Originally hailing from the Sunny Coast, this styling shredder only picked up a twinny not too long ago but it was moving to a remote village in the Mentawai Islands that was the ultimate making of Ruby, in more ways than one. She lives off the grid with a local family who gather and grow all of their food, she rises with the sun and sleeps with the moon and surfs whenever there is swell. There is no road, no footpaths, no shops or restaurants – a place where you are completely immersed in the jungle and a complete juxtaposition of where she grew up. A truly special place that Ruby now calls home. 



Excited to learn and to share what she learns, Ruby is passionate about the ocean, living sustainably and telling stories that are meaningful, always having an open mind about the ways and traditions of the people and places she comes across. Her surfing is mesmerising to watch, she showcases something special on small waves and charges big waves with a style and grace like no other, exuding an air of freedom and finality. She just makes you want to go surfing. 

Watching you surf, you look like you were born to shred. How did you get into surfing? 

Haha I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a shredder -  but I got into surfing quite late actually, some time in my teenage years I started to take myself surfing a lot and then a few years ago when I got my first twinny my love for surfing just really exploded.

As a free surfer, who inspires you the most with your style? 

Around the same time I got my twinny, I got really into discovering different perspectives about the ocean especially from people that are dedicated to it- the philosophies and perspectives from people like Lauren Hill, Albee Falzon and Rell Sunn have begun to really shape the way I surf and experience the ocean. I feel like I surf really weird if I’m not surfing with an open mind so my focus is usually on that - and hopefully the rest falls into place. 

Living in a remote village, what do you find is the most different in their way of life compared to home? Or do you find it very similar to home? 

There could be some similarities, but I would say they’re on a whole different wavelength out here.  Out here, everyone is considered family. Time seems completely irrelevant- the daily routines usually revolves around the weather and it’s patterns and electricity is rarely switched on if at all. You rise with the sun, and sleep with the moon. Food is gathered, cooked, shared and eaten together, work is done mostly barefoot and in the jungle, and boats or canoes are the way to get around. We don’t even have a road on this island, or a foot path, or a restaurant or shop and it doesn’t need one either. Life is lived simply and in the moment. They look out for each other, laugh a lot, and take each day as it comes. The culture here is rich and beautiful, I am so lucky to be accepted as a part of it. In each village there are wise men (sikereis) who have an understanding and connection to all living beings - human, nature and the spirit of their ancestors. The sikereis pass on their cultural traditions and knowledge from generation to generation. It’s a special place here. 

Has living in a village with limited resources meant you have had to learn how to live off the land more? 

Surprisingly not as much as other places I’ve been. The family I live with takes good care of me- most of our ingredients do come from their fruit and coconut trees that are scattered nearby the village or from fishing out the front. The rest of our staples we can get once a week from Siberut - about 4 hours return by small boat. We are definitely off the grid and because of that I feel a closer connection to nature in the sense that you’re always a part of it. There’s no need to be inside, you’re always walking through the jungle to go for a surf or exploring the bays to find a nice beach to relax at for the day, or just having yarns and taking it easy with whoever’s around. 


How do you strive to live a sustainable lifestyle? 

I would say I don’t really live in excess. I have what I need and don’t really care for anything more than that. Travelling can be a bit unsustainable because of the high emissions, but these days I’m moving pretty slowly, one place a time, and using local transport where possible. 


From the outside, you look very well travelled. Looking to the future, where would be a dream surf spot you would like to visit? 

P-Pass is up there for dream waves! Madagascar or Mozambique would be epic too or some of the heavier waves in South and West Aus - but kind of just anything adventurous and a bit off the track. I’d really love to get on a sail boat and find some remote spots through the Pacific. 

What is your biggest life lesson from your travels and how do you apply that to your everyday life? 

What can I learn and how can I share? I really love learning to live by this. I have a lot of time on my hands so that’s a great resource I can share - whether that’s playing with the kids, making a cuppa for the elders and listening to their great stories, helping someone learn to swim or surf so they can enjoy an ocean life too, or learning with an open mind about the ways and traditions of people and places I come across. There’s endless ways to be learning and sharing and that’s really been a great shift for me, travelling became far less of a selfish pursuit and more about immersing myself in what can feel like a global community :)  


What is your current favourite wave to surf? If you can pick one! 

Bankvaults on its day! Or anywhere without much of a crowd.

Signing with Billabong, what does this mean to you and your surfing? Is there anyone on the team that you have previously looked up to? 

Signing with billabong is big gift. I’m really excited to have more freedom to surf all types of waves and explore meaningful ways to live a surfing life. Billabong has an epic girls team. I love the way Laura charges, Jaleesa’s freedom of expression, the tour girls dedication and determination and Josie’s grace! Could go on and on! Women’s surfing is just going in a such a cool direction, and I feel lucky to have the chance to be a part of it with Billabong. 

Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone not sure what to do when they leave school, what would this advice be? 

Go out there and get amongst it, save up your money and use your new found freedom to go as far and wide as you want! Go find special little corners of either your home country or the outside world and see what comes of it - I promise you’ll love it :)