Finding a Spot in the Lineup:

Empowering Women in the Surf Industry with Kassia Meador of  KASSIA+SURF

by Kailani Wetherell for Sustainable Surf. 14 March 2024.

Being a woman in the surf world meant at one time being a minority in the lineup and not being thought of when it came to surf goods that we needed. Since then I have been working hard to create more supportive spaces for women in the lineup and teaching women through facilitating surf retreats so they can gain confidence and awareness to empower them in the lineup. I have also worked very hard to create surfboards with my friend Dane Peterson of Unhinged Surfboards that would work better for a woman. And with my brand KASSIA+SURF i have worked to create wetsuits and surf for women made by women so they function and fit us in the most optimal way…” ~ Kassia Meador

In the bustling surf community of Los Angeles, amidst the crashing waves and sun-kissed shores, a beacon of sustainability emerges. Meet KASSIA+SURF, a small but mighty brand making waves in the world of eco-conscious surfwear.


Founded by a passionate surfer and sustainability advocate, Kassia Meadow began surfing at age 14, joining her father for surf sessions in Malibu, California, where she studied other surfers and their techniques, developing her signature graceful surf style. By 17, Kassia was a sponsored pro-long boarder and went on to win competitions worldwide. Kassia was crowned the “queen of noseriding” by the New York Times and, in 2011, ranked 2nd on the WSL women’s longboard tour.

Throughout her career as a sponsored surfer, Kassia actively engaged in product design within the framework of her sponsors. However, in 2013, she made a pivotal decision to depart from sponsored surfing and embark on a journey to establish her own brand. Centered on principles of performance, quality, conscientious production methods, and environmental stewardship, this new venture aimed to give back to the oceans that had shaped her life.

Then, in the late fall of 2015, KASSIA+SURF emerged—a brand crafted by women for women. Rooted in authenticity honed over 26 years of experience, its design ethos embodied Kassia’s deep connection to the surf community and her commitment to creating products that resonate with female surfers on a profound level.

KASSIA+SURF is more than just a brand – it’s a movement. While the company’s namesake might suggest a focus solely on boards, it’s actually in the realm of wetsuits where they’re making their mark. In a conversation with the founder, she shared the inspiration behind her journey.

“My good friend Alex Lopez shaped a Polyola blank for my friend Leah Dawson and I to ride as part of sustainable surf’s eco board initiative. We had Ry Harris of Eco by Ry glass it in an eco way so basically the board was all trash transformed,” she explained. This experience sparked the idea of not only riding eco boards but also educating others on their potential and accessibility.


While she doesn’t necessarily build boards, Meador is still excited for what lies ahead when it comes to  the future of board building and myriad of eco-friendly materials and techniques emerging. “There are so many more eco materials from different types of blanks, glassing processes, and materials,” she expressed. It’s a sentiment echoed by many in the industry, signaling a promising shift towards sustainability without compromising performance.


For KASSIA+SURF, the mission extends beyond their own brand. “I really hope this inspires the larger industry that is the surf world about continuing to push eco board materials and initiatives forward,” she shared. By leading by example, they aim to catalyze a broader movement towards sustainability within the surfing community.


As a female entrepreneur in the surf space, KASSIA+SURF faces unique challenges but also opportunities for growth. “For me, it means speaking up for more of what I believe in and pushing for other women’s voices to be heard,” she explained. From creating supportive spaces in the lineup to designing gear specifically tailored for women, KASSIA+SURF is paving the way for inclusivity and empowerment.


To young girls aspiring to conquer the waves, KASSIA+SURF offers sage advice: “Believe in yourself, educate yourself, and get a crew together.” It’s a message of empowerment and solidarity, encouraging girls to not only pursue their passion but to do so confidently and safely.


What drives KASSIA+SURF forward each day? “There is truly never a dull moment in my life and so much to go and create all of the time,” she shared. With a deep-rooted passion for both surfing and sustainability, each sunrise brings new opportunities to make a positive impact.


Looking ahead, Kassia is committed to inspiring the next generation of women through positive change and community engagement. Whether through hosting retreats, facilitating meditations, or providing mentorship, they’re dedicated to creating a brighter, more inclusive future for all.


For Kassia Meador, being a woman means standing up for what you believe in and connecting with other like-minded individuals to effect change. Through their brand, they integrate feminism by centering women’s voices and experiences, both in their products and in their community initiatives.

Kassia aims to be an instrument for change and equality and connect with other radical women worldwide to join forces and join voices. Meador integrates feminism and celebrates women through her brand KASSIA+SURF, creating wetsuits and surf gear for women while also supporting and empowering women worldwide.

In the vast expanse of the ocean, KASSIA+SURF stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration, reminding us that with passion, perseverance, and a commitment to sustainability, we can all ride the wave of positive change.

Notox Surf aspires to inspire a wide audience, primarily surfers but also extending its impact to fellow shapers and existing institutions. By advocating for sustainable practices, they aim to be a catalyst for positive change within the broader surfing community.

For a deeper dive into the high vibe, low impact world of surfing and surf gear, explore Kassia’s work on Instagram @kassiasurf.