This Is Me: Jessi Miley-Dyer

The Women’s ASP World Tour Manager chats hyperactivity and how the ASP tour has changed

Interview by Sam Haddad

I loved the escape of surfing, and still do. I always feel like a much calmer, less stressed version of myself after I come out of the water. I can be having the worst day ever, and going for a surf will always make me feel better. Plus I was a swimmer when I started competing, and I was like hmmm…..4.30am to train and follow a black line, or a surf later? It was a no brainer.

My first year on the Star series, when I was 17, with no credit card was hard. I had just finished high school and gone straight from my routine of school-surf-friends into this black hole of travelling with a few older girls who I didn’t know that well really. The next year, I accidently won a 5 Star and my attitude changed…the goal was attainable.

I have had two knee injuries, plus a broken nose from my board but I have coped ok with it I reckon. It’s just part of the process. I completely understand how footballers feel though, when their careers are ruined instantly by an injury.

I love Lance Armstrong because he is such a badass in his approach to life. He offers no excuses for anything, and we don’t do excuses in my family either – find a way to do it, or don’t complain.

The ASP Tour has definitely changed, and there are two ways that you can look at it. When I did my first WCT event in 2005 the total prize purse was $65,000 for the women. This year at the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, it’s $130,000. So the prize money has doubled, which is a good thing and something people don’t always look at when they’re evaluating the tour. On the other hand, we have lost our paradise, good wave locations, which is a shame. When I started, we went to Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii. So those are the locations on my list of goals for now.

I come from a family of strong women and we all have an opinion, haha.

We have a new generation of young women who have been surfing since they were really young, and had the backing of major brands. Carissa [Moore] was riding for Roxy when she was about nine. However, I still remember when my Aunty brought me back a pair of Roxy women’s boardshorts from the States. It blew my mind that someone was making clothes for girls who surfed.

My mother got me tested for ADHD because I was a complete nightmare as a child. I ended up just having a touch of hyperactivity, without the ADD part, so I was on a natural food diet, no colourings, nothing artificial. Even now I’m barely allowed sugar. I had a can of coke for the first time at a 21st birthday party a few years ago, and went totally off my brain – I sang the wrong name in Happy Birthday and everything. There is an upside though, a few years ago, I had two cans of coke at Macaroni’s in the Mentawais and surfed for 9 hours. I am still hyperactive….I am that person that ends up talking about six different topics throughout the same sentence, and then sits there giggling about nothing. I’m reading three books right now, depending on which one I feel like reading.

I am doing a double degree in Media (Communications and Journalism) and Law. It’s pretty interesting. I just like knowing how things work. I love the whole facebook/twitter dynamic as well. I am obsessed with the brand ‘Skittles’ on facebook. The stuff they do for attention is awesome.

I don’t think female surfers get judged for their looks in the water, but you could make an argument that female surfers are more attractive to sponsors when they look good. It’s like anything in life though – why do we wear our best clothes to job interviews? If appearances didn’t matter, I would come to the office in my pyjama shorts, and never brush my hair (ever). I think that this generation of girls on tour is full of attractive, strong young women and the difference is that they aren’t afraid to flaunt it.

I would totally consider an ASP Tour spot in a wave pool, it would be awesome – something different and new. What I like about wave pools is that if every wave is the same, then it really is only a surfing contest. No wave selection would be involved and can you imagine the tricks that we’d see go down?!


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