Welcome to the 15th episode of the third series of our podcast.
Thank you so much for following us, in just a little more than one year, we were able to reach more than 23.000 listeners! It is amazing achievement (at least for us 🙂 ) and we are very thankful of all the support we receive from all of you!
Today with us, from Hawaii, professional surfer Nique Miller.
We discussed with her about surf, surfboards, her desire of being World Champion and much more!
As always, you can follow us on all major podcast platforms (Spotify, ITunes, YouTube, Amazon) or read the interview here below!
TTOS: Aloha Nique, welcome to the show, where are you today?
Thank you so much for having me, I’m so grateful. Today I’m at home. I live in Honolulu, Hawaii Waikiki, and it’s paradise here, waves were so fun this morning. I had a really great surf session and now I’m talking to you for your audience.
TTOS: What is the most important thing in surfing?
I think there are a couple of very important things: one is definitely to have fun, I think sometimes, especially now with social media and all this stuff, people get kind of ashamed or get frustrated that maybe they’re not catching on as fast as other people or, you know, they don’t have amazing surf pictures or they’re not doing what the pros are doing because you know, social media nowadays, it only shows a small part of people’s lives and usually the best parts. I feel like sometimes beginner surfers or other surfers just get frustrated because they don’t see themselves doing what other people are showing… same for me what I show on my platform, I don’t show as many of my wipe outs as I do my good waves. I think what’s most important is to always have fun while you’re out there.
Don’t compare yourself to other people, it’s your journey, everyone’s journey in life and surfing is no different. Some people excel faster than others, but as long as you’re having fun and as long as you’re safe and you’re getting to whatever level you want to be at, that’s, what’s important.
Another thing that I think is equally as important in surfing that I talk about a lot on my platform is inclusion. Now it is changing, but, especially in the past, a lot of minorities didn’t see themselves reflected in surfing, so they didn’t think they could do it…..they didn’t see black girls or they didn’t see Asian girls, they didn’t see plus size women, they didn’t see older ladies surfing and you know, the media and a lot of the surf brands only targeted a certain demographic of people and usually girls with perfect bodies. Growing up I never really saw dark skin girls, you know for major surf brands or all this stuff, I think it’s very important now for anyone listening to know that surfing is for everybody, it started from Polynesians and Hawaiians who are dark-skinned people and I hope, maybe if a brand is listening that there should be more representation and inclusion in surfing because surfing is for everybody and everybody should be represented.
TTOS: Yeah, definitely, yesterday I was on the phone with the Ishita Malaviya one of the first Indian surfer and she told me that when she started, most probably there were like 20 people surfing in all India and India is huge. It is not always easy for a woman to surf over there, thre are a lot of cultural barriers, as you said, I believe inclusion, it’s definitely very important.
It’s super important, especially for the younger generations to see that. I think things are slowly changing, that’s what I try to have my platform show, you can be a small black boy or girl and you don’t have to be a basketball player, if you want to do surfing, if you want to do hockey, if you want to do sports that normally dark skin people don’t do, you can do it! you just follow your dreams!
TTOS: What do you think is next to achieve in women surfing?
I’m not sure if it was last year or the year before, but when they started having equal pay for females, I think that was very important because we all have to travel the same distance to that contest, we all are surfing the same waves, that was a little bit unfair….why did the guys get paid more money? it’s very expensive to compete on the world tour, if you don’t have sponsors, it’s almost impossible. To go there and only getting half the amount of money, if you win, it was really sad.
I think that the same thing applies in surf media, the Federation, the WSL, they could showcase more women surfers. I think that would help a lot broadcast more women surfing, I know lots of times, the guys surfing is kind of the main focus when they show it on TV…. hopefully that can change, I think that would help a lot.
TTOS: I agree with you, if people, other women, would see more and more women surfing, then they might be tempted to try. If we have more women surfing, we have more attention and then there is a kind of domino effect ….. I totally agree with you!
Let’s come back to you and let’s go back to the time of your first surf board….do you still have it?
No, I do not have my first surfboard. I believe my first surfboard, it was 7/5 feet, five inches, it was kind of in between a short board and a long board, because at that time I was still learning, but I wanted to be able to catch waves faster than being on a short board, but I still wanted it to be in that moment. Surfing was all about being very high progressive and doing big turns and hitting the lip.
I feel like now, especially for females, longboarding has gotten so popular and just to be so great, it was popular before, but I feel like the last two or three years it’s super popular, but before I feel like the focus was on girls, short boarders, but trying to learn on a short word and just trying to catch compete with other surfers is hard, especially if you’re a beginner and not that good.
I don’t even know who shaped my first surfboard, I just went to a store and bought it, the guy,a guide, recommended it and I bought it.I’ve kind of learned on it, I had fun, I wish I still had it, that’d be a nice little like thing to maybe pass down to my kids or something in the future.
TTOS: You are leaving in Hawaii, a beautiful place, a destination that is magical for all the surfers…What is your favorite place over there? Surfing speaking?
