Elise Carver

Elise Carver

Surf Trainer & Founder / Surf Style Training


Elise Carver has this unparalleled ability to tear sh*t up. Apologies for the profanity, but you try and find another way to explain this girl’s infectious personality, and unwavering nature to never give up? It’s been a big year for Elise, from Little Bantam Surf Trainer. After successfully making it to the Top 10 Next Fitness Stars in the 2016 Women’s Health Magazine Australia search, she has even found time to launch her new Surf Style Training website.

Like so many other women, Elise refers to her high school – self as never really belonging. This theme eroded after she found “her spot” in the small coastal town of Torquay, after years of working “travelling jobs” after school. More of a nomad then an academic, Elise has worked for some big brands such as Quiksilver, and now in her current role as a fitness Entrepreneur, helps people all over the world become healthier, fitter and more holistic versions of themselves through her surfing inspired training. Let’s dive (pun totally intended) in to Elise’s career story…

Hey Elise, can you tell us a bit about where you grew up and how that experience has shaped you are the person you are, and the career that you are in today?

I grew up all over the place, from Singapore, to Sydney and then Melbourne, moving between several houses and several schools. I never really found I had a fixed base, a place to really call home, or a group of tight knit friends I could call on. Because of this, I turned into a nomad, never really finding my place till I was 24 -25 years old when I made the move to Torquay Victoria. I was in Torquay that I truly found my spot, my local, and my place.

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Where did you go to high school and how was that experience for you?

As I mentioned I went to several different schools, finally landing at Norwood High Secondary College in Ringwood Victoria. The school wasn’t flash by any means, and I’m pretty sure there were only 75 people in my graduating year.

High School was pretty damn average for me. I was the new kid always, the one who floated from group to group but not because I was popular with everyone, it was because I was awkward with them all. To top it off, I had a rocky relationship with my Mum during high school, so left home at 16 to try and manage VCE from the comfort of my friend’s top bunk or my Dads place, which was over an hour away. I think I learnt more about social situations in school than I did about academic topics. In saying that, I was a whizz at Food Tech and Drama.

Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and further career?

YES, without a doubt – but not the way you think. In fact, I learnt more about what NOT what to do, learning from other people’s mistakes you might say.

Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?

I decided to travel and work straight out of school. My final score was pretty average, and I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do so I took a long trip round Australia instead. I worked as a Plumbers Labourer, a Deckhand in WA, and various other jobs, till I decided to try my hand at Personal Training. Since I had a love for health and fitness that was growing rapidly as time went on, I enrolled at the Australian Institute of Fitness.

I continued to work as I studied, then when I finished the course, I started to work as a PT while I worked my way up in Digital Marketing. The entire time, I took further online courses to improve and build on my knowledge of the human body.

Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for? Explain any highlights.

I’ve had a mixed career to say the least, including the jobs that I completed while travelling. I built up a five year career in Digital Marketing, which began at festival event management, and continued all the way through to Marketing for Quiksilver Womens when it was around.

During this process I also worked for a few gyms as a part time Personal Trainer (PT), finding that the standard type of training never really grasped my full attention. Then after 7 years working as a PT and learning my way around the Marketing world, I threw myself in the deep end and launch my personally developed training program Surf Style Training.

In just two years, I have built and opened my own unique training studio. I have serviced over 100 clients ranging from kids to adults, and I have just launched my first online Surf Style Training website.

What an insanely busy couple of years. Summarise for us how did you get into the job that you are in now?

I created it. I created this job. I decided at about the age of 26 that I no longer wanted to work for ‘the man’ but BE THE MAN, or Girl Boss as it is so commonly referred to now. And now I am, Yeeewww!

What is the hardest part of your current job?

Working too much. Being a business owner is so much about balance and trying to get it back. I have to schedule in training time, free time and home time as well as actual work time. If I don’t do this then I won’t get the ME TIME I need to keep my head in check.

What does a typical business day look like for you in your current job?

I wake up round 6 – 7am, meditate, do some breathing exercises, have a light stretch, and then dig into my first breakfast, of the day. Then I train clients for 2 to 3 hours, have my second breakfast, and go for a surf or do some training myself. After lunch I work on my computer, maybe go to a meeting, and train more clients, and then head home for dinner and free time.

Who has been your greatest hero, or inspiration growing up and why?

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had one person who I found inspirational. Sure, I take lead from amazing people here and there, but I always came back to focusing on myself and what I was/am achieving. I feel like that’s all that matters.

What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?

Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and not to be famous on Instagram. It takes a lot of energy and motivation to motivate others, so if you’re in it for the wrong reasons it won’t be long before it shows. You owe it to your clients and the people you are guiding, to be honest and true to them as well as yourself.

List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession:

  • Favourite Blogs or Websites: I only really refer to healthy recipe blogs because cooking isn’t my forte. Helpful recipes are so handy when you’re short on time.
  • Books: I don’t read books as such, but I read plenty of articles and case studies when I want to know more about an injury, or something else that I am working on.
  • People: My sister, Best friend and Fiancé are my go to when I need some help deciding on the important stuff for the business. They are all great sounding boards.

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