Chrissana Wilmot

Location: San Juan, Trinidad, West Indies

Years Surfing: l started surfing about 9 years ago but only really started consistently about 4/5 years ago

Fave Board: I LOVE longboards!!!

Instagram: @sandycurlz

Why do you surf? I surf because it just feels so damn good! Because salt water is good for my soul. I wish I had a more profound answer to that question but the truth is, I don't why I surf. It's like asking why are we attracted to something or someone and we don't know just are and it is what it is. What I do know is that I'll continue to surf for as long as I can because it's literally changed my life! I've forged the most genuine and lifelong relationships because of this sport. I've had experiences of a lifetime presented to me through surfing and I know there're many more as long as I continue to ride that wave (cheesy pun intended :P).

Chrissana on a small wave bending low and grinning ear to ear.

Who got you started surfing? I wish I could pinpoint the starting point of my love affair with surfing. Growing up the Caribbean and being the product of not one, but two islands (Trinidad & Barbados) my inclination and fascination with all things water/ocean has been a part of me long before I even knew myself! But I have to give credit to my dad for always fueling that love by taking my sister and I to the beach practically every weekend to body board. I became hooked but of course I needed to evolve and surfing, in my mind, was a natural progression. Sadly, surfing is an expensive sport and my parents didn’t have a clue of where to start let alone afford it. In the meantime I stuck to sponging and made ESPN clips of surfing on the television suffice for a few years until I could afford to support this beautifully expensive yet addictive habit. 🙂

What is your philosophy on surfing? People say that time heals all but I think the Ocean does it faster and better! In my opinion, there’s no place more magical than the Ocean! Being underwater, the ability to co-exist with other perfectly designed creations of God in an environment that’s not naturally ours, to be in a space that’s so visually stimulating while synonymously offering a level of clarity and peace… THAT can’t be bought in a bottle!

Chrissana floating on her back in the deep blue ocean

What is your favorite ocean-friendly lifestyle switch? There are a couple of changes I've made over the years as the opportunities to do so present themselves. Carrying my own reusable bottles to purchase my cleaning products in bulk is probably the most significant to me. Sadly, the Caribbean is still behind when it comes to opportunities for plastic free shopping so any chance I'm offered to bring my own bags or containers, I'll take it!

From our marketplace products, what product switch would you like to try? Those string beach bags are quite cute!!

What are ways we as the surf community can collectively protect our oceans? I'm sure a lot of surfers already do these things but these actions immediately come to mind: Installing water filters at home so we can eliminate the need for disposable bottled water and encourage the use of reusable bottles. Also, if you know you're going to order in or carry your take out home, how about declining the plastic straws and cutlery? You really don't need another plastic cutlery set wrapped in even more plastic to add to your growing collection in your kitchen drawer (we all have one of those). I know community beach clean-ups are bandaids to the bigger problem at hand but they do help as well. Lastly, support your local/national environmental legislation! Especially the ones that target the protection of the aquatic environment as that is a surfer's playground. And if there isn't one, lobby for it!

Chrissana sharing a wave with a young girl on the front of her board. Both of their hands are out in unison.