Anastasia ashley

37 Minutes with Surfing’s Sexiest Supermodel

Words: Andreas Tzortzis
Photo Left: Getty Images

Anastasia Ashley will haunt your dreams and surf hers

Anastasia Ashley doesn’t get the deal with the twerking video (see below). One minute and thirty-one seconds of camera footage shot from behind capturing her unique pre-competition warmup on the beach in southern California went viral in 2013. Within a year, she was modelling sweaters in Esquire magazine, traveling to Miami for fashion week and recently graced Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. “At first I was, like, what the f*ck is this,” says the 28-year-old. “I’d been doing this for years.”

But now the former Pipeline Pro champion and Billabong XXL big wave nominee has got more than 700,000 Instagram followers who can glimpse her glimpsing at them coyly over her shoulder as she stands, surfboard at the ready, on a beach. She’s got interview requests she can barely handle, and companies wanting to feature both her surfing and her assets in their videos. Thirty-seven minutes with the brand-building siren of the surf world.

RED BULLETIN: I just saw a video of you taking the lip of a massive wave on your head while surfing in Mexico.  

You have to be prepared to take major wipeouts. That’s why I’m always working out. I really don’t know how long I can hold my breath for. It’s hard because even if I do it in the pool, when you’re getting tossed in the waves it doesn’t really apply. As long as I come up it’s good.

Why do you go after big waves?

I grew up in Hawaii. I grew up surfing some of the heaviest breaks in the world. So to me, it’s always been that I want to be a well-rounded surfer and part of that is surfing big waves. I didn’t want to not surf every day. If it’s 10 feet I wanted to be out there as well. Also, having the competitive background …  it’s kind of like things get repetitive and old, it’s been an opportunity to challenge myself.

What are your big wave goals?

I really want to do Jaws, that’s a goal of mine. And get some really big barrels. That’s more my vibe. I really want to focus on big barrels.

Your surfing seems to have taken a back seat recently.

The last couple of years my work and personal life is a big overlap. I do feel like my career is my life. It’s a full time thing.

Morning paddle 🏄 📷 @danielav

A post shared by Anastasia Ashley (@anastasiaashley) on

Do you want to be known as a model or a surfer?

Definitely surfing. But I would say it goes hand in hand. Anyone who’s in the public eye, that’s part of what comes along with it. People are always going to say something. Honestly I really embrace it all, everything outside of surfing is a positive thing to draw attention on to female surfing.

You do it in a very seductive way, though. Your Instagram isn’t huck shots or many photos of you riding barrels.

Honestly, I’m just sharing my life with people and, being a surfer, I’m always in bathing suits, always doing cool things and traveling to awesome places. I think overall it draws more attention to surfing in general.

But you’re using your sexuality for that.

I would not say that’s what I’m doing. Any profession except for fashion, if you’re a girl you’re always in a man’s world. If you’re in a sport, it’s insane. I’m just doing me, so that’s what people are picking up on.

Does your social media following hit on you a lot?

Some of the Internet emails love letters. I’ve had some amazing photos snapchatted to me. I’m talking about snapchat art! Some send videos and marriage proposals, and I really respect some of the creative ones, because there’s a lot of work that goes into that. No bullshit, cut to the chase.

How tough is it to find the quality ones?

I get a lot of guys who are like: ‘You’re job is cool you’re so awesome’ and cut to them complaining ‘You’re always on the plane, or you’re always gone.’ I would love to meet someone who understands my lifestyle and what I do. To me it’s just my job. My job is my life. I have had boyfriends in the past who’ve been able to travel with me or be flexible.

How have your past boyfriends dealt with your … engaged following?

It’s sometimes intimidating to guys I date because they think I have an overflow of guys hitting me up. I have thousands of people writing me stuff every day on the Internet. But to me that’s not real life. The way I’ve met people is through work, or mutual friends. Again, it’s hard if you’re working.

Is it tough living such a transparent life?

As you can see, I’m a pretty open person. I was in tabloid newspapers years ago. My personal life is out there. I think the only part I do care about, is being pre-judged when people meet me. I try and keep everything 100%. My personal life is part of the job territory. I get to surf for a living and go to fun things and get paid money, I can’t be like ‘Oh man… why do people care about me?’ I don’t understand people who kind of complain about privacy, and having their personal life out there. It’s part of my job. One of my most rewarding things is touching people and inspiring people to better themselves. A lot of times that has come from me sharing my personal life. That’s probably one of the most rewarding things, to inspire people to get involved in sports. I can share stories that are relatable to them.

You can do that with a sexy Instagram account?

I am not the typical model body. I have curves and I’m athletic and a lot of what I do, it’s having confidence. I think it’s inspirational in that you don’t have to be perfect and look a certain way. It’s about being confident and having fun. There’s so much out there that’s fake, and I think being yourself and having fun and not caring what people think is a good message.

Read more
03 2015

Next story