Malia Ward, daughter of professional …Lost surfer Chris Ward and model Jacqueline Miller, spends most of her time taking after both parents in her love for the ocean. Born in San Clemente, California, Malia spends day after day surfing one of the most famous breaks in the world, Lower Trestles. A determined athlete, she taught herself how to surf just four years ago and has already proven that a naturally smooth surfing style seems to run in the family.
Malia took the time to answer a few questions about her goals, dreams and lifestyle with The Surf Channel Television Network. Look out for Malia as one of the few female shredders fearlessly charging Lowers on the regular. She just got back to the North Shore of Hawai’i to train for a junior competition at Sunset Beach, same break where she caddied out her dad’s extra board during the Vans World Cup… She was the only fearless female caddie in the channel.
Malia Ward pulls into a barreling left at Uluwatu in Bali, Indonesia. Photo: Dodo Photography
Name: Malia Ward
Birthdate: September 20, 1997
Favorite Wave: Snapper
Quiver: Mayhem Whiplash
Birthplace: San Clemente, California
Resides: San Clemente, Ca
Training Ground: Lower Trestles
How long have you been surfing? 4 years
Who taught you? Self taught
Favorite wave to surf?
Lowers is my favorite spot to surf when I’m home.
I like many different types of music, but my favorites are rap, hip-hop and indie, such as: Eminem, Akon, Sublime, Empire of the Sun, Nirvana and Pnau.
Goals as an athlete?
My main goals are to surf as many different breaks as I can, all over the world and to compete as much as possible.
Favorite thing about surfing?
The amazing places you can go on your search for perfect waves, the cultures you learn about, and the people you meet along the way.
Travel experience for surfing?
I have traveled to Australia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bali, Sumbawa, Lombok, Florida and Hawaii.
Who are some of your favorite surfers?
Gabriel Medina, Malia Manuel, Rob Machado, Kalani Robb, and of course my dad – Chris Ward.
Malia Ward is down with skateboarding, snowboarding, tennis, yoga, kickboxing, running, and ice skating, but finds her deepest passion in the hunt for epic surf! Photo: Michael Anthony
Favorite female athlete on tour?
My favorite female athlete currently is Carissa Moore.
Where do you see your career in surfing headed?
I picture myself competing on the WCT for the World Title and being a positive role model for other young female surfers.
What level of competition are you currently competing at?
I am competing at a National Level through the Surfing America Prime West Coast Series.
Who do you look up to for training and improvement?
I look up to Carrisa Moore, because she is mentally and physically determined and is always practing new tricks to master.
I love sushi and Thai food.
Sports other than surfing?
Skateboarding, snowboarding, tennis, yoga, kickboxing, running and ice skating.
Who do you usually surf with?
I surf with my dad and Anastasia Ashley.
Any surf destinations that you really want to visit?
Mentawai’s, Tahiti, Japan, Ragland, South Africa, Morocco, Brazil and Barbados.
Is there anything you are scared of?
Bees and spiders.
Malia sprays for days as she scores a beautiful left. Photo: Chris Ward
Why do you love surfing more than any sport?
Surfing is my passion and my undeniable obsession, because there’s nothing that compares to the rush I feel after a good ride.
How has surfing affected your life?
It has impacted my life by giving me many opportunities and has opened many doors to travel, embrace new cultures and meet amazing people from all over the world.
If you were given the chance to be an ASP WCT competitor tomorrow, would you go or stay in school?
I would go surf in the ASP WCT and do my school work along the way.
Favorite thing to do after you surf?
I like to relax on the beach and refuel for another session.
Favorite place to eat after surf?
How has your dad influenced your talent?
He has given me courage and confidence in big waves and crowded breaks.
If you could make your own surf video, what soundtrack would you use?
Without a doubt, it would be “Embrace” by Pnau.
Any recommendations for a girl that is learning how to surf?
I recommend to have as much fun as possible, paddle hard, catch waves and never give up.
What is your favorite part about San Clemente?
I love that my family is here.
How often per week do you go surfing and how do you manage school between that?
Surfing 5 to 7 days a week and managing a full high school schedule of honor classes can be difficult, but I always find a way to get my work done to keep the 4.0 GPA.
Is it intimidating being a woman in the lineup?
For most girls, yes, but for me… I’m known for being fearless on this topic.
What is the vibe at Lowers?
The vibe can be very intimidating and competitive. I’ve witnessed many fights and injuries in the water. I hold my own in the lineup and have gained respect as a local.
What do you do when you aren’t surfing?
Studying, going to the gym, drawing and playing the guitar.
If you could choose any athlete to paddle out with, who would it be?
What do you think about an entire television channel dedicated to surfing?
I think it is long overdue. The fact that we live on a planet that is 70% water and surfing being one of the more extreme water sports deserves proper exposure.
Malia and the stylish Laura Enever from Australia on the red carpet of the Surfer Poll Awards. Photo: Surf Channel/Shannon Q
Be sure to watch the red carpet recap from the Surfer Poll Awards on The Surf Channel.