Alys Barton talks surfing tips, self-care and her £28 saviour for beach hair

The surf champion talks through her self-care must-haves...

Alys Barton

by Aimee Jakes |

We love a bit of self-care and all this time at home has really given us an excuse to look after ourselves inside and out. Each week, we'll be asking the celeb lot to share their Sunday self-care routines, because taking care of yourself is more important than ever.

This week it's all about surfing champion Alys Barton. At just 18 years old, she's already racked up incredible accolades including winning the national Women’s and Under 18s Girls competitions last year. She’s a rising star in the British surf circuit and is tipped to make the English Olympics team. Pretty impressive, huh?

Alys is also an ambassador for Animal, which she praises for its sustainability efforts. She tells heat, "It's great to be representing such an evolving brand who are super eco-friendly and uses recycled materials where possible."

Alys talks exclusively to heat about her fitness routine, getting into surfing and the best advice she's ever been given...

On starting surfing

Alys is phenomenal on the waves, but has she always been a talented surfer and where did her passion begin?
"It's actually quite funny because before surfing I played the clarinet and that was my thing. Then at around 13, my dad used to do quite a bit of surfing with friends, so I was like, 'Okay, I will give this a go!'

"I was such a beginner, I didn't know how to carry a board, I didn't know how to paddle one, I didn't know how to do anything.

"So I learned how to do the basics on one of my dad's old boards and we would push me into the waves and I really enjoyed it. It was a good challenge because my little brother also does it and it's fun to compete against him. It didn't take me long to progress and I entered a few contests in the first year I started surfing."

On surfing tips

"I actually do a little bit of teaching when I'm back home in a school called Progress and I teach groups of young girls. It's really awesome when people say, 'Okay, I want to get into surfing, like, how do I do it? What do I do?' The most obvious thing is to just have a go. Pick up the board. I can teach you to pop up and do all the basic things, but it's just practice.

"There are lots of things you can do on land as well, especially if you're someone who lives far from the sea. There are lots of exercises you can do at home and it definitely benefits your progress for when you get back to the beach.

"Oh and just having fun really. The more fun you can have the better!"

On keeping fit

"Normally I try and surf around two to three times a day. Not necessarily the longest surfs, but just getting into the water. Alongside that, I try and train in the gym around two to three times a week with a fitness coach. His name is Ben and it's usually all done online. There are fitness plans and we discuss the performance of a contest and plan what I need to work on, typically fine details that I can train outside of water.

"Then if I'm not in the gym or surfing, we do quite a bit of skateboarding as well, which is really helpful and It's also really good fun."

On self-care

Alys is always on the go and travelling the world for contests, so how does she relax on a rare afternoon off?

"I just like to really chill out. If I'm in a place that's kind of hot, I would definitely put the aircon on or a fan because being out in the sun all day is so draining. Having the air con on is great. Then I'd chill out, have a chocolate mousse, and watch my clips back from the competition. A must is definitely having a shower, there is nothing worse than sand in the bed. You can't go wrong with a fresh pair of pyjamas, too!"

On hair heroes

"It's definitely gone through some stages! It's super blonde because of the sun at the moment, but I wear conditioner in my hair all the time. I let it dry with conditioner in and then shower it off, but conditioner all the time. One thing I'm always trying to get hold of is Olaplex no.3 (£28) because it's the only thing that stops it from snapping."

On waterproof make-up

"When I first started [surfing] I was a little bit younger I thought I needed to wear mascara and then my brother would laugh at me because it'd be like running down my face! I just have sun cream which kind of looks like foundation which is quite cool. I also tint my eyelashes and eyebrows so I don't need to wear anything else."

On really great advice

"This is something I've heard from a lot of different people, but it's just to enjoy competitions as much as I can and having fun at the events. You're so focused at competitions because it's obviously my job, but remember to relax and really enjoy it as well. You never know if it could be your last competition and it's important to stay in the moment."

Quickfire round:

What show are you currently watching? Frasier.

How do you like your cuppa or hot drink? I love hot squash.

Go-to loungewear brand? Animal is my favourite. They have some great swimwear but also hoodies and other leisure pieces I love!

Favourite face mask? Revolution Skincare x Jake – Jamie Watermelon Hydrating Face Mask (£8)

Go-to takeaway order? It's got to be Indian, I can't get enough of onion bhajis!

Favourite candle? Yankee Candles.

Alys is a surf ambassador for Animal, who sponsored the Women’s & Men’s Surf Pro competition at Boardmasters Festival this year. Check them out

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