As part of "Scrapbook of America," I was lucky enough to speak to one of America's top Longboarders and all around rad LA lady, Kassia Meador. I asked her to share her favorite places to catch waves, both at home and abroad.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in LA County, California. Most of my childhood was spent running around in the Valley on the other side of the hill, about 30 minutes from the beach.
How did you first get on a board?
My family would take a trip to San Diego for a week most summers when I was young, and my dad would always surf when we went down there. I always wanted to surf, but I would normally just boogie board on the side. One summer when I was 14 I did Junior Lifeguards, and I really got to know the ocean. At the end of the day there were a few surfboards we would all try to ride until we got picked up, so I kinda learned there, just messing around.
Did you eat it right away?
Of course I ate it right away! Ha. But there were only a few boards and quite a lot of us who were amped on riding them, so you did anything you could to stay on the board. They didn't have leashes, so if you lost it your turn was up.
Were you a natural?
I for sure was naturally athletic, and surfing made sense to me in a lot of ways. But at the same time, it is so hard to learn. I'm still learning all the time. That's why I think I'm so in love with it. It takes a lifetime to master.
What is the most magical moment you have ever had while surfing? Where is your favorite spot?
It's hard to pick just one, but this one trip to Indonesia on a boat in the Mentawiis always really stands out to me. It was ages ago, like 15 years or so. The waves were huge, so the usual spots were out of control, giving us the opportunity to look for new waves...some that people hadn't ever surfed. We ended up in a beautiful area tucked into one of the most magical coves I have ever been to, the jungle exploding at the water's edge. There was a small village nearby I guess, because by the second day of us hanging there surfing, some people paddled over in these little disk canoe things. They were trying to ride waves with us and laughing hysterically. That was something I will never forget. It was like walking into an entirely different time and dimension.
What is the most beautiful beach in America?
Wow, that's a super hard one. There are so many magical beaches in America. It is super beautiful, Goonies style, up in Oregon and Washington.
What advice would you give a young girl wanting to start surfing?
Get out there and have the best time ever. Surfing teaches you so much about life and how to negotiate everything that gets thrown at you. It's also one of the most empowering, fun, healthy things you can do for yourself and with your time.