Professional surfer and Paul Mitchell athlete Malia Manuel describes her introduction into the surfing industry as inherent: "I never planned on being a professional surfer, it kind of chose me." At 21, Malia has made a huge name for herself as a professional surfer with accolades such as becoming the youngest ever US Open Champ, being the 2nd girl ever featured on the cover or TransWorld Surf Magazine and ranking 5th on the World Surf League Tour in 2014. Impressive, right? We asked Malia to share some details about her island-inspired lifestyle and how she lives beautifully.
How old were you when you starting surfing?
I started tandem surfing with my parents when I was three years old. My dad would pick me up on his shoulders and ride waves.
How’d you get into the sport?
My parents both surf and we have been a surfing family forever. I grew up going to the beach with my parents every day. It's all I knew how to do as a kid.
What’s the best part of your career as a pro surfer?
The best parts of pro surfing are the opportunities to travel and experience the different cultures of the world. Everywhere is so unique and you appreciate the diverse traditions and ways of life from each place you visit.
You travel often. Where is your favorite place in the world?
One of my favorite places to travel is Fiji. I love the culture and the people show so much hospitality and happiness╌it's a really special place. They take pride in their culture and the Fijians are happy people to be around.
Describe a normal day in the life of Malia Manuel.
A normal day involves morning coffee, surfing, catching up with my friends at the beach or working out╌hiking or yoga are some of our favorite activities╌and a mellow night sharing laughs and eating healthy food!
How do you describe your personal style? How does surfing influence your style?
My personal style is a mix between function and fashion, beach-ready but still chic. When I relate surfing and style I think of less is more. I love simplicity and deep colors like navy and black.
What Paul Mitchell products are must-haves for you?
I love the Awapuhi Wild Ginger® and Tea Tree lines. Right now in Fiji I have Awapuhi Wild Ginger Styling Treatment Oil® with me for after-sun care. It replenishes my sun-kissed hair after being in the ocean for hours and also gives my hair a healthy shine.
What are your guilty pleasures?
How do you live beautifully?
I'm lucky enough to call Hawaii home where I am surrounded by such a pristine ocean. I think the ocean has kept me healthy and happy which is a big bonus in helping to live beautifully.
The Paul Mitchell sports team is made up of a sporty duo that organizes and oversees our sports marketing initiatives, as well as our roster of professional athletes and events. Kalena Nordgaarden and Rachel Hausman are constantly on-the-go, attending one event after the next, and exciting the participants and crowd along the way!