In the Line Up With Anna of Tiny Wave Surf Club

In the Line Up With Anna of Tiny Wave Surf Club

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 We had the pleasure of hanging out with Anna while in Bali this past fall for a campaign shoot. We had planned to do a half-day shoot of some mellow longboarding with her and Rhea, another one of our Seeababes, but the weather and swell had other plans!  Anna was a TROOPER and really tried to make the best out of a long and challenging shoot with stormy surf.

We ended up salvaging the shoot by getting some really beautiful lifestyle photos on a stunning black sand beach just north of Canggu.

{Photo Credit : Lia Turiano} 

After a tasty lunch, we decided to adventure down to the Bukit that evening and were rewarded with a dreamy tiny-wave sunset session at a picture-perfect local spot, the setting sun glinting off little peelers.

The waves could have been a *touch* bigger, but it was hard to complain when sharing laughs with new friends in such a beautiful setting.

But, tiny waves are sort of Anna's jam.  Along with here partner, Anna has built a conceptual brand, Tiny Wave Surf Club, centered around community and having fun in the lineup no matter what,even if the waves are super small....Something we can totally get behind!  From the Tiny Wave Surf Club website:

"We discovered that the fun factor rose the smaller the surf was and witnessed that when it was knee to waist high, surfers’ stoke swelled to overflowing. Any idea of being serious seemed to have been abandoned for mischief that was so infectious that the froth flowed onto those around them."

Along with the message of embracing community, Tiny Wave Surf Club offers graphic tees and tote bags.

We sat down with Anna to get to know her a little better and she shared more about her inspiration behind the brand and a bit about her life in Indonesia.

 {Photo Credit : Lia Turiano}

Hi Anna! So tell us where you're from and how you got into surfing? 

I was born in the Philippines and was raised on the west coast of Canada. 
I was on a family trip in Kauai when I was a teenager and had my very first surf lesson in Hanalei Bay. I tried it again when I travelled to Costa Rica years after but it wasn’t until I moved to Bali in 2009 that I was able to surf consistently. I couldn’t say it was love at first try, I found it really tough. It took me a long time to get comfortable in the ocean... but as soon as I caught the first green wave on my very own, I was hooked.
How has your surfing evolved over the years?
When I started, I learned on a shortboard and I felt frustrated that I didn't progress the first couple of years. Then I travelled to Sri Lanka and a friend who was there at the same time had lent me his 7’6 mal and I felt an entirely different surfing experience. The board glided, I caught more waves, and I loved how the board moved with how my body moved and I felt completely in sync with the wave. I’ve been riding bigger boards ever since! 
What originally brought you to Bali?
I was backpacking in Southeast Asia with a friend over the summer break of my last year of college and Bali was our last stop. I immediately felt connected to the culture, the lifestyle, and the beautiful people and knew I had to come back.
What are some ways you’ve seen it change over the years ?
Bali has grown quite a lot over the years especially in Canggu, where I live. A lot of villas and buildings have been built over the rice fields so sadly it’s a lot less green. But saying that, the amount of tourism and businesses brings a great amount of income to the area and the local community. 
How do you feel about all the development ?
I mean, I feel a little conflicted as it’s not the Canggu I fell in love with BUT the choices of restaurants are incredible. I enjoy eating out and being able to access all sorts of food from all over the world in such a short distance is a big privilege. It's still very much a great place to be, just different… I could live without the traffic, though!
I know you split your time between here and Java - tell me  a bit more about what life is like when you’re in Java ?

Life in Java is slow and simple, just how I like it. I live in a small, quiet(ish) fishing village where I surf most days. My partner Andrew and I have a tiny shack on the beach with our bare essentials - we have surfboards, books, backgammon, bicycles, and art on the walls. When we’re there, we don’t wish to be anywhere else. The local community are the sweetest people we’ve ever met and they have graciously welcomed us into the community over the years. 
How does it compare to Bali?

There’s a lot more that happens in Bali but I also generally stay relatively quiet. I do love being able to go to art shows or eat out or see our long time friends.
Obviously you have tourists coming and going all year-long , but what’s the local surf community like?  

There are many people that come and go but there are also many people who've lived and surfed here that I know so it’s nice to see the familiar faces amongst the big crowds.
Have you noticed an uptick in how many women/girls are surfing?

Yes over the years, definitely. There are some days there are more women than men surfing, it’s so, so great to see! 
When I first went to this small village in Java, where it’s predominantly Muslim, there were perhaps two girls surfing at the time but over the last few years, a good friend of mine Vanya has created a little movement and community to encourage women and young girls to surf and now there’d be more than a dozen local women surfing every day.
Any advice to women who want to learn to surf but feel intimidated ?
I suggest to go out with a surf coach, they will show you the basics - safety, etiquette, and where to paddle in and out that will hopefully give you confidence to go out on your own in the future. Also it’s useful to know that you can’t learn to surf overnight -it’s a relatively steep learning curve so don’t feel frustrated if you don’t get the hang of it at the start.
There are also communities online where you can make friends and reach out to to see if anyone in the area you could go surfing with.
Tells us a bit about Tiny Wave Surf Club - what's it all about? 

It's  a surf club for people who don't really take themselves too seriously - what matters most is that everyone is having fun. Super mellow vibes!

Did you have meet ups ?

We have a couple times, but it's super informal. We have a Whatsapp chat . We e had a collab with On Board - they had a board demo day so we collaborated with them on that. This was during the pandemic so it was really quiet. it was nice to have everyone together.

What kind of product assortments do you have - do you have plans to expand?

We're just trying to keep it simple . Just t shirts and bags and maybe bucket hats. 

We'd love if you could share with us some of your favorite spots on the island.. What is your favorite surf spot in bali?
I love point breaks so I’d have to say Jasri or Medewi!
Favorite beach ?
I love going up to Pemuteran up in North Bali, it’s surrounded by green hills and there’s beautiful coral a short boat ride away. I also like Thomas beach in the Bukit, it’s relatively quiet, white sand beach to hang out at for the day.
Favorite non-surf related activity ?
I recently got into free-diving and am very much loving it. It forces you to relax and really find that internal calmness in and out of the water which is so important I think to living a good life.
Favorite restaurant in Bali?
Oh man I have so many but my Indonesian favorites are Warung Mogan, Narayana Vegetarian, and Warung Melati.


Check out Tiny Wave Surf Club here.

And if you're thinking about traveling to Bali or just want to learn more, don't forget to download our free "Bali Pocket Guide," with easy, digestible tips to getting there, what to pack, and our favorite things to do! 







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