Interview with Body-Positive Surfer Elizabeth Sneed (@curvysurfergirl)

by Erika Togashi March 18, 2022 4 min read

We got the opportunity to interview Elizabeth from @curvysurfergirl, as part of our joint collaboration for SEPTEMBER's newest swimwear range.

Woman standing on the beach wearing the Jane Surf Bikini top and Alice Surf Bikini bottom in Sky Blue

As mentioned in a Forbes article, Elizabeth is 'the movement making waves for plus-size athletes'. We teamed up with Elizabeth, a change-maker in the surfing industry, to design a range of swimwear that includes sizes up to 2XL. 

Being an independent woman-owned and small-batch production brand, up until now we did not have the resources to expand our sizing offering. However, we are so excited to be able to break down the barrier to size-inclusive swimwear and offer more sizes. 

Two women walking down path carrying long board surf boards

We are particularly excited about this collaboration as it gives SEPTEMBER the opportunity to explore unknown territory. Being an independent woman-owned and small-batch production brand, up until now we did not have the resources to expand our sizing offering. However, we now get to start breaking down our barrier to size-inclusive swimwear and offer sizes for more beautiful female figures.

We set up an interview with Elizabeth to scratch below the surface and get to know the inspiring woman behind the popular @curvysurfergirl Instagram account. 

Tell us a bit about your surfing journey: how you got into it and what you love about surfing? 

I took my first surf lesson in October of 2012 on a trip to Hawaii. Ever since I caught my first wave I was totally addicted! I felt so at home in Hawaii, and in 2017 I permanently relocated to Oahu where I began taking lessons with my surf school Ohana Surf Project. I had numerous insecurities, especially around my weight and learning so much later in life than the typical surfer. However, my surf instructor Chelsea constantly inspired and motivated me to continue through the many challenges and victories I experienced. Thanks to her and the surf instructors at OSP I continue to develop into the surfer everyone knows today.  

What was your inspiration behind starting the IG account @curvysurfergirl

I began the process of following the growing body positive movement in 2018 along with other numerous social media influencers online. I somehow thought surfing and athletic spaces were exempt from the body-positive movement because I had never really found or seen influencers in athletic spaces. Surf media has been dominated by incredible athletes with perfect bodies for so long, that my primary focus was on trying to be more like them by losing weight and being a better surfer. However, after the loss of my job in 2020 to the pandemic, I spent more time in the body-positive social media space, and eventually one day after surfing I saw a photo of Kanoa Green with her surfboard. At that moment it dawned on me - why wasn't surfing part of the body-positive movement? Rather than waiting for someone else to come along and invent it, I decided to start building the community I'd always hoped to find myself and that was the beginning of the Curvy Surfer Girl movement almost two years ago this summer! 

Woman pushing up on a surfboard wearing the Jane surf bikini top in Army Green

How did you come to know about SEPTEMBER?

I learned about SEPTEMBER by scrolling through social media and following some of my favorite surfer girls who were wearing and modeling their super cute swimsuits! I loved the designs, elegance, and sustainability of the brand and became an instant follower and fan.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day usually involves spending time out in the ocean whether surfing, swimming, diving, or boating. I also enjoy the process of posting and creating content while connecting with the online Curvy Surfer Girl community in the comments section and direct messages. I spend the remainder of the day with my Great Dane rescue, Koa, and catch up with friends over the phone, complete household chores and respond to media requests. 

What do you, alongside other women within your community represent in the world of surf today?

We represent the modernization of surfing through inclusion and diversity. Surfing in the last 50+ years has portrayed such a narrow perspective of women selling swimsuits or the thrill of elite athleticism. However, there are thousands of women around the world of all shapes, sizes, ages, and skills who practice surfing with little to no representation. Our community is creating and celebrating the many aspects of surfing that have long been overlooked by traditional media. This new representation is welcoming even more women into the tradition of surfing while celebrating exactly who we are in the present moment.

Two women walking down the beach holding hands wearing the Ami One Piece Surf Swimsuit

Why do you believe creating this change in the surfing community is so important? 

This change is so important because all women deserve to feel celebrated, welcomed, and excited to participate in the activities they love like surfing. This change is eliminating not only the stigma and shame associated with body image, ageism, and ability but also tangible barriers to entry like size-inclusive swimwear and wetsuits needed to participate in the sport. 

What message do you aim to share with women all over the world? 

The message is simple, surfing is for everybody! It's time to celebrate the amazing body you are in and experience the joy of riding waves! 

Read more about Elizabeth through her website, and other relevant articles like, The Inertia. Give @curvysurfergirl a follow for some inspiring, encouraging and all-inclusive content! 


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