London Stylist Kylie Griffiths Surfs the South of France
If you’re gonna learn to surf, you can’t ask for a much better teacher than Volcom, one of the most respected brands in surf and skate apparel since 1991.
London stylist and all around cool girl Kylie Griffiths is doing just that — traveling around the South of France with the brand as they help her bone up on her newfound surfing skills in Biarritz.
Below, she models Volcom’s spring and summer 2016 line and answers our burning Qs about style, beach culture, and just how tf a British girl got into surfing.
London’s not exactly known for its surf culture, how’d you get into surfing?
It has always interested me but one summer I just thought “fuck it” I’m going to learn. After one lesson I fell in love completely in love with it and started going as much as I could whilst we were there. One thing lead to another and I ended up buying a camper van so I could get away from London as much as possible and practise. I’ve never had a hobby that I would move or leave a city to pursue so it’s a real eye opener.
Surfing and style are so intertwined, more so than any other sport. How do surfers have such killer style in addition to their athletic skills? It doesn’t seem fair!
I always think the best style is when people don’t try too hard, which is I think what translates into surfing as people just through things together and it looks effortless. I also think surf brands and skate brands do make some of the best clothes and t-shirts. Beach wear is also very wearable as you’re not limited by the weather which gives you more freedom to wear what you want.
Who’s your favorite pro surfer and why?
Harry Timson, he’s a Volcom surfer and a mate. I recently met him and his family whilst we were staying in the Volcom house in France.
Do you have a favorite surf movie?
“Point Break,” it’s a classic!
What’s your favorite part about surfing?
Being in the water and being completely alone. I feel like of the most time especially living somewhere like London you are always connected either on your phone or in meetings, and I love switching off and only being able to focus on that one thing. I also love the people you meet and the travel. Everyone I’ve met through surfing has a great outlook and are just amazing to be around.
Mid-surf wardrobe malfunctions are a serious problem for girl surfers. How do you avoid them?
They’re a little unavoidable I think they come with the territory. I’ve definitely had a few nip slips whilst surfing, but generally I play it safe and zip myself into a wetsuit. Mainly because I’m a wuss and always cold.
I grew up in a beach town where literally you were dead to the world if you didn’t own a Volcom t-shirt. What is it about the brand that keeps things so fresh for every new generation?
They are really good as a brand at making clothes that work for people who live in the city and also go to the beach. It makes their clothes really versatile as you an throw their jackets over a bikini or on a night out. I love that they use influencers such as the 70s as it really fits my style. Their clothes are super wearable which is I think what keeps their pieces fresh as they can mixed in with anything and are never dated.
People who wear flip-flops in the city: your thoughts?
I’m not a fan of flip flops in the city personally, I would wear them on the beach, but in London I normally stick to some trainers.
What’s next for surf style in general? Are there any new silhouettes or bikini styles you’re super into?
I am in love with Volcom’s new range, they have an amazing retro colored wetsuit. I love a fun wetsuit as my favorite colors are pink and black. I wouldn’t normally wear a bikini to surf so I love finding interesting swimsuits that are wearable but still fun.
What three words would you use to describe the south of France and why?
Laid-back, fun, tranquil
Anything else you want us to know as you continue your trip?
Next stop is Devon this weekend for a practice, and then next summer we’re planning to go away around Europe for 2/3 months and do a surf road trip.
Jealous. Have fun!
Photos by Carl Potter Wilson