Photo Credit: @bskymama

Avery Schuyler Nunn

Ocean City, New Jersey, USA

Years Surfing: 10/11 years

Fave Board: light blue/white, 8 foot mini-longboard by Torq

Instagram: @aveschuy

What is your philosophy on surfing? That the ocean is our home and that we must both respect, admire, protect, and absolutely live up and fully absorb every moment in. The oceans’ waves are mama nature’s perfect playground and if you let them, they can bring you more stoke, inspiration and memories than you could ever imagine! Sometimes all you need is to take a look at the sea during sunrise and watch her crisp water curl under into small, white, foam — and everything in the world seems to get a little better.

Where do you see women’s surfing in the future, say 10 years out? Although we’ve always had the strength and drive, in the future I see women continuing to lift each other up and inspire all people in ways that we haven’t had the agency to do before. When the US Women’s Team won the word cup earlier this year, little girls and boys around the globe cheered while wearing Megan Rapinoe’s jersey. While leaving the new Bethany Hamilton documentary Unstoppablelast week, I overheard a little boy talking to his mom, explaining that he wanted to ride goofy foot just like Bethany did. That is progress.

Most memorable surf moment? When I was around twelve or thirteen years old, I was out practicing to surf with my younger brother and our two cousins. My dad was out with us to help push us onto the waves, as we were all still beginners and not yet strong at paddling. It was golden hour, so the sun was setting in a perfect coral circle behind the dunes across from the ocean, and the water was shimmering in a light blue while the sky was covered in cotton-candy shades of blue, purple, and pink. I was a little agitated about not being able to ride a wave in for very long and was losing hope in the love for surfing that I wanted to find, but having my family around laughing and cheering and jumping off of our boards made it fun. Finally, I was pushed onto the most perfect wave — my eyes opened wide and I felt like I was flying, riding it all the way into the shore. When I hopped off of my board my mom (who was watching from the beach) came over to tell me that she saw the biggest smile on my face that she had ever seen as I was riding that wave. That’s the moment I knew that surfing was going to be the sport that would bring me the most happiness and zest for life — and it’s a feeling that I hope to find again and again with each session in the future.

What do you love/hate about surf culture as it pertains to female surfers? Particularly in more recent years it feels as though women are truly making an effort to support, lift and inspire each other no matter the age — and are finally being recognized for all that we can do. I love that surfing is (the most) fun way to bring women together, whether it’s cheering from the beach or paddling through a crazy current getting pummeled together. Empowered women empower women!

How has your surfing life in the water affected the rest of your life on land? Our Mama Ocean has affected my life on land in almost every way. It both provides me with stress relief and inspires me everyday. From photography to environmentalism it has become the main focus that encompasses almost everything that I am passionate about. Although cheesy at times, the classic quotes inspired by nature and the ocean (about slowing life down/that life will go on, those kinds of things) really help to keep me grounded and reminded of the important things in life.