Our surfing community loves the ocean just as much as we do.
With Plastic Free July starting next week, we wanted to share our interview with upcoming surf champion and ocean lover Oceanna Rogers.
Oceanna is an inspiring junior surf champion, who at the young age of 17 is already making big waves.
We hope you enjoy reading about her love of the ocean and surfing, why sustainability is so important to her and changes you can make to reduce your environmental impact this Plastic Free July.
Meet up and coming Surf Champion Oceanna
Oceanna, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi I’m Oceanna Rogers and I’m a competitive surfer. I’m 17 years old born and raised on South coast of NSW. I am the oldest of 3 siblings, and have 3 pets dog, bird and a bunny. I’m currently on my last year of school and in a couple of months I will be going to Lady Elliot for a school trip for Marine studies. I really enjoy Marine studies and learning about the marine world and how to be more sustainable.
At what age did you start surfing? What inspired you to start?
I started surfing at 5 then stopped for 3 years as I took up dancing. I’ve always had a soft spot for the ocean and one day the surf was 3ft and perfect. I forgot I had dancing that afternoon, and went surfing. I’ve never looked back since. I never thought that day would be the beginning of my surfing journey, however I have tried to get out as much I can. Growing up I never enjoyed doing many group sports and really enjoyed the independence surfing gives you. I think my name fits the category too!
How do you usually spend your days? How often do you get to surf?
On weekdays I go to school come home, eat and then surf till dusk. On the weekends, I’ll go surf in the morning, have lunch and go again in the afternoon till dark. In my lunch breaks I like to shoot little content for my social media, either go for beach walks or I may have a local market store and sell my candles. My candle business OceanLove Candles, helps me financially with cost of competition surfing and is very flexible with my surfing hours.
What is your most memorable surfing experience?
In 2017 I was surprised with first international holiday to Hawaii and I surfed the first afternoon in Waikiki. The water was warm, and it felt so like a dream. The look back at the city on the beach and with the sunset shining on Waikiki’s Diamond head. After catching the longest wave, I sat in the lagoon, thinking how about amazing this place is and a baby turtle came up to my surfboard. That was my memorable surfing experience, as was my first turtle encounter and they are one of my favourite animals.
Where is your favourite place to surf?'
Home is always great to surf, i feel at peace surfing around home and it has it natures gifts. However the famous Snapper rocks is like my second home and I love surfing the waves there. I’ve been to Hawaii twice and Fiji once and would love to those places. The surf culture, environment and waves over there are like nothing else. I love a tropical scenery and now that Im older I would like to do more exploring and capture my moments.
Tell us about your relationship with the ocean.
The ocean is place where I feel like a belong. No matter if I surf or not that day, as long as I get a sight of the ocean, i’ll be happy. It’s a whole different world when I go diving, I’m like an alien in the marine world and get to explore other creatures way of life. When I was little, we had a shell garden in our old house and I could hear the waves in the shell against my ear. I would say the mermaids are calling me and I would hop into my mermaid suit and swim in my pool. I’ve always been a beach bum and have my sun kissed freckles from endless days spent on the beach.
Tell us an interesting fact about the ocean or surfing that people may not be aware of.
About 94% of the earth’s wildlife is found in the ocean. I find this fact crazy, as we have only discovered 5% of the ocean. I can’t wait for what is yet to be discovered throughout my life.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Been cautious of our usage and recycling. Its so important to me because I’m trying to improve as much I can and learn about all the impact. Buying reusable products and not to buy single use plastics. Also purchasing from little business, or local businesses, as you’re helping local businesses, and generally it’s more ethical and sustainable. Purchases in bulk are better as less plastic consumption and locally sourced is less traveling emissions.
What are some simple changes people can make to help protect our oceans and wildlife?
Signing petitions, sharing on posts of social media is such a small way to start helping. Also to lower waste usage and be mindful of their single use purchases and to correctly dispose products. Another way to protect our marine life is by respecting ocean life and their safety, as we are the visitors in their environment. Each animal in the ocean works in the ecosystem and unfortunately if we aren’t careful the ecosystem will fall and we will be severely impacted with it.
What is your favourite Ocea design and why?
Anything with cowrie shells or pearls is my favourite design, as I see them as oceans gold/treasures. I absolutely love the Fan Shell Cowrie ring, as I feel protection in the water wearing it. What I love about Ocea Collective is all their jewellery are sterling silver with the option of gold plating, and are ocean friendly. I wear all my jewellery in the ocean and love the quality of the jewellery.
What are your dreams for the future?
In the future I want to pursue my childhood dreams of making the professional surf tour would be an absolute dream, getting to travel the world, surfing amazing places and seeing places. I want to further my knowledge of sustainability and educate people to become more sustainable themselves.