Abby Oh

Where did your love for the ocean start?

Growing up in Hawaii, it was kind of a right of passage. I literally grew up swimming in the ocean, and I was always in the water. It was another home for me, and If I’m not at home you can guarantee I’m at the beach. It’s my safe place.

When did you start surfing?

I got into surfing really late. I was always really sporty through school but didn’t start surfing until high school when I met a friend who was SUPER into surfing. I instantly fell in love with it, and we were going out all the time. I remember feeling addicted, and thinking What the hell have I been missing out on!? Ever since then, it’s become a huge part of my life. I can’t imagine not surfing.

How does surfing make you feel?

It makes me feel very present. I mean everything in water forces me to be present, even with photography, it slows things down but at the same time it’s such a rush of adrenaline. You have no control, you have to surrender yourself to the ocean and it’s such an amazing mix of emotions. I get so excited but at the same time, I’m so calm. I just love it, I don’t know how else to explain it.

Where is your favourite place to surf and why?

My favourite place to surf is a break called Bowls on the south shore of Oahu, that was where I really started learning to surf a faster wave. And now it’s just become one of the home breaks I am always at. BUT…..also things may have changed cause ever since I went to Mentawais, I can’t stop comparing every wave to Burger World. That wave was insanely fun!

What is your favourite thing about being in an all girl lineup?

There is just so much cheering, you can’t not have fun. It’s so easy out there, It’s a supportive environment and there’s not that tension or competition, and I feel like I can have genuine conversations with people and get to know the girls in the lineup. We’re all there for the same reason, to cruise and have fun and get waves.

Can you give some tips to the girls who are starting out their surfing journey?

Honestly, my biggest tip is to stay at a beginner-friendly break when you’re first starting out. The ocean can be very unpredictable and things can get super dangerous if you are at a more advanced break. Even me surfing for a couple of years, I still get humbled by both the waves and the older locals if I’m not aware. Surfing is such a fun and amazing sport that I believe everyone should try once in their life, but it’s important to realize it can easily be one of the most dangerous and accident-prone.

What do you hope to see in the future of female surfing?

It’s already changed so much. I didn’t get into the surf industry until super late when female surfers like Steph Gilmore and Carissa Moore had already made such an impact in the water in regard to equality. But It’s so interesting to see how it used to be, I’m only just learning how much of a gap there used to be, compared with how it’s changing now. Honestly, I think soon there’s going to be a big switch, and eventually, people are going to want to watch women surf more than men. I mean, it’s just so much more badass. I can’t see it going any other way.

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