Uncategorizable and one-of-a-kind, Leah Dawson smashes preconceived notions. She speaks with the wisdom and humility of an elderly soul, yet has a childlike wonder, awe and hope of the world. Back in the 2000s, she became known for her career as a women’s longboard division competitor, but today the all-around waterwoman is addicted to getting barreled while riding weird vintage single fin boards that would confuse thruster devotees.
Originally from Florida, Leah now calls the North shore of a Oahu and a mermaid-shared “hen house” her home. When she's not surfing uninhibited and championing for environmental and health causes relevant to the islands, she goes where her passion for creating music, visual media and experiencing new waters takes her.
Lives in: North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Home Breaks: Rocky Point, Sunset, Lani’s.
Seea Quiver: “The Leah bodysuit is my favorite suit I have ever worn, namely because its effective warmth, trustworthy sun protection, and when worn out in the surf or on the river, the suit never needs to be re-adjusted, allowing me to fully focus on my activities.
As a woman with fair skin, covering my body is essential for me to live my life with the sea. The bodysuit not only saves me a ton of sunscreen, it also allows me to never have to adjust my attire while I am playing in the sea. The bodysuit is the most comfortable surf outfit I’ve ever worn!
The Leah surf suit is ideal for warm climates like Hawaii, where there is always a bit of a wind chill. I love this suit for surfing in powerful waves because I never have to worry about it getting out of place, allowing me to fully focus on my dance with the waves."
Passions: Surfing, playing music, filmmaking, writing, practicing yoga, practicing bodywork. "I am pursuing a dream to positively impact the world around me. Our global environment is screaming out for help. We live in a time when awareness is critical, and change is mandatory. I feel responsible to be an agent for that change.”
Surf Rituals: “My surf routine changes all the time but the two things that always remain consistent is that I have to drink water and I have to stretch before I surf. The few times I have gotten injured, I've forgotten to stretch before I paddled out and so I've made a commitment to myself to always use the time right before I surf to unite myself with the ocean, ask for permission, and get my body in tuned with the water in front of me. I love putting my feet in the sand and doing a series of five stretches or so that warm my shoulders, hips, knees up. But more so it connects my soul to the ocean and gets me ready for the dance.
If I'm home at the henhouse with my roommates we have a surf routine of always dancing in our living room before we go surfing. It's our way to get our spirit ready for the ocean; to unite ourselves and our sisterhood. It always reminds us that surfing is our celebration.”
Photos by Ashley Barker, Nick LaVecchia, and Jianca Lazarus.