Annabel is all smiles. Photo by Lorenzo Menendez

Core Commentary: Annabel Anderson

The irony is that I don't see myself (as one of the most competitive women in the sport). Other people see what they want to see from the outside. If they took five minutes to get to know me, they would probably see me very differently. But they see me as a competitor and I have achieved things they really want.

Competition brings out the best and worst of human nature. I see a lot of my competition from afar and think they are pretty cool. Unfortunately, I've seen them make decisions in moments of pressure that, as a person, I'm not OK with.

(For races) I usually just came halfway around the world and I'm there for a purpose, not really to make big friends.

Anderson dueling with young star Fiona Wylde at #PPG2016. Photo by Greg Panas

Get an education. It allows you to be taken seriously. You need to have a neck up in this world. At 18 and 23 I had career ending injuries (in other sports). It wasn't that I didn't have the talent or the drive, but I was injured. Thankfully I had a brain and went to school.

Apply yourself. There's a different formula for every person. It wont be the same for everyone, there's no silver bullet. It's working out the specific recipe for you through trial and error.

For me, mixing it up and trying different things has been key to not losing what I like to do.

There's always going to be bad days. That's just life.

I hope and pray there is some cohesion (in the industry) and people can sit around a table, put their vested interests aside and put the white flags up so we can plan the future. Right now (the sport) is shooting itself in the foot.

Photo by Aaron Black-Schmidt

Most people turn up to races to have fun and get away from stuff in their life. We need to give people a reason to show up and have a sense of achievement and a measurement of where they are on that day. When I look at the large, participation-based sports, I see that people want an excuse to go participate in something. It's really simple.

The people I want to reach with my coaching are the weekend warriors and the kids. Youth sports are a great teacher of life lessons. How to win, how to lose, that work equals output, how to deal with adversity.

I'm at a chapter change because I'm questioning how and why I do things. You can do the same thing and get the same result, and it may be incredible in the eyes of others but does that drive you to be the best you can be? I'm cognizant that (racing) is not the only thing that I do or am defined by. Now's the time to bring in the other stuff I love to do because that keeps the passion alive.

There are times I've hated sports, that I haven't been able to walk. But it always draws me back, and I don't think that will change.


Core commentary with G-land surf pioneer Bill Boyum.

Candid conversation between champs Annabel Anderson and Candice Appleby.