In the latest episode of the Inspired Surfers Podcast, presented by Jimmys, Jim is in conversation with celebrated waterwoman and environmental activist Belinda Baggs.
Born and raised in Newcastle, NSW, Belinda first made a name for herself as a competitive surfer, winning the Aussie longboard circuit and getting third in the World Champs in 2000. However, after falling in love with single fin logs on a trip to California, she became a key figure in traditional longboarding’s resurgence. As a free surfer, she became celebrated for elegant style and approach, landing roles in numerous surf films, including the seminal Sprout and becoming the first female surfer to be featured on the cover of the Surfers Journal.
Belinda is also a passionate climate activist, having worked as a surf and environmental ambassador full time for Patagonia for several years. She played a central role in the Fight For The Bight campaign, which last year succeeded in deterring Norwegian oil giant Equinor from drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
Around the same time, Belinda co-founded Surfers For Climate – a non-profit set up to provide a place for surfers to come together and turn the tide on climate change, alongside legendary surf filmmaker Jack McCoy and Sir Paul McCartney.
In this conversation, Belinda and Jim discuss her various forays into surfing and activism, exploring in detail the elements that allowed the FFTB campaign to succeed and how local communities around the world can apply that powerful model to tackle their own local issues.
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- An introduction to Belinda; her winter surfing habits and wetsuit needs along her home coastline in Victoria.
- Her appreciation for her adopted home and its variety of waves.
- The challenges of getting waves at Bells.
- Her early life, growing up in Newcastle and following the family footsteps into longboarding.
- The experience of riding a traditional single fin log for the first time in California.
- Moving away from competition and into a role with Patagonia as a global surf activist
- What the role entails
- How The Fight For Bight inspired her to start her own non-profit; Surfers For Climate
- A recap of the campaign and the momentum and enthusiasm it garnered
- A dive into why the campaign succeeded
- How communities can apply that powerful model to other local issues
- The just-launched ‘Wipeout Your Emissions’ guide, which will help surfers figure out how they can reduce their carbon footprint.
- Introducing a new campaign against the approval of natural gas exploration in the Otway Basin.
- How having a child drives Belinda’s passion for fighting climate change, to ensure he has the best possible future.
- Jim’s experience of parenthood and the KYCU academy – which uses positivity as a tool for success
- Belinda’s three favourite waves on earth and Maldives surf trip recommendations.