Karina Rozunko | Citizens Of The Slide

Posted on April 12, 2016 by Trace

O F   T H E   S L I D E
—  Not So Ordinary Citizens Interview  —

DrewMartin.KarinaRozunko.HandsomeCitizensK A R I N A

Karina on Van Life: “It’s a sense of freedom, to get up and leave wherever & whenever you please. You learn to travel light, bring what you need, not things that are precious, but sacred.”

Karina.Drew.Martin.SEEA.HandsomeCitizens11Karina.Drew.Martin.HandsomeCitizens2CLICK ON THE PHOTO’S THROUGHOUT STORY TO SHOP
Above 3 images: SHOP THE LOOK Karina in SEEA by Drew Martin

HC : Tell us something about Karina… what makes you the best version of yourself – keeps you smiling with life?

KR : Being around people I love, keeps me smiling. If I’m with the right people, good things follow.

Im 19. The origins of my family are American Indian. I am a member of the Seminole Tribe – which comes with many benefits!

My sponsors SEEA and Nineplus help me out to keep my travels going which I am so grateful for.

LaVecchia_KRozunko1.SEEA.HandsomeCitizens LaVecchia_KRozunko10.SEEA.handsomecitizensLaVecchia_KRozunko8.SEEA.handsomecitizensAbove 3 image’s SHOP IT: Karina in SEEA by Nick LaVecchia

Karina.Drew.Martin.HandsomeCitizens8Karina.Drew.Martin.HandsomeCitizens9Above 2 images SHOP IT: Karina in Nineplus
by Drew Martin

KR : Right now I am coaching surfing for a few local girls.  I love seeing them constantly grow and improve.

One of my favorite things is listening to all my friends jam. They are a talented bunch.
My good friends The Pesos are sounding absolutely killer and you should check ’em out! 

LukiOkeefe.SEEA.HandsomeCitizensImage by Luki O’Keefe from Karina’s Instagram

KR : One of my local surf breaks is SanO. Its like nowhere else. You drive in on a dirt road and pull up right on the beach. It hasn’t really changed much since the 1960’s.  Everyone has their VW bus’s and life just seems to slow down at SanO. Its a great vibe for sure.

HC : You recently travelled to Australia & spent 3 months wave-seeking; and you’re back on our shores right now, doing it all again! What have been the highlights from your Aussie Roaming?

KR : I went over for the Noosa festival as I have for the last two years. I told my family if I won I was going to purposely miss my flight home. I made some coin by winning and extended my ticket. My friend invited me to do another contest on the Gold Coast and jokingly I told my parents again if I win I’m going to extend my ticket. I ended up taking 1st place and making enough money to stay even longer!

LukiOkeefe06.SEEA.HandsomeCitizensLukiOkeefe28.SEEA.HandsomeCitizensAbove 2 images SHOP THE LOOKS: Karina in Noosa by Luki O’Keefe 

KR : I fell in love with Australia and the people I met there.  After my three months was up I was invited to go to Bali by Kassia Meador for the Deus 9ft and single contest. It was absolutely the funnest contest! I returned to Australia immediately after that and traveled up and down the east coast from Sydney to Noosa.

Everything was a highlight from surfing new spots, traveling in the van, meeting amazing friends, swimming in lakes, going to festivals, the list could go on.


KR : I would have stayed even longer but on my birthday, June 28th, I woke up to a message from Joel Tudor saying, that I should come home because he invited me to surf in The Duct Tape Invitational! Best birthday gift ever!

HC : You have further travelled with mate Stuart Jeays aka @stickjam up the California coast.
What were your favourite moments on the road? And most epic wave memory?


Above 2 image’s by Luki O’Keefe #vanlife

KR : Stuart, yeah he is a special one. He isn’t my boyfriend, but he is for sure one of my best friends.  He has taught me much about life and love and how to comfortably live in a van.

I met him the day after the Noosa festival and he took me on some cool adventures around the East Coast.
Soon after I left Australia he had the urge to come to visit me and travel up the California coast.

We packed up my VW van and headed for our “north bound voyage”.  It was late fall and the El Niño was providing us with consistent swell and unusually warm water. We stayed at every surf spot for at least a few days.

Luki_Okeefe-5.SEEA.HandsomeCitizens Luki_Okeefe-4.SEEA.HandsomeCitizensKR : We had great waves at Malibu, Rincon, Big Sur, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. On our way home we ended our road trip with the Beach Goth festival where we heard some easy on the ears music.
Stu and I have had some pretty incredible adventures together!

Luki_Okeefe-13Above 3 Images SHOP IT: Karina in SEEA by Luki O’Keefe 

Karina.Drew.Martin.SEEA.HandsomeCitizensAbove image SHOP IT : Karina in SEEA by Drew Martin 

HC : #VanLife on Instagram, is filled with inspiration of a nomadic lifestyle.  What for you, is the definition of  life on the road?

KR : It’s a sense of freedom, to get up and leave wherever & whenever you please. You learn to travel light, bring what you need, not things that are precious, but sacred. People come and go and you have to know that things are just things. Thats where you learn the art of detachment. You make friends with most and if they offer you a hot shower even better, cook them dinner.

