“Follow your heart and dare!” The DVF Loves Roxy Spring 2013 line’s motto perfectly describes the collaboration’s bold prints and playful silhouettes. In celebration of this laid-back but confident surfer sprit, Roxy pros Kelia Moniz and Monyca Byrne-Wickey flaunted the new bikinis for the camera after lending a hand in the design process. We sat down with the two gals to hear about their recent epic ride. Read on to learn about Kelia and Monyca's swimsuit requirements, bikini-friendly diet and why fitness is not just a passion, but their lifestyle.
How did you two get into surfing?
KM: My dad was a professional surfer, so it was in the family. We were raised going to the beach—pretty much on the beach. My mom homeschooled us so surfing was a big part of my life. Every day after school (and during school!) we’d go to the beach and surf. And I have four brothers—it was something we did for fun. Being in Hawaii, there’s not much to do so the beach is pretty much our playground.
MBW: I grew up in a really small town—like literally two general stores, one gas station. There’s not a ton of stuff to do and so the beach is kind of like our playground. That’s where everybody goes after school to have fun. My family didn’t really surf. My sister surfed a bit, but I mostly learned from my two best friends growing up...they’re all boys and boys usually pick up surfing a lot easier than girls do so I always was trying to be as good as them and keep up. They’d really push me.
What do you look for when searching for the perfect suit?
MBW: Comfort is very important, especially in the water because you need something that’s tight to stay on, but at the same time you don’t want it digging into your neck or imprinting on your sides. You want it to stay on so a cross-back top is always really good. Something that’s not adjustable here [points to rib cage] so you’re not flying open. As far as bottoms go, I prefer regular—no ties or anything like that—because a lot of times you’re standing up on your board and you could get them caught on your hand...I want something that’s functional, comfortable and also looks cute on the beach. So if you’re going to the beach, the waves aren’t looking good and you decide you’re not going out, you’re still going to be really cute. And just as cute as all the other girls who aren’t surfing. I also prefer a smaller bottom just because I think it’s more flattering and you don’t get as crazy tan lines.
Do you draw your color/pattern inspiration from Hawaii or other places you visit during competition?
MBW: Sort of. I feel like there are some places we go that there’s definitely more of a style that we don’t see at home in Hawaii. In Australia, all the girls wear structured tops, like mostly bra tops and florescent colors. I do like a bra top, but I feel like for surfing, if you’re going to be out there for hours it can get really uncomfortable. It’s super cute; I still love it. I prefer pastels, florals and solids mostly. All the girls we travel with and all the girls on our team completely enjoy a different thing and the great thing is we’re all with Roxy and they have such a wide array of all that—there’s a print for everybody, there’s a style for everybody and there’s a color for everybody.
KM: [Monyca] loves, just like she said, a cross-back and I love triangle adjustable tops. I love tie sides.
MBW: And we’re super different surfers. I ride a short board and she rides a long board so she could even get away with wearing a bandeau because it’s not as rough.
KM: I’m above the water most of the time and I’m not duck diving where my top’s going to come off so I wear bandeaus all the time, especially to stay away from tan lines.
You both exude a fun, laid-back confidence. How can we get the same surfer look this summer?
MBW: To have that and show that, you really need to feel it. You really need to be confident at the beach. Everybody’s different, you just have to love your body, be comfortable with it going in there. Just don’t try too hard. Being at the beach is about being carefree and natural and beautiful and that’s what our lifestyle is. We’re not going to get all dolled up and put on jewelry. We’re going to go surfing, we’re going to have fun and we’re going to hangout and be natural and beautiful in our own way.
KM: It’s really about enjoying your surroundings and being with your friends. It’s the beauty of being outdoors and being in the ocean.
MBW: Everyone looks better in that natural sunlight anyway.
Speaking of confidence—you’re both constantly sporting bikinis for work and pleasure, showing off some seriously amazing abs. How do you stay so fit outside of the water?
MBW: Anyone who surfs or has surfed knows how much of a workout it is so that’s absolutely our number one, but I do mix in a little bit of other stuff—not a lot, to be completely honest. At home, I go to yoga classes like three days a week, but when I’m on the road it’s really hard to fit anything in…it’s all about when I’m home. I have more free time to run around, like I take my dog on walks and little runs.
Let’s talk bikini-friendly food. What do you two eat to compete?
KM: I love to eat. When I do have the thought in my mind, “Summer’s coming around, I’m going to be in a bikini a lot…we’re going to be shooting bikinis,” I keep a healthy diet. A lot of leafy greens and for me right now, I’m trying to stay away from fried foods and carbs and that kind of stuff.
MBW: I think we’re lucky enough to be able to surf a lot and there are foods we need that most people would stay away from. But we are going to work them off in the water or running around on the beach. I need carbs in the morning. I need eggs and toast and the whole thing to get me going for the day. But I do always keep it in a healthy way, like I don’t use bad oils. I cook everything with coconut oil or olive oil, and I don’t do the extra stuff like bacon everyday; it’s a treat…I think what helps me the most as far as eating goes is I don’t eat out very often. I try to always cook myself because it’s always going to be healthier like that. When you’re ordering at a restaurant, their goal is to make it taste good so they’re going to add that extra butter, that extra whatever. And cooking at home, you know what’s going into your food.
Does your Hawaiian home help make eating fresh produce all the easier?
MBW: Absolutely. At home, we eat so much raw fish, and everything is really fresh. Our water is clean. At home, I have kind of a big property so we have tons of other stuff—lots of fruit trees and a garden. There’s a community garden that we have that grows every kind of veggie, too, and you can go there and work for the day on Sundays and Wednesdays and take as much vegetables as you want because it’s a community thing. So a lot of the stuff that we eat is local. When I’m home, it’s all locally grown, even the meats.
Any tips for novice or newbie surfers interested in catching their first wave?
KM: Don’t think you can just teach yourself how to surf. It’s always important to get a lesson. You’ll watch a professional surfer and be like, “Oh my gosh!” It looks easy, but there are so many little things that even most professional surfers wouldn’t know how to teach a beginner. They’d be like, “OK, here’s your surf board, I’ll push you on a wave and then stand up.” It’s really important to [take a lesson] especially because they’ll push you out and you’ll get that extra energy saved for when you’re actually on the wave to stand up. You’ll slowly learn how to paddle and time yourself. Timing is everything in surfing. You have to wait for the right wave and when to paddle and when to stand up.
MBW: Don’t try to learn on a short board. Try to learn on a bigger board first because you’ll get it way faster and once you have your timing and you know which wave to catch, then you can start moving to a smaller board if you’d like to. But definitely start on a bigger board.
Clearly, you girls exude this healthy and fit lifestyle. What does "being fit" mean to you?
KM: It’s our lifestyle. We have to be fit to do what we do. We model Roxy bikinis all year long pretty much so it’s always in the back of our heads. To stay fit and healthy and to have that beachy look, you know? But we’re surrounded by it 24/7, so it’s pretty easy to keep that mentality.
MBW: Especially in Hawaii, too, because people do live a much healthier lifestyle there—people who live by the beach…I think we are just such strong believers in getting outside. And it’s not like you can’t do it here, too. Just being outside and breathing fresh air and all that stuff is a much happier, healthier way to stay fit.
KM: And when you do it and you feel that—it’s honestly a happiness when you’re in the sun and you feel the ocean touch your toes, the sand. It’s such an amazing feeling to have, and for us, it’s like if we’re traveling all the time, we just want to go to the beach and just lay in the sand or just go take a dip in the ocean. You feel rejuvenated just being outside.