Why Jaleesa Vincent Might Be Just What Women’s Surfing Needs
She plays in a punk band, has an artistic eye and a thing for “huge woman turns!”
There’s something about Jaleesa Vincent, in the water she's elegant, yet with an air of edginess and flair that puts her in a league of her own, perhaps it’s the mix of Steph Gilmore and Oscar Wright – her favourite wave riding influences.
Watching her in action, there’s soul arching and highlines, grabbed hacks and an obvious desire to attack the lip. This is what first stole Stab’s heart mid-screening of Rage 2. The appearance that signalled her adoption into the tight-knit freesurf fam, alongside the likes of Noa Deane, Creed McTaggart, Beau Foster, Ellis Erickson, Shaun Manners, older bro Jake Vincent and Toby Cregan – a validating statement from credible sources.
Jaleesa grew up on the Sunshine Coast, home of both lengthy pointbreaks and punchy beachies. The softer walls allowing her to neaten her form over time and the more consequential stretches helping refine the aggressive side of her repertoire.
It’s the unpredictability and versatility of the 19 year old's approach that makes her a refreshing addition to women’s surfing, but it’s not just Jaleesa’s wave riding that earned our adoration. Diving a little deeper into her world, we’re made aware of her creation inclinations, whether it be through her quirky animations, decoration of a canvas, or drumming prowess.
"I’ve always looked up to Ozzie Wright, cause he’s a fellow goofy footer and I love his crazy, playful, creative, unpredictable style of surfing."
She cares nothing for Insta-fame, posting excessive skin isn’t her thing, and while she tried her hand at wearing a jersey, she decided she’s not of the competitive spirit. Instead, the blonde-bobbed Jaleesa is quite content looking fantastic on fibreglass shapes of all sizes, creating art or slamming the tubs in her punk band Skreech.
Steph and Tyler might be the first names that come to mind when one thinks role models for female up and comers, but Stab believes someone like Jaleesa might set a path for the next gen of chicks who rip that don’t care for selfies or following the Q. Surfing needs more culture, more musicians, more artists, more Jaleesas.
When asked what she thought about the current state of women’s surfing she replied:
“The chicks are really stepping up! They’re charging, sticking airs, and huge woman turns! But, there’s also a weird scene – mainly on Instagram – with ladies taking sexual photos of themselves in small bikinis and calling themselves pro surfers. I just don’t believe that’s what surfing’s about. I hope I can inspire younger girls to simply not do that.”
The best surfer is the one having the most fun, Jaleesa is that surfer.
Stab gathered a handful of people who know Jaleesa best to paint a more detailed picture of our new favourite feminine muse.
We dropped lines to her older bro, 22 year-old Jake Vincent, who has been noticeably decorating the Stab walls more and more lately, fellow Rage superstar Creed McTaggart, Luka Raubenheimer (close friend and creator of the film up top) and Toby Cregan, revered filmmaker and Rage mastermind.
Here's what we collected.
Silk lines and groovy getup.
On Growing Up
JAKE: Our folks grew up out in the sticks, but when I was born Dad happened to get a job on the Sunshine Coast so we moved to Coolum. Dad's attitude was 'if you live at the beach, ya might as well surf' (laughs). So Jaleesa, dad and I all tried to learn to surf together. Poor Dadsy never really got the knack though.
JALEESA: Went for my first surf when I was six, though didn’t really start loving it until I was about ten.
Less Instagram, more brushes, boards and drumsticks. (Photo ironically sourced from the gram).
JAKE: Her approach has changed, she did a bunch of comps when she was younger. So she was doing everything that came along with that – trying to surf to that bloody judging criteria. Then last year she threw in the towel. Now she’s killing it!
JALEESA: I’m not competing. I did grom comps and then a couple of QS’s and decided it definitely wasn’t for me. I don’t really follow the tour, but I do enjoy watching a heat here or there if it’s pumping, or watching a friend’s heat. Or watching Steph shred.
Meet the appropriately named two piece, Skreech. Give them a spin, get to a show and buy and album if you're backing their punk flavour.
On Riding A Wave
CREED: She rips! Looks like she's having heaps of fun... kinda looks like Gerry Lopez.
TOBY: She is punk, fluid and stylish. Sometimes she looks like Ozzy and sometimes she looks like Gerry Lopez. And she charges!
LUKA: She has a unique beautiful style of surfing and is going to change the game for women’s freesurfing. No more bottom turn bum shots, rather bringing back the Layne Beachley dork boardshorts with a twist of modern madness. Her surfing is gracefully aggressive and she knows how to hack a left.
JAKE: She’s been surfing heaps of different boards, you can see her learning. She’s so fun to watch surf, it’s super entertaining. There’s not really any girls I can think of that have what she’s got. For girls to get sponsored it sort of seems they need to be going nuts on the tour or just insta modelling and posting photos revealing lots of skin. So its so cool watching Jaleesa kinda start her own thing completely different. She hasn’t sold out. She’s just staying core and doing what feels right to her.
