Author Archives: Surf Like a Girl LA

Welcome to Our New Site

Photo by Stef McDonald

It was time for a makeover! We are excited to bring you the new and improved Surf Like a Girl site! Stay tuned for regular blog updates in 2012. Photos, stories, and more!


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Filed under Beach, Photos

Ask Betty Surf Advice: Boards

Dear Betty,
What’s the difference between foam and fiberglass surfboards? Which should I ride?
— Terri, Beverly Hills, CA

Dear Terri,
A foam board is, well, it’s a board made out of foam, kind of like a large boogie board. It is bigger and more buoyant than a fiberglass board, and because of its rough surface, it doesn’t need to be waxed. Also, foam boards won’t seriously hurt if they crash into you (which they undoubtedly will). A fiberglass board is a foam (a different kind of foam) blank that is hand-shaped and covered with a hard fiberglass layer that makes it light and durable, and able to glide easily on water so that you can perform maneuvers and tricks. The drawback of a fiberglass board is that it can be easily damaged with cracks or dings that need to be repaired.

The newest of newbies should consider taking a lesson or two on a large foam board before making any purchases. It’s a good idea to rent a foam board for your first couple of forays out on your own. If you think you may only be a fair-weather surfer who never gets much beyond the white water or if you have trouble with your knees or are (ahem) an older Betty, a Soft-Top may be the ideal board for you. These have foam decks but fiberglass bottoms so they ride better but aren’t as hard on your body. If you have been bitten by the surf bug and plan to be out in the ocean often, a fiberglass board would probably be best for you.

Enjoy the ride,

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Beachy Mixed Tape: Surfer Girl Playlist

We love our tunes and had a tough time narrowing down our list of favorites for the first Surf Like a Girl iTunes playlist. No real surfer girl would exclude the Beach Boys or Jack Johnson (I mean, come on!), so they’re represented here. Oh, it’s summery and beachy, all right (check out all the songs about the sun and California), but we’ve also got some non-surf songs that simply makes us want to sing along.

“Surfer Girl,” The Beach Boys

“Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles

“Beautiful Day,” U2

“California,” Mason Jennings

“Wipe Out,” The Surfaris

“Ring the Alarm,” Tenor Saw

“Even After All,” Finley Quaye

“Give It to You,” G. Love

“Better Way,” Ben Harper

“On My Mind,” Donavon Frankenreiter

“Sun is Shining,” Bob Marley and the Wailers

“On A Beach,” Richard Ashcroft

“Constellations,” Jack Johnson

“Watch the Sunrise,” Big Star

“Island in the Sun,” Weezer

“California Stars,” Billy Bragg and Wilco

“Distant Sun,” Crowded House

“Over the Rainbow,” Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole

“California Sun,” The Ramones

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Filed under General, Surfing

Ask Betty: Surf Breaks

Dear Betty,

I have heard of different types of breaks and am wondering, as a beginner, where should I go to practice surfing?

— Jill, New York, New York

Dear Jill,

Around the USA, we mainly have beach breaks and point breaks. Tropical locations will also have reef breaks. A beach break is a surf break that breaks all along a sandy beach (surprise, surprise). Make sure that the waves break out far enough that you have a chance to catch and ride them in. You don’t want to attempt riding shore break (waves that crash right on the sand) or you will get hurt. As a beginner, stick to beach breaks where you have the opportunity to spread out and find your own little piece of real-estate. Breach breaks are nice for beginners in that you can start on the inside (where the wave has already broken) and practice your pop-ups and stance and then gradually move to the outside to begin catching the “green wave.” Just remember to stay alert to other more experienced surfers. Point breaks wrap around and usually break over rocks or reef. Point breaks offer up a great wave, but the drawback for beginners is that there is usually only one take-off zone. If you are new, more experienced surfers will beat you to the punch every time and whip past you (or get pissed at you if you drop in on them… or it is your turn and you miss a great wave). Save point breaks for when you feel more comfortable in the water. Reef breaks break over sharp coral reef and therefore are a little sketchy for the newbie. If it’s high tide and the break is nice and gentle, this can be a good choice as well, just remember to fall flat!

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Surf Like a Girl Pro Interview: Stephanie Gilmore

They call her Happy Gilmore for good reason. Sure, it may be because she is always smiling, but more likely it is because Stephanie Gilmore has won two consecutive world titles in 2007 and 2008. And we are quite sure she has her eye on the prize in 2009. Her career started early when she stood up on a boogie board at the age of 10. Soon she caught the surfing bug and by 17 she had won the Wildcard entry into the Roxy Gold Coast Pro. What happened next? Oh yeah, she won. And she kept on winning. Just barely able to drink legally stateside, this Australian beauty is one of the coolest chicks we know. She rocks on a surfboard, impressing us with her innovative surfing style, and we hear she plays a mean guitar. Below, our Surf Like a Pro interview with Stephanie.

