Growing up in Coolum, on Australia's Sunshine Coast, Nichols began surfing at age 9 and realized she wanted to become a pro surfer four years later. In 2015 she claimed the Australasia Junior Tour title and didn’t drop a heat on the way to winning the World Junior Championships in 2016.
The smooth natural footer, whose style has been compared to a mix of Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore, was seen as one of surfing’s great new talents destined to make the CT. With a stellar junior career, solid backing from big players in the surf industry and her undoubted talent, it seemed only a matter of time before Nichols made the big-time.
However, the next few years on the Qualifying Series proved difficult. Nichols, a dedicated student, was juggling her final years at High School with the demands of being a full-time professional surfer. In both 2017 and 2018, she failed to make an impact on the QS and was never in the mix for qualification. She did, however, find the time to stunt double for Blake Lively in the movie The Shallows.
However, such was her loss of competitive confidence at the start of 2019, Nichols applied for University to study engineering as a backup plan if her surfing dreams didn’t pan out. After finishing runner-up in the first two QS6,000 events of the year, Nichols was well placed to qualify for the elite Championship Tour.
She backed up those results with a few killer free surfing edits which showcased the style, tube riding skills, and progression that had her earmarked as a future star of the sport. In the final QS event of 2019, Nichols claimed her first win at the Port Stephens Toyota Pro, cemented the No. 1 spot on the QS and confirmed her CT slot for 2020. It seems those studies may have to wait a few years.
Women's CT 2019#20
Avg. heat score9.94
Avg. wave score2.53
|Year||Rank||Points||Events||Heats||Max heat score||Best result|
First season2013 Women's JUN
Age22 Aug 20, 1997