What does 3 years of surfing look like on Mademoiselle of the Sea surfer and film photographer Jordy Todd?
Jordy has been one of the most wholesome, feel-good connections that we’ve been lucky enough to make in the ocean. Her incredible energy oozes with confidence, sweet humour and a sense of complete, wild, freedom -- and we honestly can’t get enough!
A film photographer with a talent for the feminine and graceful, Jordy showcases the exact gifts that she aims to capture within only a few short years of getting on her first surfboard, a complete and utter shock to us the first time we saw her surf!
So, naturally, we’ve made her an honorary Mademoiselle of the Sea and brought her to an early morning shoot to showcase her smooth essence and easy footwork in the morning light.
She wore our Artha One Piece Malva, talked about dancing through the waves, the feeling of the morning sunrise on her cheeks and absolutely captivated us the entire time.
Watch her in Smooth Assembles Vol. 2 for undeniable, sweet vibes below:
View all our surf-proof suits and wetsuits here
Posted on 03/03/2021
Meet Clementine Bourke; ‘Clem’ to those of us that know and love her best.
Clem is the biggest, brightest ray of sunshine who, on any given day, you’re likely to find floating floating around in the ocean, wearing the biggest smile and a little Lore of the Sea.
She’s always up before the sun, keen for an adventure or any kind of aquatic play. She is also the artist/photographer/rad friend behind many of our Lore of the Sea photos and videos.
She’s an absolutely epic human who I’ve shared countless ocean memories with!
Catch a little more about this sparkling, avid water-photographer and surf-obsessed Mademoiselle of the Sea in the Q&A below:
*warning: this interview contains extreme Ozzie slang*
1. Why Byron Bay and what’s your favourite part of living here?
I moved to Byron to go to SAE. I could’ve done it in Sydney, but in classic Byron fashion was trying to get away from a complex relationship and the strains of city life. I love Byron, of course for the ocean, but mainly for the people you meet here. I feel like to succeed here you have to be someone with a certain drive, willing to go the extra mile and to overcome the challenges of living in a regional area. Byron also it attracts weirdos and I love weirdos.
2. Tells Us Some Fun Facts About Yourself.
I have a duck named Marjorie who lives inside and has a penchant for toes and tomatoes. I surf a 9”6 log and on my first surf lesson ever, I fell off the board and onto some rocks, and had to get eight stitches in my knee. Was a kook then, am a kook now. I am excellent at impressions and have a view of life to not take things too seriously and to always jump on the plane first and do your research later.
3. How did you get into surf/aqua photography?
I first got into surf photography when I was 23. I had always been keen to do it and as soon as I saw a “custom made” housing for a sony a77, I was like, ‘yep sounds like a sweet deal’. Legit the first time I took it in the water it ruptured; turns out “custom made”can also mean “home made” a true shitty rig. It didn’t stop me from using it for the next 2 years though, I’m tenacious. I don’t actually know what drew me to it, but I think it was the idea of getting to spend more time in the ocean. If I could forge a career out of that then heck yeah.
“ Byron also it attracts weirdos and I love weirdos. ”
4. When the surf is pumping do you rather shoot or surf?
That’s a tough one.
When the surf is pumping I generally want to be shooting. I’ve met a lot of legends here, and they can all surf better than me, so I would prefer to capture that style than have me kooking around. That being said, I generally have a board in the car and grab it after shooting.
5. What’s your favourite thing to shoot?
My favourite thing to shoot is lady sliders.
There is so much grace in this side of the sport and also a lot of joy. It’s really cool to see a big bunch of girls out there just frothing - you have to love a girl gang. One day I’d love to shoot sharks. I’ve always loved sharks - it’s going to happen, and hopefully on a planned shoot.
“ I surf a 9'6 log and on my first surf lesson ever, I fell off the board and onto some rocks, and had to get eight stitches in my knee. ”
6. What’s in your gear bag?
In my gear bag I have a canon 5d iv, L series 24-105, 18-35mm and a bunch of random vintage lenses. Oooooh and at the moment I’m having a lot of fun shooting from land with an old f4 600mm, it’s a f***ing beast!
I shoot in the water with an Aquatech Kit, Elite series with a few different ports. I’m learning to try to shoot better with a flat port, but there are lots of little tricks to learn.
I also shoot a bunch of videos on red Gemini with Cooke lenses (not for in the water just yet).
7. What’s your favorite Lore of the Sea piece?
Hmmmmmm that’s a tough one cause I like everything. At the moment I’m really liking the Haize Jacket, because we are going into that fun in-between-season phase. It’s super warm and will be excellent for keeping me snug in the water while I bob around for hours on end.
