The final part of this three part series is an interesting one. This back-footed goofy footer is a standout whenever she hits the line-up. A surfer from South Africa but lives in Australia, this surfer has created quite a name for herself in the competitive surfing scene. She is not one to think of lightly coming into a heat with her fearless approach to sections and true desire to win. We watched this talented goofy footer lockdown a 10 point ride at our home beach in Narrabeen last year while competing in the Australian Open Series which left everyone on the beach cheering.
Sarah Baum has been competing since 2008 and has constantly pushed the boundaries while doing it. She always shines through in the line-up whether it be big or small waves and has a great team to back her.
Sarah also will be joining Philippa and Freya in the Challenger Series however she will be representing her beloved South Africa on the journey.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Sarah just before she boarded her flight.
Living in Newcastle now, how have you been preparing for the Challenger Series and getting yourself ready for the journey ahead?
“Living in Newcastle while prepping for these events has been pretty good. There is no shortage of coastline here with so many different breaks so I have been able to pick and choose which beach will be similar to the ones we will be competing at overseas. For the last 4 weeks we have been in lockdown which means no travelling but the surf has been firing at my local area so I have been surfing my brains out haha.”
Your partner Georgia also travels with you and is also an Exercise Physiologist. How is it having her in your team and having that edge on your competitor by having someone always there to keep your body in check?
“Having Georgia there by my side throughout all the events will be so helpful. She is a huge advocate for making sure you do your exercises to keep your body in check. After a long day of surfing I tend to get pretty tired but she’s always there to make sure I am stretching or doing the right thing to be able to perform at the best of my ability for the next day.”
We noticed you ride Smith boards, how do you go with working on boards with your shaper when he is so far away?
“I actually used to ride for Gee back in the day when I was around 16. They were some of the best boards I had ever had in my life. And now that I have the opportunity to ride those boards again and having that confidence of knowing I have the right boards under my feet feels amazing. Technology is amazing these days haha we are still able to keep in touch about boards super closely and now that Smth Shapes is up and running in Australia is even better. We can work even closer to make sure they are the right sticks for me.”
How are you feeling leading into the events and what are your goals as they grow closer and closer?
“I am super excited to just get back into the swing of competing. I had a few years break and then when I found my feet again in 2020 I took out a few early events here in Australia so I was really starting to get my groove back. Then the pandemic hit which really sucked but I tried to make the most of it to make sure I was ready to go again when things kicked off. So I feel more ready than I ever have been and I am just so excited for the adventure ahead. Goal wise, obviously is to make the World Tour, however my game plan is always to do my best and to take each heat as it is right in front of me. I just want to perform at the best of my ability. I know I have what it takes to make it to the world tour, I just need believe in myself and my ability.”
What do you need to bring to your surfing in 2021 to qualify for the WSL Championship Tour?
“I think consistency is the key. If I am able to surf like I do in free surfs and surf smart, that’s what gets you to the top.”
We also got to touch base with Georgia to talk about Sarah and the plan for her 2021 Challenger series campaign.
Being a part of Team Baumy, how is it as a partner to be there with your loved one through the wins and the losses?
“Being on ‘Team Baumy’ is nothing short of amazing, anyone who knows Sarah knows how much of a kind gentle soul she is. Being apart of her journey and career in this sport is a huge privalage and one I am very thankful to share with her. Sarah is extremely humble and when the wins are there it’s obviously a huge high for the whole team but like any sport when the losses occur it’s definitely heart breaking. We are both very competitive people so when something doesn’t go to plan I feel everything she does. With that being said, how Sarah carries herself during the highs and lows is a massive credit to her character and something she should most definitely be commended for.”
You are also an exercise Physiologist, have you helped to prevent or repair any injuries for Sarah or have you had to help her during recovery?
“As an Ex Phys, it is super handy for Sarah to be around as everything I practice in the clinic Is what I preach in my (our) life. I’ve encouraged Sarah to practice a holistic approach in life and in training. We both train together which is a huge push for her, especially being competitive with each other haha. Sarah has developed so much as an athlete since when I first met her and I think me being able to provide education around the physiology of why you must keep the body strong has played a massive role in this. The way we live our lives through training and recovery strategies has definitely been a huge driver in the prevention of injuries for Sarah.”
Sarah’s coach, former Pro Surfer Amee Donohoe is one of our favourite coaches. She is a straight shooter and can improve anyone’s competitive game. We hit up Amee to see how she works with Sarah to get her ready for the challenger series.
Amee, you have been working with Sarah for quite some time now. How has it felt to watch her grow throughout her surfing career?
“I love working with Baumy she is such a great athlete to work with. So dedicated and focused.
I feel like now is Sarah’s time to shine. She has matured and her mental game is now equaling her surfing ability which has never been questioned. She is such a smooth strong beautiful surfer to watch graceful yet aggressive. If she can formulate a strong heat strategy with a consistent approach I’m sure her place amongst the best in the world is waiting.”
She is off for the Challenger Series, what does Sarah need to do to grab a spot on the CT against the best women in the world?
“Consistent heats, a positive self belief In her ability.
Her huge first turns with a double combo and a complete strong finish will equal those excellent scores every time.”
If you could describe Sarah in 1 word as a competitive surfer what would it be?
So there you have it, three amazing female surfers whose names you should keep in your favourites lists. Surfing as a sport can sometimes be guilty of sprooking a few great surfers based on a small media outlet, however these three women prove the talent pool is deep in the modern era of female surfers. Also, not only are they great surfers, gnarly competitors and willing to push themselves every year, they are also some of the nicest people you could meet.
For us that makes them the full package.
To find out more about Sarah follow her here: https://www.facebook.com/Sarah-Baum-155007724668182/