Friday, July 23, 2010

Surf Fridays!

I met Ashley Moffat through blogging, about two years ago. I'll never forget that her "About Me" explained that she likes anything that starts with an 's' - surfing, sunshine, soulmates, smiling, skateboarding, suntans...and simplicity. What's not to like about this girl, I remember thinking...

I knew from reading Ashley's blog, that she lives in Hawaii with her husband Luke, and their two little girls, Velzy and Ivy. The other day, I came across a photo of Ashley surfing while 6 months pregnant. I was truly blown away.

Not only was the photograph beautiful in every way, but it struck me deeply that with all of the surfing related blogs and magazines I have enjoyed in the last several years, I have never seen a photo of a pregnant woman surfing.

Ashley Moffat riding her Bing
all photos by Mark Lee

Ashley, what brought you to live in Hawaii?

I moved to Hawaii when i was 17, in 2000 to attend BYU - Hawaii. It's in a small town on the Eastside of Oahu, just 10 minutes away from the North Shore. I don't know why more surfers don't go to school there, it was so fun. I fell in love with Hawaii and a boy from here and the rest is history.

Have you ever gotten "island fever"?

Nope. Well, I do really miss my family who are all in California. But as far as "AH, get me off this rock!!!" no. I love it here - all I need is sunshine and water. And the occasional shave ice.

What are your top 3 best things about living in Hawaii?

1. living "the simple life"
2. warm water year round
3. the fact that riding in the back of trucks is still legal here
4. and mango season.

When and where did you learn to surf?

First time I went surfing was at Doheny on a friend's soft top. At the end of my first wave I didn't know what to do so I jumped off- belly flopped right onto a rock that hit my stomach and left a bruise. I was really proud of that bruise. I think I was maybe 10?

What is your favorite beach in Southern California and your favorite in Hawaii?

In California, Churches is my favorite place to surf and I grew up going to Crescent Bay in Laguna so that is my favorite place to have a beach day.

In Hawaii my favorite place to surf is Chun's Reef. And of course V-Land is super fun - but the crowds there can be a tad intense for me in my old age. :)

Can you share what is in your quiver?

We - Luke and I - share most of the boards. Usually when we go surf we have the girls with us, so we trade off riding whatever we brought that day. We have: two Dano logs - a 9'6" noseglider and 9'1" old pleasure; An 8'11" Bing silverspoon; 5'10" Junod pumpkin seed; A 5'10" Mitsven fish; A 5'5" Pavel creek fish, and a 5'11' Campbell Bros bonzer.

Luke just brought the Campbell Bros and Pavel back from California. The Pavel is a gift for me after this little one is born - I can't wait to ride it this winter!

What is currently your favorite board?

My personal favorite is the Junod. It's magic - it catches waves like a dream and is oh-so-much fun to ride. When it's small, I love the Dano old pleasure.

Did you surf while pregnant with your last 2 girls?

I surfed when I was pregnant with Velzy up until 4 1/2 months. When I was pregnant with Ivy we were living in Virginia (we lived there for 2 years) and I surfed on a few trips to California but nothing regular.

Does surfing while you're 6 mos pregnant feel very different than surfing while not pregnant?

Yeah, for sure. The first few months it just feels like you have a really full bladder and it is tad uncomfortable. Now (I am almost 30 weeks) it's like laying on a ball and paddling is not a ton of fun. Knee paddling is nice though.

I think the whole pregnant surfing thing is pretty funny and honestly, sometimes I feel weird going out- but it's so hard to watch people surf and not be in the water! Also, I have to say I am super lucky to be able to still surf and have healthy pregnancies.

Have Velzy and Ivy gotten on a surfboard yet?

They will come on little rides on our back but have not taken to surfing on their own too much. Most importantly, they both really love the water. If you ask Velzy (4) if she surfs she says "I am a body surfer" and she is a pretty good. I love it. Ivy (3) is crazy. She's getting into boogie boarding - she gets tossed around in little shore break but always comes up smiling and goes out for more. It's pretty funny to watch.

I really hope that they want to surf when they grow up, because it will be so fun as a family to surf together. BUT, I don't want to be one of those parents who pushes their kids into it and then they don't like it. So all in due time...

What is the most favorite or memorable surf session you've ever had?

There is a spot on the North Shore called Kamasugis. Luke and I don't surf it all that often but when it's good it is a really fun left and right so we get to share waves - he goes left (he's goofy) and I go right (I'm regular). We have had some good times out there.

Also, anytime I am in the water with family - especially my brothers and dad - we laugh a lot and it's so fun.

Thank you so much, Ashley - you are definitely an inspiration! May you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and being in the water as much as you can. I also want to thank Mark Lee for sharing his beautiful photos and tell you a little more about him...

Mark Holladay Lee is a photographer on the North Shore of Oahu who specializes in unique water photography from surfing to weddings, and basically just having fun in the water.

Mark has been in Hawaii since 1996 but inbetween, spent a couple of years in New York working with a fashion photographer, and a couple of years in California as well. His inspiration comes from surf and fashion and he'd rather spend more time in the water than out. A fascinating little tidbit - a long time ago, Mark used to manage the famous Long Board Grotto! (Where Surfy Surfy is now).

When it came time to photograph Ashley, Mark told me, "I have photographed quite a few underwater maternity sessions here in Hawaii, and was so excited when Ashley told me she wanted to get some shots of her surfing. It is not very often that I come across such a graceful surfer that can still paddle while being 6 months pregnant. I would have to say as a surfer I am a little jealous - I wish my mom would have taken me surfing."

Happy Surf Fridays and Happy Aloha Fridays to everyone in Hawaii!

update: check out this beautiful momma surfing while 5 months pregnant!


Jessica Nichols said...

A great addition to the Surf Fridays category. Truly amazing woman and wonderful, wonderful images!

Jenny said...

wow, what an awesome story!

ashley said...

so honored to be a part of surf fridays! mucho mahalos!

Damaris said...

loved this post. ashley is so cool. oh and marc is total kick a#$

Brine Time said...

beautiful - many thanks to you both

Bing Surfboards said...

Very inspiring and a great read, really enjoyed the images too! Thanks for doing us at Bing Surfboards proud and for showing us surfer girls that want to be moms one day that you don't have to give up surfing when you're prego :) Shoot me an email with your address and I'll mail you and your baby a little gift from Bing Surfboards!

j,d and little b said...

Great Article! Ashley is a pretty RAD girl, and Mark captured her awesomeness perfectly in his photos!

Michael Singman-Aste said...

Great article and images! It's all so... natural! :)

Justin said...

A very cool read and absolutely beautiful pictures!

Ashley looks UBER cool!

Heather said...

Stoked to find other mamas out there enjoying the waves throughout their pregnancy. Great blog! I run where I wrote about surfing while pregnant and now life as a beach mama with a little one :) Thanks for keeping the surf inspiration going for us other mamas!


Rasta Olas said...

I saw this a few months back and reposted it on my blog. I was inspired because I had just found out I was pregnant at the time and was looking around to see if other women surfed while pregnant. My husband is from Hawaii and he said "Go for it" I am now 5 months pregnant and I am still surfing in Newport Beach, Ca.
= )