Vicki Burley started surfing at 39 and she’s just become a grandmother. She entered her first competition a few years ago, despite only really surfing in the white water. She’s often the talking point at surf competitions, coming in as the underdog and exceeding expectations. She’s awesome… And she shatters all stereotypes surrounding surfing.
“At 46 and now a grandma, a full time teaching assistant, competing black belt in karate and coach at my own K1 Kickboxing club, a qualified level two International Surfing association Judge and a board/ surf artist so I’m a bit busy. So I just show up for contests and hope for the best!” Says Vicki.
If you have the pleasure of meeting Quiver Team Rider, Vicki Burley, you’ll not only be treated to very pleasant company but you’ll depart with a motivational lift. Her ‘you can achieve anything, do anything’ spirit is infectious. It’s also pushed her into the world of surf, somewhere she never expected to be, but loves.
“Surfing can be totally empowering! It’s so frustrating at times but I only need to go out and get a good wave and think ‘that’s the best wave ever!’ then forget about it when I get the next ‘best wave ever’. It’s brilliant fun and I love the competitions.”
Vicki lives in North Devon with her beach-loving family. She joined a local longboard club, not long after getting into surfing and recommends that anyone starting out does the same: “Joining a club really pushed me and my surfing and got me into competitions. I’ve now done a lot of British Longboard Union Comps and made some great friends along the way.”
Photo: Laurence Taylor
For many people, surfing is for the ‘young, brave & athletic’, but Vicki is an inspiration to any water-loving human. It’s never too late to learn and anyone can do it with a little determination. “Having a surf buddy is great because you’ll encourage each other to get in the water and practice,” she adds.
Vicki is also an advocate of familysurfing.co.uk – who aim to inspire more families to get out in the water, something she feels strongly about: “It’s so important to have quality family time and what better way to do it than spend a day at the beach. It’s great fun and fitness and you always leave on a high.”
Whoever you are, whatever you do, if you ever find yourself admiring surfers but thinking ‘I could never do that,’ think differently! Let Vicki be an inspiration to us all: “With a little perseverance, anyone can do it. There will be good days and hard days but just keep going. Keep going.”
Above: Vicky and grandson Eli.