The Stephanie Gilmore Interview

Photo: Morgan Maassen

When Whalebone Magazine asked me to interview someone, I decided to choose the amazing Stephanie Gilmore. We’ve traveled to many of my favorite destinations around the globe, sharing many laughs and gathering more friends for our global tribe. Stephanie now has six world titles, and somehow we ended up living right next to each other in Malibu — friends, and neighbors.

Alright. First of all, where are you right now?

I’m sitting in the Los Angeles airport in the Singapore lounge — people-watching, waiting for my flight.

Very rare, you being in an airport…

Yeah, this is my life. This is my second home.

First of all, do you remember your first trip to Montauk?

I do remember my first trip to Montauk. It was maybe seven… maybe like, ten years ago.


No, I lied. It was about probably six or seven years ago. I was with my good friend, Ava Warbrick, and she took me and my sister, Whitney, out there. We got showed around, got to see the surf. I think on that first trip we actually had some fun, little waves. We saw Jimmy Buffet cruise by in his big green van and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. I just remember having a really good time and thinking I couldn’t believe that I would come to New York and then experience a place that felt so similar to an Australian surfing town and I really appreciated that.

Okay, now for the probing questions. Are you ready? They’re very difficult. What is the best live music show you’ve ever seen, where and when?

The very best live music show? I’d have to say the best live guitar work that I’ve ever seen had to have been a Gary Clark Jr. at Falls Festival in Australia. That was actually New Year’s Eve last year. He just blew my mind — I could not believe that I was watching such a soulful, incredible performance. It was probably the closest thing that I’ll ever get to seeing a Jimi Hendrix play. I play guitar, so I just loved that.

Give me more, come on.

I loved watching the Yeah Yeah Yeahs…Karen O. They played at the Big Day Out. I think that might have been the year you were there, Shelby. Then I’d have to say Motorhead. That was awesome.

Band management – @whappenabatch Spoilt by @fender #SorryImBusyThisAfternoon #chur

A photo posted by Stephanie (@stephaniegilmore) on

This is amazing. Gary Clark Jr., Karen O. and Motorhead. I love your musical taste. Okay, now this one’s really difficult…coffee or matcha, and where’s your favorite spot to have a cup of it?

I would say coffee. Straight up coffee and my favorite place to have a good coffee is…there’re so many good places. I just love to have it at home, wherever I am.

It is the best spot. The places you actually get to wake up are pretty amazing.

Yeah, exactly. I mean, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops, too. There’s just so many around the world. Australia probably makes the best coffee.

I would have to agree with you. Who is your idol/an icon that inspires you the most? It doesn’t have to be a sports icon, just anyone in the world that inspires you.

There’s something about athletes that I am definitely drawn to. Someone like Usain Bolt…I just think is the greatest because he’s just such a character. To be obviously the fastest man on the planet, but I think just because he’s Jamaican he’s always being funny and cracking jokes and he just seems like a really humble, awesome guy. Secretly, I admire Conor McGregor because I think he’s so ridiculous and entertaining. I love it. UFC is something that I’ve just recently got into. It’s violent and brutal, but there’s just something about it that’s like watching a train wreck.

Uh oh! ? @ufc #imnotadonothingbish

A photo posted by Stephanie (@stephaniegilmore) on

You got to go to a match with Kelly.

I know, he’s obsessed with it. I don’t know, I look up to…I love what Rhianna does. I think Rhianna is so badass. She can do no wrong. She makes cool music. She just doesn’t give a f*ck. There’s so many. My sisters.

Oh yeah, your sisters.

My sisters are so awesome. Whitney, she teaches me lots of cool stuff. Yeah, I don’t know. Everyone. Shelby Meade. You know what I love about Shelby Meade? She gets shit done. You want something done, you just say, “You know what? You want to make it happen? Get off your ass and make it happen.” I love that. I think that’s what people need a lot more of in the world. I think that’s very inspiring, so thank you Shelby.

Thank you, thank you! Next one — what is the dream trip that you have not taken yet?

There are so many places to go that I haven’t been yet. I’m actually going to Iceland later this year, but I’ve been talking a lot about Scandinavia…places like that because I’m always at the beach. I’m always at places that are warm and tropical. It’s really nice to go and do the complete opposite and just be cold and get rugged up. It just seems more adventurous that way. I know Egypt’s kind of scary, but I’ve never been there. There are so many cool places in Australia that I’ve never been to, too.

Iceland’s pretty good. Scandinavia, I have to say I was completely in awe. I can’t wait for you to go there.

Yeah, Norway, up in those areas, just seem pretty unreal.

Alright. It needs to happen.

Then there’s Tel Aviv, and all those places.

You know those pics on the postcards, they are fo real! Swimming to my home the other day? ?: @crossandbone

A photo posted by Stephanie (@stephaniegilmore) on

What is your favorite meal, restaurant or hidden gem anywhere in the world? Your favorite places to share a meal?

One of my favorite restaurants would have to be Rubirosa in Nolita, NY. That one is the jam for all Italian deliciousness. And eating the fresh seafood on the island of Ponza in Italy.

What is your favorite app and how do you waste time in an airport because you spend a lot of time checking in early for international flights?

Man, social media. Instagram and those things. You just get down the rabbit hole of stalking people. Then, what else? I also have a Yahtzee game that I play with friends. Yahtzee app, which is kind of fun. I have a Backgammon app. I don’t know. I just read books on my phone and watch surf clips. I watch a lot of surf clips. They’re not really apps though. So, I’d say my favorite app would be Instagram.

Okay. Have you done those Instagram stories, yet?

No, I haven’t. What happened? Did they buy Snapchat, or is Snapchat going to die now? How’s that work?

I don’t know, but it’s funny. I’ve been cracking up at everybody getting used to it. It’s just kind of fun. You might have to try it on this trip.

I will. I’ll do it just for you.

Okay. Last one. What is a guilty pleasure that people would be surprised to know about you?

What can I say? Probably guitars. I have lots of guitars and I buy lots of guitars. I don’t know. That’s not even really a guilty pleasure, is it?


Flying business class. I would spend my last five cents flying business class.

That’s it, perfect.

It’s very extreme. Every time I do it I feel guilty about it, but at the same time, it makes me feel so happy about traveling. Yeah, that’s my guilty pleasure.

With the amount of planes you’re on, it’s necessary. You can get off the plane and the next day go right into either a competition or surfing. It just makes life better. It’s so worth it.

Yeah, 100%. If I go broke, you’ll know where all my money went… the airlines.

Oh man, I miss it already! ? #kneemoniasux

A photo posted by Stephanie (@stephaniegilmore) on

Alright. Anything you want to say to the Whalebone boys?

Hi boys, keep writing. They actually started a hashtag on my Instagram and they always write it, hashtag Steph come back. They want me to come back to Montauk.

Yeah, I think we’ll ask the boys to send a business class ticket ASAP and you’ll come right back.

Tell them I will come back, #iwillcomeback #imcoming.

Keep up with the 6x World Champ and her journey around the world (and perhaps, back to Montauk) on Stephanie’s Instagram. Thanks Steph!