Karina.Drew.Martin.HandsomeCitizens3 Image by Drew Martin 

HC : You recently visited China for the fourth time to compete in the Women’s World Longboard Championships. How was your experience this time? What is Surf Culture like there?

KR : This was my fourth time back in China and most years have blurred together with staying at a very posh four star Hotel and shuttling to the beach every morning. This year, Jen Smith and I stayed at the beach hotel, which most Chinese people live in for months at a time.

karina.wsl.Will.H-S.handsomecitizensAbove image by Will Hayden Smith for WSL of Karina competing in China

KR : Instead of having to shuttle with the group from a Hotel every day, we could just walk a short distance and have the break to ourselves.  Also, instead of eating food from a buffet that tried to imitate American food, we ate Chinese BBQ and traditional food in the Village which was a 5 min walk from our hotel.

I had made a few local friends in the previous years and they showed us a good time. One night all us girls pitched in to buy a big arsenal of fireworks and completely lit up the sky.

HC : You grew up in an Ocean loving family, with a Brother & Dad who surf. Would you say it was a quintessential Californian-beach-life upbringing?

LaVecchia_KRozunko11.SEEA.handsomecitizensSHOP THE LOOK: Karina in SEEA by Nick LaVecchia

KR : My Dad and Mom are my biggest supporters. I think because they both surf, it makes sense to them what I am doing. As much as they miss me while I am away, they love hearing about my stories and meeting the friends I bring back from my trips. [haha]
My brother is one of the most diverse surfers I know. He can ride anything really well! He has been a huge inspiration for me growing up. He’s one of those guys who is good at whatever he picks up.

Karina.Drew.Martin.HandsomeCitizens7 Karina.Drew.Martin.HandsomeCitizens13 Karina.Drew.Martin.HandsomeCitizensAbove 3 image’s by Drew Martin 

HC : Tell us about your relationship with your sponsor SEEA, and what it means to be a ‘SEEA-babe’?

KR : Being with SEEA is very unique. It’s a tight group of my best friends who are my sisters of the sea. SEEA lets us express ourselves in and out of the water, we are all very involved in different ways within the company. I am so happy to be apart of this little family!

Luki_Okeefe-1.SEEA.handsomecitizensLuki_Okeefe-3.SEEA.handsomecitizensAbove 2 images SHOP THE LOOKS: Karina and the Seeababes
by Luki O’Keefe

HC : Can you share a personal favourite image of yourself, which best captures who you are? Tell us what you love about it.

Karina_JoniSternbach_Tofino2Nineteenth-Century Wet-Plate Collodion Process.
Captured by Joni Sternbach

KR : This photo is raw. I like simplicity and I enjoy solitude. Its me, my board, and nowhere to go but everywhere.

HC : What are you currently riding? Favourite surfboard? Whose footwork are you admiring/inspired by?

KR : I pretty much change which board I surf everyday. I’m always trading with friends in the water, riding mid lengths and trying boards that friends have shaped. I guess my go to board is a 9’4″ Donald Takayama Pig, which has a narrow nose and very curvy in the hips. My other favorite is a 6’0 bonzer that Alex Knost gifted to me. Perfect for big point break waves.


Image by Nick LaVecchia of Karina on her Donald Takayama 

KR: The list could go on of whose surfing I am inspired by, a few who I have looked up to since I was young are; Kassia Meador, Joel Tudor, Alex Knost and Jared Mel. I’m also inspired by the ones who paved the way for womens surfing like Rell Sunn and Linda Benson.

HC :  Where is your favourite wave to surf, and if you could go anywhere, which surf break or Country do you most yearn to explore?

LaVecchia_KRozunko6.SEEA.HandsomeCitizensImage by Nick LaVecchia of Karina for SEEA

KR : I can’t pick one because I like variety. I really enjoy any point break like Malibu, Rincon, Noosa and The Pass. The left at four doors [SanO] is super fun. I love surfing beach breaks like the one in front of my house too! I would love to explore every country!

HC : What is on the horizon for you this year and what are your dreams for the future?

LaVecchia_KRozunko3.SEEA.HandsomeCitizensImage by Nick LaVecchia

KR : This year is going to be filled with traveling. Mexico for half a month in February, then to Australia for three months followed by Bali. My life is pretty spontaneous so we will see what’s to come!

As for my dreams for the future… well I’m living it right now!


 SHOP THE LOOK Karina in SEEA: by Luki O’Keefe


@karinarozunko ↰

Learn more about SEEA suits and purchase on-line 

www.theseea.com ↰

LaVecchia_KRozunko5.SEEA.HandsomeCitizensImage by Nick LaVecchia

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere”
 Jack Kerouac

An abundance of gratitude to all of the Photographers for providing their images ⇟

Nick LaVecchia
Luki O’Keefe
Drew Martin
Will Hayden Smith
Joni Sternbach

Interview by Tracee Annetts of
Handsome Citizens

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