Last album downloaded: “Youth Novels” by Lykke Li
Best place I’ve surfed: You can’t beat Snapper Rocks in Australia. It’s my home but it’s also the best!
Last book I read: “Twilight” series! It’s addictive!
Guilty pleasure TV show: “Gossip Girl.” I have a crush on Chuck Bass.
Favorite comfort food: Lots of fruit. My friends call me a fruit bat. I eat blueberries like they’re going out of fashion.
Last splurge: Fender Delux Amplifier to plug my Cole Clark guitars into.
Tips for going green: Ride a bike to work if you live close enough, and try to recycle every time. It’s the little things each individual can easily do that will make the big difference.
Hero: Lisa Andersen! She’s an incredible person in the water and out!
Worst experience in the water: Sunset 2007. I got caught in the impact zone and took along time to get out. It was the heaviest experience I’ve ever had. My only advice in that situation is to stay calm.
I’m most proud of: I guess tangibly, it’s my 2nd title, but as a person it’s being able to live this lifestyle doing what I love day in and day out.
What I do when I’m not surfing: I hang out with my friends, play music and stuff. So long as I’m laughing, I don’t mind what it is.
Pets: Tank, he’s my friend Jodie’s dog. He looks like “Frank the Tank!”
What I do to make the world a better place: I have a compost bin and use it all the time. The worms seem pretty happy about it.
Why I surf: Because it’s all kinds of wonderful…
Words to live by: Life is not a dress rehearsal.

We asked Stephanie what she brings on an everyday surf session.

Darren Handley surfboard (DHD)
Elasto Rip Curl wetsuit
Rip Curl girl bikini
Rip Curl longsleeve rashguard
UV Natural sunscreen
Bobby Brown lipbalm SPF 15+
Smart Water
PB&Js and fresh fruit
My film camera
A hat

To see more of Stephanie, check out her blog or check the Rip Curl site.

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Filed under Pros, Surfing

Surf Like a Girl Pro Interview: Veronica Baker

There is not much Veronica Baker has not done. Whether it’s surfing the world over, rock climbing, heli-skiing, caring for her sons, or shooting the cover of a magazine, Veronica is not the kind of girl who sits back and waits for opportunities to come to her. You may remember her by her maiden name, Veronica Kay, as the fierce blonde competitor on WB’s Boarding House: North Shore or recognize her as one of the hosts of Wild on E!. Veronica hails from Southern California where she picked up surfing when she was just fourteen years old.  Since then she has traveled the world seeking out the best waves as an ambassador and model for Roxy.  She currently resides in Newport Beach with her husband and two sons. Below, our Surf Like a Pro interview with Veronica.

Last album you downloaded: I know I am stuck in dinosaur land but I don’t download music.  The last CD I bought was Metallica’s “Kill ’em All”

Best vacation: I brought my best friend Jillian to Whistler to shoot Wild on E! because I told them she was my stylist/hair and make-up person.  So, it technically wasn’t a vacation but it sure felt like one.  We had the best time!

Last book you read: “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville.

Guilty pleasure TV show: Survivor.

Favorite comfort food: Grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Champagne or beer (or other): Beer.

Last splurge: A pair of leopard print peep-toe pumps.

Advice for beginners: Relish falling–learn to love it and know that every time you do, you are one step closer to getting that much better.  Also, laugh, play, don’t take yourself so seriously…”the best surfer is the happy surfer.”

Hero: Lisa Andersen.

Worst experience in the water: Got sucked over the falls and landed on my fin.  It broke off in my leg, and I had to get 20 stitches.

I’m most proud of: Being a mom.

Favorite rainy day activity: Finding puddles to jump in with my son and then coming inside and drinking hot chocolate.

Pet peeve: Cold butter.

How she met her husband:  A mutual friend set us up on a blind date; I made her come to lunch with us.

Tip for going green?: Eat organic.

Why I surf: Because it makes me feel good –simple but true.

Words to live by:  Smile as much as you can.

We also asked Veronica what she brings for an everyday surf session.

6’1” Al Merrick or her  9’6” Donald Takayama

Long Arm Spring Suit

Roxy bikini

Shiseido sunscreen

Surf Wax


Chocolate Brownie Cliff Bars

Sweat pants and sweat shirt

To see more of Veronica, check her out on or on YouTube

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Filed under Pros, Surfing

Surfer Girl Bride: Rebecca’s Wedding

Our very own Rebecca Heller tied the knot in 2008 and it was a surfer girl’s dream wedding. Seriously. Consider this:

She married a surfer.
(He’s cute, too!)

She had a beach blanket bridal shower.
We had a potluck beach day in Malibu. Surf and sand, girls and grub–yep, that adds up to a good time.

They got married at a seaside resort in Mexico.
It was in the same area where they took their first surf trip together and where he popped the question. You could see the ocean behind them when they took their vows.

Their first dance was to “Surfer Girl” by the Beach Boys.
Not a dry eye in the house.

Most guests stayed within steps of a private surf break.
Every morning, we got to paddle out before breakfast. And then sit by the pool and eat fish tacos and sip margaritas….

They gave surf lessons to guests who wanted to learn.
A friend brought soft boards for the weekend and Rebecca and Thomas were joined by other friends in giving lessons to friends and family. Stoke all around!

There was a paddle-out for the couple before the wedding.
The morning of the big day, the surfer friends of the bride and groom paddled out to form a circle in honor of the couple.

Click here for our friend Kristine’s photos from the big day.

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Filed under General