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Sage Erickson on Balancing Life and Career

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Waking up before sunrise, professional surfer and modern day mermaid, Sage Erickson rises, puts on her favorite bikini and paddles out into the still sapphire tide. Before taking on her first wave of the day, she takes a moment to become aware of the completely silent atmosphere that surrounds her and begins to look within herself to find her center.

“I love waking up with the sunrise, when the world around me is quiet, I feel like it’s all mine for once. I find natural beauty in itself completely inspiring,” says Sage.  This woman is well beyond her years both mentally and spiritually. She credits surfing as a metaphor for life, because it’s all about harmony, “Being a professional surfer is a whirlwind of awesomeness and a slight mixture of emotional balance and dedication.”

A balance that was first cultivated in a coffee shop in a small country town called Ojai. But it wasn’t until Sage was 10 years old and moved to the North Shore of Oahu that the tides began to change, “that’s when I learned to surf, I used to go to elementary school with my surfboard and no shoes, it was the best childhood a kid could have asked for.”

But the life of a professional surfer is not all sunshine, waves and sponsorships. Her job consists of around-the-clock international travel, hours upon hours of practice, she mentions “I’d consider a surf session as my 9 to 5,” meetings with sponsors and competitions. Not to mention, a heavy load of stress on her shoulders, she notes “You’ll feel pressure from the industries to look and dress a certain way and you’ll need to maintain a strict training regimen to compete with the best in the world.”

However, she reiterates that surfing has provided her with opportunities to meet people and go places she would’ve never dreamed of, “I’m thankful for the things that stretch me to be a better person on the inside and for the beauty I get to witness on the outside.”

But despite her 211k Instagram followers and winning the 2012 and 2014 Supergirl Pro Surf title, she is incredibly humble and down to earth. She begins her mornings by watching the local news with her mother and a cup of coffee. Followed by a meet-up with a few of her best friends for a quick gossip-session before checking out the waves. Maybe on a good day she’ll throw in a high intensity cardio class. But on her bad days she snuggles up watching hours of CSI with a bowl of popcorn mixed with peanut m&m’s… see, she’s really just like us.

What’s it like for sage to be a woman in a male-dominated industry? She shrugs, “I actually don’t mind. I’ve grown up with an older brother and seven uncles. It’s what I’m used to. I think that’s where my competitive fire stemmed from. I never wanted to play like a ‘girl’ I just wanted to look like one!” She also wanted to tell young girls that if they still enjoy surfing at the end of a day of competing, that they should continue to push themselves, “surfing takes time, so don’t give up!”

As for what this beach babe’s future holds, it may not be what you expect, “I have a black and white short film that a friend I have made. It’s a super moody mixture of abstract elements. We are just looking at who we want to present it to first.” No matter what, she ends most days the same: she loads her board into her car and drives away from ocean as the sun dips below the horizon just waiting for her to greet it the following day.

By Caelan Hughes

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Purple jumpsuit: Single Dress by Galina Sobolev // Necklaces: Purple aura Jewel True love accessories // Cuffs on left hand: Kutula by Africana imposts // Right hand: turquoise bead bracelet: purple aura jewel // Silver cuff – DipInLA // Rings: True love accessories, Elizabeth knight jewelry, DipInLA

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Faux fur vest: Bebe Dakota // Bathing suit top: love surf // Green pants: Yoze // Beaded Necklace: Kutula by Africana // Crystal necklace: Haarstick jewelry // Wood bangle: Kutula by Africana // Gold cuff: DipInLA // Stone cuff: Devon Leigh jewelry // Gold leaf cuff: Thallo jewelry // Rings: DipInLA // Square gold ring: Elizabeth knight jewelry // Gold knot ring: luxury brand group

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Draped fabric: Kutula by Africana // Choker necklace: arrow divine // Swim suit top: we are handsome // Bottom: love surf // Gold peace ring: Elizabeth knight jewelry // Stone rings: Devon Leigh Jewelry // Metallic bangle: Kutula by Africana // Snakeskin cuff: Fabio V. // Gold ornate cuff: av max

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Colorful top: Love Surf // Pink Shorts: Love Surf // Earrings: Sonia Hou jewelry // Necklace: Kutula by Africana // Crystal necklace: AV Max // Stone ring: Devon Leigh Jewelry // Black spiked wrap bracelet: DipInLA // Silver cuff: nissa jewelry

Editorial Credits

Photography by Cory Osborne

Stylist: Ali Levine – www.alilevine.com

Hair and Makeup: Jackie Fanara

Stlyist Accessories: C/O Kay Anuluoha @ Africana Imports

Props: Greg Carter