Kassia is much more than a gifted surfer; she is a trailblazer. As one of the original ambassadors for RAEN, her journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. In our recent conversation with Kassia, we had the privilege of exploring her recent endeavors and dedication to community, sustainability, and the protection of Mother Earth.

Photography by Jack Antal
Tell us how you first got involved with RAEN and share a story from the early days.
Early days with RAEN, yeah that was a great time. I've been there since day one and it was so rad when they started it because the surf industry needed something fresh and nothing like that had ever been done before. At that time I was living down in Oceanside and they were creating such amazing imagery and community connection at that time with people like Thomas Campbell, Alex Knost, Mitch Abshere, Justin and Jeremy Heit, the Libre Design crew... it was such a vibe. There was so much energy going in such a cool direction at that time. I felt so honored to be a part of a community of creators and makers; everyone was involved and it was just such a cool and exciting time.
I don't remember any other brands within the surf industry that were having all of the ambassadors creating the content with the founders of the brand. So it was just a super unique, fun time in my life. I love LA, but that time down in Oceanside was such an inspired moment of just surfing all the time. It was also before I had my own business, so I could surf all the time and it was literally my job. It was this epic little rat pack and we all just cruised together and it was so freaking fun.
What inspires you the most when it comes to designing products and doing the collaborations that you do with Kassia Surf?
Seeing Justin, Jordan, and Jeremy build RAEN was a huge inspiration. It made me realize that I could create my own brand too. I learned from them that we don't have to be a massive corporation. We can simply follow our love, passion, and inspiration. That's what pushed me to leave my major sponsor, Roxy, and start my own company. I felt like I had something important to say, and it was time for me to say it. While I had a great time with Roxy, I knew there was a limit to what I could express under their umbrella. I needed to leave in order to start my own thing and allow my specific voice to come out and not be diluted. That was a really important thing for me.

“...I needed to leave in order to start my own thing and allow my specific voice to come out and not be diluted. That was a really important thing for me.”
How has your view of surfing evolved as you transitioned from being a pro to becoming an entrepreneur?
I've been working in the surf industry since I was 17, practically growing up in it. I did finish high school 'cause, you know, having a framework and being a kid are both important. But that was my experience, and it really worked for me. I'm grateful for that. I've been involved in every aspect of the industry, from being an ambassador to running my own business. It's changed a lot over time, though. Back when I got into it, there was no real money involved. We were all just doing it for the love of the sport, not chasing big sponsors or fat paychecks.

When I was coming up, we'd go on trips and film everything, but we wouldn't see the footage until maybe two years later. Some of those clips would end up in films or ad campaigns, all carefully handpicked. It wasn't like we were watching ourselves in real-time, critiquing our moves and trying to get better. I hardly saw myself surfing unless it was in a video or a movie. There was something special about that time, you know? It had a real sense of purity.
What is the most fulfilling part of the work you do with Kassia Surf?
The thing that really fires me up is when I meet somebody in the water that I don't know that's wearing our wetsuit and they come up to me and be like, I love this wetsuit so much. I also get really excited when I smell our palo santo wax going through the lineup or when I get to do collaborations. It's so much fun to co-create with friends and connect with community. That’s why I started doing surf retreats.

I started lining up with other people right before everything changed in 2020 and I started doing more of my own retreats, because it was really about reconnecting with the community, not just working and going surfing but getting amongst the people and sharing my knowledge. I'm so grateful to know what I know surfing-wise, and there's so many people starting to surf at a later stage in life than ever before. I feel that it’s really important to be able to pass it on to these ladies. Having people come on retreats with us and be like, ‘this was the best week of my life’ and watching people connect in that way keeps me super inspired.

How does sustainability and a reverence for Mother Nature fit into having a brand?
For me, it’s about creating things in the most high vibe and low impact way possible through the use of circular solutions for manufacturing and offsetting our carbon footprint by supporting blue carbon ecosystems. I want to make the best wetsuits possible that last the longest and also use conscious materials. Our wetsuits have a lot of technical functionality that are created with an eco-carbon black, which is a recycled limestone and recycled tire rubber. I think it's about finding different ways to do what you do and being able to share that.

We have a wetsuit recycling program as well. We take back anybody's wetsuits and we recycle them with our friends at Suga Yoga. So we basically turn old wetsuits into yoga mats, which is super cool. It keeps them out of landfill and keeps them in regeneration.
The third pillar is to be supporting initiatives that I feel are helping the planet through blue-carbon ecosystems. Roughly 80-85% of our carbons get sequestered in the ocean, so we are more than offsetting our carbon footprint by donating 2% of any and all proceeds to their SeaTrees and their initiatives and partners. I’m also on the board with Save the Waves Coalition and helping with the Malibu location as one of the World Surf Reserves.

For me, it's always planet first when it comes to how I create things, end of life cycle, and what I am doing to give back to our planet.

“...For me, it's always planet first when it comes to how I create things, end of life cycle, and what I am doing to give back to our planet.”
What makes Southern California so special to you?
The diverse landscape, the creativity, and the community. It's a real hub of free thinkers and people who are making moves. They called it the wild west for a reason because people were feeling wild and that they needed to get out of what had been and start to create new pathways. And I think that that trail blazing energy is still here and ingrained into the society. I feel like people here are forward thinkers for the most part. Another amazing thing about California is our diverse landscapes. We have a beautiful ocean, we have crazy radical desert, we have incredible mountains, beautiful forest foliage… there's such a dynamic and interesting landscape that you can access all within a day, and it makes California a wonderfully wild and unique place.
What is the ideal day through the eyes of Kassia Meador?
I love getting work done. I guess it's my Capricorn ascendant. I'm a real taskmaster and I like to get it all done and not waste time. Today's an ideal day because we're getting some cool stuff done, we're hanging out, and we're getting to surf. I'm also either a sunset or a sunrise hound. I'm either here at the beach right at daybreak to surf before those first couple hours of the day and then head along to get a bunch of stuff done, or I will get a bunch of work done, come down here to the beach at 5 and then go surf until eight. My favorite kinds of days are when you can mix surfing and everything else you gotta do and end the day feeling like, cool, I handled it.