With the debated Swatch Girls Pro China heating up on Hainan Island this week, we caught up with longboard legend and contestant of the inaugural event last year, Kassia Meador, to get the lowdown on what really goes down surfing the far east…
Interview by Anna Langer, photos by Swatch
Hey Kassia, are you looking forward to competing again in China?
Yeah for sure. Last year was a lot of fun, the waves were cool and it was just a wonderful experience to surf somewhere so different and introduce a whole new country to surfing…
What was that like?
Last year was the first time they held a surf event in China… And it was super different to most places I’ve ever been because it is so new to surf and surf culture… Most Chinese people have never seen surfing, so to bring that to a fresh set of eyes was super rad!
There has been quite some protest against holding such a big event in such an economic and environmentally critical country, what’s your opinion on that?
I just feel that the people of China aren’t the ones making the decisions… Their government does it for them, so you can’t hold that against people or kids, because you can’t help where your born… If you can bring something new to people, a fresh perspective, a different way to see things through surfing, that’s super beautiful. If people can see and understand the ocean and the natural world in a different way, then hopefully they will realize our impact as humans on the world and try to change their way of doing things… All I can hope for, is that by bringing surfing to China it will get people stoked on surfing and help raise awareness on our impact on this planet. And awareness equals change, so in my eyes it’s a wonderful chance to inspire awareness and change for a lot of people and our world!
If people can see and understand the ocean and the natural world in a different way, then hopefully they will realize our impact as humans on the world and try to change their way of doing things…
Is there a surf scene developing already?
Yeah last year we meet a few local Chinese girls who were surfing. They were super awesome and stoked to be a part of the event… It’s starting and I’m sure this year there will be even more kids into it which is great!
What were the Chinese surfer girls like?
They are super cool just like surfer girls everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you are from, people are people and to share the common bond of surfing breaks down any language or cultural barrier… But there is one difference: Darcy, the girl I met last year, learned how to surf before she learned how to swim! I thought that was super awesome and just showed how much she loved surfing. She wasn’t going to let the fact that she didn’t know how to swim keep her from living her dreams!
You’ve been longboarding for quite some time now and must have travelled almost the whole world by now. Which spot is the most beautiful you’ve ever been too?
That’s like asking what fruit is your favourite or something… There are so many beautiful places in this world. Every place has a beauty and a flavour that is as unique as its culture, climate, landscape and atmosphere. So to choose one as my favourite is impossible as there is too much beauty in this world!
There are so many beautiful places in this world. Every place has a beauty and a flavour that is as unique
That’s fair enough. Is there one you wish to revisit most one day though?
I just went to Peru, it was my first time there and I really feel the trip was far too short and I wasn’t able to spend as much time exploring the beaches as I would have liked to. So I think that’s the first place I’d like to revisit sooner than later!
Anything else you’d like to get off your chest?
Read, learn, live, love, explore.