Ella Williams on the Volkswagen Amarok

Ella Williams takes on the waves with Volkswagen

Surfing is synonymous with Kiwi culture, drawing on a love for the ocean and bringing people together for generations. Local legend Ella Williams has always had a passion for the beach. From splashing in the waves with her family as a child, to competing on a global stage, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ella’s career has taken her to incredible heights across the globe, but today she resides in her beloved hometown of Whangamatā with a close connection to the local surfing community. She recently hit the road in the Amarok to attend the Pauanui Women's Surf Festival, where we had the chance to catch up with her.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into surfing and what drives your love for the ocean?

My family and I have always been big ocean lovers. I remember going down to the beach when we were little. The whole family would set up for the day. Umbrellas, surfboards, picnic lunches with marmite and chippy sammies and we would just have fun all day. Building sandcastles, going surfing, body boarding and swimming. It was our biggest playground. The passion and love were always there, that’s where it all started.

You have had an incredible career on a local and global scale. Can you share your most memorable career highlight?

Thank you, I’m very proud of what I have accomplished, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without my family. I would like to say the biggest thank you to my family for always being there for me through the up the downs, and always being my number one supporters, no matter what the result is. They have helped shape me to be the person that I am today, and they are my biggest inspirations. My highlights growing up would be winning all national titles and every age division, Winning world junior title in 2013 in Brazil, and then most recently representing New Zealand at the 2020 Olympics for Surfing.

What do you love most about the local surfing community, and how does it play a role for upcoming kiwi talent?

I think there’s a huge thing to be said about you are who you surround yourself with. Your family, your friends, your community, and who you choose will eventually shape you to the person that you are today. So, I think having a great community that supports you and that is behind you 100% along the way is huge, and that’s pretty incredible. Especially here in Whangamatā we are so lucky to have such a great community, we’re all very surfing driven, so that’s awesome. The great thing is there are so many good up-and-coming Kiwi talents these days and it’s so healthy for them to be pushing one another to be better and better each day.

Ella Williams surfing

How do you prepare for a surfing event like the Pauanui Surf Festival, compared to your general training routine?

I think when you’re preparing for any Surfing competition or any competition in general, you need to prepare mentally and physically. You’ve got to be on the top of your game, so that means ticking all the boxes beforehand. Making sure that your preparation is done so that you feel good going into the competition, and you know how to be the best surfer on that day. So, no matter what the outcome is, you know you’ve done the best preparation to give yourself the best outcome.

What is your advice to anyone wanting to become a pro surfer and participate in surfing events like you do?

Just have fun! It all starts and stems from having fun because that’s why we get into it right?! Enjoy the journey and be like an open book so you can learn along the way. Surround yourself with supportive people and never give up!

You jumped behind the wheel of an Amarok over the weekend. Tell us about your experience?

Janine (my mum) and I had an absolute blast driving the Amarok in the weekend. The comfort was next level. And it drove so well! I loved being that bit extra high upon the road, I felt super safe and comfortable. I loved the big touch screen in the middle and how easy it was to navigate my way around it. The features were so user friendly and easy to find what I wanted.


It won't take much convincing

Turn heads on the street or turn it loose in the bush with the best ute around. The powerful V6 engine and the legendary stability of the ladder frame chassis make for a ute that’s more than capable of tackling even the toughest terrain. Add to that 4MOTION 4X4 with optional rear differential lock, and it’s no wonder the Amarok is one of the best in the business.

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Amarok V6
Amarok V6