Big wave surfer, Emily Erickson, isn’t afraid of a little water. From Mavericks to her own backyard on the North Shore of Oahu, this woman stands out in lineups generally dominated by men. In 2016, she was invited as one of 12 female surfers to compete in the first ever Big Wave Tour’s Pe’ahi Challenge for women. Dos Gardenias has had the pleasure to suit this incredible water woman up since our beginnings, so we thought what better way to debut our blog than with this legend in the making. In Her Own Words…
Tell us about your journey into surfing big waves.
My journey into surfing big waves has been the craziest adventure. I came back home to Hawaii in my late teens and began getting back into the water by body boarding Sunset Beach. I did that for a winter, going out as big or small as it was all winter. Something just clicked, and I knew that was where I was was supposed to be. I felt free and I felt alive. So then the next winter, I saw a big old single fin 10’6” surfboard under my Dad’s place and decided to take that out. I surfed Sunset again that season, as big or small as it got. Everything happened so fast, it seems like a blur to me now. The next winter I surfed Waimea Bay for the first time, and my horizons have continued to expand every year since then.
What's your training like leading up to a competition?
My training is something I’ve just incorporated into my overall lifestyle. I always want to be the best version of myself. It begins with thoughts, so I try to always remind myself to go into everything with good intentions. I try to stay determined and strong in my path, and I try to cultivate health all around me. I make sure to eat organic and plant based as much as possible, and keep an alkaline diet. And then for physical training, I love yoga, biking, swimming, intermittent beach running with body weight exercises.
Have you experienced any adversity you've had to overcome as a woman out there?
As a woman, I suppose the most adversity I’ve felt on this path has been the lack of opportunity as an athlete. As a result, the stress of juggling lots of real life jobs, on the body and mind, has been rough. I would’ve like to have more time to heal and train and focus. But that’s alright. There aren’t many women in this sport currently. Big wave surfing especially, has been dominated primarily my men. It can be quite intimidating at times to confront that. But then, I realize it’s also an advantage to be and do something different. Everyone has their own unique strength. And each of us learns something different from our journeys.
What women inspire you the most in the water?
I admire a lot of single fin surfing, since that’s mostly also what I’m into. I like the old school Sunset shots of Margo Oberg. Seeing any of the 70’s single fin surfing leaves me feeling inspired! I’m also stoked and inspired by longboarding, I think it’s beautiful.
What's your favorite Dos Gardenias swimsuit and why?
My favorite Dos Gardenias suit would have to be the Leo Balconette One Piece. It’s so flattering and great for all kinds of beach activity. I have it in a light lavender color and absolutely love it. I also love the She Wolf Sleeveless Surf Suit, great for diving and surfing!