Lifestyle

Sustainable Fashion and Surfing Intertwine for These Olympic Athletes

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“Most individuals which have tried browsing converse of it prefer it’s an instantaneous love affair—you attempt it, you are challenged by it, you wipe out, you’re struggling, however you want persistence. Ultimately, you stroll away from it like, Wow, that was a novel expertise. There’s one thing inside you that’s saying go and do it once more.” That’s how seven-time world champion and Olympic surfer Stephanie Gilmore defined how she fell in love with browsing. In fact, she’s not the one one. In a lodge in Montauk, New York, overlooking the Lengthy Island Sound, Caroline Marks, the youngest surfer to ever compete within the World Surf League and Championship tour, additionally conveyed her love for browsing, relishing that “the most effective feeling ever is like browsing all day.” . In fact, two of the most effective surfers on the planet would wax poetic concerning the sport. However the tidal wave of elevated infatuation with browsing isn’t strictly restricted to a small subculture—the game as a complete is having a second. For the primary time ever, browsing is an occasion within the rescheduled 2020 Olympics. It’s additionally the primary sport to maneuver towards equal pay for all skilled rivals with out regard to gender, and it’s full of probably the most trendy feminine surfers (aka Roxy women) on the water.  If, whereas watching competitions, you start to assume that waves are the brand new runways, you wouldn’t be too far off. It’s price noting that sports activities have influenced vogue closely lately—consider the rise of athleisure or Telfar’s unisex uniforms for the Liberian Olympic workforce—so it’s solely a matter of time earlier than browsing attire turns into vogue’s subsequent huge supply of inspiration. Happily, we received’t have to attend too lengthy: With surfers like Gilmore and Marks collaborating with manufacturers like Roxy to create sustainable swimwear traces (e.g., the Liberty assortment), these skilled athletes are redefining how browsing and elegance intertwine.  Type, after all, isn’t the one purpose to fan over Marks and Gilmore. Whether or not you’ve watched them each since they received their first tournaments as wildcards otherwise you’re simply attending to know them as they make historical past as the primary ladies to compete in browsing on the Olympics, there’s one thing to like about each of those phenomenal athletes. Forward, you’ll hear from each surfers on the whole lot from the surroundings to their off-duty type to being part of Roxy’s browsing workforce to qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

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When did you notice you needed to pursue browsing professionally?  I began browsing once I was 10 years previous. My father is a wonderful surfer, and he acquired my older sisters and me into it. However I didn’t compete till round 12. (That’s once I acquired my first browsing trophy.) Thoughts you, that first browsing trophy was for second place, and I keep in mind saying to myself, “I by no means need to are available second once more.” That second instilled this fierce competitiveness the place I used to be like, “All proper, I simply need to win the whole lot from right here on out.” It was throughout highschool was once I lastly devoted myself to browsing. I simply had this highly effective, intuitive feeling that I’d be a surfer and needed to be the most effective on the planet in some unspecified time in the future.  What was it like transitioning it from a ardour to turning into an award-winning surfer?  I cherished competing, and I used to be competing from age 12 till 16 in junior occasions. It wasn’t till I used to be 17 that I used to be given a chance to compete in knowledgeable occasion (the World Tour occasion) with all my idols. I ended up profitable the entire occasion as a wildcard, and that’s once I was like, Whoa, wait a second. I can do that. I may transition into being knowledgeable surfer. I simply needed to full highschool first as a result of my mother and father wouldn’t let me drop out, so I completed college the next yr after which went straight into being knowledgeable surfer. 

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You’ve been competing for over 16 years. What do you assume you’ve discovered about your self since beginning?  Browsing not solely as a sport however simply as an exercise teaches you so many fantastic issues. I’ve discovered there are some issues in life that you simply simply cannot management; you’ll be able to’t management the ocean. You simply need to let go and type of roll with the punches and anticipate the storm to cross as a result of irrespective of how sturdy you might be, you’ll by no means overpower it. You’ll by no means have the ability to like outdo it. It forces you to let it go and calm down. I do take loads of that again into my on a regular basis life that is not browsing; it’s about simply being comfy with issues.  Browsing has additionally taught me how important the ocean is to each single a part of our ecosystem and our each day lives. It offers us oxygen, it offers us meals, and it permits us to journey. As a surfer, it is our responsibility to do our greatest to assist educate others and preserve these conversations rolling round how we will do higher to verify the ocean is tremendous wholesome as a result of it advantages everyone. However as a competitor, browsing has taught me to be as fierce as attainable, to not be afraid of a problem, and to have a look at it prefer it’s enjoyable. Once you’re scared at that second, otherwise you’ve acquired nerves, it’s a must to have a look at it like, This can be a good feeling as a result of it means I’m excited to be right here.

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You’ve been sponsored by Roxy for years and are a member of its swim workforce. What does the connection with the model imply to you? Roxy is probably the most iconic surf model, not simply as a feminine surf model, however the model as a complete is so acknowledged worldwide. And all my idols rising up had been all Roxy women. I had posters of them in my bed room, as they had been the Roxy women on these actually enjoyable surf journeys, simply having an unimaginable time, and that painted the image of the spirit of journey and surfers—it made me need to be part of it. So it is cool now to be on the workforce with so many feminine surfers who encourage me a lot. And we get to encourage anybody to get on the market within the water, which is so rewarding as a result of I see so many wonderful ladies of all ages from everywhere in the world, they usually’ve all fallen in love with browsing due to Roxy. That, to me, implies that we’re doing our job proper since you’re exhibiting that browsing has at all times had stereotypes, however on the finish of the day, we’re exhibiting individuals that you simply don’t need to be something particularly—browsing is simply purely an exercise. Roxy embodies that for girls and empowers them simply to get on the market and luxuriate in.

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It’s estimated that eight million tons of plastic find yourself within the ocean in a single yr. Have you ever instantly seen the detrimental ecological impacts of single-use plastic?  Yearly, we go to the identical type of vacation spot that we have been to earlier than, and also you see extra trash within the ocean. Take someplace like Bali, as an example; it’s an exquisite unique island. However while you get there and also you’re browsing, you see every kind of trash within the sea, and you are like, “The place does this come from?” It’s disheartening to assume that we have not thought of the long run, in that sense. Everyone seems to be so hung up on proper now. That’s why I really feel it’s important to make use of my platform as a surfer to assist individuals perceive the significance of combating single-use plastic. Irrespective of for those who’re in the midst of America or on the shoreline, the selection that you simply make while you go to the shop will have an impact indirectly, form, or type, which in truth will come again on you. The fish you are consuming might be filled with plastic; it is going to be within the water you’re consuming; it might probably impression the oxygen within the sea, which might impression the air you breathe—the whole lot is all interconnected.

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I’ve been working with Roxy to make sure that we’re utilizing sustainable supplies by pulling trash from the ocean like fishing nets and plastic bottles and turning them right into a yarn that may create swimwear simply making an attempt to make merchandise which have a round answer. Every product has a life-style that does not simply begin right here and finish right here; it may be repeatedly used. It’s essential to consider the place each product you purchase got here from and the place it goes while you’re performed with it.

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Do you’re feeling like your relationship to the planet and nature has modified via your browsing? Positively. As surfers, we are within the parts. On daily basis, we’re touring round to the oceans. We’re browsing in locations the place we’re confronting the damages and all of the trash within the sea that human beings are simply throwing on the market as a result of they’ve a whole disregard for or unawareness about what is going on on. So it is essential to have these conversations with your folks and households. It looks like as a result of it’s a large drawback and big Earth, it’s fairly straightforward for individuals to really feel small and really feel like they will’t make a distinction. However we positively can. It’s a ripple impact if we will work collectively inside our communities. That simply develop,s after which hopefully all of the people on the Earth will assume of the Earth as their very own physique—what they put into it, how they deal with it. We solely get certainly one of them, so let’s be certain that we deal with it proper. 

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As probably the greatest surfers on the planet, what’s it wish to not solely compete in opposition to surfers you regarded as much as while you had been youthful but additionally be held in the identical historic regard as them? I had such an enormous dream once I was younger to be a world champion and needed to win loads of world titles—it is humorous the way it’s shifted over time. I’ve at all times regarded as much as Lisa Andersen and Layne Beachley and the opposite ladies who paved the way in which when it comes to profitable a number of world titles. However I additionally simply regarded on the females who had been unafraid to do it their method and will use their platform in one of the simplest ways attainable. And that is actually what inspired me to ask myself, “It is cool to be in the identical dialog as all of those iconic feminine surfers, however what sort of legacy do I need to depart? What can I do with my platform now to make a distinction? How can I assist others to get into browsing or simply make it extra inclusive for individuals?” . Clearly, incomes a number of world titles is nice, however there’s at all times one thing new to be taught in browsing, there’s one thing new to be taught concerning the ocean, there’s at all times a option to get higher and evolve as a surfer. I feel that that is what retains me coming again for extra and eager to get higher and higher. Hopefully, that’s the legacy I’m making an attempt to inform: Perfection does not exist, however the continuous renewal of inspiration and getting higher is basically what we ought to be aiming for. 

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What gave you the braveness to talk up concerning the pay inequities inside the browsing business and bridge the hole to open the business as much as totally different individuals with totally different ladies and folks of various backgrounds? I actually cannot take full credit score for it; it has been generations of feminine surfers who’ve been preventing for what’s rightfully theirs. I simply occurred to be there on the proper time the place the World Surf League took on the brand new possession and had been able to pay attention. And at the moment, our technology was saying, “We weren’t making an attempt to steal something from the boys. We surf the identical waves as them, pay for a similar journey, and all of these excuses about why feminine surfers shouldn’t have equal pay are invalid.” And the group was able to make these adjustments as a result of it was righting the incorrect, they usually understood that. I’m so proud that browsing may very well be a frontrunner in that method. Browsing has at all times been its personal subculture—it is type of like what the rebels used to do; they used to run away from working and log on. And now right here we’re, blazing this path to equality and equal pay for thus many different sports activities. Hopefully, they observe alongside, too. 

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What are your hopes for the way forward for browsing?  The longer term is inclusive. That is the primary yr that browsing might be within the Olympics. So I can solely think about that any sport that will get that probability to be within the Olympic Video games is an unimaginable stepping stone to a broader viewers to the game, like rising in so many various methods.  We run these occasions world wide referred to as Rising Tides. Earlier than the occasion begins, we’ve these younger women from the area people come right down to the competition to hang around with us, the skilled surfers. We chat with them and log on with them and watch them catch waves. I feel that these kinds of initiatives are so highly effective in serving to that woman notice her dream and serving to that subsequent younger technology come via and be like, “Oh, they did it. So I can do it, too.”  

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That is the primary time that the Olympics might be internet hosting a browsing competitors. What does it imply to you to be part of this historic second? I at all times needed to go to the Olympics. Once I was youthful, I did not know how one can play sports activities, however I needed to go—it simply did not matter. So when browsing stole my coronary heart, I simply thought that my Olympic goals had been out the window.  After they introduced that browsing could be within the Olympics, it reignited that fireside for me. In fact, profitable a world championship is an excellent purpose, however I’ve had that for fairly a very long time. So to have a brand new type of alternative {that a} very small variety of individuals on the planet have had, I believed, “Wow, that is a cool time in my life. And I am actually within the prime of my profession, and let’s examine if I can rise to the problem.” It’s unbelievable; perhaps it was manifesting or no matter it’s, however envisioning going to the Olympics, and right here we’re. 

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What drive drives you to proceed to compete?  I feel as a result of the ocean is endlessly altering. Each single day is totally different. You may’t paddle on the market and surf a wave that you simply surf on a regular basis. The waves will at all times be totally different from the day earlier than, they usually’ll be totally different once more the following day. It simply has this type of magical feeling the place you are at all times anticipating what may occur subsequent, or perhaps I am going to get the most effective waves tomorrow or subsequent week. We’re lucky in browsing in that regard as a result of, in contrast to different sports activities, you already know, say tennis, basketball, or no matter, it is just like the court docket within the area stays the identical each time. So our court docket is consistently altering and regularly difficult us. And never solely are you competing in opposition to your opponent, however you are competing in opposition to the ocean, and it provides a complete different component to what’s attainable. That is why I preserve coming again for extra. 

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You’ve recognized since age 10 that you simply needed to surf. When did you resolve that browsing professionally was what you needed to do together with your life?

It was on the greatest beginner occasion, the USA championships, the place I made a decision I needed to be a professional surfer. As an beginner, all the most effective children from Hawaii, the East Coast, and California compete at this occasion. And I keep in mind I used to be having fun with browsing however did not do many contests. I  got here into that occasion actually oblivious and simply did it as a result of my older brother did it. However I ended up profitable, and I keep in mind the sensation I acquired holding this huge trophy, and I simply felt so on high of the world. It was so superior and thrilling, and that’s once I was like, “Wow, that is what I need to do for the remainder of my life and by no means, ever need to cease.” 

You’ve made historical past because the youngest surfers to compete within the professional circuit, the World Surf League occasion, and the Ladies’s Championship Tour. What was that have like for you? 

