Kaley. What’s up lady?
Heyyy. Hang on, let me put my phone away. I hate when phones are out.
Awesome. Also, you look great.
Haha. So, Lady Days. I’ve brainstormed this concept with you in particular a lot before, but as a refresher, I want to pull together women that I think embody really beautiful things who also happen to ride boards. I want to ask them questions about being a strong person. I also didn’t prepare, so I’m going to shoot from the hip.
That is the best way. And thank you for thinking of me.
Of course, you’re one of the first people I thought of. Now, tell me about surfing and how you got into it and why you like to surf and all the things.
Growing up, my brother was really into surfing and he’s kind of the reason I got into it. I grew up as a tomboy, which I’m sure is a big surprise (laughs). He would always go to the beach and my mom didn’t want one of us to stay home, so I would go too. He would surf and I actually didn’t get into it much until my middle school friend started doing it too.
I would never say I was good at it- I don’t know why I kept doing it really.
Surfing is one of those things that’s like, no matter how athletic you are, it’s HARD.
Then I started shaping at Shaper Studios because my brother had gotten me shaping lessons for Christmas. I think that’s when things really started to change because I had this board that I had created. I began to have more of a connection and there was more of a reason for me to do it because this was something I had created with my own hands. Plus, you meet great people surfing. I mean, I met you through surfing. Everybody is like-minded.
What kind of board did you shape?
I shaped a 9’2” log. We called it the weird mermaid. I still have it. My friend painted a bigass mermaid on the bottom of it and it’s super rad. Then there’s a bunch of drawings on rice paper on the top that all my friend did. So it’s kind of a compilation of all my friends art, which makes it even more special to me.
What do you get from surfing? Besides 7 a.m. Wednesday morning dates and bone chilling cold?
Haha. I think a lot of my life – all my hobbies, really – are shaped around being outside and appreciating things bigger than myself. I think that that’s what surfing is. There’s a certain fear factor affiliated with every surf session for me – it doesn’t matter how small or big it is – there’s always an unknown to surfing and I like that unknown. I think it scares people away sometimes but for some people that’s what draws them to it. I’m one of those people that’s drawn to it.
Some people surf purely for the athletic aspect – but I think most people gain something more from it. Maybe some sort of meditation or gratitude for the natural world or just something bigger, whatever it may be.
That’s a special answer. Most people say they just like to “be one with nature.”
That too. Haha.
For someone who’s just started, what does Kaley Aposporos tell them?
Look… you’ve got to commit.
You and I have played a lot of sports in our lives and there’s a lot of things that come naturally. Surfing is not that. It is subject to so many different variables; there’s weather, wind, swell, tides and every single wave at every single break is different. It’s just a whole different kind of athleticism and this weird system of balance that you don’t find anywhere else in your life. You gotta keep going despite how unnatural and complex it feels.
I also think it’s really hard to teach people to surf. It’s more of a self-taught kind of thing. You can learn tips from other people but just remember that everyone starts out sucking.
Lastly – GET ON A LOG. Do not try to start on a six-foot short board like me. It’s fucking stupid and no one told me how ignorant I was! Anyways, you’ll suck for a long time and then one day you’ll catch white wash and be able to stand up for four seconds and you’ll be stoked.
Aside from surfing, what do you think makes a strong woman and a strong person?
I guess I’ll frame that from what I admire in the strong women that I know in my life. First and foremost, they’re always selfless but not in that they sacrifice essential parts of their being. They’re just so generous and gracious. They’re humble. You don’t even know they’re as badass as they are until you have to pull this story and this magic out of them. For me, a lot of it has to go with selflessness. Maybe that’s inherent or maybe it’s something they learn over time. I don’t know.
To contrast, I also think being selfish in their desires is a trait of a strong person. It sounds so dumb to say those things one right after the other but I believe they can coexist and I think it’s a misnomer to say that they can’t. It’s important to be selfish. We just talked about this. You have to do what you want in life and at some point, you have to let go of what others want you to do and chase what you’re after because if you don’t, you’ll regret it.
So be selfless in that you are humble and gracious and giving. But be selfish in that you won’t compromise who you are and what you want to do.
So, what would you like to see more girls be doing, if that’s at all different from the last answer?
Hmm. I don’t think many women empower themselves. I think the women I surround myself with do empower themselves, which is why I try to keep them close. But I was just having this conversation with my friend this morning and we were talking about how we surround ourselves with people we think of as almost better than us, or people striving to do more. Not in a competitive sense, but in a, “Wow, you’re doing something incredible and that shows me that I can do something incredible, too” sense.
I would love to see women empowering other women in that regard. This whole thing with breastfeeding in public – the fact that the people most against it are other women is baffling to me. I just don’t understand that. We should have the most compassion and empathy for those women. Rather than us bashing each other, let’s empower each other. It’s so simple!
I guess that would be my answer. Come together. It sounds so obvious, but I don’t think that we’re there yet.
On some levels, in our friendships – yours and mine and the other beautiful people we surround ourselves with – we are. But on a global, worldly scale, I wouldn’t say that we’re there yet.
That’s kind of what I hope to do with this. I want someone to see this and read it, say maybe a girl in Australia who sees your interview and thinks, “Oh shit, there’s someone who lives in the United States who’s not a professional surfer but enjoys surfing and it brings her a lot of clarity and this is what she thinks about women being united globally and if she can go out and surf then I can go out and surf. And I might be ordinary and feel like I’m ordinary and I may not have any friends or found the people I click with yet but I’m not alone.”
Yes. Absolutely. And building on that, I hope she takes that step to put herself out there; be it reaching out to somebody because of Lady Days, or just paddling out. I think that there’s so much that can be gained from what you’re doing. You’re going to connect people all over the world.
Thank you. That’s how I feel about what you’re doing with Clockwork Positive. That’s probably why we like each other so much. We’re probably just going to have a ‘Clockwork Positive Lady Days Optimism Mash Up Feature’ soon.
YES! There’s so many like-minded people that need an excuse to come together, and surfing or skateboarding or snowboarding can be that initial draw. From my experience, these people are driven by passions and hobbies and have shaped their lives around adventure and experiences rather than monetary gain. For me, surfing brings together those types of people because these people put themselves out there. It’s almost not even about surfing. It’s almost more about coexisting and having fun, together; a bunch of people who are like-minded on a much bigger scale than surfing. Surfing was just the one element that started it all.
I love you. Any last comments?
I think what you’re doing is killin’ it. I’m excited about this, I really am. I think you’re going to do great things. Are we kindred spirits?
I think we probably are.
Follow along with Kaley at clockworkpositive.com.