Anastasia Ashley is the people’s favorite surfer…
She travels the world, goes to the best parties and events, and she’s been surfing forever…
She’s modeling and killing it on her INSTAGRAM and her Snapchat AnastasiaAshley…
And we love her, so here’s an interview with her…
How old are you?
I am 28, but I feel like I am still 16, which is what matters most!
Is it true that you started surfing at the age of 6? Who helped and who or what inspired you to do that kind of sport? Tell me all about it.
As silly as it sounds, I like to think that surfing found me. Like it was part of some bigger plan, not because I am overly spiritual, but because I randomly found an old janky surfboard in the trash, and taught myself how to surf. I just got obsessed, addicted. It is my one true love.
That said, I have been inspired and helped by many people, too many to name…
You were born in California but moved to Hawaii. Does that affect you somehow on surf? Did you felt more inspired to keep going with it?
The surfing in California is amazing, but the whole lifestyle in Hawaii at the time was very surf oriented. You can go to Los Angeles and meet people who have never been on a Surfboard or who never met surfers, where as in Hawaii, it’s a big part of the culture, and really where the best, most consistent surf is. Would I have been a surfer if I never moved to Hawaii, I don’t know, because I did move to Hawaii, but what I will say is that Hawaii is a huge part of who I am, but California is where I call home.
Why you decided to start competing just one year after you started to surf?
I didn’t really decide, I was very young and at that age, the people around you decide these things for you. I was always competitive, but surfing is an individual sport. My whole life I just wanted to be better than I was the day before, I guess people saw that and told my mom and we decided I would compete and that’s when my whole life changed.
Was it difficult or you felt prepared for the competitions with one year training?
Training is always difficult, when you compete as a kid, it’s not so much about training and more about natural ability. You are young, hours in the gym aren’t really part of being the best there is, just getting up and shredding and having a good time is. It is more on a friendly side of competition not go for the win kind of competition. All this to say, I train a lot more when I compete now.
There are not many official Big Wave contests, so it is more about going out to the big wave with your camera guy and capturing the moment on film.
You turned into a professional surfer at the age of 16, right? How was that for you? What was the most difficult thing at that age? Do you think you “lost your youth” on the water and in the competitions?
It was difficult traveling, doing photoshoots and media, training, all while trying to go through school. I was running my own career at 16, when most people are getting drunk for the first time, or having their first boyfriend. I don’t think I lost my youth, I do know it wasn’t a conventional upbringing, but I also got to see so much of the world and meet great people I am still friends with today. So in a lot of ways, being on the tour is like being in school, seeing the same people and having the same drama.
Have you ever broke any parts of your body or suffer some kind of serious injure to stay at the hospital? If yes, tell me about it.
I have broke my nose a lot of times, but luckily no major injuries. I do risk my life every single day I go out there, but that’s part of what makes surfing so fun and exciting.
You are a surfer and a model. What are the positive and negative things on the both sides? Have you ever suffer any kind of prejudgment from men by being a surfer and a model? Like, “she’s just a model trying to surf”. If yes, tell me more about it.
The problem is that the Men surfers make the majority of the money in the industry, so I was forced to take campaigns from brands to subsidize my surfing. I think men will never take girls as seriously in the sport, it is just the way it is, so I don’t know if it is really that negative, but I do know it makes it more challenging.
I get a lot of negative feedback for my modelling from a lot of people, but I get a lot more positive feedback and really it helps me survive so I can do what I love, so I’m just doing what I think is right, and the people who know me, know what I am about, so negativity doesn’t really affect me.
Are you into fashion industry? Would you like to do something in it?
I love fashion. I am very into it and I am always on top of what is going on. I always found fashion to be the best way for me to express myself to the world. I love coming up with fun outfits and accessories and standing out as my own person wherever I go. Right now, I like working for my favorite brands. Maybe in the future I’ll look into doing something more serious.
How do the professional female surfers differ from male surfers? In competitions, lives, sponsors, everything.
The men make more money, they have a higher skill level, but I think we all have the same spirit and the same love for the sport and being the best we can be at the sport.
How difficult is it to get sponsors?
The sponsorship landscape has changed a lot in the last few years. Brands are cutting budgets, the traditional having one sponsor is slowly being phased out, and for me it is about working on campaigns for different brands. In a lot of ways, I like working with the same company and helping them with their marketing, while they help me do what I love, but working with many different brands keeps things very fun and exciting.
Where do you live now? Is it good for your work? Do you travel a lot?
I am always on the road, but my home base is, and probably always will be San Clemente in Southern California. There are great waves so I can surf all day and it is close enough to major cities that I can get to meetings, but far enough that I can breathe a little on the few days I am there.
How hard is it to get a boyfriend being a professional surfer and traveling a lot?
Oh let me tell you…it is very hard. I am always traveling. I work with men in all aspects of my life and career. It takes a very strong and secure man to be able to handle that! That said, I am looking for a husband if you know anyone.
What do you do when you’re not on the waves?
I am on my computer, working out, listening to music, going to events…doing pretty much everything except sleeping!!