It was unimaginable, getting all these experiences so younger. I used to be 13 once I received as a wildcard, and I used to be qualifying for the championship at 15. Now, I look again to it, and I simply assume getting that early starstruck section out of the way in which was actually useful. As a result of by the point I certified, I used to be like, “All proper, I really feel like I belong right here. And regardless that I look as much as all these fellow surfers, I nonetheless need to beat them.”

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Browsing could be scary. How do you recover from any concern round being within the water and being within the recreation?  

Browsing professionally could be intimidating, to not point out the ocean is extraordinarily humbling. And being so younger and competing in opposition to women who’re so much older than you at waves that you do not have skilled with—it’s so much. However for me, I surrounded myself with so many superior individuals like, my coach, Mike, who has been nice about sharing his data. Having the appropriate individuals round me to remind me, “Hey, there’s no stress on you. You’re younger. Simply go surf,” was useful. Plus, you would be shocked at what you place your thoughts to and at what you’ll be able to obtain. Generally I am going to get caught inside by a wave that I feel I am like, “Oh my god, that is tremendous gnarly.” After which I get via that, and I am like, “Okay, I acquired via that.” So I feel simply understanding that consistency is vital, and the extra you do it, the extra snug you get.

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Do you’re feeling such as you’ve needed to cope with misconceptions about you and your age being knowledgeable surfer?

I feel many individuals had been like, “Whoa, did your mother and father simply let you drop out of college?” and issues like that. However in actuality, my mother and father have at all times been actually on me about training, at the beginning, and simply needed to boost a extremely good human. I did end highschool in 2020 (that was in all probability the spotlight of my yr), however that’s the primary factor I handled. In any other case, I’ve skilled a degree of welcomeness and have met some unimaginable individuals browsing, so it’s been an fascinating experience. 

You’ve got been an outspoken advocate for physique positivity.  What do you hope individuals take away from you being within the limelight all through your profession?

I feel for somebody like me, rising up within the limelight, individuals choose you. It’s about surrounding your self with good those who have good vitality. There’s at all times going to be individuals hating or saying detrimental feedback, however do what’s good for you, do what makes you’re feeling good, and do what makes you content. That’s a very powerful factor as a result of you’ll be able to’t please everybody, however you’ll be able to be sure you’re completely satisfied and that you simply encompass your self with optimistic individuals who make you’re feeling good. 

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Do you’re feeling like your relationship to the planet and nature has modified via your browsing?

For positive. I am within the ocean so much, and that is my completely satisfied place. However I’m nonetheless not used to seeing items of trash on the seaside, and I’m at all times like, “Oh, I am simply gonna decide this up as a result of I need to defend the ocean.” You’d be shocked how small however efficient one thing like selecting up the trash or not utilizing a plastic straw could be. The little issues go such a great distance.  

What’s it like being part of the Roxy swim workforce? What does that imply to you?

Oh, it is insane. Once you’re little, your dream is to be a Roxy woman, particularly while you surf. So to be on the workforce with somebody like Stephanie Gilmore, who I’ve regarded as much as my complete life, and now we journey collectively and compete collectively, it’s cool. Roxy’s swim workforce is a good group of women. And with loads of surf manufacturers, they’re centered on the blokes and women, nevertheless it’s cool that Roxy is its personal factor centered on catering to feminine surfers.

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Do you might have a favourite Roxy assortment? Or an important piece you swear by? My favourite Roxy piece is its long-sleeve one-piece. I wish to put on that as a result of it protects you from the solar, and you are feeling protected within the water, and also you don’t have to fret about wardrobe malfunctions.

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Once you’re not within the water, what are you carrying? Do you might have an off-duty type? It relies on the climate, however normally, if it is heat, I am going to simply placed on a romper or a costume. But when I’m feeling extra informal, I’m carrying a crop high and jean shorts.  I’m far and wide relating to my private type; consolation is a very powerful factor.

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Swimming within the sea could be dehydrating to your pores and skin. Do you might have a skincare routine?  Each morning, I apply a serum on my face that additionally has SPF in it, which is good and protects you from the solar and hydrates your face. And I am always moisturizing all through the day as a result of, as you mentioned, the saltwater dehydrates your pores and skin. I stay in California, the place the climate’s fairly dry, so I am always moisturizing my pores and skin. Earlier than I am going to mattress, I be certain that to scrub all of the sunscreen off my face. Generally I simply need to go to mattress and to not wash my face, however that is fairly essential. Nothing too loopy. 

