Photo by Molly Heath Photography
IT’S A LIFESTYLE
Girls On Board provide public and private surfing lessons on Phillip Island, Victoria and has a simple objective;
“To hit the water, learn to surf, have a ball and maybe enjoy what is arguably the greatest lifestyle in the world. There’s nothing better than salty hair, beach days and the feeling of the ocean washing over you as you take off on that first (or 50th) wave.”
Our expert “Surfing Australia” accredited coaches can help you improve at any level, whether you’re just starting out or are looking for some tips.
Don’t be fooled by our name, our goal is not to exclude guys however we aim to empower females and give them the opportunity to be involved in a safe, friendly and inclusive environment.
JOIN THE LIFESTYLE!
THIS IS “GIRLS ON BOARD”
The owner of Girls on Board, Jess Liang says “We love the Surf Claw! It has been a game-changer for myself and for the women and kids I teach. It’s taken the struggle out of trying to fit our arms around the big surf school boards. Thank you!”
Aussie Surf Products is proud to be associated with Girls on Board and to support women’s surfing!
A large part of Girls on Board is empowering women to give surfing a go in a friendly, safe and inclusive environment. Jess runs 6 week programs throughout the year to provide a space for them to become involved without fear of judgement. They are now in their 4th year of running these programs. The programs are growing each year and they’ve noticed a big shift in the lineup down there on Phillip Island over this time. It is definitely becoming more balanced!
Along with their women’s programs, they run after school programs for guys and girls and also school holiday programs. The school also runs public group lessons and private lessons to cater to everyone. Jess has been running Girls on Board by herself for 8 years now and the business has grown over this time, however, she is so passionate about keeping the experience as personalised as possible, therefore, Jess is the head coach for all sessions. She is lucky enough to have created lifelong friends through Girls on Board. It’s a great little community of likeminded people and she feels very thankful for that.
The motto at Girls on Board is “it’s a lifestyle” and they follow this in all parts of their life from work to play. I hope to empower people and encourage them to live their best life and not be afraid to step outside the norm. Here at Girls on Board we close for the cooler more quiet winter months on Phillip Island and spend 5 months traveling the world surfing & creating incredible memories as well as gaining new perspectives and inspiration for Girls on Board.
Who is Jess Liang?
Hi! My name is Jess Laing. I am the owner and head coach of Girls On Board. Growing up on Phillip Island I was introduced to the ocean at a very young age. I surfed my first wave when dad pushed me into a little knee high peeler in Byron Bay as a 4 year old and have never looked back. I fell in love with the beach, surfing and the lifestyle that surrounds it.
Both my Dad and older brother have successful competitive surfing backgrounds and at 8 years old I thought “why can’t I do that?” And that’s when I decided I was going to be a competitive surfer. I spent the next 10 years surfing, training and basing my life around competitions as well as juggling school. There were a few hiccups along the way, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue at the age of 12 (which ended up lasting 6 and a half years) and I truly believe it was surfing that pulled me through. It became more than just a ‘sport’; it was my therapy and my happy time.
I continued to surf and compete for the next few years. In 2008, local cinematographer Claire Gorman approached Nikki Van Dijk, India Payne and myself. We ended up putting a lifestyle documentary together called ‘First Love’. During the filming, I injured my shoulder and ended up having to get a shoulder reconstruction. I was land bound for 7 months and once I got back in the water I had lost that fire to compete. I learned to appreciate the lifestyle I live even more and ended up doing it all for fun and the love of it. First Love took us up the east coast of Australia premiering and touring. It also screened in cinemas Australia wide as well as hitting the T.V screens in USA and Australia.
Surfing has given me so much; I wanted to pass my experience and knowledge and share my passion with others. Surfing has taken me all over the world and now travelling is a huge part of my life. I watched women’s surfing grow and expand, but I could see that there still wasn’t enough support and encouragement for girls who are learning and coming up the ranks.
I wanted to create my own Surf School, not excluding guys, but focusing on providing girls with the means and know-how to make a start. I worked hard and in 2012 I turned this dream into reality. I hope that if you give it a chance, surfing will give you as much as it’s given me!
- Level 2 Surf Coaching Certificate
- Community Surf Life Saving Certificate
- Level 2 in First Aid & Advanced Resuscitation
- Victorian State Surfing Champion U/13, U/16 & U/18
- Australian School Pairs Champion 2007 & 2008
- Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach Trials runner up
- Head coach at Surfing Victoria Play it Safe by the Water surfing for Girls Program
- 23 years surfing experience
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Aloha and good surfing!!