Kirra Innes: Wave Dancer

Kirra Innes: Wave Dancer

Photography by Will Smith, courtesy of Kirra Innes.

Kirra Innes is a true wave dancer. While I was rekindling my love for surfing on a longboard, I had the privilege of being out in the water with Kirra as she glided along the waves. She gracefully styles on her log, and it’s immediately evident that she surfs for the pure joy of it. It’s enough to make anyone want to longboard, and I, for one, have definitely been inspired. To my delight, Kirra was quite keen to share a bit of her story with Ocean Girl.

How old are you? I’m 20 years young, born and bred on the east coast of Australia.

When did you first discover your love for wave riding? I’ve always had a love for the ocean, with the sea being a big part of my family’s lifestyle. But I found my passion for surfing when I was 17. My partner lived close to the surf and we shared the common interest of wave riding. From then on I’ve been hooked and have been experimenting with different surf crafts to make things interesting.

How would you describe your style of surfing? I would like to describe my style as classy and feminine but I’m not 100% sure on what my style really is. My favourite surfers are Joel Tudor, Kassia Meador, Jen Smith and Belinda Baggs, so I hope to surf with a mixture of those styles. I love to ride big heavy logs. Old or new, I don’t mind. I really like the way they feel in the water; they just glide, and I find that I’m thinking a lot more about what I have to do on the wave. Whether it is trimming, stalling or cutting back for the next section, I find that most of the time it’s calculated. I’m not one to say I have a good style as I’m always critiquing myself but I hope that my style is described to be kind to the eye.

Where is your favourite place to surf? I don’t really have a favourite place to surf. I’m not too fussy, although maybe our local back beach. I find that any beach with a good bank is my favourite break. We have a spot here that only work a couple of months a year, and when it breaks I basically live there, so that could possibly be my favourite break but, as I said, I don’t really have a favourite place to surf.

What does the ocean mean to you? The ocean is not something to underestimate, and I think that everybody should respect it, no matter how good you are at surfing, fishing etc. It’s a big element and doesn’t give any mercy and should be respected by all. Especially the sea life!

How do you pass the time when you’re not out in the water? I really like to garden; I love plants and the smell of dirt. A bit weird, I know, but after all it’s connecting with nature. I also like to photograph plants, animals and landscapes. I think that capturing something beautiful that most people will just look past or walk over is something special. I’m constantly getting left behind on bush walks or beach walks because I’m to busy taking photos of all of the intricate things.

What is your biggest accomplishment? To have gotten to where I am with my surfing is so special to me. I never thought I would get this far and be recognised for something that I love so much.

Do you have a personal motto? Murphy’s Law: If you don’t want it to happen it generally will.

Who was the last person to inspire you? My little sister Marli is so special to me. She is only three but always shows me how to do things. It’s cute as and makes me want to help people too.

In a world where nothing is impossible, what would the future hold for you? Oh wow, I would just travel everywhere to surf and see what the world has to offer. Surf perfect breaks everywhere with the sun shining bright enough to surf all day and not get burnt to a crisp, and crystal clear water with happy people everywhere.


Maddie Buresh is a writer and photographer with an unquenchable desire to explore the great outdoors, from the ocean to the mountains. She finds joy in trying new things, living in community, and crafting stories that encourage people to go outside, have adventures, and enjoy this big, beautiful world.