also the wave itself is just so perfect for bodyboarding. You can get an amazing barrel then do any kind of aerial move you can imagine off the end section to finish.
The locals are awesome, and it’s just a place that feels like home to me. I’ve so often been out there with dolphins and whales, and there are always kangaroos and echidnas to say hello to around there.
What is it about bodyboarding that you love?
Being in the sea is just heaven to me. I love the revitalising energy from the ocean and being so connected to nature. Plus nothing beats that feeling of being inside a barrel or landing a good air!
For those women out there who would love to have a go at bodyboarding, what is your key advice?
Do it! You’ll never look back. If you're having some trouble, don't give up, ask for help. Get a couple of coaching lessons and you’ll save yourself so much time and become so much more confident. I know for some people the ocean is a bit daunting, so having someone guide you a bit at the start is so helpful. Go with a friend for extra fun and support!
What do you say to the upcoming young women in the sport of bodyboarding about getting involved in competitions and the fact that it is still such a male dominated sport?
Most guys are super supportive and stoked to see girls in the water, so don’t worry at all. Don't forget that everyone has been a learner at one point, so it’s nothing to be embarrassed about to not be good. Surround yourself with positive and helpful people and you’ll go far. I find competitions are so great because they inspire me to train harder and really help develop my mental skills and mindfulness.
The APB Women’s World Tour is currently structured so that any girl can enter, you just start in the early rounds, and so it’s well worth aiming to compete in a world tour event one day. Why not? You can do it! Get practicing and go have some fun!
Favourite type of adventure and / or travel destination?
I love camping so much! Anything to do with nature and wildlife is just heaven to me. My partner and I love going on bush walks everywhere we go. Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Canary Islands were probably my favourite destinations on tour.
Do you have a big adventure planned for 2017/18 ? If so can you share with us what it is?
I have had such an amazing journey so far travelling and exploring the world, but at the moment I am on a mission to grow women’s bodyboarding and share it with the world and help people improve their skills with my coaching business. I just am dying to pass on my knowledge and share with people how good the lifestyle is as a bodyboarder.
What are your favourite words to live by?
I believe kindness, compassion and mindfulness is key. And also to never give up!