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I first met Dex last year, through our mutual babemate, Carly Brown, not long after Jade and I relocated back to Byron Bay from our time in Indo. We also ended up living with Dex's best mate, Annie, and getting to know these warmhearted, loyal and riotous local legends has been awesome: Annie & Dex need their own show. 

So when we heard through the girls that Dex had signed up for the Wimp to Warrior challenge and was training for her first MMA cage fight - we were pumped - yes Dex, yes! - where can we buy tickets? I mean, what on earth compels a surfing nurse to enter something like this?

Curious to see how Dex is preparing for her debut fight, we asked her to roadtest some of our gear and have myself and Carly tag along one fine Autumn morning to document. Here's Dex's story...

Anastasia Dexter talks story with Salt Gypsy 2017

So Dex, you're a surfing ED (emergency department) nurse training for your first MMA cagefight...tell us about the training and what motivated you to sign up for an ass-whooping like MMA!

Hahaha what a summary. The MMA training has been intense. It has been 4-5 mornings at 5.45am for the last 4 months and I have 2 months to go until fight night. It consists of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and MMA. 

Physically, it has smashed me but also mentally. It is about pushing through these barriers we create in our minds and really breaking past those limitations we set on ourselves. That is what motivated me to start it. 

Salt Gypsy sustainable activewear in the gym

Before I started I had always looked at MMA and thought how brutal and barbaric it is - which is true but it is just as much a mental fight as it is physical (more so with oneself than the opponent). I find as I am getting older I am becoming more self aware and want to process and investigate all of that further. What better way to do that than to train to get in a cage with someone! Plus it is a great story to tell.

Where are you from and what's the female surf community like there? 

I grew up in the Byron Shire so I have always had something to do with the ocean. When I was a kid I used to follow my brother and dad around on a bodyboard and get them to tow me so I never had to paddle. Back then the female surfing community wasn't really a thing. My parents had some female friends who surfed but it was NOTHING like what it is today. Today I feel it is almost a movement. There are just as many women in the water as men.

The circle that I move in are such supportive, strong and empowering women who shred! There is a whole lot of Tay Tay in the water where we all encourage each other and are actually genuinely happy to see each other loving the water so much. It's awesome. 

Style us out for the lineup Dex - what would you have us wearing...

In a lineup the first thing I would have on is sunscreen! Gotta be sunsmart. I am pretty basic when it comes to what I wear in the water. I definitely would have my shoulders covered so either a rad onesie with sleeves or even a cute pair of bottoms and one of Salt Gypsy's rad rashies!

Your favourite surf spot...

My all time favourite surf spot is actually not too far from here but I am going to keep that one under my hat! The thing for me that makes the surf so special is when you are in the water with my dad or with good friends and you are all having an epic time with smiles on your faces and plenty of waves to share. So any spot can be my favourite with that combination.

Top 10 essential surf travel items: 

I don't know if I can think of 10 essentials. Ummmmm...

  1. sunscreen and zinc
  2. my fav board Ronaldo
  3. a handful of my best mates
  4. an ice cold beer for when we get out of the water! hahahaha


Photography by Carly Brown  | Instagram

Big thank you to Dex for having us tag along to her training (and motivating the f*&% out of me to get fit), CB for bringing her lens and good vibes, and the Extreme MMA crew in Byron for allowing us to shoot inside their space. We'll be there cage-side Dex - go hard mate!