11 Questions For Bruna: HtB Fan and Pro Surfer

Mar. 9, 2016 — South Bay surfers have long been some of Heal the Bay’s most passionate supporters. They are our eyes and ears in the water after all. We’ve been lucky to add another very capable surfer to our lineup – Bruna Schmitz, a world-class athlete, beautiful model and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

Born in Brazil, Bruna joined the ASP as a teenager and has now segued into a role as a spokesperson for Roxy Sports and other lifestyle brands. She travels the world, both on business and looking for good surf. But when she’s back home in Hermosa Beach she serves as a community ambassador for Heal the Bay, spreading the word to her nearly half-million online fans. Communications Director Matthew King recently caught up with Bruna during a lull in the action.

Where’s your favorite spot to surf in L.A.? Pro surfer Bruna Schmitz (r) and Heal the Bay board member Kari Boiler at Coastal Cleanup Day
I love surfing around the South Bay. It’s always a little adventure searching for the best spots around.

What’s the best spot to grab a bite after a surf session in L.A.?
We surf a lot down in Manhattan Beach so it’s an easy walk to Four Daughters or North End. They have delicious yummy breakfasts. But a personal favorite is The Source Cafe in Hermosa Beach.

Do you think most surfers here in L.A. think about water quality before they get in the water?
I’m sure they think about it on some level, but that doesn’t stop them when the waves are good. Even if there is a bad report for that day, you’ll notice surfers in the water. Surfers, I think, are uniquely positioned to educate the general public about what they see out there.

What’s the scariest moment you’ve had in the ocean?
I’m pretty used to feeling scared when I break my board or get held under the water for too long, but being in the water in a sharky spot is definitely the worst.

Why do you think surfing is such a hot cultural trend now? It’s everywhere – music, fashion, TV.
It’s a lifestyle, a workout, everyone loves the beach, so what’s not to love about surfing, hee-hee. It also makes me really happy, so I assume it makes everyone else happy too.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about pro surfers?
That it’s not really a job or a career.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about Brazilians?
That we are all loud and not polite.

You’re getting married soon. Is that going to help or hurt your surfing?
Well my fiancé Dane Zaun is a surfer, too, so I don’t see how that would hurt. We love traveling and going on surf trips together, so that’s a big plus!

What do you like about Heal the Bay?
The awesome efforts to keep our ocean and beach clean, caring for our sea life, and the reports on everything ocean-related in Santa Monica Bay. Since becoming an ambassador, I’ve gained so much education about something near and dear to my heart.

You hear about all the challenges the ocean is facing – plastic pollution, climate change, overfishing, oil spills. Do you think there’s a way to stay positive?
I think you need to always stay positive and hope for the best. I’m so thankful for organizations like Heal the Bay for keeping us positive and for working so hard to actually reverse all these challenges. You guys rock.

What would you tell people to do if they are worried about how we are treating our beaches and oceans?
To go online and learn more about the work Heal the Bay does on making sure everyone has the chance to enjoy a clean beach and ocean. From there, awareness can lead to action. That’s how I got involved! We need everyone’s help. Not just those closest to the coast.

You can follow more of Bruna’s adventures at brunaslife.com or or via instagram @BrunaSschmitz

Bruna Schmitz in Fiji with Roxy

Image courtesy of Bruna Schmitz