It has to be Waikiki, I know many people don’t like it because it’s so crowded and a lot’s going on, but I really love it to me. Surfing in Waikiki is for me, where I really progressed and really got good at surfing and when I really started to learn more of the history of surfing with the beach boy culture and with Duke Kahanamoku and meeting his family, the generations after him, his great nieces and cousins and all that stuff. I love the vibe in Waikiki….
You get to see all the hotels and buildings and then you have the iconic diamond head and the water is usually pretty like crystal clear and the waves are pretty, they can be sometimes advanced, but they’re a little bit more intermediate. Usually everybody can have fun, beginners and very like world champions. it’s really cool to see everybody, you can see little kids surfing all the way up to aunties and uncles who are in their seventies, it’s just so diverse in Waikiki, which again, I really like, because it’s nice to see so many different, you know, black, Asian, Hawaiian, white, all like all the, everybody, all the ethnicities surfing.
The water’s really warm and it’s tropical and I really love Waikiki and the whole community, all my friends and my family, they’re always there for me, always cheering me on and contests, and I just love everything about Waikiki, that’s my always my favorite place. I love going to other places, but whenever I’m in a different place for a while, I always want to go back home to Waikiki, my favorite place to surf.
TTOS: Who is a surfer that truly inspires you?
I always referenced Duke Kahanamoku because he brought surfing to so many places in the world, like modern day surfing. He was so good, a really good swimmer, he won Olympic gold medals.
He was a dark Hawaiian man and he had so much Aloha, just a really nice person and generous things he would always do. I also really like as a surfer, Hawaiian longboard surfer that won two world championships, Bonga Perkins. He’s so powerful, but he can still be very graceful, I met him and same thing of Duke, he’s so nice and so humble, if you didn’t know anything about surfing, you wouldn’t know he’s a world champion, you know, he’s not one of those people that says “oh, look at me, I’m so good”, he’s very nice, very kind.
Another person, I really like is Crystal Walsh, she almost won the world title, I believe in 2017. She came in second, but same thing, she has beautiful style, when I was first really getting into surfing, I would watch her videos a lot. I love her style and whenever I see her in the water, she’s always just surly, smiley, and happy and having a good time.
TTOS: You are working on so many projects, what is the next one?
Well, my big dream is to be a world champion. I want to one day be able to hold up the world title, trophy, and accomplish my dreams and also show people that, you know, like I said, you can be poor, but work your way up and you can be dark skin with crazy hair and you don’t have to have a perfect body.I want to show people that “you can do it”. That’s right now, that’s what I’m kind of working on. I’m trying every day, I’m trying to get better at surfing, until I win a world title, I’m not good, until then every day I will be working really hard.
Other than that, I’m trying to get more sponsors because like I said, trying to do all these contests is not cheap, especially when you fly from out of Hawaii, cause we’re going to fly across the ocean….it already makes the plane ticket more expensive. Getting more sponsors will help. I’m so happy last year, Billabong picked me up and sponsor me and Sun Bum sunscreens sponsor me. My next big goal, I would love to get like a car sponsorship so that I don’t have a car now, but if I had a car, it would be even better because I could drive to more places to surf….
TTOS: Let’s hope a car manufacturer listen to the show and helps you!
We’re going to finish our interview with a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes up to your mind.
The best surfboard that you have ever ridden
I just got recently it’s Ross Williams, I’m so happy with it!
TTOS: Your favorite shaper, then it will be also Williams as well.
Yeah, it would have to be him, he has to be one of the first shapers I ever had, but also Jay Richardson. He shapes out of Makaha, Hawaii, the west side. I definitely owe him a lot. I got from him my very first custom surfboard and I was really able to progress having a board that was made for me, he’s one of my favorite shapers and a very nice guy.
TTOS: Personal question, your favorite song.
Oh gosh, what’s my favorite song? I’m so bad, don’t know many songs names ……
I love all music. I really love spanish music. I remember my grandma would play a lot of like mariachi type songs when I was growing up… whenever I hear that, it just kind of brings me back to when I was younger. So kind of anything, Spanish music, it just makes me remember when I was little.
TTOS: What is your favorite surf spot?
TTOS: Your favorite woman surfer
Like I said before, Crystal Walsh, she is my favorite surfer woman, woman surfer.
TTOS: The last question is little bit unusual; we want to know your best relationship advice….
To be patient you know, to be patient and to listen, cause sometimes, you know, you have one point of view and you think you’re right and you have to be patient and listen to what the other person is saying. Everybody thinks differently, you know, everyone has grown up, had different situations in life to shape them to who they are now. Everyone looks at conflicts or looks at different things differently, if you have a fight or a disagreement, it’s just my best advice is to be patient and listen to what the other one’s saying. I think that would help out a lot of people because sometimes even me, I can be very stubborn and I’m like, “no, my way is right”, but the best thing is that you want to work together to find the solution.