Women surfing. Headline text: Q & A With Surf + Skate Athletes

While water is considered essential for any sport, the surf community has a deeper connection. Not only is water vital to their bodies, it is the backdrop, field, and heart of their sport. That’s why Boxed Water™ is stoked to support our friends at the World Surf League. You can catch us at any number of their U.S. competitions this year, but in advance of the VANS US Open of Surfing - the world’s largest action sports festival - we spoke with some of our favorite surf and skate athletes about their powerful connection to the sport and the water.

We know that the planet is drowning in plastic, but these athletes have a personal take on the impact and changes we can all make.

Meet JJ Wessels.

Instagram screenshot man surfing

Surfer and father, JJ Wessels came to surfing through his own dad. What started as a way to cool off after a hot day of football practice became a lifelong passion.

Q: How have you encountered plastic pollution on the beach or in the water?

A: I once pioneered surfing the Petitcodiac river in Moncton, New Brunswick. The river had never been surfed and had become a waste deposit. 

ABC News article: Surfing in New Brunswick


Q: What is one thing you do to live more sustainably?

A: Sustainable and healthy living have become a huge part of my family's daily life. Becoming a father has brought a heightened awareness of the plastics that seem to be in everything, we as a family have tried our best to buy plastic free items. We try to keep plastics out of every part of our lives. We don’t buy much and often try to make things ourselves. 


Meet Kanya Sesser.

Instagram screenshot girl at beach giving peace sign

From her start with surfing in the freezing cold waters in Oregon, Kanya has expanded her passion into so many facets. Today, you can find her busy with her business of acting, skateboarding, and of course, hitting the waves. 

What is something you wish people understood about plastic pollution?

I personally don’t like plastic. I like biodegradable things, even though I personally dislike paper straws but it’s better than plastic for usage. It tastes toxic just drinking out from a plastic bottle or anything plastic. It’s sad to encounter plastic and trash in our ocean… and a lot of plastic bottles littering everywhere in the cities and on the roadside.

Unfortunately, we will always have [plastic] but each one of us by doing our part helps. We still have a long ways to go! 

Meet Sierra Prescott.

Instagram screenshot girl sitting on skateboard

With a love born from pop culture, Sierra turned her passion for skateboarding into living her dream. She was inspired by 90s cartoons like RocketPower, video games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and of course the televised X Games.

What do you do to live sustainably?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle as much as possible! By means of reusable bottles, bags, and containers on the daily. I also try to extend the life of everything I replace. Going through apartment renovations, I’ve been passing on used home items like light fixtures as well as appliances like a dishwasher and fridge. One person’s trash is another’s treasure! I try to always give people a chance to take it off my hands before it even comes close to hitting a landfill. During my last move, I was able to give a local family alllllll my packing supplies and materials, reducing their single use and saving money for a family in need. It’s the least we can do! Less waste, more finding new homes for stuff.


Two girls holding mini Boxed Water cartons on surfboard in sand


We couldn’t be more excited to connect with JJ, Kanya, and Sierra as we gear up for some amazing competitions. You can check out the World Surf League schedule to find an event. Or if “couch surfing” is more your speed, pick up the latest Surf Issue of Whalebone Magazine, and you just might catch a placement from your favorite, 92% plant-based water company.

Hang loose, everybody.  

250 ML Boxed Water on table with pink background