Emilia Perry, nail technician. In her other life: pro surfer.
“Pipeline is the most crowded wave, so if you can get it to yourself, it’s irreplaceable.”
Nails are fine, but surfing comes first for Emilia Perry, a pro surfer and part-time nail tech at Salon Atlantis in Haleiwa, Hawaii. Born in Australia, Perry started surfing at age 13. “When I was 17, I was riding for Billabong and they sent me over to Hawaii. Two days into my trip I met [professional surfer] Tamayo Perry and we married three years later,” she says. Her husband remains her inspiration. “We’ve traveled the world in search of waves,” she says. “When Hawaii stops breaking we like to travel to places like Mexico, Tahiti, and West Australia, where we camp out in the desert. We have also been to Easter Island and rode a wave in England down a river.” Perry can claim some notoriety in her own right. She’s a regular competitor at Pipeline, the legendary surfing spot on Oahu’s North Shore. “I have competed at every women’s Pipeline event in the last 10 years, except when I broke my ankle skateboarding,” she says. “I made fifth in the world at the bodyboarding event and in shortboarding I made the semi-finals.” Right now her sponsors include WRV, Ant Surfboards, Third Stone, Future Fins, and Astrodeck. It’s the challenge that keeps her going. “It keeps you on your toes — especially at Pipeline. Pipeline is the most crowded wave, so if you can get it to yourself, it’s irreplaceable,” she says. “It keeps me healthy and I go to work with a smile on my face.” To catch Perry in action, go to www.grindtv.com/video/girls/emilia_teaser.