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Most boards are shaped for men’s bodies

If I am having a bad day, I go to the ocean.

Sarah(23) and Anika(21) surf Carlsbad 3-4 times a week.
Sarah(23) and Anika(21) surf Carlsbad 3-4 times a week.

Are you locals?

Anika: Yes, I grew up here.

Sarah: I am originally from Davis, California. [Anika and I] met in college up at SLO. I just moved here from San Luis Obispo for work, a change, and honestly, just to surf.

How often do you surf?

Sarah: I go surfing four times a week.

Anika: My goal is four times a week, but I probably go more like two to three times a week.

How long have you been surfing?

Anika: I started when I was 14.

Sarah: I just started two years ago. It’s super tough in the beginning. The first part of surfing is learning how to interact with the ocean, because it just destroys you. I would get out of the water feeling so defeated. Once you learn how to read the waves and you know how to get tossed up, it becomes fun and manageable.

Do you ever experience sexism in the water?

Anika: We are a little biased because where we were surfing on the central coast is a lot worse. Guys will make comments like, “Are you sure you want to paddle out in that?” Or they will say things like, “That might be a little too big for you.” It’s better here. I notice that the [guys] are respectful compared to back in SLO.

Do you have a favorite surfing moment?

Anika: One time I was surfing in Morro Bay, and I dropped in on a really big wave. It was like 8 feet. I was right at the base. It was so peaceful. Time slowed down.

Sarah: The first time that I successfully caught and dropped in on a wave was super magical. I felt like all the hard work I had been doing paid off. The sun was setting, and I was with my friends. I just thought, “This right here is the best moment ever!”

Do you have any surfing pet peeves?

Sarah: It’s annoying when you’re just paddling and paddling and your arms are getting tired and you’re thinking, “Will I ever get out there!?”

Anika: Another pet peeve is that most boards are shaped for men’s bodies. It’s harder to find a board that will work for me. We are smaller, obviously, than men. We have less arm strength. Our boards should be a little thicker and the tail should be a little thinner. It’s hard finding a board that will work for women. And, when you go to buy a board, they always try to sell you a beginner one because they don’t think that women [can surf]. I find myself fighting for the board I want while [the salesperson] keeps asking, “Are you sure?” It’s just a different level of service [for women].

What do you love the most about surfing?

Anika: I really like the community around surfing. I like the people you meet. It’s honestly really healing. It’s great when you can bring someone out into the water, and they feel better afterward.

Sarah: The ocean is my happy place. If I am having a bad day, I go to the ocean. It’s super calming. Being out in the waves is very grounding. Everything about it is amazing.

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Sarah(23) and Anika(21) surf Carlsbad 3-4 times a week.
Sarah(23) and Anika(21) surf Carlsbad 3-4 times a week.

Are you locals?

Anika: Yes, I grew up here.

Sarah: I am originally from Davis, California. [Anika and I] met in college up at SLO. I just moved here from San Luis Obispo for work, a change, and honestly, just to surf.

How often do you surf?

Sarah: I go surfing four times a week.

Anika: My goal is four times a week, but I probably go more like two to three times a week.

How long have you been surfing?

Anika: I started when I was 14.

Sarah: I just started two years ago. It’s super tough in the beginning. The first part of surfing is learning how to interact with the ocean, because it just destroys you. I would get out of the water feeling so defeated. Once you learn how to read the waves and you know how to get tossed up, it becomes fun and manageable.

Do you ever experience sexism in the water?

Anika: We are a little biased because where we were surfing on the central coast is a lot worse. Guys will make comments like, “Are you sure you want to paddle out in that?” Or they will say things like, “That might be a little too big for you.” It’s better here. I notice that the [guys] are respectful compared to back in SLO.

Do you have a favorite surfing moment?

Anika: One time I was surfing in Morro Bay, and I dropped in on a really big wave. It was like 8 feet. I was right at the base. It was so peaceful. Time slowed down.

Sarah: The first time that I successfully caught and dropped in on a wave was super magical. I felt like all the hard work I had been doing paid off. The sun was setting, and I was with my friends. I just thought, “This right here is the best moment ever!”

Do you have any surfing pet peeves?

Sarah: It’s annoying when you’re just paddling and paddling and your arms are getting tired and you’re thinking, “Will I ever get out there!?”

Anika: Another pet peeve is that most boards are shaped for men’s bodies. It’s harder to find a board that will work for me. We are smaller, obviously, than men. We have less arm strength. Our boards should be a little thicker and the tail should be a little thinner. It’s hard finding a board that will work for women. And, when you go to buy a board, they always try to sell you a beginner one because they don’t think that women [can surf]. I find myself fighting for the board I want while [the salesperson] keeps asking, “Are you sure?” It’s just a different level of service [for women].

What do you love the most about surfing?

Anika: I really like the community around surfing. I like the people you meet. It’s honestly really healing. It’s great when you can bring someone out into the water, and they feel better afterward.

Sarah: The ocean is my happy place. If I am having a bad day, I go to the ocean. It’s super calming. Being out in the waves is very grounding. Everything about it is amazing.

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