Editor’s Note: This episode of CREATORS is presented by our partners at RAEN.
Kassia Meador scans a very flat horizon south of the Venice Pier on a summer morning. A few knee-high waves dribble in, and she’s got a big smile on her face.
“LA surf check. It’s about hope, really,” says Meador. “Having a lot of hope. And imagination!”
After a quick consultation in the parking lot, she decides to drive a few miles north to Bay Street in Santa Monica. Kassia feels confident our chances are a little better there.
We pull up and paddle out. Sure enough, it’s slightly better. In fact, despite the junky wind, the water is pretty warm, and we trade wave after wave for a solid hour and a half. On the surface, the waves aren’t very good. So there’s no competition. Just the Santa Monica Pier in the background and the pulse of rollerskaters in the foreground. But what the surf may have lacked in quality, it more than made up with in volume and vibes. It was like a staycation holiday.
And that’s Kassia in a nutshell. The longtime RAEN ambassador and iconic longboarder brings a smile, a knack for optimistic problem-solving, and an open mind to whatever she’s doing. With that approach, things tend to work out. Such has been the case with her collaborations with RAEN.
“It’s been a fun journey, and it’s been cool to see them grow as a company,” says Meador. “You see people that believe in something, and they’re making it, and they’re collaborating with people that they’re inspired by and pushing them to grow, so it’s been fun to be part of since day one…and to continue to be a part of.”
She’s applied the same mindset in her journey building Kassia+Surf, a surf company she feels reflects her values and fills a void that was missing when she came up in the surf community.
“Kassia+Surf is a brand that I started when I left the professional surfing world,” says Meador. “I had been in the industry for about 13 years at that point. I was in my early thirties at that point, and I was like, ‘Man, I want to do something really different. I want to create something not for the child I was, but for the woman that I was turning into and also my peers and my community. I felt like there was a lack in the surf world for really supporting women that were interested in conscious products made by women for women.”
After our surf, Kassia marveled at a few of the nifty DIY upgrades she’d made to ensure her cargo van pairs perfectly with her life as a surfer/entrepreneur. Then she picked up a flute she says she keeps in the van at all times; without hesitation, she performed a crushing flute solo. Parking lot passersby smiled.
“The key to happiness I think is doing the things you love and keeping true to that and just being radically out there,” says Meador. “Just allowing yourself to go through it all. To put things out there if you’re inspired or empowered by them and to see where it takes you.”