If ever there were an ideal Miss California, it would
be Alayna. Oh NOT to be mistaken with the Miss California pageant
type. Our local army of Santa Cruz feminists drove that pageant
out of town a few years ago. I'm talking about a REAL California
representz woman; Covergirl for Surfer Girl; the picture of health,
natural beauty, brains, strong athletic ability, and an edge for
business success. Oh yeah, and a cute boyfriend never hurts!
So what can you say about a 28 year
"gurl" sponsored by Sex Wax who skates
goofy and surfs regular?
|photos by Kim Hall, courtesy of
I met Alayna for breakfast at the Chill Out Cafe in
Pleasure Point where she and Jed, (the cute boyfriend and personal
board designer), were re-carbing after a morning practice session
for an upcoming comp at Steamer Lane. Alayna starts work at noon,
(at the surf shop she co-owns with three other women), allowing
her to surf every morning. And I DO mean every morning! On any off-occasion
when she can not surf, she's on her sponsorship skateboarda
She skates to and from work as a
cross-training program, as it helps her with balance and keeps her
in practice. She can actually perform some surf maneuvers on her
skateboard, although it is harder and scarier, she says. Jed (who
is the son of the surf legend Greg Noll) although invited too stay,
left for his job at Pearson Arrow so we got on with the interview.
Clarkie: How did surfing get to become your sports
habit? Where are you from and how did you end up in oceans all over
Alayna: I grew up in Palo Alto, CA and moved
to my parent's summer beach house in Santa Cruz shortly after high
school. A guy friend inspired me to try surfing. I learned to surf
on a rental board at Cowell's beach and was completely hooked after
my first day. I spent a good year surfing Cowell's and then began
exploring more advanced spots around town and up and down the coast.
I've been surfing now for seven years and competing for the last
|photo by Clarkie
Clarkie: Were you active in sports in high school?
Yes, soccer, track, and a little skateboarding.
Clarkie: How you like competing in your "love sport,"
a sport that is your regular exercise and spiritual cleansing, but
has since become your livelihood as well?
Alayna: Competing helps me fine-tune my surfing
skills and pushes me to improve my level of consistency. For me
personally, it has given me a higher level of self-confidence and
has improved my social skills. It also allows me to travel. I travel
around the West Coast to compete in the USSF (United States Surfing
Federation) which is an amateur series.
Clarkie: Your resume of accomplishments would probably
blow our server, but I see lots of one's and two's here; you must
be good! What is your most recent accomplishment?
By the end of 1999, I will have competed in over 30 contests. I
recently competed in the championships at Huntington and placed
1st for Northern Cal and 2nd for the whole West Coast. Next is the
US Championship which will put me in competition with the East Coast
and Hawaii. (Wish me luck!)
Clarkie: Break a leg!
Clarkie: Have you ever had any serious injuries from
Alayna: Not too bad. I got a fin stuck in
my foot once. I developed a problem with sciatica, due to the position
your back is in paddling out on your stomach. But, I have a good
physical therapist, and I practice Yoga all the time.
|photo by Stan Foster, Pacific Images
Clarkie: Have you ever had any encounters with sharks?
Alayna: No! I have friends who have though.
Although I have no fear of them, I avoid places where there have
been known shark attacks, like up the coast. I wouldn't let sharks
discourage anyone from surfing. Here in the bay, it's cool; sharks
get annoyed swimming through kelp, so they don't bother.
Clarkie: Here comes my usual question to women who
participate in a traditionally male-dominated sport. What kind of
respect, or disrespect do you get in the water?
Alayna: It's awkward when your in a strange
place. Sometimes men are territorial, but after they check you out
and see that you know your stuff, you get the same respect.
Clarkie: I swear you don't' look like you just washed
up on shore from surfing. How come you look so good? Do you have
any secret beauty tips to share with us? How do you take care of
your skin out in all that sun exposure?
Alayna: Hah ha hahaha. Actually I just jumped
in the outdoor shower at Steamer, saw a discarded bottle of shampoo,
and threw the 5 drops left on my hair. About all I use is shampoo
in my hair, and lotion on my skin. The best beauty tip I can give
is drink LOTS of water, lots and lots. Less make-up is better, fewer
"products" are better, take lots of herbs and vitamins, and use
sun screen always.
photo by Kim Hall
This is about the point where Alayna said she felt
a sore throat coming on, and showed me the Chinese herbal tincture
the local health food store advised her to take. I'm an herb freak
too and was familiar with that particular (gross tasting) one and
advised her to conceal it in her orange juice, hold her nose, and
go for it. I assured her it works, and secretly prayed she didn't
throw up in the Chill Out.
Clarkie: Tell us about the shop, how did it come about?
Alayna: My love of surfing and my desire to
see women surfers rise to the mainstream level drove me to join
up with the other women who are now my business partners. We all
wanted to create an environment that was user-friendly to all genres
of surfersbeginners, women, or anyone interested in surfing
who wanted a nice, relaxed place to gain shopping knowledgeand
hang out. We opened our doors thinking that we would be catering
pretty exclusively to women, but have found over the last year and
half, that men are out there looking for the same level of respect
and courtesy from a retail surf business that women are. We have
noticed a rise in our male clientele and we are ecstatic!
(I can't believe she said that; but then, this is a
chick sponsored by Sex Wax; remember? j/k)
Clarkie: Paradise Surf Shop sponsors a team of their
Alayna: YES! I am team manager; check out
our web page, where we will soon have a whole section on our team
of women surfers, and ways that other young women interested in
surfing can get involved.
|photo by Clarkie
It was almost noon so I followed Alayna around the
corner for my first visit to Santa Cruz's (perhaps California's)
only all-female-owned, Paradise Surf Shop. Until then I had only
driven by, intrigued by what that week's bikini-in-the-window color
would be. I noticed a few things you don't typically see in surf
shopssome custom designed jewelry, those little nice-smelling
natural soaps, and some pretty wild-colored nail polish! And, of
course the usual surf and skate paraphernaliasurfboards, skateboards,
women's clothing, swim suits, wet suits, aloha shirts, shoes, etc.
It's a very comfortable
store. There is a big funky couch on which a dude was sitting eating
a sandwich. In fact, there was a dude sitting on the front porch,
come to think of it, there were dudes everywhere! Hmmmmm must be
the nail polish selection! The store started getting hectic with
Paradise friends arriving from out of town for the big longboard
invitational competition that weekend. So I thanked her and passed
around business cards as she introduced me to her friends and explained
who I was, then we called the interview a go!
Clarkie: Alayna, thank you so much for taking time
out for the interview. It was a pleasure getting to know you, and
I wish you all the best with your surfing and business careers.
I don't tell too many people this, but I have a longboard (skate)
hand made by a kid in Misoula, Montana. You want to go cruizin on
our boardz some day?
Alayna: You got it Clarkie! And thank you
for doing the interview.
Be sure to check out the Paradise
Surf Shop web page; do a little shopping while you're there. And
now that you know Alayna personally, you can contact her directly,
her e-mail is email@example.com
To the other wahine's at Paradise
Surf ShopKristina Marquez, Sara Bray, and Sally Smith
Photographers: Kim Hall, and
Alayna's sponsors: Gravity Boarding
Co., Arrow Surfboards, Jed Noll Shapes, Aleeda Wetsuits, Mysterioso,
Hawaiian Style, and Sex Wax
And my compliments to the breakfast-burrito
wrap chef at the Chill Out.