ETTO Australia Claire Belivacqua pro surfer

Australian Stories: Pro Surfer Claire Belivacqua

This wave is like a drug. Once it gets into your blood stream it takes over your body and you need more. ~ Claire Belivacqua

Claire Belivacqua began her career as a professional surfer back in the 90s. Growing up on the coast of Western Australia, Claire was in the water from a young age and went on to become a State and Australian Surf Champion and former world tour competitor. With an Italian heritage she also represented Italy in the Olympic qualifiers and was crowned European champion. 

We chat to Claire about competing, motherhood, natural toxin free living, and maturing into a more relaxed state of being. 

What kind of Australian environment do you live in? 

I live in the rugged bush coast line of the south west, my property backs up to national park and the sea is a stones throw away.

ETTO Australia Claire Belivacqua Pro surfer Yallingup WA

How old were you when you started surfing and at what age did you start competing? What gave you motivation and drive?  

I started surfing around 12 and competing a few years after that. As far as I can remember I’ve always been very driven and competitive, no matter which sport! So, when I fell in love with surfing it was a natural progression to want to win and be the best at it.

What was it like joining the World Championship Tour when you first started?

I felt like I belonged there but I was very young, wild, and immature and I needed more guidance and coaching, which I didn’t have. I partied a lot and probably had too much fun and not enough focus. It was like a dream.

As a comparison, what was it like competing in your latest competition? 

When I compete now I still want to win and do my best, but I don’t feel any pressure to do so, so I’m not stressed. It’s not my identity anymore. I won the state title at the start of 2023 when I was 4 months post partum.  

ETTO Australia Claire Belivacqua Professionla surfer

Did competing ever take the joy out of surfing for you? 

Yes a lot! I was often run down and home sick on the road so I forgot what I was there for and was just in survival mode trying to get to the next event.

You’ve travelled to so many places competing on the professional circuit, do you have any fond memories or highlights?

I think the highlight of my career was winning in front of my sponsor Volcom, family and friends at Pipeline. I was injured and I had fallen off the tour so the win helped me to re-qualify and it helped to build back my confidence and faith.

To any up-and-coming surfers inspired to compete, what would your gold nugget piece of advice be? 

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do, carve your own pathway. 

Your favourite Australian beach to surf and why? 

Probably out front my house in Yallingup in the winter when no one is around and I get a sneaky uncrowded perfect surf. 

ETTO Australia Claire Belivacqua Pro Surfer yallingup

There’s no time for being selfish or self absorbed like I was, which I like, it’s refreshing. I don’t worry about myself anymore and I like that. 

You and your partner Mel recently celebrated the first birthday of your little boy, Nico, how has motherhood changed your life? 

It’s changed in that he is the priority from sun up to sun down. There’s no time for being selfish or self absorbed like I was, which I like, it’s refreshing. I don’t worry about myself anymore and I like that. He’s given my life depth and meaning and I love my new role as a mother. 

As a family, you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, what do you get up to in nature? 

We basically pack up the family and dogs and go to the beach most mornings. We take turns surfing and playing with Nico on the beach, he loves it so much and sleeps on the drive home. That’s what we love to do most.

How does nature nourish you? 

Nature makes me feel fulfilled, alive and clean. I wouldn’t want to live in the city again. It’s a lot of work living in the bush, it’s raw and there’s always labour to do to keep the place functioning, but I enjoy the purpose and working on the land. 

ETTO natural clean living

You follow a naturally led lifestyle, tell us what are some lifestyle non-negotiables for you?  

I am a little bit neurotic about chemicals, probably because my life on tour was so toxic. I like to think of myself as a naturalist. I keep things simple and nutrition and natural foods is my biggest priority for my family. Everything I put in and on my body is as pure as I can get.

Your favourite thing about Australia? 

The clean beaches!

etto australian stories claire professional surfer natural living

Follow Claire's surf and nature adventures @clairebevo

For more Australian stories follow us on Instagram @ettoaustralia

ETTO Australia Claire Belivacqua Pro surfer Yallingup WA

Back to blog