Pro surfer Anastasia Ashley proved with her July appearance in Playboy that she is as adept at making waves as she is catching them. I managed to interview her before the magazine hit the stands and she made no mention of it. We talked about her pro surfing career, Airwalk’s anniversary, her passions and the role of women in action sports. Here is what Anastasia Ashley had to say:
Gonzalez: In your opinion, how has the surfing scene changed since you first immersed yourself in it? Do you consider those changes beneficial or harmful to the surfing scene overall?
Ashley: Definitely the amount of women and girls out in the line up! The more female surfers the better, I think it’s beneficial because it only grows the sport.
Gonzalez: What upcoming surf competitions are you scheduled to participate in?
Ashley: Upcoming I have the Bud Light Lime Surf Series, as well as the Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii.
Gonzalez: Do you have any products or videos scheduled to drop in this summer?
Ashley: I have a special video I’ve been working on for my fans, as well as a new fitness product hopefully out by the end of summer.
Gonzalez: From your previous blog and Twitter posts I can tell that you are a proponent of Airwalk’s The Good Shoe Project and the Hope Shoe. Can you tell the readers who are unfamiliar with the program a little bit about it and how much involvement you have with it?
Ashley: I am super excited to be able to promote the Airwalk Hope Shoe, it’s a really rad thing Airwalk and Payless have gotten behind, for every Hope Shoe that is sold, a pair of shoes is donated to children in need in Central America.
Gonzalez: Speaking of Airwalk, how and when did you become involved with the company?
Ashley: I became involved with Airwalk in 2006, being they are one of the most iconic action sports brands of all time; it seemed like a great fit for me as an athlete and personality to be a part of Airwalk.
Gonzalez: Will you be taking an active part in Airwalk’s 25 Anniversary celebrations?
Ashley: Yes! There is a super fun party coming up in Los Angeles in September that I can’t wait for.
Gonzalez: Other than The Good Shoe Project, what other social causes are you in involved with?
Ashley: I work with the Young Faces of ALS,which brings awareness to ALS and everyone who it affects, as well as the Surfrider Foundation, which helps keep the ocean and beaches clean around the world.
Gonzalez: If you had to describe yourself in just one word, what would that word be?
Gonzalez: When you look back on your life thus far, what accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
Ashley: When people tell me I’m a good role model for young girls – I never had any female athletes I looked up to as a kid, so hearing that I inspire people is a really great accomplishment. From a competitive side, being the Triple Crown Rookie of the Year on the North Shore of Oahu, as well as having the most finals appearances at the Women’s Pipeline Pro, and being the champion in 2010.
Gonzalez: Now that you are an adult, who do you admire the most (living or dead) and why?
Ashley: I think someone like Elizabeth Murray is an inspiration to all because she came from nothing, and accomplished so much in her life.
Gonzalez: If you had the chance to live your life over again, what one thing (if any) would you do differently and why?
Ashley: I wouldn’t dwell on the past, there is so much you can focus your energy on instead of those things you can’t change.
Gonzalez: What role do you see women playing in action sports 5 to 10 years from now?
Ashley: Definitely a huge one, being inspiring role models for young girls coming up.
Gonzalez: I have often read that women athletes are often hardest on themselves and each other. With that said, which gender do you think is more critical when it comes to self assessment of surfing skills?
Ashley: I think both, but females might be more critical, they are more competitive than guys sometimes!
Gonzalez: I have also read that some people believe that the only way a woman can have an action sports career is to be beautiful and flaunt that beauty? What do you want to say to those people?
Ashley: I think that’s wrong – you can’t classify what is beautiful and what isn’t beautiful, beauty comes in all shapes, colors, and forms. I think the real beauty in a female athlete is her talent and drive.
Gonzalez: What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to make surfing their career?
Ashley: Don’t get discouraged! I’ve gotten so many no’s in my life, so it’s easy to get discouraged, but hard work and perseverance pay off.
Gonzalez: I know that you have also done some modeling in the past. What was it like posing in FHM? Is modeling something you would consider for a second career?
Ashley: Modeling is super fun and exciting, I’m lucky I get opportunities to model through my surfing career.
Gonzalez: Okay, let’s talk girl talk. If you could only keep five of your favorite health and beauty products in your purse, what would they be?
Ashley: Moroccan Oil hair products, Shea butter lotion, sunscreen, waterproof eyeliner and a hair brush
Gonzalez: What is your favorite outfit to wear when you are kicking it with your friends?
Ashley: Something casual and fun…like an oversized band tee with some leggings and some Airwalk sneaks.
Gonzalez: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
Ashley: In five years, surfing the best waves all over the world. In ten years, the same, and married to a loving husband!
Gonzalez: If you could only be remembered for one thing, what would you want that one thing to be?
Ashley: Being a great surfer and a positive role model.
Gonzalez: Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers?
Ashley: Yes, thank you to all my fans, and everyone else who supports me
My husband, children and I are action sports fans.
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