Tag Archives: surf like a girl

Legacy of Stoke: A Collection of Stories That Made Us Surfers

Joseph Tomarchio approached me last year about contributing to his collection of short stories, Legacy of Stoke: A Collection of the Stories that Made Us Surfers (Volume 1). The instructions were pretty simple: tell a story about learning or teaching, how were you initiated, and/or how you passed on the legacy. In case it wasn’t totally obvious, I am passionate about surfing and all that it has done for me, so I gladly said yes. It was a treat to receive the bound copy last week of Volume 1. My story was included along with many other voices and experiences. It was fun to read through and hear from surfers around the world “talking story” about their experiences in the water. Some stories were similar to mine—learning to surf relatively late in life and having it change us, such as Karen Shatafian’s passage. Others were inspirational, like the one from Charlie Paradise, who was traveling down the wrong path in life when surfing saved him. Or the one from Kim Byrne, who overcame various medical complications to surf once again. Stoke fills the pages through the stories and excerpts from other books. I urge you to pick up a copy, available on Amazon.

And for those of you who have so much stoke that it trickles out of you and onto the written page, Joseph is collecting stories for Volume 2.


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Filed under Books, Surfing

Malia Jones Debut Swim Collection


Photo credit: Heidi Tappis

Surfer girl Malia Jones has graced the covers of more than a dozen magazines and also earned been named to the lists for People Magazine‘s “Most Beautiful” and Esquire‘s “Sexiest Athletes.” Now this surfer-turned-model has created a gorgeous new high-end swimsuit line that features modern lines and sexy silhouettes. 

Tell us about your swimsuit line. How did it come about?

I live in a swimsuit, but I didn’t have that go-to brand of swimsuits that I always knew I felt great in. I wanted to put together a collection of timeless swim styles that fit great with beautiful fabrics that you feel good in. There are neutral colors and seasonal prints that you can mix and match, but the styles will carry over to the next season so you can always go back and get the suits you love and know that fits you great. The kaftans and tunics in the collection are simple and easy. They are ready to be thrown in a weekend bag and taken to any beach or resort. Everything is very modern, beautiful and understated.

As a model, mother and new designer, do you have much time to get in the water? 

Luckily I live in Hawaii and going to the beach is just part of the lifestyle here. We live near the ocean so I do get to jump in the water every day. My little boy is starting to surf as well so it’s a whole new love for surfing watching him catch waves and being a part of his love for the ocean. 

MJAs a former competitive surfer, what is surfing like for you now?

I’m not sure if I’ll ever surf as much as I used to. When you’re younger with no responsibility and no one to look after, surfing two to three times a day is just what you’re used to. Waking up and wondering what the waves are like and where you’re going to surf today is definitely a luxury you don’t even realize at the time. To be young and so carefree! 

But now I definitely appreciate my time in the water more. I’m usually on a schedule so I enjoy every second while I’m out there. I think I almost enjoy it more now than I did growing up. 

I was never that into contests. I guess surfing has never been a sport to me, but a lifestyle that just becomes a part of who you are. 

What does it mean to you to surf like a girl?

Image 2My hero out in the water was always Rell Sunn. I looked up to her in so many ways as a female surfer. She ripped but she also owned her female energy. She was powerful but graceful. That’s why they call her the Queen. Women add a different energy to the lineup. Having her as a role model taught me to embrace it.

Malia’s designs can be found at select retails shops and online at www.maliajones.com.

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Filed under General, Style, Surfing

The Surfer Girl and Skin Cancer: Prevention

After two melanoma diagnoses, I will now spend the rest of my life preventing extraneous sun exposure. The first and most obvious prevention method is to stay out of the sun. As a surfer girl, and basically as a human, this is impossible for me. But there are ways to practice sun safety.

Surf Early: I have started limiting my time at the beach to off-peak hours; the sun is the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so before and after are more ideal times to frolic in the ocean or on the shore. The good news is that the waves are better in the morning. So in the future I will plan to be out of the water at 10 a.m., and I will make sure I am am in the shade under an SPF rated umbrella if I remain on the beach.

sportsspf45-webWear Sunscreen: The next thing to do is to make sure to wear an SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen year-round. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of 30 or higher that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Until recently, I have just picked up the ubiquitous drug store brand, but I am now more conscious of the how chemicals can affect me—and the earth—and I check the ingredients on sunscreens to be sure they’re safe. The Environmental Working Group offers a great list of the best sunscreens for you and your family. Lately, I have been using Suntegrity (created by a daughter who lost her mother to skin cancer) and I often share my two-year-old daughter’s Alba Kids SPF 45 when we are out and about. When applying sunscreen, make sure you put on enough (about two tablespoons) and reapply every two hours.

Cover Up: As I round the corner of 40, I am perfectly happy to put my two-piece bikini days behind me. I still want to look stylish on the beach, so I have started checking out SPF clothing lines, such as Coolibar, Cabana Life, and Mott 50. I purchased the ZnO Pants from Coolibar, along with their swim tights that I will try out in Hawaii this summer. I also bought a pair of swim tights for my daughter and will pair that with a rash guard for her. I have yet to find the perfect sun hat. It needs to be cute and cool, block the sun but not my vision—and I want to be able to throw into a beach bag without crushing it. If you have any suggestions, be sure to send them my way!

When I surf, I almost always wear a full suit and I have a 3:2 and a 4:3 that work perfectly for me in the cool California water. And, okay, fine, I will probably get a dorky surf hat, or at least surf during the morning hours with a water-resistant sunscreen on my face, hands, and feet.

Check Yourself: Finally, it’s recommended that you perform a monthly self-examination of your skin, and be sure to get an annual examination by a dermatologist. It could save your life!

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Today in SoCal, where the water is still warm and waves were fun enough to make a girl giddy, I ran into a beautiful surfer and familiar face in the crowded line-up. Sharing waves with Kassia Meador always makes me smile.  She had on a groovy wetsuit and we just cannot wait to get one! Keep your eyes peeled for these, available in Spring 2015.


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Filed under Beach, Pros, Style, Surfing, Videos

Where’s Your Mother?!

Sixteen-year-old Mahina Maeda from Hawaii gets towed into this monster at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal on November 2, 2014. You’ve blown us away, Mahina!

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Filed under Pros, Surfing, Videos


Skateistan, the first skateboarding school in Afganistan, was founded by Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich in 2007. Now more than half of the members of Skateistan are girls. Today, Skateistan will be featured on CBS’s Courage in Sports series (12 pm PST; 3 pm EST). Pro-skateboarder Holly Lyons wrote, “It’s so incredible to think that more girls skate in Afghanistan than anywhere else in the world!” She will be featured on the show today along with the founder and Tony Hawk. Can’t wait to watch!

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The Undress: The End of Wetsuit-Changing Awkwardness?

At Surf Like a Girl headquarters, we are pretty excited about The Undress. The Undress is a versatile changing system that can get you in and out of your wetsuit or bathing suit and into your street clothes without ever getting naked. Having performed thousands of changes car-side in a crowded parking lot, holding my towel together with one hand while struggling with my bathing suit bottoms in the other, I can say this is an item I have long been waiting for. Pre-orders can be taken though their Kickstarter Page or on their website. This is definitely a fashion trend we can get behind!

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Filed under Style, Surfing