The athlete posed for photographer James Macari for the 2020 SI Swimsuit Issue.
Pro surfer Malia Manuel made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2020 when she posed for photographer James Macari in Turks and Caicos.
Manuel, who hails from Hawaii, became the youngest surfer to ever win the U.S. Open of Surfing at just 14 in 2008. She told Soho House in a recent interview that she had to set aside her feelings at such a young age in order to “figure out who I was.”
“Being on the highest level of surfing competition has taught me to face my fears and push past boundaries. The ocean has taught me to be comfortable with only controlling what you can control, and knowing that your flow of things can change in an instant,” Manuel added.
Today, Manuel is cofounder of the sclpt co, an eco-friendly brand that sells apparel and workout accessories and, per its website, aims to “promote health and wellness by naturally enhancing workouts and recovery techniques.”
“My journey isn’t based off of results, I think it’s becoming the best surfer I can be and giving back to my community and setting a good example for the next generation,” Manuel told SI Swimsuit. “I think as athletes, we always want to set a new personal record with whatever it is, and I think there’s a way to do both: to look good and have grace and style and still look strong and surf in incredible waves.”
Below are 12 of our favorite photos from Manuel’s Turks and Caicos photo shoot.