'Too many creeps': Why pro-surfer Felicity Palmateer has to hide her location

'Too many creeps': Why pro-surfer Felicity Palmateer has to hide her location


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"One thing I do is that I don't really post in real-time where I am, there's too many creeps out there," she told Fairfax Media.

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She travels the world as one of Australia's most successful professional surfers, but Felicity Palmateer does not have the freedom to post whenever and however she likes because of online "creeps".

The big wave surfer, 24, has an avid Instagram following of more than 135,000 followers, who like to keep up with the sportswoman's carefree snaps in eye-watering, beach destinations, usually sporting the latest in Billabong swimwear. But she told Fairfax Media she has learnt to keep "everything pretty filtered".

"I don't try to give too much away. One thing I do is that I don't really post in real-time where I am, there's too many creeps out there," the Braun ambassador said.

"Snapchat especially, I just don't want people knowing where I am every second of the day. I sometimes make a video on my Snapchat and post it a few hours later.

"I've been travelling and competing since I was 17, so I feel pretty worldly and I know what I am doing, but it's still good to take those precautions."

The Perth-born, Gold Coast-based competitor, who took the record for the biggest wave ever surfed by an Australian woman from Layne Beachley two years ago, said it's only when she's travelling that she takes the extra safety measures. Giving no heed to trolls also helps.

"You always do have those keyboard warriors but it doesn't faze me any more," she said. "It used to make me really upset. I don't care any more. I know the majority of people like what I am doing."

Apart from location, she also likes to keep her boyfriend, who also doubles as her manager, to herself.

"I don't really want people knowing my really personal stuff. I try to keep it pretty fun and just light-hearted," she said.

While Palmateer, who is also an advocate for marine conservation and an artist on the side, feels surfing "is pretty much a male-dominated sport" ("I feel like that with every sport"), she said the future was bright for women trying to catch their big beach break.

"Women's prize money just got doubled two years ago and being in it for so long now I can only see positive things for the future of women's surfing."

Palmateer, an ambassador for Braun, known as "Flick" to her friends, says she doesn't put too much pressure on herself to look a certain way - even though her wardrobe staple is a bikini.

"When I look good I feel good," she said. However she would never consider professional modelling. "I have too many bruises."

The Sydney Morning Herald

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