The Surfing Gypsy

Professional surfer Anastasia Ashley dishes on her secret to staying energized, and her favorite thing to wear in the water.
Photo by Mike Smolowe

Where did you grow up?

I spent my childhood in North Shore Hawaii, moved to California for high school, and from high school until now I’ve been on the road 250 days a year!

What age did you begin surfing?

When I was 5 or 6. I pulled an old surfboard out of the garbage and started to learn.

Favorite wave?

North Shore is still my favorite wave; it’s where I’m emotionally attached.

Best surf moment?

Winning Pipeline Pro was probably the best moment for my surf career, but every time I’m out on the water, whether alone or with friends, can be just as amazing.

How does surfing make you feel?

I feel at my best. I lose track of time, I’m focused, I’m not stressed. I’m at peace.

Most successful surf moment?

Pipeline Pro stands out, but every contest I’ve been in—even ones I’ve lost—has been as important in terms of improving.

Do you supplement surfing with other forms of exercise? If so, what?

I love going to group workouts with friends. I’ve done my share of Barry’s Bootcamp and kickboxing. I also love hiking or biking.

What does a typical day of meals look like?

I eat as much vegetables and fruit as possible, balanced with protein. I mainly eat what feels like good fuel.

Best health tip to stay energized?

The more fitness I do, the more energy I feel.
Favorite surfboard?

I have an all-black board made by my friend Dan Boehne.

Favorite surf gear—wetsuit? swimsuit?

Bikinis! I like to surf in warmer water. When I’m in a wetsuit, I know I’m on the wrong beach.

Surf mantra/saying you love/live by?

It’s life, live!