Reset year for Gilmore

Eight-time World Champion surfer Steph Gilmore, to take a year off from full-time competition.

Audi ambassador and eight-time World Surf League (WSL) champion, Stephanie Gilmore, and pursuing has announced she will devote 2024 to recharging and pursuing other projects before returning to the waves in 2025.

25 January, 2024


'I am planning to take this time as a refresh for myself physically, mentally, and enjoy following swells and free surfing in new places'

The most successful female surfer of all time, Steph Gilmore, has announced that she will take a step back from full-time competition on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) in 2024.

The eight-time world champion made the announcement in Hawaii this week, citing a desire to recharge and pursue a number of other projects over the course of the year that have not been possible while competing in the tour.

“I am planning to take this time as a refresh for myself physically, mentally, and enjoy following swells and free surfing in new places,” the Audi ambassador said of the decision not to compete this year.

“I have some projects and trips I want to do, which haven’t been possible while traveling during the season. I am still passionate and dedicated to competing and I have goals and dreams that I am still chasing I’m excited for this year to activate those and I look forward to returning in 2025.”

Indeed her return to the sport next year has already been confirmed by WSL, with Gilmore receiving the 2025 Season Wildcard, which will allow her automatic entry compete in the 2025 CT season. 

Gilmore won her record eighth world title in 2022, breaking fellow-Australian Wayne Benchley’s long-standing record of seven and elevating her to an all-new level within the sport. Last year too she recorded seven top-five event finishes in the 2023 season, but feels that the time is right to pause her competitive career to pursue other goals. A fierce competitor since joining the professional tour ranks in 2007 at the age of just 15, she went on to make her first mark on the sport at the highest level, becoming the first surfer – male or female – to win the world title in her rookie year. That was followed up with another three world titles in rapid succession in 2008, 2009 and 2010. That frenetic pace then slowed ever so slightly to every other year, adding more world titles in 2012 and 2014, before equalling Layne Beachley’s seven titles in 2018.

To date she has amassed a record 33 Championship Tour event wins and in the process, inspired a generation of young surfers eager to follow in her footsteps.

“When you dream of having the most titles or trophies and then you finally reach that moment, it's an insane feeling, completely wonderful,” Gilmore told Audi Magazine at time of her eighth world title win.

To date she has amassed a record 33 Championship Tour event wins

'But more importantly I feel like I have empowered other women to believe that what may seem impossible, can totally be done'

“But more importantly I feel like I have empowered other women to believe that what may seem impossible, can totally be done!”

An Audi ambassador since 2018, Gilmore is a passionate advocate for the environment, her first official role with the brand seeing her in San Francisco for the international launch of the Audi e-tron. At the time she said of the brand’’s move to e-mobility:

“Sustainability is something that’s close to my heart and it’s something that should be close to everyone’s heart. For Audi to be a leader in this direction has the ability to create an impact for the future and I am honoured to be involved in sharing this story, helping consumers make new choices, from the start.”

“I feel I spend so much time on the road and my carbon footprint is so huge, that these are the steps I need to take to show my own commitment to sustainability,” she said of her new journey with Audi and e-tron.

Given her passion and far-reaching interests, Gilmore will certainly be one to watch in 2024 even out of the water.