8. What current projects are you most excited about?
I’m super excited for a project that I’m working on at the moment called Heavenly Bodies. I can’t tell you too much but it’s an exploration on form ;) Classic Photography.
Check out Clem’s awesome work at
Posted on 17/12/2020
This is the beginning of a little series of visuals showcasing our Mademoiselles of the Sea’s and adventures!
Volume 1 introduces you to Laure Mayer, creator and designer of Lore of the Sea, her world, her passion and her vison of female surfing.
All images and edit by John Wiley from John Wiley Visuals
View all our surf-proof suits and wetsuits here
Posted on the 15/08/20
“Early birds get the worms”
To tell you the truth, we had a pretty terrible surfing season here on the East Coast of Australia. Spring + Summer became the longest ‘onshore/no swell’ stretch I’ve seen for a years. That day, again, looked pretty average on the forecast: onshore winds, not much swell, short wave period.
The New Collection had just landed and I was dying to test the new styles and start creating imagery of it. I messaged a few girlfriends and managed to convince them to meet up before sunrise (it didn’t take much really), hoping for the best.
Early birds get the worms they say. Our before-dawn wake up was rewarded by an empty peak, almost glassy, where Roisin, Lucy, Jordy, Tarryn and myself shared plenty of fun waves.
Clementine Bourke came along and shot these beautiful images capturing the magic of that morning.
Posted on the 12/01/2020
* Longest left ever
At 18 years old, Israel was denied entry the USA to attend a longboarding competition in California. On that day he promised himself that one day he would organise his own event, bringing the top international surfers to Mexico to compete alongside Mexican surfers.
The beauty of living in Byron Bay is that you don’t need to travel anywhere to meet friends from all over the world.
Just before our trip to Mexico (story coming up soon!), we got to share some super fun peelers with Lola Mignot from Mexico/France and Millie Nabeshima from California/Japan - yep, this town is pretty multicultural! -.
With the change of seasons the air has become a bit more crisp but the water remains so warm that it’s enjoyable to surf in our bikinis and surfsuits.
Let me introduce these two beautiful Mademoiselles of the Sea we shared the day with:
Lola Mignot, semi french, semi mexican, living in the famous spot of Sayulita, Mexico. She comes to Australia regularly, usually around the Byron Bay Surf Festival & Noosa Festival to take part in the competitions.
Lola is one of the most stylish longboarders we’ve met - there isn’t much more to say, her surfing just flows gracefully.
Millie Nabeshima, born and raised by her Japanese family in the heart of California has been living in Byron Bay for the past few months. She is the cutest surfer out there, a super-tanned ballerina with a constant smile on her face. You’ll see her in the ocean pretty much every day as she barely takes a day off surfing!
Here are a few shots of that day taken by Jemma Scott
Based in the beautiful town of Biarritz in the south west of France, Cecilia Thibier is a very talented self-taught photographer. Seven years ago, she decided to quit her highly regarded job as a journalist in Paris to move to the coast, following her heart and her passion : surfing, women and photography all together.
Cecilia is one of those amazing humans that doesn’t think twice when making a decision, she’s a go-getter filled with the most positive energy we’ve ever seen.
Her and her little family travel the world every year to escape the French winter and chase waves. This year, they decided to come live the Australian dream in Byron Bay in search of perfect longboarding waves and talented lady loggers.
We went to Noosa for the legendary yearly Noosa Surf festival.
This festival has got to be the oldest “classic” longboarding festival that has ever existed showcasing single fin logging, old mal surfing in many different categories. A full week of traditional surfing mixing amateur and professional surfers.
For those who don’t know, Noosa is that iconique headland north of Brisbane. A little surfer town that holds some of the best point breaks in Australia. Several little bays with amazing rolling rights that occasionally connect and offer the longest rides.
I met Anais Pierquet, French longboarder living in Bali, up there. We got lucky to score 3 days of good swell during the festival.
Not only did we get amazing waves, but we also got to surf with a whole bunch of incredible surfers. The line up on those days of swell was better than any longboard single fin video you can watch. All these amazing girls and guys were out there ripping right next to us being the biggest inspirations.
All photos by Tracey @letmesea
Published on the 28/03/2019
Indian summer slides 'n' rides in a place we cherish, in the SW of France...
This video features, in order of appearance, Maribel KF, Laure Mayer, Ambre Victoire, Lucie Curutchet, Renata Gonzales Vargas (38 weeks pregnant in the video) and Alice Vedrine.
A film by BIRD film company (@wearebird)
Published on the 15/10/2018
38 weeks pregnant, still surfing daily - The inspiring story of local surfer and gynaecologist Renata Elizalde
I met Renata at my local surf spot in the South of France a few weeks ago. I saw this beautiful lady out there, ripping on a shortboard… with the biggest pregnant belly I have ever seen in the surf!!!
