Q&A With Malia & Kiana

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The O’Neill/Contiki Costa Rica Sweepstakes is in full effect and O’Neill team riders Malia and Kiana can’t wait to pack their bags and explore the tropical beaches of Costa Rica!

Check out what these beautiful ladies have to say about travel, best surf spots, and staying fit while traveling.


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Tell us your background, when you began surfing, and how you became an O’Neill Surf Pro

Malia: Growing up in Hawaii you’re bound to surf. Surfing is more than just a sport here; it’s a lifestyle. Both of my parents surf, so I was taken to the beach at a very young age. I started to tandem surf with my dad at the age of 2. I entered in many competitions around the Hawaiian Islands, since I was 8 years old. At 14, I signed on to the O’Neill surf team.

Kiana:  Growing up on the beautiful North Shore of Kauai, you are born into a beach lifestyle. It is a small island with many beautiful treasures. My dad was a surfer and it just was inevitable for me to become daddy’s little surfer girl. When I was about 10 months old my dad took me surfing and held me up with his teeth. I didn’t fuss or cry. I was completely content.  Even as a baby I was addicted to the ocean. I started surfing regularly at age 7 and entered my first surf competition at 9, the Irons Brothers Pine Trees Classic. Andy Irons was a huge inspiration and encouraged my competing spark. I entered the contest every year and made finals every time.  I never won, but that didn’t stop my urge to pursue my dream. From then on, I started competing in the Hawaiian Surfing Federation (HSF) and National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) long boarding and short boarding. While all of this was going on I was student at the infamous Hanalei Elementary, where my mom taught, then attended a private middle school in my hometown in Kilauea. My life has always been busy and active. I played soccer, swam, the ukulele, and of course surfed. Even though I loved all of my extracurricular activities, I soon had to give up soccer to focus on surfing and being a student. I soon after graduated middle school and started attending Kappa High school, one of three public high schools on the island. In addition to surfing, I participated in various school activities and athletics, such as cross country and swimming. While in high school, I went to my first NSSA nationals and got 4th in girls. Then, at the USA championships on June 25, 2009, I met some great people from O’Neill. I will never forget that day. This was the day I got to put a beautiful black and white O’Neill sticker on the nose of my boards. That was definitely one of the best days of my life so far! I’ve been with O’Neill for 4 years and it’s been such an amazing time and journey. I am so blessed and thankful for this amazing opportunity:)

As an O’Neill Surf Pro, what are some of your favorite places in the world to surf?

Malia: As an O’Neill Surf Pro I’ve had many opportunities to travel the globe to surf. Some of my favorite surf destinations include Australia, Brazil, France, and Indonesia.

Kiana: Hawaii is definitely one of my favorites, but I actually never been out of America so let’s just say I am ECSTATIC to go on this trip with Contiki! It will be my first experience out of the US and Costa Rica will be the first stamp in my passport!

Where are your favorite places to travel and why?

Malia: My favorite place to travel is Australia, I enjoy the array of different waves there is to surf and the people are very friendly.

What is your funniest experience or story while traveling?

Malia: Some of my funniest memories traveling would be going to Indonesia with some team mates. It’s always so fun to travel with a group!

Kiana: Funniest story while traveling would have to be when I traveled to California on a red eye and accidentally fell asleep on a complete stranger’s shoulder! I woke up and was so embarrassed. Luckily they didn’t mind and thank goodness I wasn’t drooling. Now I make sure if I fall asleep my head doesn’t go past the headrest.

You’re going on Contiki’s Costa Rica Unplugged tour.  What are you most looking forward to seeing/doing in Costa Rica?

Malia: As part of Contiki’s Costa Rica Unplugged Tour I’m most looking forward to experiencing the culture, practicing my Spanish and catching a few waves in the warm water!

Kiana: I am SO so SOOO excited for this trip! It will be my first time out of the country. I can’t wait to experience a different environment and culture. I am ready to explore the towns and beaches and see the way of living. It will be cool to see that not everyone speaks English. I am also definitely excited to surf. I’m a goofy footer and there is a really long left that I can’t wait to surf.

What is one item of O’Neill clothing that you cannot leave without?

Malia: If I had to pick one O’Neill item that I couldn’t leave the house without, it would be my bathing suit!

Kiana: One item that I can’t leave without…. hmmm that’s a tough one! Definitely my denim O’Neill shorts, O’Neill hat or beanie and O’Neill bikini! My favorite one is the “In Love” cinched bottoms and bandeau top! So cute!

How do you stay healthy and fit while on the road?

Malia: It’s often difficult to stay healthy and fit while traveling. Sometimes I’ll travel with certain Superfoods to help my immunity. I also never go anywhere without my running shoes.

Kiana: Other than surfing, I love to swim. Swimming is perfect cross training for surfing. I’m actually on a swim team. I also like to bike. I bike when I’m not in swim training. I hate being still so I’m always active doing something. I don’t do yoga or Zumba or anything but maybe one day I’ll get there. For now I have fun on my own adventuring, swimming, biking, surfing and some running. I also am a dance fanatic. I just got the Xbox Kinect and my sister and I battle all night until we are dripping sweat and know the dances by heart…haha. I also eat pretty healthy! I don’t have a strict diet or anything, but I watch what I eat. I have to admit I have a huge sweet tooth, so sweets are my weakness… and peanut butter! I love peanut butter. I eat fruits and vegetables, acai bowls, fish, Cliff bars, tea, smoothies and oatmeal. I do drink coffee but not all the time!

Why do you think it’s important for young people – especially young women like yourself – to travel and see the world?

Malia: I think any chance to travel the world is worth it. To experience different cultures can be life changing and humbling. It’s intriguing to grasp different habits and see how other people live their lives.

Kiana: I think it’s important because it’s a time to learn. Since we are young we should see what’s out there and experience life before it gets too late. I have always desired to travel and see the world. It’s my dream. I am so excited to go to Costa Rica!

What are your travel rituals? 

Malia: Any chance I get to collect an item that reminds me of my trip, I usually try to find a ring or a necklace.

Kiana:Traveling rituals hmmm… I guess I will have to make one! For now taking lots of pictures. I love taking pictures and documenting everything! Maybe collect some Costa Rican money!

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

Malia:  If I could travel anywhere in the world at this moment I would choose somewhere tropical!

Kiana: If I could travel anywhere right now it would be Australia! I would love to see the Gold Coast and Sydney, pick up an accent and learn some Aussie lingo! I would also love to travel to Tahiti and Europe.

 

Want to go to Costa Rica? Enter for your chance to travel with Malia and Kiana this summer!

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