Layne Beachley reckons Stephanie Gilmore’s dominance of the women’s world surfing tour has left her younger Australian rivals furious and frustrated.
But the seven-time champion has urged them to use that as fuel to break through.
Gilmore is just one crown short of Beachley’s all-time record, having claimed six of the past eight championships.
Hawaii’s Carissa Moore is the only other winner since 2007.
Compatriots Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons have both been runner-up twice to Gilmore – and last year were within arm’s reach of the 2014 title at the final round.
“I know that can be infuriating, it can be frustrating,” Beachley told AAP.
“You get to a state where you keep asking yourself: `How can I beat this girl? What more do I have to do?’
“When you have your competitors questioning themselves against you, then you have a distinct advantage over them.
“But then, when you’ve got someone as young and passionate and hard-working as Tyler, vying for your position, then it keeps you looking over your shoulder as well.”
The 42-year-old said the likes of Wright and Fitzgibbons needed to try “shake off” the heartbreak and return fresh, energised and focused.
“That’s what I did throughout my career – I was winning every year, but I would start fresh every year as well, so I would never bring last year’s results into this year’s mindset,” she said.
“Having the capacity to do that and then the motivation to maintain that mindset is another skill in itself.”
Beachley said she could never rule Gilmore out of a world title position, given her experience, competitive nature and ability.
“But I know she’s got a hell of a job ahead of her to repeat it considering the level of talent she’s up against,” she said.
Much has been made of Gilmore’s chance to match Beachley’s record title haul, but they are yet to chat about it beyond a brief TV interview for 60 Minutes last month.
“That was only on camera – we haven’t actually spoken about it off-line,” Beachley said.
“So I will definitely have that conversation with her when I see her next.
“Steph’s just got to be conscious of the fact that she may be looking for excuses instead of ways to achieve it.”
Gilmore has been nominated for the Laureus World Action Sports Award – Beachley, who is now a Laureus ambassador, won that award in 2004.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Shanghai on April 15.