Bronte Macaulay

Bronte was born January 9, 1994, in Gracetown, Australia. When she was only 9 years old, her father – an icon professional surfer in the 80’s and 90’s – taught Bronte, her brother and older twin surfers to surf in the Margaret River area of Western Australia. Doing family road trips in a caravan all around the beautiful waterfalls and crystal clear beach breaks around Australia is one of Bronte’s fondest memories.

Bronte Macaulay and  her Dad at the Swatch Pro 2017
Bronte Macaulay and her dad at the Swatch Pro 2017.
She started competing in the sport at age 13 alongside her older sister, Laura. Laura continues to compete on the WSL’s Qualifying Series — a precursor to joining the championship tour — and even qualified for a spot surfing at the tour’s contest at Margaret River (Australia) this year.

As her style developed back home she absorbed a lot of her father’s fundamental moves, most notably his inverted backhand attack and ferocious forehand snap. She began testing her approach in Qualifying Series events as early as 2011, but her first real stab at qualifying came in 2014, when she finished No. 14.

The very next year she fell just one spot shy of making the Championship Tour cut, but that was close enough to earn her some replacement spots in 2016, and when Lakey Peterson broke her ankle, Bronte got six shots against the world’s best, and made noise by knocking out Sally Fitzgibbons at Snapper and besting Stephanie Gilmore and Johanne Defay at home in Margaret River. During that year she secured her place among the top 17 female surfers in the world. If Bronte Macaulay were to sum up the 2017 season of the World Surf League Women’s Championship Tour, it would be with two words: learning curve.

Her rookie season, however, was filled with hard knocks, and her confidence was shaken after a run of early exits. It wasn’t until the end of the season that she began to let go of the pressure she was feeling and started to have fun again, which was her biggest lesson learned.

“I had a patch where I wasn’t competing or surfing very well. I was a bit homesick, missing the family, and I was just struggling with it. I wasn’t really enjoying it like I usually do,” said Bronte.

She credits subtle changes for the breakthrough moment of her rookie season. During off or “lay” days of a competition, she started free-surfing instead of lounging, even if conditions were less than ideal. And she started to shift her mental game with the help of her father, who is also her coach and joins her at every stop on tour and providing what she calls a stabilizing presence.

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“I would be nowhere without him. I was questioning my abilities and my equipment, but he was like, ‘Don’t question it.’ He kept saying, ‘It’s gonna click,'” she said. “Just having that one person have a lot of faith in you and you can trust is really nice.”

“I was trying to have a different mindset when I headed into competitions: If I surfed a good heat, I would be happy, regardless of the result. By Maui, I had practiced that a lot,” said Macaulay, who finished no. 15 overall in the season.

Bronte Macaulay is the first surfer to qualify for the championship tour from the state of Western Australia since 2004; she put pursuing a degree in elementary school teaching on hold to pursue her surfing career.

“I would just say don’t really set your bar too high,” said Macaulay, who initially wanted to crack the top five; she has since adjusted that goal to being in the top 10 in 2018. “Enjoy your first year, enjoy the waves and places. If you’re learning, you’re kind of winning, in a way.”

And, ultimately, she still has what she considers the best job in the world. “It’s actually insane when you break it down and think about it,” said Macaulay. “People work all week so they can go surfing on the weekend or whatever. We do something that we love every day.”

Best Advice: “Do what you love, and the rest will follow.”

Surfing Career

2018 5th Uluwatu CT – Bali
2018 5th Corona Open J Bay – Africa

2017 15th WSL Ranking
2017 3rd Maui Women’s Pro – Hawaii

2016 17th WSL Ranking

Height: 5’7”

Stance: Goofy

Surfboard Shaper: Dave Macaulay

Sponsors: Roxy | Dave Macaulay Surfboards | Electric | Creatures of Leisure | Sticky Feet

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