We were beyond stoked to get the chance to catch up with the amazing women of Textured Waves the other day. It was an honor to learn more about their roots, both as friends and as leaders within the ocean community, and to hear about some of the things keeping them inspired both in and out of the water.
Earlier this summer, Textured Waves led our local community in a paddle-out at Moonlight Beach “in support of UNITY in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.” It was one of the most incredible things we’ve ever been a part of.
Since then, they’ve released their film “Sea Us Now”
, which encourages us to take another look at how diversity is being represented within the culture of surfing today and gives us hope for a future that celebrates the stoke of surfing with women of every background. We are so inspired by their passion for bringing our community together and seriously can’t wait to see all of the epic things they do next.
Okay, we gotta kick this off with some fun facts. Give us your craziest travel story, most embarrassing moment, favorite food… let’s go!
Chelsea: I have so many wild and weird travel stories but one that comes to mind is getting caught in a cyclone in a remote coastal beach town in Madagascar. I was deathly ill and there was nothing we could do but wait out the storm. We weren’t sure how or if we’d make it out of the small town.
Danielle: I have dual citizenship. I’m British by marriage and American by birth. I have spent several years living abroad in the UK and Europe.
Martina: I was a competitive distance runner years ago and have recently reconnected with my love of running and decided to get back into ultra-marathons--100 mile distance was my specialty!
Describe each other in 3 words?
Danielle: Driven, Compassionate, Artistic
Chelsea: Creative, Thoughtful, Poetic
Martina: Generous, Scientific, Stylish
Where are you guys from and how did you all meet?
Chelsea is from the PNW and lives in Santa Cruz, Martina is from Florida and lives in Honolulu and Danielle is from Northern California and lives in San Diego. We initially met online and admired each other’s surfing. We bonded over our shared love of the ocean and experiences. We wanted to create a space where African American Female surfers were represented along with other WOC surfers.
When did surfing become a passion for each of you?
Danielle grew up as a water baby; both of her parents were involved in water sports and her father was an avid cliff diver. She idolized surf culture as a young girl, but wasn’t introduced to surfing until her late teens--when she caught her first wave.
Chelsea didn’t grow up in a coastal town, so discovered her love of surfing a bit later in life. She fell in love with surfing when she and her husband traveled around Indonesia for two months.
Martina grew up in Florida, so the ocean has always been a central part of her life, but discovered surfing later in life. She found it to be a way to harness and connect with the energy and power of the ocean in a way that she couldn’t access before. That connection with the ocean has opened her up to deeper connections as well as a stronger relationship with her own self identity.
What was the heartbeat behind starting Textured Waves?
We didn’t feel represented in surf media, so we decided to create a space for women of color, specifically African American women, to see themselves in the sea. We hope to inspire women to try surfing and to shed any insecurities they may have in outdoor spaces.
What does it look like to be a black female in the surf community?
Well, it’s pretty obvious that the surf community displayed in mainstream media has a lack of representation. It doesn’t accurately reflect the diverse waters of the world.
Are there other women you look up to within the surfing space?
We look up to a lot of women of all shades. Here on the mainland Sharon Schaffer, Mary Mills and Andrea Kabwasa are a few women who we feel are important to recognize.
In what ways do you think surf culture varies in your own towns?
Each area is different. The Northern California surf scene is a little grittier. Southern California culture is more laid back. Hawaii is all about ohana (family). Lots of smiles and supportive vibes in the lineup, as long as you show up with respect!
What place are you missing the most? (Doesn’t have to be a surf spot)
Chelsea: I miss surfing in Indonesia
Danielle: Baja and Mainland Mexico. I miss tacos and empty waves!
Martina: Classical theatre and art spaces!
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Danielle: South America for at least a few months
Martina: A tie between the islands of British Columbia or Northern Europe.
What is a quote that always seem to lift you up or bring you joy?
Chelsea: “Don’t lose sight” - my dad
Danielle: “Be true to yourself”
Martina: “I refuse to tip-toe through life, just to arrive safely at death”
When the waves suck, where can we find you?
Chelsea: Probably still surfing.
Danielle: Still surfing! I also love art, hiking and skateboarding.
Martina: Skateboarding and reading.
Log or Shortboard?
Chelsea: Mid length or Shortboard
Danielle: Longboard or Mid length
Okay your film with Seea, Sea Us Now, is incredible. Can you tell everyone a little more of how that came about / story behind producing the film.
“Sea Us Now” was a film concept developed by Chelsea a few years ago. In November of 2019 when Seea founder Amanda Chinchelli reached out to us, we pitched the storyline to her and it happened to align with her Summer 2020 collection. We all felt that this relationship was organic and meant to be. We admire Seea for their focus on empowering women. It was also really important to us that our story be told through the lens of an African American female filmmaker--which to our knowledge, had never been done with a major surf swimwear brand before.
Speaking of Seea, one piece or two pieces?
Chelsea: One piece!
Danielle: One piece!
Martina: One piece.
What would you say to young girls wanting to get in the water and start surfing?
This space is yours to occupy. There are so many possibilities for your life and the world is yours to explore.
Where do you see Textured Waves being in the future, 5-years from now?
Hopefully we will have created a global community and inspired more girls and women to get on a board and enjoy the waves!
Big thanks for sharing your story with us ladies—you inspire us to be better humans both on land and in the water. Super grateful for everything you’re doing to empower the next generation of female surfers. See you out in the lineup.