Professional surfer, movie star, model, and winner of FHM’s Sexiest Woman in the World, 2010, Roxy Louw is no stranger to dropping jaws, turning heads and receiving admiring stares. Elegant in her modesty despite a string of accolades and accomplishments, Roxy shares with us her take on healthy living while conquering the world, as she revels in riding the waves of life.
A fear of sharks
“I started surfing at the age of 12. My inspiration? A fear of sharks,” says Roxy. Crazy, you think? Not for Roxy Louw, who from a young age embraced these sorts of challenges and tenaciously endeavoured to overcome them, and then some. “I wanted to challenge myself, and it ended up being the best thing yet!” she positively exclaims. By the age of 17, Roxy began surfing as a team rider for Oakley America after being spotted by Seth Hulley (an ex pro-surfer), a true testament to her determination to overcome obstacles and thrive in everything she takes on.
Roxy grew up on a smallholding in Durbanville, Cape Town, surrounded by animals and family, including her rugby-legend of a father, Rob Louw, “Family means everything to me. I am the eldest of four children and we are all exceptionally close,” she says. Roxy’s fondest memory of her childhood was building tree houses with her siblings, a happy place she often visits in her mind while on her travels. “Blood is thicker than water,” Roxy adds of her family, although with salt water practically running through her veins, it’s hard to imagine a happier place for her other than being in the ocean, “I love being in the water and I have always been a water baby. I love nature, soaking in the beautiful surroundings, and being close to God. I also get an adrenaline rush and a workout at the same time, which is a bonus!”
From balancing to posing
Roxy realised that she could make a career out of surfing when she took part in her first competition, “There were challenges however, because I was young, travelling on my own in buses up the coast to destinations I couldn’t even pronounce was outright daunting,” she adds. This challenge was once again met with sheer determination, as Roxy soon found herself travelling on a surfing trip with the Oakley International team to Fernando de Narona, an island off the Brazilian coast. “It was on this particular trip that a photo of me was taken, at random, looking at the waves. This became the international Oakley Campaign for the year, just after Adriana Lima’s campaign the year before,” says Roxy.
An igniting modelling career represented a further set of challenges for Roxy, as she had to adapt her workout routine. Roxy explains, “Surfing was all about core fitness and lower-back strength, it’s a complete, all-around workout, and flexibility and cross training played a major part in maintaining my fitness for the sport.” With modelling entering the fray and becoming increasingly important in altering Roxy’s career path, she had to ensure that she didn’t build too much muscle, something she did rather easily, “I had to tone down on my incline workouts as I build muscle so readily, and had to focus more on Cardio, such as running and yoga. I also started lifting light weights at high reps to remain toned and camera-ready,” she says.
The hard work did pay off however, as Roxy soon found herself travelling to once-unimaginable locations, “My modelling career absolutely took off from there, and I have been travelling for Oakley ever since, for different campaigns on various shoots. I have been afforded the opportunity to travel to Brazil, Costa Rico, Bali, California and Hawaii, and so much more,” she happily reminisces. With career high points including winning FHM’s Sexiest Woman in the World, 2010 and shooting for Sport’s Illustrated, Roxy still reminds us that modelling isn’t always about fame and glam, “Walking from casting to casting and being rejected on a daily basis can sometimes be hard to take, but it is also part of the job and can only make you stronger,” she adds.
Healthy living and silver screen dreams
With a frantic work schedule and hours spent travelling between shoots; Roxy ensures that she complements her healthy appetite with a strict workout routine and good food choices, “A healthy lifestyle is exceptionally important to me. I believe that a healthy body equals a healthy, clear mind, and my family feels exactly the same,” she says. She also ensures that she maintains a healthy balance between her work and her home life, and always makes time for her family, “My tight-knit family is my foundation, and whenever I get a chance, I immediately shoot off to my family home,” says Roxy, who quaintly adds, “I am a complete homebody and so it comes naturally!”
What is this young, talented beauty’s next step in her golden staircase of a career? “I am slowly moving into the television and movie industry, and was lucky to have recently worked with Universal Pictures on a film shot here in South Africa,” says Roxy. Roxy lives her life much like she surfs her waves, sometimes there are none and it is calm, and sometimes there are massive swells and life gets exciting again, “You can’t really plan for what I do; you just have to go with where the wind takes you. In my case, God is my wind, and the less I worry, the better the corners of the globe I get blown into are,” she adds. Although she doesn’t have a specific philosophy in life, she would like our readers to heed this message from her: “Live life to the fullest and conquer all your fears. Challenge them. They can only make you stronger!”
Shore-breakers with Roxy
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
A: Braaing, chilling (relaxing), practising yoga, cooking, wine tasting and spending time with those closest to me.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: Let’s see where the waves take me, haha! I like to play life by ear, but definitely somewhere along the coastline, while working and still travelling.
Q: If you could spend an hour surfing with anyone in the world, who would it be?
A: My dad! Oh, and Kelly Slater of course.
This article was published in Weigh-Less magazine, in the May/June 2015 issue: WEIG0615pg020-021