Paige Alms is a WSL PURE Ambassador, 3x Big Wave Champion, and environmentalist. She's as strong out of the water as she is in it, advocating for equality in women's surfing and for the environment. She's the perfect ambassador to highlight as we wrap up Women's history month. Thanks Paige for taking some time to catch up with us, and for all you do!
Hometown: Haiku, HI
How are you spending your time and what advice would you give to our readers regarding COVID-19?
To be honest… I have tried my best to "Turn off the news and build a garden", as Lukas Nelson's song has never felt more true to me. I have been putting a lot of things on hold, trying not to get sucked into the panic and worrying, and have been getting my hands dirty and playing in nature. I've been replanting my garden, getting starts going for a new bigger project and to share with friends, and planting trees at my new property. Also, I've been cooking at home which I do a lot normally, but I've been cooking new things and it sure feels good knowing exactly what goes into my meals. I've been riding my bike, surfing a bit, foiling, and have actually had more time to chill and relax, which I feel my body has been telling me for a while. I miss seeing my friends and giving them hugs, but I know that if we all do our part to keep our distance, we can slow this thing down. I don't want Maui to end up as a hotspot, we only have one major hospital and one smaller one, we could be overloaded very easily. So for now, more alone time with my plants and the water.
You went on CNN to help announce the WSL's commitment to go carbon neutral -- why was that a big moment and how did it make you feel as an athlete?
Going live on CNN was exciting as it was my first time doing an interview live on national news and it was pretty fun to do it alongside Kai Lenny. The best part about it was that we were announcing to the nation and essentially the world, that the WSL was committing to going carbon neutral with their business and events. It made me feel proud to be a surfer, as our tiny sports league (in comparison to the NFL, NBA, etc.) is leading the way. As an athlete, I travel a lot, but I do try to do my best to offset my travels and donate to programs that are helping our planet. This year I will be working with Sustainable Surf and SeaTrees to offset my carbon footprint.
What is the #trashieselfieproject all about?
The #trashyselfie♻️ project is an initiative I started with my friend Sarah Hauser, a professional windsurfer who lives here on Maui. We wanted to create something to encourage people to do their part with the trash/plastic problems we face every single day. Since we are both water athletes, we see first hand the impact plastic pollution is having on our oceans and figured using our platforms as athletes, we could inspire people to get out there and DO something! So, we created a fun way to get people involved in picking up trash around them, taking a picture with the trash and themselves (selfie's encouraged), and posting it to their social media platform (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and tagging #trashyselfie♻️ (with the ♻️emoji at the end). We have found that kids love taking selfies and why not do something good for our planet while doing so… then tell your friends! We have challenges every month that get more people involved and also allow us to get our sponsors involved. This month's challenge ends at the end of the month and encourages people to post a photo of their trash and share a creative story on how they think the trash ended up there, for a chance to win prizes from All Good Products or Dakine.