JALEESA: I guess I just surf a wave how I feel like it should be surfed, or what mood I’m in. Whether I take out a single fin or a short board or a foamie.
I love trying airs, it’s definitely not my forte, but if you give me a section I’d be delighted to give it a crack. I do love a good woman turn too. And a little shampoo, whatever’s there on offer!
"I’m currently riding MISFIT shapes," Jaleesa tells Stab. "I'm in love with my red 6’0 single fin and have just ordered a new 7’0’s inspired 6’6 single fin, which I’m so frothing to get. I love twin fins and my other favourite is a grovelly short board, good all rounder, like my MISFIT ‘Suspended Particle’ and ‘Sk8ey 2.0’"
JAKE: Her personality? Super cruisey, never really too phased. Bit of slob too (laughs). Funny, easy to get along with, we’re best mates.
CREED: She very happy and always giggling.... She's creative and fun to hang with. Drinks beers too!
LUKA: She is one of a kind. Extremely creative in a number of fields, whether she is surfing, making music, painting, tap dancing or collecting dead butterflies for earrings. She has an obsession and collection of bouncy balls. She’s like one of the boys in the aspect of hanging out camping, jumping off rocks. Travelling through the far reaches of Indonesia, she never complains. She charges, is really funny and has read all the Harry Potter books, but hasn’t watched all the movies...
Girl drummers are the best drummers. (Photos: Instagram)
On Outside Of Surf
JAKE: She’s mad about her art. Almost more so than surfing. She’s just kind of taken over half the house and she’s in there painting all day, glueing dead butterflies to canvas, making trippy animations with just paper pen and her phone cause she doesn’t have a computer. She does some amazing stuff and she’s starting develop a recognisable style which is cool to see.
She’s also playing drums and singing in a two piece band with my mate. People trip out when they see them play, Jaleesa will rock up looking so cute and cuddly in all pink then they get up and play some real angry tunes (laughs).
CREED: I remember tripping on how good she was at drums... like hardcore metal break downs.
JALEESA: What I love about creating is the freedom you have, the same as surfing, you can have your own style and approach and do whatever you want. You can just zone out and get super weird. Its super satisfying holding or wearing an item I made myself, even if it looks like rubbish... it’s cool to think you created something out of an imagination or a thought.
I’m also currently in a bad called ‘Skreech’ with my friend Izak Clifford, we have an EP dropping in the next couple of weeks!
Aspiration is gluing dead insects, drums and flares in the water.
JALEESA: I’ve always looked up to Ozzie Wright, cause he’s a fellow goofy footer and I love his crazy, playful, creative, unpredictable style of surfing. He just makes surfing look fun and yeah, that really has inspired my surfing.
Stephanie Gilmore is just the absolute best.️ Her style and the lines she draws is the most beautiful surfing I’ve seen.
And then Craig Anderson, also fellow goofy footer, I love the way he surfs. And all the Rage boys!
Outside of surfing, Margret Kilgallen. Her art is beautiful and inspiring. She’s painted many inspiring females. Frida Kahlo, also an inspiring female painter. Andy Warhol, Ozzie Wright and Mylee Grace for their art and music, oh and Patti Smith, for her music, poetry and art.
On Joining The Rage Family
TOBY: Right after I met her I was just a huge fan, I just messaged her and she said she was keen to join.
She got put on before Chun. She was going to be the next person on the team after Noa, Creed and Beau and I wanted to make a big deal out of it, but the guys got drunk the day after my birthday at some pub in Sydney while I was in the studio and I saw they had written up a contract for Chun on a napkin.... it was inevitable that Chun was going to be on the team, but I wanted to make it all come out in RAGE 2.
It kinda trickled through the gram, but she is my fav surfer on the team.
JALEESA: I’ve looked up to all the boys. They are freaks in the ocean, super creative, very do it yourself attitude and super top blokes. So stoked to be a Rage girl!
We looked up the definition of 'adorable'. Photo: Instagram.
On The Future
LUKA: I got a bloody strong feeling that she is going to do everything and anything she wants. Travel the world surfing, make music, play shows. Paint canvases the size of my room. Get tubed. Wear some crazy cool outfits, Probably tap dance her way on stage with Jack Black at some point.
CREED: I hope she just keeps doing what she's doing. We all love it!
TOBY: She will probably be making huge racks off a big surf company by next year. She surfs fucking so good and she is so cool..... so whoever has any money throw it at her.
I guess she will just keep playing in her band and going big with the Rage squad and the Sunny Coast crew.
JAKE: I think it’s just a matter of time before she gets noticed as a freesurfing talent. Think she could pave a new trail for female surfing. As well as make some fresh tunes and have some wild art exhibitions along the way.
JALEESA: I just want to go on more surf trips and keep learning and doing. Hopefully make some more edits, music and art to share. I think I’ll just always be creating.
Nothing shows off fine form like the silhouetted water shot.