How an Australian surfer/model went from the desert to the runway

“I started surfing nearly three years ago, mainly out of boredom and because my brothers did it,” surfer and model Imogen Caldwell tells GrindTV. “When there was no waves, we’d go diving or fishing … what else was I going to do?”

A photo posted by @imogencaldwell on

Caldwell grew up in the remote surf camp of Red Bluff, located in the north west of Western Australia. The camp has a permanent population of 12 (seven of which are Caldwells).

Her parents Jim and Bek manage the camp and Imogen has one sister and three brothers.

Red Bluff is located a two hour drive from the nearest town of Carnarvon and is situated within the grounds of the huge Quobba Sheep Station.

However the two perfect (but highly dangerous) waves of Red Bluff and Gnaraloo bring in surfers in from all over Australia, who camp out in the remote desert and tackle the waves and the shark infested waters.

A photo posted by @imogencaldwell on

“If you want to learn to surf, you have to learn at The Bluff,” she recently told ASL. “You’ve got to battle the fear of sharks, you’ve got to take a couple of drainers on the head, and you’ve got to pull a few hundred sea urchins out of your feet – then, it’s all uphill from there.”

Caldwell only started surfing three years ago at age 17, but she quickly became proficient in the thundering waves of the desert.

Her bravery and surfing skill quickly became noticed and the word spread of a serious surfing talent living on the edge of Australia.

A photo posted by @imogencaldwell on

However it wasn’t just her surfing skill that was gaining attention. Blessed with a rare natural beauty, and with a unique background, Caldwell has picked up both endorsements and modeling contracts.

She is an ambassador for Electric and RVCA and is represented by one of Sydney’s top modeling agencies.

She has recently been traveling the world on assignments, swapping the remote desert life for runways in New York and shoots in Hawaii.

A photo posted by @imogencaldwell on

Considering that prior to her new career, she had never even been inside a hairdressers, didn’t own a pair of shoes and never attended a school dance or even a party, she is taking it all in strides.

“For me the modeling allows me to get paid to travel and see more of the world,” she told GrindTV. “It’s a world away from where I grew up diving and surfing at Red Bluff, but that’s always home for me, and it will never change.”

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