I was instantly fascinated by her character and her story. Without even knowing her I was ‘yewing’ at every wave she would catch on her shortboard, ripping the face of the wave and spraying water at every roller she’d do… with her (really) big mama belly.
I was amazed and felt compelled to know more about her story.
What’s your name and how old are you?
Catalina Renata Elizalde Martinez-Peñuela – yes, they love the long names in Spain! - everyone calls me Renata; I’m 29 years old, turning 30 in a few weeks.
Where are you from and where do you live?
I’m from Pamplona in the North of Spain, it’s part of the Basque region, I live there but I have been coming here to our family holiday house in St Jean de Luz every summer since I was 3-years-old.
What do you do for living?
I’m a gynecologist at the 'Hospital of Navarra' in Pamplona.
How did you start surfing and how long have you been surfing for?
I started surfing when I was about 10 because my older brother started surfing and I always wanted to do what my older brother did. A friend gave me a board at the time and that’s how I started.
Did you surf during your whole pregnancy? How often?
Yes I did! The whole time, every time there were waves.
Every time I’d walk out of our holiday house my mum would tell me “don’t risk it”. She kept trying to reason with me.
Did you ever feel like you should stop?
No, because nothing ever happened to me. I was never frightened while surfing so I kept on doing it. Gynecologists recommend swimming towards the end of your pregnancy to keep the blood circulating in the ankles. I guess surfing was my kind of swimming. I feel better while in the ocean than walking anyway.
How does it feel to surf with such a big weight in your belly, how do you manage to keep paddling on your board?
When you first get out, paddling feels a bit weird on the belly, but once you’re out for about 5 minutes that feeling disappears. I think the organs readjust or something and then it doesn’t bother you at all. I also push the board a bit deeper with my knee to submerge the board a bit and level it up with my belly so I can distribute the weight better.
How did you manage to readjust your balance over the months?
Keeping my balance while surfing was easy because I have been surfing all summer (almost every day) and I think I keep adapting to the constant increase of weight.
What’s the secret to being able to continue surfing the whole way until the term of your pregnancy?
The secret is: don’t listen to your parents or to the people that tell you not to go out!
...and that the people around you in the surf watch out for you a little.
If you are in good shape and health, there is no problem for you to keep doing what you were doing before being pregnant.
What’s your advice to any other women (like myself) who dream about being able to do the same?
If you love surfing, you can still do it during your pregnancy, of course you cannot start surfing whilst pregnant, but if you know what you’re doing you can do it. My advice is to continue doing what you were doing before you were pregnant. As long as you feel that you can do it, you can do everything.
The main issue today is that there is a lot of paranoia with pregnancy because women in general have babies a little older than in the past, which means increased risk. Back in the day, women would work in fields their whole pregnancy!
Do you think surfing that late in pregnancy is safe for the baby?
There is no doubt that even if you feel safe doing it, the risk comes from the surfers around you. But if you fall off your board in the water there is no risk and if you know how to surf you won’t hit yourself with the board either - we’re talking shortboard here -.
You just have to go when the waves aren’t too big.
- FYI I have seen Renata in the water in 3-5 foot waves a few times! -
Did many people hassle you about it being dangerous when seeing you in the water?
In the surf no one ever told me anything - they cheer for me if anything. But some people that don’t surf did tell me “you are crazy!”.
I have to say I didn’t really tell my gynecologist that I keep surfing, I told her in the beginning but I don’t think she believes it.
I’ll show her some photos next time I see her… Or maybe even after I give birth!
Do you think most women could surf so late in their pregnancy?
Most women are overly cautious about their pregnancy, even more so if they have already had a miscarriage (which is the case of every second woman) and they don’t want to do anything. It also depends on how old you are when pregnant. You may have to be more cautious after the age of 35. But if you stay active and if you feel good you can do anything.
How would you know if you can continue surfing when pregnant?
Get out there and if you feel good you can keep doing it.
The type of waves you surf is also very important. I feel better surfing a point break - the one I see Renata out everyday - where I don’t have to duck dive too much and can just sit waiting for waves.
And when a bigger set does come I leave my board behind and dive underwater, that’s all!
Anything else you want to tell us about yourself?
Jaime, (Renata’s boyfriend): She was the second world champion of “Pala”, a type of Basque Pelota, in 2009 and won the Regional Championship of “Frontenis” (another type of Basque Pelota) this year, when she was 13 weeks pregnant!
Renata: I stopped playing Pala after a while because I felt it was more dangerous if I got hit by a ball or a racket than if I fell off in the water while surfing.
