Karina Petroni is breaking every mold when it comes to the world of surfing; from speaking out against drug and alcohol abuse, to environmental activism and did we happen to mention she’s pulling in a ton of surfing championships while living in Florida? Yep, you heard us right, an East Coast gal living in Florida is rocking the surfing world. For this post, we’re highlighting a recent Bahama’s adventure where Karina agreed to free dive with Caribbean Reef Sharks. As every surfer can relate to, there are always those times when you’re sitting out in the line-up and start to think about just what might be going on right below the surface. For me, it is always on early morning surf sessions when there aren’t that many other surfers around. It’s serene, quiet and certain eery electricity in the air , but there’s that thought in the back of your mind of a fin just about to break the surface. For Karina, this dive gives her a chance to see the other half of the ocean that she rarely gets to explore while she’s carving up waves and hanging on the surface. It’s not too difficult to realize from her demeanor and excitement that she’s a very down to earth gal even though she’s used to the spotlight and competition of surfing’s biggest stage.
As with most things, Karina is one of those girls who relishes living in the present and not afraid to address her fears. This was a big trip for her and a personal journey that took her down below the surface and gave her a chance to appreciate these beautiful animals once she was able to move past her fear.
Karina grew up in Panama and began surfing at the age of two with her father and brother near the Panama Canal. At the age of nine she started competing and quickly racked up a number of titles including a sweep in one year of winning the Eastern, National as well as the US Championship. She also was able to repeat her winning streak by winning the World Jr Games two years in a row. Talk about talented, driven, competitive and did we happen to mention beautiful? She moved with her family to Atlantic Beach, FL in 2000 and had a difficult time adjusting to her new surroundings, being only 12 years old. She took all the difficulties of the new move and put the energy into her surfing skills. It looks like this additional level of commitment to surfing has been working in her favor. She has become a permanent fixture at surfing’s biggest championships and puts on one heck of a show whenever she grabs a board and takes to the waves. Hope you all enjoy the pictures and video as much as we do!
It’s nice to see positive role models coming up in sports that were once thought extreme or alternative. It just goes to show that a lot of these sports like surfing, snowboarding, parkour, skateboarding and rock climbing that seemed extreme and amazing are now becoming more of the mainstream and garnering much more media attention than anyone probably would have thought was possible just a decade ago. The X-Games have obviously had a big influence on building the audience as well as the inclusion of snowboarding in the Olympics. There also hasn’t been any shortage of amateur video popping up on the Net that continue to get a lot of attention not to mention the network of surfers being able to give tips and advice to upcoming kids that want to get into the sport. We’re for anything that’s active and outdoors and Karina brings a lot of skills and charisma to an already amazing sport.