World champ surfer Nikki van Dijk’s biggest fear

Nikki van Dijk is a Holden ambassador.
Nikki van Dijk is a Holden ambassador.

She's braved monster surf, coral reefs and sharks but pro surfer Nikki van Dijk is no fan of taking risks behind the wheel.

The 22-year-old grew up in Victoria's Phillip Island, near one of the world's great race tracks, but the Victorian never feels the urge to put the foot down.

"I reckon I'm a pretty good driver. I'm pretty aware of what's going on and I play it safe. I couldn't do what I do without my licence so I'm very aware of that and on my best behaviour," she says.

Surfer Nikki Van Dijk plays it safe behind the wheel. Pic: Supplied.
Surfer Nikki Van Dijk plays it safe behind the wheel. Pic: Supplied.

Van Dijk, a former junior world champ who recently won her maiden World Surf League event in Portugal, says she can't believe what some people do on the road.

"Anything that is endangering other people on the road is definitely not on with me," she says.

She wasn't always the model driver, though. She clearly remembers driving into one of the pillars in her house in her dad's Toyota HiLux while she was trying to master the manual gears.

But she's glad she persevered.

"I learned in a manual. I'm very thankful for that because every time I go to Europe you can't hire an automatic," she says.

Van Dijk lists Europe as her favourite driving destination, often taking the slow route when travelling from events in France to Portugal and Spain.

"It's so beautiful. I think it's the best way to see a country is driving through it. It's still so crazy to me that in one day you can drive through two or three countries in Europe," she says.

Van Dijk's earliest driving memories were of her dad's HiLux

"From a very young age growing up I remember the HiLux with the boards in the back and the family all in there. We'd go to the beach and back a hundred times a day - I spent a lot of time in that car."

She got her licence as soon as she could after turning 18.

Van Dijk wins the final at Cascais Women's Pro 17 in Cascais, Portugal. Pic: Supplied.
Van Dijk wins the final at Cascais Women's Pro 17 in Cascais, Portugal. Pic: Supplied.

"I'd been away in Hawaii so I wasn't there for my actual birthday so as soon as I came home I booked in. I was very excited, it changes a lot for an 18-year-old living on Phillip Island, being able to drive and do your own thing. I was able to do exactly what I wanted when I wanted," she says.

Her first car was a Volkswagen Passat wagon, which remains with the family despite her signing a sponsorship deal with Holden that has her driving a Trax SUV.

She likes the practicality of both but her dream car is a Tesla.

"It's insane how those cars run and how they're made. I haven't really seen too many in Australia but the last time I was in America they were everywhere," she says.


Toyota HiLux


Volkswagen Passat


Tesla Model S

Topics:  autobiography holden nikki van dijk stars cars surfer

Carols by the Beach draws record crowd

As night came on the Yeppoon Foreshore was flooded with thousands of people attending the Carols by the Beach

Over 4000 people brought Christmas spirit at Carols by the Beach.

CQ woman makes history, knocking down gender stereotypes

Brianna Pidgeon working on a motive water pump replacement.

Brianna Pidgeon is proving girls can get their hands dirty too

Nite Life photos: 'Tis the season to party, CQ

L-R Britt Burow, Tamika Bernardi, Courtney O'Donnell and Mikayla Stehbens at Zodiac Nightclub.

FESTIVE season has well-and-truly kicked off

Local Partners

‘Love diet’: Tziporah Malkah’s 19kg weight loss

SHE tipped the scales at 120kg and was classified as “morbidly obese” by her doctor. But now the model once known as Kate Fischer has dropped the weight.

Five festive foods to eat guilt-free

Prawns are one of the healthiest foods on the Christmas table. Picture: Alex Coppel

Christmas foods you can eat to your heart’s content

10 girls names shooting up the charts in 2018

Generic baby photo.

Got a little girl arriving in 2018? We got you covered.

'Thirsty' Kmart mums fond of hunky Mackay sparky

Mackay's Laura Ryan was overwhelmed with comments from her post about a make-up table on Kmart Mums Australia, with mums across the nation fawning over her partner Lloyd Westwood snapped mid-DIY project.

A SEEMINGLY innocent post about a DIY project quickly turned viral

The kid earning $14.6m a year

Ryan from Ryan ToysReview is a YouTube star. Picture: YouTube

Meet the kid making $14.6 million a year reviewing toys on YouTube

Mum: ‘completely inappropriate’ to drink alcohol around kids

This mum has had it with the mandatory drinking that goes down at every gathering this time of year

Mum says drinking at 2pm at kids' event inappropriate