Photo Credit: @dylan_jurusz

Gloria Lenore

New Jersey, USA

Photo Credits: @mermaidtrousers

Years Surfing: 10 this summer!

Fave Board: A tie between my 9’ log, and my 6’ funky fun board I call the “baby beet”, it was re-shaped from a magical life changer of a board that was glassed the color of beet juice. Both made for me by my sweetheart at Piney surf (@clamhog).

Instagram: @mermaidtrousers

What/who got you started surfing? I’m not super sure on this one. I’m the youngest of 5, and all my older siblings surfed at different times. My dad surfed since the 70’s, and I have a handful of memories of him trying to share that with me, but we haven’t spoken since I was a teen, and I question those feelings every time they come up. When I got really hooked in deep at 16 it was all about sharing time with my best friend and both of our big sisters, and it was the most beautiful season, so I draw from that connection the most

What is your philosophy on surfing? Riding waves is riding waves. It’s for everyone. You don’t need any expensive gear to do it, you don’t need to look a certain way. You can come from anywhere and belong in the water. Anyone that tells you different is a kook.

Where do you see women’s surfing in 10 years? INCLUSIVE! BLACK, BROWN, AND ADAPTIVE! And damn cheerful! The media coming up in women’s surfing is so exciting to me. Representation matters so much. I grew up on surf movies that predominantly featured men, I guess we all did. A weird competitive seed was planted between women in the water where I live on the Jersey Shore, and I’m looking forward to that changing. I have starting making it a point to greet female surfers happily whenever I see them. I’ve gotten the cold shoulder a few times from girls that were used to being the only one at the peak. Which sucks, but also I hardly blame them for being a bit possessive when it takes time to earn your place amongst the guys. Men here used to ignore women like they were invisible or in the way (unless of course they felt like objectifying you), and that has already shifted so much for the better just since I started surfing. The performance gap in big wave riding closing is something I love to see too.

Who are your surf heroes, and why? Leah Dawson!!! She has been inspiring me for a long time with her style in the water, and recently via instagram the way she has been sharing her heart has been a lifeline for me.

Favorite spot to surf? (If you’d rather keep it a secret, you don’t have to name it!) Any right point! I frequent short left hand beach breaks, and I’m regular foot and love longboarding, so any time I can open up and go right it’s almost shocking to me how good it feels!

How has your surfing life in the water affected the rest of your life on land? I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say in every way! Surfing became my home when my life was burning to the ground and I didn’t fit in the tidy boxes that seemed to work for my peers. The beach is my personal spa where I can rub sand on my skin, ancient spirits do my hair,  and the joy thief that is comparison leaves my awareness entirely. The ocean is a playground where I can work all the chaos out of my body and cultivate strength. Emotionally, mentally, physically, it taught me I’m worth my salt and humbles me when the time comes. I grow every time I make a drop I didn’t think I would, make it past the breakers on a big day, sing songs between sets with a sweet carelessness I only find when I feel free from judgement, on and on. I bring that all back into my life on land. From feeling beautiful, to honing my problem solving skills, I’m able to be a much more calm and fierce self because of all these things that surfing gives me.