In the end if you love doing sport, you will do it during your pregnancy too.
Stay tuned for more images of Renata in our future video to be released by @wearbird so you can see her in motion.
We will make sure to be following this baby surfer’s steps as he grows up. I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew how to swim before knowing how to walk!
Published on the 10/10/2018
- Words and photos by Dave Thew, film photographer -
There are a fair few lady loggers in Byron Bay. Some grew up here, some settled from afar, and a few are holiday-makers. Sure they have their differences, but they have a lot in common. Firstly, there are all regulars in the lineup out at Wategos and The Pass. Secondly, they all have heaps of fun in the water; smiles all round. Another thing they have in common is their elegance. Don’t get me wrong; some guys are great to shoot, but heaps move around like an old wombat (myself included!). All I have to do to get a decent photo of these girls is point the camera at them and they do all the work. These shots are from one of the usual fun days in The Bay. Warm water, blue skies, and party waves a plenty!
Roisin Carolan @roro.carolan wearing the Lafitenia Surfsuit
Laura Ashley @lovesundancekid wearing the Socoa Surfsuit
Stephanie Schechter @Stephanieschechter wearing the Artha One Piece
Laure Mayer @lauremyr wearing the Beltza One Piece
35mm film photos and words by Dave Thew
Byron Bay child Anrielle Hunt is that smiley face you meet in the surf and you will remember for her positive vibes. It’s clear that she’s at home & in love with the ocean and the elements as she will often tell you how much she regrets not having her camera with her when she’s surfing.
Pro surfer Roisin Carolan, photographer Fran Miller and I went on a trip to this incredible secret spot on the Australian east coast and Anrielle documented the day with some pretty classic frames.
Roisin Carolan in the Salinas One Piece
Meet Mademoiselle of the Sea and aqua film photographer Anrielle Hunt:
LORE: Is it safe to assume that growing up in Byron Bay makes you an ocean lover?
ANRIELLE: Most definitely. My clearest memory as a child is my dad taking me into the ocean on his hip at Belongil on what I felt was a ‘big’ day. He taught me to read the ocean and not be afraid. You can always dive deep, feel the sand and kick back to the surface.
Anrielle wearing the Lafitenia Surfsuit French Sailor
LORE: How long have you been surfing?
ANRIELLE: I started surfing around 12 years old, 5:30am wake ups getting my quilt ripped off me in winter. I was pretty insecure as a kid about how much of a kook I was so I mastered duck diving and became confident reading the surf in all kinds of conditions but couldn’t actually surf haha. I’ve always been in the ocean in some way but picked up longboarding about 4 years ago.
LORE: When you’re not in the ocean with your surfboard you choose flippers and camera, how did you get into photography, especially aqua photography?
ANRIELLE: I am creative in a lot of ways and have always had creative outlets and played with different mediums. I picked up film photography initially in year 10 at Byron High but due to some not-so-supportive peers ended up dropping it. I found myself watching documentaries on film photography recently and bought a camera and 20 rolls of film then and there. Majority of my friends spend a significant amount of time in the ocean so it just made sense!
Fran and Roisin enjoying the empty spot
LORE: Why choose film over digital?
ANRIELLE: To be honest given I felt I was starting all over again I thought it best to go back to basics and master analog first. At the time it was more cost effective too but not anymore, I’ve spent hundreds developing film haha, ah well…worth it.
LORE: What’s the hardest thing about shooting with film?
ANRIELLE: Surfing is fast, film is slow. While you’re trying to keep your body above water, be in the right spot and right distance from the subject at the right time making sure the settings match up with the aforementioned you’re also battling rogue boards and surfers in the shot! Shooting surf photography has made me practice patience and wait for the perfect moment. Makes it all worth it when everything lines up.
LORE: What inspires you the most and what are you still wanting to shoot?
ANRIELLE: Definitely seeing other people put themselves out there and do their thing without trepidation. Being in the ocean during sunrise or sunset and watching people dance on surf crafts using the ocean to do it is pretty inspiring!
I am also keen to get more into portraits and learning to be able to properly capture a person’s personality. I love seeing the essence of someone and who they are when they are comfortable in the ocean so I want to keep learning to translate that into my work.
Laure wearing the Lafitenia Surfsuit Metallic taupe
LORE: Any dreams for the future in surfing and photography?
ANRIELLE: I’m a nurse by trade and although I love it and it has served me well, my dream job is to travel and shoot surf and lifestyle photography. I plan to keep working with the amazing people I am lucky enough to have met around Byron and see where it takes me. Whatever will be, will be. I will be happy as long as I live a life in the ocean!
Date published 10/12/2017