Hey sister tell us a little bit about yourself;
My name is Marissa Miller and I’m 19 years old.
I was born and raised on the south shore of the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i. It’s warm and beautiful year-round there and I was very fortunate to have grown up in such nice waves and weather. Hawai’i will always be home because that’s where I have such a strong connection to the water and to the land, and I have such a strong admiration for the the people, the stories, and the culture there. I’ve recently moved to the central coast of California to attend college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The water is much colder here and it is very different from home but I love it so far and it’s beautiful here too!
-My dad first tossed me on a surfboard when I was probably only around 2 years old, but I think I first started surfing on my own board when I was around 6. My dad was definitely my biggest inspiration and influence in learning to surf and really getting into it. I’m very grateful to have had him bring surfing into my life. He still charges harder than me.
I like to surf all over the island when I’m at home. I grew up longboarding and I love surfing glassy knee-high left-hand reef breaks because that’s what my home break is like. I also have been getting into surfing some slightly bigger waves though and have recently picked up short boarding and riding fishes. Sandbars are really fun to surf too because it’s not as scary to just go for any waves and not worry about hitting the reef ha,ha!
It’s actually a super interesting chain of events that led me to getting involved with Sisstrevolution. I’ve been working for Jake Mizuno at his surf shops on O’ahu for several years now, and I’ve been working at the new Stokehouse stores that sell Vissla, D’blanc, Amuse Society, and now Sisstrevolution. When we heard that Sisstr was coming out, I got really excited because it is exactly the kind of brand I’ve been looking for and I also met Paul when he came into Stokehouse while I was working. Earlier that year, I had attended the Global Wave Conference about sustainability and the oceans in Santa Cruz with Surfrider Foundation and Save the Waves Coalition, and I met Cliff Kapono, who surfs on Vissla’s team. Apparently Cliff recommended my name to the Sisstr girls, and they reached out to me. Eventually everything came together and I’ve been building a relationship with Sisstrevolution since then!
Right now I’m pursuing a B.S. degree in Environmental Management and Protection at Cal Poly with a minor in Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources and the Environment. I’ve been loving the program so far because it’s so interdisciplinary and everything I’m learning is so relevant to my interests. The program focuses on giving us a solid base in the natural sciences while also teaching about global environmental issues in terms of social justice, economics, and ecological sustainability. We also learn about policy and possible solutions to these issues. I feel like I’m gaining a lot of perspective through my studies. I added the indigenous studies minor because I feel that indigenous perspectives are so important when it comes to environmental issues because indigenous peoples often are at the forefront of environmental impacts and injustices. I also admire how intimate their relationship is to the land and the ocean.
On campus, I’m also president of our Surfrider Foundation student club and I have a job under the sustainability department as a Green Campus student intern. My studies enhance everything that I’m already learning about through my extracurricular experiences or in my personal life outside of school, and my volunteer work/involvement in clubs/work experience in turn enhances my studies, so everything that I’m doing builds off of itself and contributes to my learning experience as a whole which is really cool.
-Environmental issues are definitely something that concerns me. Climate change and impacts on our oceans are some of the biggest challenges we face as a species. I hope that I can make a big impact in addressing these issues both locally and globally. My biggest aspiration is to inspire others to make an impact and contribute in any way they can as well.
My summer wardrobe usually consists of just a few of my favourite bikinis, a few of my favourite t-shirts, a pair of jean shorts, and a pair of boardshorts. Occasionally I’ll throw in a sundress or overalls as a coverup over my bikini. I’d say I’m pretty minimalist with my wardrobe, I stick to just a few of the basics or essentials.
On my dream weekend, I’d definitely be up as early as possible to squeeze in an early surf session with a few friends because I love golden hour sunrises. I’d eat lots of good fresh local food, surf as much as possible, go for a hike, swim with some dolphins or sharks or whales, watch the sunset and read a good book, watch a surf film at night before bed, wake up and repeat!