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Photos by: Dane Peterson + Art Direction by: Wander and Echo
Some people are born with a natural rhythm that exudes cosmic cool and effortless style, and Kassia Meador is one of these blessed humans. Everything the Los Angeles based local and Raen ambassador touches from the nose of her surfboard to her amazing wetsuit line turns to gold. Inspired by traveling the world in pursuit of perfect waves, Kassia has transcended the label professional surfer and has comfortably shifted into the role of creative icon.
In an industry that puts physical beauty on a pedestal, Kassia is a breath of fresh air as she has become a role model for young surfers that crave more substance. Kassia is profoundly beautiful, but she is also an entrepreneur, creative, and all around radical human. If there is a surfer to aspire to, she is it. We got in touch with Kassia to talk about her influences, creative drive, and the pure bliss that comes from surfing. This is the Kassia Meador Stylistic.
Do you remember your first interaction with a surfboard?
I’ll never forget the first time I actually experienced a surfboard and what it actually does. It was the first time I caught a wave when you’re meant to, not just standing up in the white wash. Watching the ocean floor fly by under my board as the small green wave peeled towards the shore got me hooked instantly. I’ve been in love with surfing and the ocean ever since.
You are known for having a very elegant and beautiful style, was this something that came naturally or did you have to work for it?
I guess we all have our inherent styles over all. However I was always drawn to and inspired by some of the smoother more elegant surfers of the generations through the films I was watching growing up. Surfers like Joel Tudor, Rob Machado, Tom Curren, Rell Sunn and Gerry Lopez.
How did where you grew up influence your style?
Growing up surfing some of the classic longboarding spots like Malibu, C-Street, Leo Carillo definitely shaped what I rode, my influences and what style of surfing I was most drawn to. Growing up I rode a classic single-fin log. The waves were perfect for that type of surfing and watching guys like Josh Farberow, Dane Peterson, Joel Tudor, Brittany Leonard and all the other great surfers in and around the epic point breaks of California really helped shape the way I feel about surfing.
It’s pretty hip to ride a longboard these days, but it wasn’t always deemed as very cool. What inspired you to stick with logging when you were coming up?
My whole environment, the waves in the area and how I liked to ride waves. I love riding smaller single fins, quads, finless boards, all of it. But logging was what first drew me to my love affair with surfing and the ocean and it's still my most favorite way to ride waves.
One of the coolest aspects of the alternative surf renaissance is its connection to other creative outlets, what inspires you outside of surfing?
Outside of surfing I am super inspired by traveling, meeting new people, seeing new places, gaining other perspectives and learning as much as possible about all life. Photography also really inspires me personally as I love to take pictures, but I am also very inspired by all forms of art, dance, music and creative expressions, and people that just get out and create radical works. Life is just such a fantastic gift and there is so much in every day that inspires me.
How did you get into photography?
Surfing was taking me all over the world and I wanted to remember those moments forever. So I started taking little photos of my trips. I was also very fortunate to spend time in my travels and be mentored by photographers and artists like Thomas Campbell, Michael Halsband and others, so I was always also inspired by the talented people I was fortunate to be surrounded by.
You also have your own wetsuit brand, how did that come to fruition?
Growing up in California we're in wetsuits most of the time, and I always wanted something more radical than just a plain black suit. I started designing suits for Roxy about 8 years ago now, and learned a lot during that time. Two years ago I decided to go out on my own to create the most visually stunning, technically functional women’s wetsuits out there.
You are a surfer, entrepreneur, and creative. How do you find balance in all of your pursuits?
I am just a really passionate person and I feel all my endeavors are inspired by and fuel each other so there is a wonderful flow in that. It's hard to find balance with all your interests at times, but I love what I do, am grateful to be creating what I believe in and am riding the flow of life each day adjusting as I go.
What can we expect from you in 2016? Any cool projects to look out for?
Working on a lot of fun new things with KASSIA + SURF so check us out if you haven't already and we'll keep you posted. So much in magic in the coming years. See you in the water!!!