Makena Magro is a standout athlete, Slyde team rider, and a well recognized bodysurfing competitor up and down the California coast.
We recently had the opportunity to interview Makena and couldn't wait to share some highlights with you.
Makena is a Capricorn and turned 23 years old on Dec 24th 2017
She was only 14 years old, a freshman in highschool, when she 1st competed in World Bodysurfing Championships Oceanside.
She believes with bodysurfing "the older you get, the better you get."
She was a junior lifeguard with the state of California in Carlsbad for 8 years before becoming a state lifeguard.
Her dad and his siblings were lifeguards, and encouraged her to become one as well.
She started bodysurfing at 8 while on break during Junior Lifeguards, "I went to grab a boogie board, and my instructor said no you're either going to surf or bodysurf."
The 1st year she won the Grand Champion Oceanside Women's title she won it alongside that very lifeguard instructor that taught her to bodysurf, James Fenney III.
Makena is a longboard surfer too, and competed in contests in middle school.
She prefers the ease of bodysurfing over surfing, because of the simplicity in having a pair of fins in your car and being able to hit the surf at anytime.
She was a part of the OG crew Pine Street Bodysurfing Association, a combo of state lifeguards, junior lifeguards and close friends, who competed mainly at Oceanside.
A new crew has now formed that she's a part of called the Beech Street Bums. Named after their favorite bodysurf spot in Carlsbad, and composed of state lifeguards who also bodysurf. This crew intents to compete in Oceanside and beyond.
Her all time favorite handboarding spots in California are Oceanside Pier and Tyson Street.
Big closeout waves are her favorite wave type, and she loves getting barreled.
She graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in liberal science and arts, in order to become a school teacher.
She recently chose a different career path and will be returning to school in 2018 to purpose a nursing degree, in order to become a traveling nurse for a few years.
She's not in intimated to paddle out in a stacked line up of men, dropping into big waves. "I love big surf, I just charge it without hesitation, smile and have fun."
She believes swim conditioning and endurance are key in bodysurfing contests, along with leg stregthing and upper body workouts.
Her bodysurfing/handboarding contest strategy includes: Underwater take offs, always trying to get one or two spinners on each wave,while riding it as long as you can. "The length of the ride is important to show the judges that you do have the leg strength to stay in the wave, endurance to keep on going."
She believes in giving it her all in every single heat. "I want to come out of the water every heat feeling exhausted, and wanting to collapse because then I know that I gave it my all no matter the circumstances or the outcome."
Oceanside's World Bodysurfing Championships is one of her favorite weekend’s of summer. (mark your calendar for the contest Aug 18/19th of 2018)
If she could pick 1 person to bodysurf/handboard with it would be Sean Enoka of Kaha Nalu Hawaii.
Check out the full video interview with Makena below ⬇️
Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.