Tag Archives: #surflikeagirl


Have you always wanted to learn to surf? Would you like to take your surfing to the next level? Join Heather Alley and myself for a one week intensive. Space is limited and we are really looking forward to this trip! For more info and to reserve your spot click here.




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What Makes Us: RISS

The What Makes Us series of short films on elite female athletes was created by the Mundo Sisters for ESPNW. The mini-documentary on Carissa Moore highlights her rise to the World Title and struggle to stay there. It also portrays her touching relationship with her father. We were already big fans of Carissa, and this film makes us love her even more.

Check it out here.

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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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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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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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The Surfer Girl and Skin Cancer: Melanoma

“Do you have a moment to talk?” my doctor asked me over the phone. When I answered that I did, she said, “It’s melanoma.”

A few months before this, I had noticed a mole on my knee. I have a lot of moles, but this one seemed to come on fast and was starting to change colors. I asked my friend who is an ER doctor about it, and she said, “It doesn’t look like anything, but go see your dermatologist.” I also asked the primary physician I share with my daughter during a Well-Baby visit; she said the same thing and gave me a referral. I saw the dermatologist and she said, “It doesn’t look like anything, but we will biopsy it.” So with a small numbing shot and quick use of a knife, it was removed and went off to the lab.

Then I got the call. The good news was that we caught it early. It was only .5 mm deep, which is not very deep by melanoma standards.

The next step was to get it excised—removed along with a 1-cm circle of the skin around it. This I wasn’t thrilled about. When I went to the surgeon, he drew a circle around the mole to indicate the amount of skin he was going to take.  I freaked out. It looked huge. The procedure was relatively painless, but the surgery site is right where my knee bends so the healing process was a bit slow and unpleasant.

Well, when I went back to the dermatologist three months later (I have to go every three months now), I had another mole removed that intuitively felt “funny” to me. Everyone said the same thing again—that it doesn’t look like anything, but get it checked. Again, it was melanoma. This one was even more shallow—.2 mm—and it has healed well since it was on my leg in a non-bendy part.

Since this time, I have met with an oncologist and had a PET scan. Thankfully, the cancer hasn’t traveled into my body. Here is why I am so lucky. I went to see the doctor early. I didn’t wait. Every doctor I have met with said that I saved my life by coming in. It’s hard to imagine that this is all it took.

As a surfer girl, I have spent plenty of time in the sun, but I think of myself as somewhat responsible. I wear sunscreen, but I rarely (if ever) reapply and, often, I wouldn’t put sunscreen on my legs. As a Southern California surfer, I usually wear a full wet suit, and for years I have sat in the shade of an umbrella. I have not tanned in the sun. Okay, okay, when I was a teenager I wore baby oil and “laid out” for hours, but I have never been in a tanning bed. Melanoma doesn’t run in my family, and I tan easily and rarely burn. What I am saying is that I probably only get as much sun as the average Southern Californian beach-goer. If all this makes you nervous, that is my point. I want you to take the following precautions.

The Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Dermatology suggest you avoid the sun during the middle of the day, wear sunscreen year-round (a broad-spectrum with an SPF of at least 30) and reapply every two hours, wear protective clothing along with sunglasses and hats, avoid tanning beds, and become familiar with your skin so you will notice changes. Go and see your dermatologist every year for an annual skin check, and go right away if you notice anything suspicious. I would encourage you to go even if you just have a “funny feeling” about something. Be well, surfer girls!


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You Can’t Handle the Cuteness!

We continue to celebrate mothers with this adorable video of Daize Shayne Goodwin and her son catching a giggle-filled wave at Waikiki.

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