Seeababe Makala Smith is a Wild Card

Posted by Rhea Cortado on


Welcome Makala Smith to the Seeababes family! Photo by Luki O'Keefe.

If only we could bottle Makala Smith’s particular flavor of stoke and gain a zap of her electric superpowers. Whether it’s charging bombs at the Point at SanO, trimming in little ankle biters, or wiping out with panache, her carefree attitude can uplift and unwind the most uptight of personalities.
She’s our favorite wild card that will drop everything to go on a last minute surf safari — like that time she went with us across the boarder to chase swell, and then again this year she bought a ticket and was paddling out with us in Sayulita, Mexico within 24 hours. 
A fellow retro style junkie, Makala used to wear vintage swimsuits in the water — despite the non-stretch fabrics with too-big bullet bras and too-tiny waists. That’s dedication. Thankfully she doesn’t sacrifice comfort any longer and you’ll most often see her in the Seea Riviera one-piece and leggings. 
Bombs away. Photo of Makala Smith by Luki O'Keefe.
Growing up in a creative surf family in Dana Point, California, Makala has played in the waves with the local dudes (her dad being her main influence) for as long as she could remember. “Hallie Rohr and I would get dropped off at the jetty with the boys around 7AM and wouldn't get picked up till 7PM,” Makala says about her summer vacation routine. 
In honor of Makala Smith joining the Seeababes family, we caught up with her to get the scoop on her latest "spontaneous combustion" travels. 
Makala is our surf leggings specialist! Photo by Luki O'Keefe. 
You went to Australia for the Byron Bay Surf Festival last year! Where else did you go in Oz? 
I was mainly in Sydney area traveling anywhere from five hours south of Sydney or eight hours north this trip! For sure got to know a lot of good towns and better than just driving through it. All of the Northern beaches of Sydney are the most beautiful places! When we went earlier last year with all the Seeababes, we road tripped to Noosa. We saw all of the coast — was amazing! 
What did you love about the culture in Australia?
The culture over there is way different. I loved the underdeveloped land once you leave Sydney. The coastline isn't straight like ours with every bluff over the ocean with a house on it. It's jagged and empty along the way. The people are different everywhere you go. It's very spread out. In most beach communities there's surf culture, but they’re all different. 
People still go to the beach and enjoy it, but there's nothing like south Orange County beach culture. It's a lifestyle here and it's not just my friends that live it. So many people all over California live that lifestyle. Beach hangs in Cali are the ultimate.

What are your favorite local spots to surf in California and why? 
SanO ‘cause of the surf culture. It could be a terrible day for the beach and we will be having an awesome day — just always surrounded by good people. 
Makala Smith levitates in the Pavones bikini. Photo by Luki O'Keefe.

What do you like about surfing with girls? 
Surfing with the girls is the best. We get the best party waves. We are always laughing and being obnoxious. We have the best time just messing around! Same with the guys though, not much difference, I learn from my peers and surfing with all them is what makes us grow in surfing! 
Who do you look up to in surfing? 
Lisa Anderson was my favorite surfer growing up and still is. Belinda Baggs and her grace in surfing has influenced me and my style a lot. 

Makala in Mexico last year, wearing the Chicama bikini. Photo by Luki O'Keefe. 

What do you usually bring with you on any surf trip?

Must bring on a surf trip: water water water! A bikini a wetsuit jacket (depends where you go), sunscreen is a must, a good lunch or snack and a towel that's all you need really! In the van [at home] I always have a couple quivers: a short board, a log and my old mal, all my Seea gear — it's always the hardest to pick what to wear! —wetsuits, water and snacks.

What’s your surf travel style? 

With [going to Mexico with Luki O'Keefe last year] it was totally last minute, go with the flow. I love doing that! Most surf trips are like that. Spontaneous combustion is what we like to call it.

Even Noosa [last year], we planned the flight but when we got there we had no idea what we were doing other than road trip. Like, no idea where we were going at all! Five girls with guys we barely know, just went for it and had the best time ever! It's good to plan ahead in certain areas but you never know where your trip is going to take you! That's why it's an adventure.

Makala in Mexico, wearing the Palmas surf suit. Photo by Luki O'Keefe. 
Makala on the water. Photo by Frank Gazzola. 

You booked your ticket super last minute to meet up with the rest of the Seeababes in Sayulita. What made you change your mind?

It worked out perfectly. I got to work the five days I was scheduled — the previous week when the girls were there. I was so jealous when I was dropping them off at the airport. But I just told myself, “focus on Noosa [Festival in March] you need to save your money.” I did finally got over the jealousy. Well kinda...” Then the girls called me saying, “Come on! It's not the same with out you. We have all the Seeababes but you! We need the final piece to our trip, we need you dude. Get your butt here now! At first I was like, “No way dude I gotta work! But ohhkaaaay I'll check it out…"

Tickets were only $350 round trip And I was like, “Done! Sold! I am coming!” I bought it while I was at work and left the following morning at 6AM so my good friend Andy Neiblas took me to LAX [Los Angeles International] airport at 4 AM. I arrived in PVR [Puerto Vallarta, Mexico] at 1PM. So stoked! Best last minute trip! Everything happens for a reason.

Makala's awesome style. Photo by Luki O'Keefe. 
Makala hangs heels. Photo by Luki O'Keefe. 

Was it worth it? What were your best memories of that trip?

Something I'll never forget from Sayulita is the vibe and the spiritual side of it all. There's so much history of that town and you can feel it through the people. The energy that everyone holds is so strong and it’s brought out in people whether it's good or bad. For me, it made me open my head and I love not having a phone, just taking morning strolls along the beach and meeting so many beautiful souls that touched me along the way. Just exploring is so amazing whether there's surfing involved or not.

One of my favorite days with all the girls was the day we walked from Lola Mignot’s house around to this beach and body surfed. The walk was so unreal, so beautifully breathtaking you can hear the birds and the bugs squishing in your toes. I could open a little vintage boutique and never come back!

Thanks Makala and welcome to the Seeababes family, we are so stoked to have you!

Makala in the Palmas surf suit. Photo by Luki O'Keefe. 
Makala  in the Pavones bikini. Photo by Luki O'Keefe. 

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