With talks of a reality TV show underway and more than 700,000 Instagram followers, Ellie-Jean Coffey says she had no qualms with exposing her life to others.
The 22-year-old is one of five Coffey siblings – four sisters and a brother – increasingly famous for their surfing, social status and sun-kissed good looks.
“For a really long time I have been judged – so, for me personally, if people see inside my life I feel okay with that,” Ellie-Jean tells The New Daily.
“We don’t mind being called the ‘Aussie Kardashians of the surfing world’ because we see the resemblance.
“The Kardashians are close and if there is anything we want to be known for, it’s that we’re a close family unit and we all look out for each other.”
The family’s rare bond grew out of a nomadic lifestyle, which began after mother Kym suffered a serious injury in an accident at the family’s Sydney home almost 13 years ago.
“We were there the night it happened at a family barbecue, mum cracked her skull and had internal bleeding. It took her a year to recover,” Ellie-Jean recalls.
Their bricklayer father Jason decided the family should hit the road, so they sold up, bought a bus and travelled Australia, home-schooling the kids along the way.
Six years ago they settled on the Gold Coast. Ellie-Jean, brother Jackson, 21, and sisters Holly-Daze, 17, Ruby-Lee, 16, and Bonnie-Lou, 14, are rarely out of the water.
Ellie-Jean was nine at the time of her mother’s accident, but says selling the family home to travel meant she and her siblings could surf all day and do the things kids want to do, but usually aren’t allowed to.
“It made us understand if all else fails career-wise or work-wise, that if we have got each other then everything is going to be okay,” she says.
A post shared by Holly-Daze Coffey (@hollydazecoffeyyy) on
Pro surfing ambitions
Now, Ellie-Jean and Holly-Daze are Billabong sponsored, professional Australian surfers, based on the Gold Coast.
They spend six hours a day in the ocean training in an effort to break onto the World Surfing League Championship Tour.
Holly-Daze won the 2011 ASR Australian Junior Surfing Title and both girls are known for their flamboyant shredding skills.
But, after receiving wild card entries to the 2017 Australian Open of Surfing earlier this month, neither made it through the heats.
This week they’re setting their sights on earning points towards the world qualifying series at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, from March 14 to 25.
“We also want to be surfing really well and getting good clips to post online,” says Ellie-Jean, who with Holly-Daze recently signed with IMG models.
The famous family
Ellie-Jean says posting daily content on her social media channels is about giving fans a raw insight into what her life is really like.
And, while 90 per cent of the feedback is positive, there are always a few who voice their objections.
“We’re comfortable with the people we are,” she says.
“We actually look at those making negative comments and feel sorry for them … obviously, things are not going that well if they have to berate other peoples’ lives through social media.”
The Coffeys expect to hear in the coming weeks whether a US reality TV show, starring the whole family, will come to fruition.
“I try not to think about it too much, we’re just living our lives and if it happens it happens,” Ellie-Jean says.
That’s just how it is as an ‘Aussie Kardashian’.
The differences, though, says Ellie-Jean when comparing her life to that of Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and the crew, is that the Coffeys have kept a level-head about their celebrity status.
“Plus, we’ve got talent, and they don’t!” she says.