According to the WSL, there are zero professional surfers on the World Tour with a college degree – or who have attended college at all. Whether it’s characters like Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High or a hangover from surfing’s degenerate roots, surfing and education aren’t exactly peanut butter and jelly. But times might be changing…if only one pro surfer at a time.
“I’ve had to gain respect from my professors,” says Fores. “They’d say, ‘Oh you’re just a surfer girl.’ No, I’m a smart surfer girl.”
The 22-year-old Kauai native and recent Point Loma Nazarene graduate says she will miss her Rhetorical Theories and Sustainability courses, but like many graduates from the class of 2017, she’s excited about life post-graduation.
Fores plans to continue to surf professionally and explore new career opportunities as they present themselves. With a bright future and a crisp degree in tow, she’s hoping she can influence surfing for the better.
“Surf culture has evolved so much,” says Kiana. “We’re directly dealing with Mother Nature all the time, so I think it’s really important for surfers to be advocates for the ocean. I’d like to see that be a shift in the surf culture.”
Congrats to Kiana and the whole Class of 2017. The world’s your oyster.Editor’s Note: This feature is proudly brought to you by our friends at Sanuk.
Video shot by Alex Smolowe, Jackson Van Kirk, and Casey Acaster. Edited by Alex Smolowe.