Interview with Pro Surfer Brooke Daigneault
Pepper: Hi Brooke! Can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up, who introduced you to surfing and when/how it became clear that it would be more than just a hobby?
Brooke: I was born and raised in Huntington Beach. I still live in the same house I have lived in my whole life with my parents and my older brother. My dad was the one who taught me how to surf when I was about 6 years old. I didn't really start surfing until I was around 10 years old; which then led me to surf on the Talbert middle school surf team and also on the surf team at Edison high school.
I always knew in my heart that I had a very strong connection to the ocean and a deep passion for surfing but when I was younger I was too shy and self conscious to actually believe in myself to make a professional career out of it. I then went on to finish a college before I actually said “Okay, I am going to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional surfer.”
Pepper: Are there other obligations (such as a job or school) that you are balancing along with your surfing career?
Brooke: At this point in my life I no longer have an employer. I finished college with an AA degree in Communications in 2015 and am focusing all of my time on growing and progressing my self and my career as a professional surfer. I am sacrificing a lot so that I can give it my all and for me, balancing a job and school in the past while pursuing the pro tour is not something that worked well for me, in order to stay healthy, fit and on top of my game. I also am choosing to not have a stable job so that I can always make time for my sponsors Produce Services of LA , Jensen Surfboards , JLab Audio , and Sovrn Republic when they ask things of me like shoots and promo work, etc.
Pepper: Do you have other interests or hobbies beyond surfing?
Brooke: Yeah, I grew up going dirt bike riding in the desert with my family and also to the lake/river and mountains. I love to do trips like that a couple of times a year to kind of switch it up and change gears. I grew up doing a lot of different sports so I like to still practice those things every once in awhile. I have been really focused and disciplined with putting surfing first over the last few years but some of the different things I like to do are play soccer, beach volleyball, cruise on the boat through Newport harbor, hiking, camping or go out with my friends. I also spend a lot of time with my family while I am at home. They will always come first. I mean second haha.
Pepper: How much time and effort do you put into maintaining your physical fitness outside of the water?
Brooke: I dedicate A LOT of time to staying fit and healthy outside of the water. It is definitely a passion of mine, which goes hand in hand with being an athlete. I spend a lot of time making healthy food at home (I am not gluten free or vegan, I love meat but I have cut way back on carbs, sugar and dairy and just started eating fish.) I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, I try to incorporate one of those into every meal or snack. Thanks to my sponsor Produce Services of Los Angeles, they hook me up with fresh fruits, vegetables, acai, almond butter and more every week which has been a HUGE help in fueling my healthy, active lifestyle. I also have a personal trainer and I go on runs and do different things for cross training. Lately it's been fun to switch up my cross training and just do whatever my body is feeling, whether it's run some stairs or just do some strength training. I also am really big on recovery, I go to the chiropractor twice a month, go to a infrared sauna and get massages when I can.
Pepper: What is a typical day like for you?
Brooke: A typical day for me is, wake up around 8:00am, make a bowl of oats, do some stretching, check the waves and decide when would be the best time to surf and then go from there and fill in my day however I can with being productive. If I decide I'm going to take the day off from surfing, I will take my pups to back bay on a run/workout or chill at home and get some editing and emails done or go to the beach with my friends. When I go surf, I surf from 1-3 hours, depending on how the waves are or how much fun I am having. If the waves are good I will push myself and stay out for over 2 hours but if it's not that great sometimes just 1.5 hour is my average surf sesh. I also go twice a day a lot, morning and afternoon if it is still decent. I love evening sessions, it is the best way to end the day by far.
Pepper: Do you have a mentor?
Yes I do, I have someone who is very close to me and who has been there for me over the last few years while I have been growing and experiencing life while pursuing my dreams. His name is Paul Tomson, he was a professional surfer in the 80's. He is from South Africa. I go to him for advice on all of my decision making and thoughts. There are no secrets between us. He is very wise and we just get each other. We have some really deep talks about life and our place in the universe but 5 mins later we will be laughing and joking around with each other haha.
Pepper: Obviously you qualify as an expert as you spend a lot of time in a bikini! What characteristics do you look for in a surf bikini?
Brooke: On the bottoms, I prefer them to have more fabric on the front, crotch area and little less on the butt. Over the years I have started wearing more of a Brazilian cut bikini bottom. I still like to have enough coverage so that it stays on and is comfortable to surf in. I like the sides to be tight enough on your hips so that they stay on when you duck dive under waves. I never wear the tie sides anymore because they are not very comfortable on your hips. I really like strappy sides on bikini bottoms. I think those look the best because they make your legs look longer. I'm not big on really crazy prints, I like tropical floral prints, palm tree prints and simple things like that. I also like dark colors or really light colors for suits. For the tops, I have grown to only wear ones that cross over in the back and the ones that have straps that go over your shoulders vs. neck ties because they are more comfortable when they don’t pull on your neck; especially when you wear them for hours on end while at the beach. Good surf bikinis are really hard to find because when you surf they go everywhere haha.
Also, I really like Pepper Swimwear’s Sorrento bottom in the black/Mexican blanket. It is really comfortable and a perfect cut for when I surf in the tropics without a wetsuit. There El Matador top in the black is also one of my faves! 😊
Pepper: Where do you typically buy bikinis? Do you have a favorite local shop? Website? Do you have any favorite brands? Do you wear the same bikinis for surfing as you do for chillin’/lounging?
Over the last couple of years I have been getting most of my bikinis from a sample sale that this Billabong rep puts on every few months, over by my house. The prices are more than half of what they are in the surf shops and the brands he carries for suits are billabong and amuse. Those are 2 of my favorite bikini brands for sure! I like to wear different bikinis for just lounging or going to the beach vs surfing. My surfing ones are normally tighter and my "play" tanning ones are more fun and loose sometimes because I don't have to worry about them falling off as much haha.
Pepper: Is there anything about you that people would be surprised to know?
Something people might be surprised to find out about me is that you will NEVER see me without polish on my nails and toes. Haha I know surfer girls normally don't care about that stuff, but I do!
Pepper: Thank you!!
❤️ Be sure to follow Brooke here: