Friend of the People: Kassia Meador of KASSIA+SURF

Friend of the People: Kassia Meador of KASSIA+SURF

Friend of the People: Kassia Meador of KASSIA+SURF

 

Kassia Meador is a legend in the surf community. Crowned "The Queen of Noseriding" by the New York Times, she ranked 2nd on the WSL women's longboard tour in 2011. 

Her effortless style is matched only by her sharp eye for design — something she honed over the years working to create innovative products under the umbrella of her brand sponsors. Eventually Kassia was able to launch a brand of her own. KASSIA+SURF creates high-quality, low-impact wetsuits and other surf gear that's designed by women, for women.

We're excited to team up with KASSIA+SURF on a limited-edition recycled cotton sock with a natural indigo tie dye coloring. We'll be donating 22% of all sales to our friends at Save the Waves.

 

 

When did you first get the idea to launch Kassia + Surf?

I had been surfing for the big brands in the industry for 13 years and also designed wildly successful wetsuit and clothing collections with them over the years. I had truly grown up in the surf industry and felt that I was still designing for and speaking to the 15 year old version of myself. I felt the need and inspiration to create products that were for the woman who I evolved into, the woman who was new to the lineup and for my friends. All created by women for women in a conscious, quality minded way. What made you want to create your own brand? I felt there were a lot of women like myself who had outgrown many of the youth minded surf brands and were looking for quality over quantity and surf wear and accessories that would speak to them as a woman. So I decided to start my own company and make the things myself and my community were looking for and couldn't find. 

 

Did you always know you wanted sustainability to be part of the mission of Kassia + Surf?

Absolutely! Growing up in the surf industry and having an opportunity to travel to many developing nations I had a first hand experience of the waste both consumerism and fast fashion clogged the world with. I wanted to create a company focused on solutions rather than contributing to the problems our world faces based on our decisions. It is not like I figured it out or anything but I am working constantly to create things in ways that will last longer, and or create with recycled materials, natural dyes, recycling programs really just trying new things and constantly being open to learning, asking questions, and adjusting with the ever changing times and information.     What had you seen in the surfing world that made it apparent to you that change needed to happen?

 

 

Did you always know you wanted sustainability to be part of the mission of Kassia + Surf?

I recycle wetsuits with my friend Brian at Suga. He turns the old wetsuits into yoga mats which I think is super sweet. I had been holding onto old wetsuits and also all of my production scraps waiting to do something upcycled and creative with them and scouring the internet for what was possible. One day I finally  stumbled across Suga Yoga. They were just getting going at the early stages of their program I felt like we could really help each other as I believe cooperation and co-creation is the way forward for our world.  I cold called them and had a great chat with Brian and have been recycling wetsuits with them ever since. People are so stoked on the program and I love it when I get wetsuits with sweet notes in thanking us for caring and doing the best we could to offer a solution.  

 

 

What’s your favorite piece that Kassia + Surf has created?

To be honest my favorite is our Palo Santo Scented Triangular snap off surf wax. What makes that one in particular so special to you? As a kid surf wax was always so awesome and special and unique and there were so many brands taking their unique spin on things. So this is a way for me to bring my love of surf wax, aromatherapy, and ergonomic design together in one place. 

 

You’ve been surfing since you were 14 and turned pro at 17. You’ve since been crowned “The Queen of Noseriding.” How did you develop your unique surfing style?

I just love surfing and when i was a kid i would spend every moment i possibly could in the ocean. It wasn't anything I was over thinking or focused on. I was just surfing and having fun and had the opportunity to surf first point Malibu often enough to be around some extremely talented surfers, so i had wonderful folks to look up to.

 

Was there anyone who had a big influence on your development as a kid?

Joel Tudor, Linda Benson, Donald Takayama, Josh Farberow, Dane Peterson and Brittany Leonard were all the best surfers ever to me and I got to meet them and surf with them and learn from them. It was a real dream. 

 

 

Even before you launched Kassia + Surf, you always had a heavy hand in the development of products through your sponsors — what do you think it is that draws you to product development and wanting to create things for yourself?

To me surfing is a very co-creative movement exercise and I have always been interested in art and design.  So i feel it was just a natural progression and synergy of the ideas and energies that inspired me and continue to. 

 

What do you think the future of sustainability looks like — particularly in the world of surfing?

I don’t know what the future looks like as everything is changing so rapidly and in so many different directions. That said I really trust, hope for and will continue to push for more sustainable consciously created products for not only the surf world but for the world at large. I really believe it is up to each and every one of us to push for progress, and demand change for the better. As we collectively push for more sustainable and conscious ways to live our lives the technology that is available will give us materials and solutions we need, and to ask for it.  

 

What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business?

If you believe in something and are passionate to create something for the world go for it. There is no right way or wrong way to do anything. Any and every seeming mistake is really just an opportunity to learn and grow and refine yourself. Go for it! Anything you learned that you wish you’d known sooner? Everything! Hahaha well more seriously just to slow down, ask more questions and listen more. 

 

 

Kassia + Surf describes itself as a brand focused on supporting and empowering women through a deep connection with surfing and the ocean. A brand consciously created by women for women. Tell us a little bit about how you’re hoping to pave the way forward for more women who surf.

By creating Comfortable, Technical, Consciously created womens wetsuits and surf wear we are dedicated to making sure you feel great in and out of the water. So you are empowered to push yourself and be your magically radiant and unique self always.

 

What’s next for Kassia + Surf? Anything coming down the pipeline that you’re especially excited about?

Working on a few new collections and super excited to get them out to you and into the world!