7 years ago by


Erik Melvin

Surfing is one of those things that you look at from afar and wish that you could do. It looks inspiring, effortless, and impossibly cool. And then you see people like Luki and Makala in action and realize how much skill and precision it actually takes, yet somehow they still manage to make it inspiring, effortless, and impossibly cool.

The two Seea surf muses do the whole surfing thing well. Really well, in fact. We jumped on the opportunity to photograph them in their element in Malibu, CA, and asked them as much as we could about their lifestyle, how they take care of their bodies, womanhood, and their ideal post-surf meal.

As for the whole “trying to surf” thing, we’re pretty content just watching these two from the sand.

sunset surf luki okeefe makala smith garance dore photo

sunset surf luki okeefe masala smith garance dore photo

sunset surf masala smith garance dore photo

How long have you been surfing?
Makala: I first surfed at 3-years-old with a life jacket in front of dad’s board, but I was on my own board at 5!
Luki: I’ve been playing in the ocean my whole life but I caught my first real wave at 7.

How often do you surf?
Makala: As much as I can, every day if possible.
Luki: Depending on the conditions, I surf anywhere from one to seven days a week!

What’s your favorite activity when you’re not in the water?
Makala: Reading.
Luki: I am always taking photos and I’ve been getting really in to gardening. I’m building a medicinal herb garden at my apartment and I’ve been working on a large vegetable garden at my boyfriend’s house. Photography brings a lot of computer work so I use gardening as a way to redirect my mind to nature and get my hands dirty in between work hours.

What effect does being in the ocean so frequently have on your body?
Makala: It definitely takes a toll on your body. My skin being in the sun is huge, so I try my best to wear heaps of sunscreen, Seea suits with arms, rash guards or t-shirts.
Luki: Salt water is a healing elixir and waves are an unexplainable energy so playing in the ocean is a magical revitalizing act. Swimming, paddling, and surfing are mindless ways to exercise every muscle in your body. People who spend a lot of time in the ocean often have a lot more endurance and overall strength. You also learn to calm yourself in scary situations which really comes in handy.

What’s your favorite way to take care of your body?
Makala: I try my best to stretch and much as possible before a big surf, I’ve noticed it helps a lot. I’ve always had healthy eating habits and I really enjoy eating good food.
Luki: My skin is really sensitive and easily irritated by wetsuits so I pamper myself with homemade natural skin treatments using oils, fruits, egg whites, etc. All the weird hippy tricks seem to really work for my skin better than any chemical filled store bought concoction. I also think it’s crucial to stretch if you’re a surfer or even just a human that uses your body and wants to keep using it for a while.

sunset surf luki okeefe masala smith garance dore


sunset surf luki okeefe garance dore photo

A Surf Life

I would imagine the salt water has an effect on your hair, what do you do to replenish its health?
Makala: Coconut oil is the best. I’ve tried other name brands but I’ve found tea tree shampoo and coconut oil are the best.
Luki: My hair is naturally very oily so the saltwater and sunshine just keep my hair from being too greasy. However that is not the case for everyone. If you have naturally dry hair surfing can really do a number on it. Your hair is like a sponge so the best way to protect it is to get your hair wet with water and conditioner before your surf so that your hair is already filled with the good stuff rather than soaking in the salt water. If that isn’t enough, do a coconut oil hair mask every once in a while. Coconut oil is the answer to a lot of problems.

What’s your favorite spot to surf?
Makala: San Onofre.
Luki: San Onofre is my favorite surf spot. The variety of waves tucked behind the beautiful California cliffs will always be my home.

What’s your favorite spot when you’re not surfing?
Makala: Three Arch Bay.
Luki: My favorite spot out of the water is either on a trail, in the garden, or on a sailboat with my family.

Does surf culture play a role in your everyday personal style?
Makala: Where I surf everyday, San Onofre is one of the biggest places for surf culture. Before riding for Seea, being a collector of vintage clothing I would always wear vintage suits. I always loved watching old surf movies and it inspired me to surf like them as well.
Luki: Surfing influences me to dress comfortably and live simply.

When you’re not wearing a wet suit, what’s your favorite thing to wear?
Makala: My Seea suits but of course!
Luki: Other than Seea suits, I love long, light dresses that tie around the waist. Anything mid to high-waisted seems to compliment my figure well.

What’s your favorite thing about the ocean?
Makala: How it’s so cleansing. It’s my happy place, so waves or not it’s always just peaceful.
Luki: My favorite thing about the ocean is how fascinating and mysterious it is. The second I dive in, instincts and curiosity flood my brain drowning any worries I may have had on my mind.

sunset surf luki okeefe makala smith garance dore
A Surf Life

sunset surf makala smith garance dore photo

sunset surf luki okeefe makala smith garance dore

sunset surf makala smith garance dore photo

What’s the scariest part of ocean?
Makala: Dirty water, pollution.
Luki: The creatures and power of the waves can be scary but that is what makes being in the ocean such a thrill!

Surfing seems like it is such an empowering sport – can you talk about what it’s like to be a part of that, especially as a woman!
Makala: It’s really one of a kind. My favorite thing is when we load up the van with all the girls and we all paddle out and people just lose it there like, “How are there so many of you???” The energy is amazing smiles all around.
Luki: Women bring a really creative, graceful yet powerful twist to the surf culture. It is always fun to break stereotypes and express our capabilities with style.

What are your must have beauty products?
Makala: Not huge on makeup so probably just my coco butter!
Luki: I pay close attention to what I put on my skin because it is so easily irritated. Here are the products that work for me: Blemish stick made with only essential oils by Dessert Essence; Avasol natural sunscreen; Any basic face moisturizer; Tarte Cosmetics for most Makeup.

Favorite thing to eat after a big surf?
Makala: A burrito for sure!
Luki: I usually crave Mexican food or a poke bowl after a surf.

If you weren’t a surfer, what would you be?
Makala: A musician. I played cello growing up but I gave it up for surfing.
Luki: If I weren’t a surfer I would give more energy towards the other things I enjoy like sailing, gardening, hiking, taking photos, and diving.

Biggest piece of advice to someone who wants to take up surfing?
Makala: I think being a good paddler is very important, having the strength to get yourself into the line up and into any size wave!
Luki: My biggest piece of advice for a new surfer is to remember to enjoy it! The person with the biggest smile impresses me more than the person on the biggest wave. Bury your ego in the sand because you are about to feel like an infant learning to walk.

A Surf Life

(Makala, left ; Luki, right)

All swimwear / wetsuits, Seea


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