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Q and A with Surfer Anastasia Ashley


From athlete Michelle Jenneke to Miley Cyrus, everyone's getting in on the twerking trend, Airwalk surfer Anastasia Ashley included. The 26-year-old surfer was caught on tape shaking her butt while she warmed up before the SuperGirl pro tournament in California at the beginning of August. (Check out the video below.)

We caught up with Ashley to talk twerking, motivational music, and being a woman in surfing.

SHAPE: Do you remember which song you were twerking to in that now-famous video of you on the beach?
Anastasia Ashley (AA): I don't remember specifically. I listen to a combination of hip-hop and electronic dance music before my heat, and I do that when I work out as well. I need music to get in the zone and warm up. 

SHAPE: So if we looked on your iPod, what would we find on your workout playlist?
AA: My favorite songs at the moment include anything by Kanye, Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, and M83. I'm loving "Holy Grail" by Jay Z.

SHAPE: Do you have any special pre-competition rituals or warm-up routines?
AA: Usually before an event, I try to relax and have a super mellow day. Just before my heats, I go down to the beach and try to get in the zone. I have to block everyone out and not talk to them. It's important to me because I've been doing that for so long that I feel like it's part of my routine and that's what helps me do well.

SHAPE: You've been surfing since you were five. What's your favorite part about the sport?
AA: One of my favorite parts of the sport is that it's an individual sport, and you can do it on your own time. I feel so relaxed and happy when I'm in the water. It's probably one of the best feelings I've ever had.

SHAPE: What's your diet look like?
AA: I try to eat mostly whole foods that aren't overly processed. I drink fresh juices and eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains daily. I also like to drink Bikini Ready Nutrition Shakes when I'm on the go.

SHAPE: What's the one unhealthy indulgence you won't give up?
AA: Probably anything sweet like cookies or brownies! I have such a sweet tooth.

SHAPE: What's it like being a woman in the pro surfing world? Do you feel you're treated differently than men?
AA: I definitely think girls are subjected to more criticism because, for the most part, we're in our bathing suits a lot. I think men and guys are subjected to the same thing, but not as much. I have to work really hard to be respected for my surfing skills, especially in the world of big-wave surfing. It's definitely still a "boys' club."

SHAPE: What kind of advice would you give to young girls who want to enter the world of surfing or who want to become an athlete?
AA: I think sports are amazing for women. There's nothing cooler than being a strong female athlete. Surfing or any type of athletics is a great, safe way for you stay in shape and have fun. Don't be discouraged if you don't get it right away. Just keep trying!




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