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Is there a second in your profession up to now that made you’re feeling like your dream was actualized? Qualifying for the tour was an enormous dream of mine, and the truth that it occurred that younger was fairly unimaginable. After which profitable my first title, which was additionally the primary occasion within the historical past of browsing to have equal pay for each women and men—a large motion. After which, clearly, the opposite one was qualifying for the Olympics. That’s such an unlimited achievement and possibly one of the crucial important accomplishments of my profession up to now.  You additionally made historical past by turning into the primary feminine surfer to win equal prize cash. What was that like? And what do you hope future surfers take away from that second?  I feel that second reveals all of the youthful generations there’s such a brilliant future for those who select to do browsing, a extra inclusive, equal sport. It is one of many first sporting leagues to make that transfer, so it’s fairly unimaginable to be part of it. I feel it reminds surfers in all places that regardless that it does not really feel like a job, browsing generally is a severe profession for anybody. You may help your loved ones, you’ll be able to journey the world, and you’ll have loads of enjoyable doing it.

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Inform us how the documentary about your life, That’s Caroline, got here to be and the intention behind it. What do you hope viewers study you from it?  Initially, that documentary was going to observe me to the Olympics. Then, the whole lot acquired postponed for a complete yr, and plans modified. So Redbull simply mentioned, “Hey, let’s simply put out this movie now and provides somewhat bit extra perception of you personally and the household.” The one issues I’ve ever put out earlier than had been surf edits in sure movies, however that is extra about who I’m as an individual, my on a regular basis life, my household, and the way a lot they imply to me. It’s been cool to have individuals come as much as me and be like, “I did not notice how huge a household you had, or I did not notice you experience horseback.” Sharing that facet of myself isn’t one thing I’ve performed earlier than, and it’s made me notice that someday I’d like to do a full documentary. As a result of having moments just like the uncooked feelings of once I certified for the Olympics on movie is rad. 

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That is the primary time that the Olympics might be internet hosting a browsing competitors. What does it imply to you to be part of this historic second? It is surreal, and I feel it’s so nice for the game of browsing. There was some loopy stat about how many individuals began browsing in the course of the pandemic (like perhaps two million individuals)? We’ve seen this tidal wave of everybody falling in love with browsing, and it’s a fairly cool time to be knowledgeable surfer with the chance to compete within the Olympics. I simply hope we get nice waves to surf on and placed on an incredible efficiency. I’m excited to go there and characterize my nation.

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Given your whole accomplishments up to now, what would you say to anybody taking a look at your profession for inspiration? I would say give it your all and have enjoyable with it. Each single day I get up, I simply need to surf, even the times I don’t need to surf. It’s actually about discovering what makes you content and giving it your all—that is just about it.

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Sunscreen is a must have in any surfer’s magnificence arsenal. 

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This sustainable one-piece is begging to go for a dip. 

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Having a cushty sandal you’ll be able to placed on after browsing is a should. 

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This oversize button-up is the proper seaside cover-up to channel cool-surf woman vibes. 

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A cute seaside towel is one thing you may by no means remorse shopping for, however for those who’re nonetheless not offered, you should use Afterpay for this buy. 

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A tote bag for the seaside is rarely a nasty concept.

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It is now simpler than ever to get that post-surfing wavy-hair look. 

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They will have the ability to spot you within the waves each time on this sustainable one-piece. 

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Your future self will thanks for packing a heat hoodie to vary into after browsing. 

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Rash guards are must-haves for stopping harm to your pores and skin whereas browsing. 

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Do not forget the significance of washing your face after a day of browsing. 

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Not solely are you able to nod to browsing with a wave-print bikini, however 10% of all proceeds from this assortment might be donated to the Surfrider Basis to assist preserve seashores clear. 

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If this hat does not give off cool surfer-girl vibes, IDK what is going to.

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Detangling your hair publish–surf sesh will preserve your locks wholesome. 

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Sustainable sun shades? Signal us up. 

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Not knowledgeable surfer? This cute one-piece is ideal for wading out into the waters.

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Heading to brunch after a morning surf? Throw this costume over your swimsuit. 

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Take a deeper dive into the world of browsing and browse this e-book that profiles among the high feminine surfers within the water. 

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https://www.whowhatwear.com/olympic-surfers-interview | Sustainable Style and Browsing Intertwine for These Olympic Athletes

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