We’re pleased to introduce the first ever Karina signature suit!
Born and raised in Southern California, Karina Rozunko’s summer playground was SanO, a beach time capsule of longboarding and retro surf culture. In this parking lot of vintage cars, analog stereos, and old school logs dominating the line-up, it’s no wonder that Karina’s style is heavily influenced by the past.
For her eponymous one-piece, Karina co-designed the high neck and hourglass silhouette to complement her classic noseriding style that looks like as smooth and timeless as a film photograph. She makes hanging all ten digits look easy, but her athleticism, talent and dedication that make up her graceful style constantly amaze us.
We caught up with Karina Rozunko before she headed out to Oz to talk more about her signature suit, and the surf trips that changed her life.
Stay tuned for more stories about our Seeababe signature suits co-designed with our ambassadors.
Photos by Dylan Gordon.
Let’s talk about your first signature suit! What did you want in a suit and why?
I wanted a one-piece that reflected the 1950s combining fashion and function. I was inspired one of Claire McCardel's designs from the 1940's—a very stunning piece.
[Designer] Amanda [Chinchelli] and I worked on this design pretty quick. I had a pretty specific idea of what I wanted. High neck, open back, and a different leg/thigh cut. Getting the "Karina" perfect with all the bells and whistles took some adjustment considering the unique leg cut and stitch. It was really interesting seeing the process and attention to detail all these suits have. It was really fun to work with Amanda on this and getting to see the finished product.
“The Karina” is a suit that you feel very comfortable in and that's really important to me in all aspects of life. Being comfortable is a really important factor in surfing. If you feel like you look good you’re going to surf well.
You used to do gymnastics before you started surfing. How did you get into gymnastics?
I remember watching the Olympics in 2004 and thinking I wanted to do that. That week my mom signed me up for classes because I wouldn't stop bugging her and trust me, it was all I thought about. I would get home and be walking around on my hands in my living room and asking my family what dance moves looked better. "This one, or this one?" To them it all looked the same. I eventually had to quit because of all my injuries from the sport.
I did my first Roxy Wahine classic at SanO when I was 10 and then surfing was my thing. But before I could walk my dad would take me out on his back at SanO and we would get the biggest sets!
What were your favorite types of routines to do in gymnastics, and how does that awareness of your body relate to your surfing?
I really loved floor and beam. It was a combination of flips and dance. I somehow still know all my routines and if Makala [Smith] or Lola [Mignot] convinces me I will do it on the beach. Muscle memory is crazy and it totally relates to surfing. I just start going and not even realizing what I'm doing. A lot of people will tell me, "Wow that was really nice what you did on that wave," and honestly I won't even remember what I did on that wave. It just happens.
Tell us more about what you’ve been reading and listening to while traveling. What are you into now?
In Costa Rica I was reading the autobiography "M Train" by Patti Smith and Also "Just Kids." I originally picked up Patti Smith's book because her music and poetry really intrigued me. I guess I find this time period enchanting because it was a time of originality. A lot of the people that inspire me lived during those times. We were listening to a lot of Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde album. It fit the mood.
What’s the last trip you went on that opened your eyes or really changed your life and why?
All my trips lately have been super amazing but a trip that has really opened my eyes was when I stayed in Australia for three months. It was a huge turning point in my life. Being totally on my own for the first time experiencing complete freedom. I bought a van and met so many beautiful people and surfing in regular foot heaven.
Just to be in a different environment and to be around new people was really refreshing. Also not having obligations and to be free to surf some of the best waves of my life was pretty good. Australia is pretty charming.
You're planning on taking a lot of photos and video on your next trip to Australia. What kinds of moments are you looking to capture?
I love taking film photos. There is something very authentic and genuine about getting one chance to get what you're trying to create.
Follow along with Karina's road trip through Oz on her Instagram: @karinarozunko
Shop Karina's suit here!
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