Behind the Cape – Malia Manuel

Electric Pulp


What does it take to be a champ? We sat down with one of the Top ASP Ranked Star Surfers Malia Manuel and got the scoop on how she got to be an all-star athlete and land the cape at the 2013 Ford Supergirl Pro.


O’Neill Girls: You’ve been surfing for most of your life.  When did you know you wanted to go pro?

Malia: I actually never planned it. It just sort of happened! Both my parents surf, so it was more of a family activity for us growing up. It wasn’t until I won the US Open of Surfing in 2008 that I knew this is what I was supposed to do.

O’Neill Girls:  Since you’ve gone pro, how important has training become for your performance during contests?

Malia: Very important. I can practice all day long, but without a healthy diet and exercise plan, I would not be able to perform at my best. Right now I am on a vegan/vegetarian diet. I grow my own veggies at home so it’s great to be able to use my own stuff when I can. I love to juice and make smoothies and can’t get enough of Superfoods. It’s amazing what those can do! It’s a natural way to get extra energy and feel phenomenal. It’s really important before starting any diet to listen to your body. If your body doesn’t react well to something, then don’t force it.  As for workouts, I obviously surf regularly, but I try to run at least 45 minutes a few days a week. It’s important to change up your workouts, so I also incorporate lots of hikes and bikram yoga.


O’Neill Girls: Congrats on your Supergirl Pro win! So exciting! Did you have a predetermined strategy going in to the contest?

Malia: While competing, I try not to think too much of what I want to do. I just focus on each heat, read the waves, and let my instincts take over.

O’Neill Girls: You’re considered to be a progressive surfer. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Malia: I am lucky enough to live and travel to places where many talented surfers do incredible things in the water. I love watching the men’s surf contests and I get lots of my inspiration from watching surf movies.

O’Neill Girls: Do you have any advice to girls out there that one day want to go pro?

Malia: If it’s your passion, go for it! Train hard and don’t get too caught up on the competitiveness.


Have any more questions for Malia? Let us know!

*Malia is wearing the Lanai Bandeau and Hipster


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