Born and raised in Hawaii’s surfer paradise, she’s been shredding the islands’ crystalline waves since childhood, gliding her way to the U.S. Open of Surfing championship title at just 14, making her the youngest person to ever achieve that honor.
Manuel uses the sometimes-tempestuous sea she tames with her board as a nimble metaphor for facing challenges generally, she says. “[B]oth in surfing and in life, you shouldn’t spend your energy trying to control something that’s out of your control.”
Even if the road to glory can be paved (waved?) with trials, we think she’s got it covered. She’s currently ranked fifth in the world, yet Manuel never lets the pressure of a brutal competition dampen her sunny attitude. “Without adversity,” she says, “you wouldn’t grow and learn as a person.”
Watch the full video above to learn more about Manuel’s approach to her sport, and her life.
ARTICLE COURTESY OF REFINERY 29