Women’s History Month Interview with Avasol Ambassador Liz Clark

Women’s History Month Interview with Avasol Ambassador Liz Clark

Liz Clark is a sailing surfer, writer, and activist.

Liz has sailed over 20,000 miles, living one with nature and the ocean via her sustainable lifestyle at sea, and inspiring others to do the same through her literary and non-profit work.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to feature Liz for her unparalleled achievements as a sailor and environmental activist. We sat down with Liz to delve into her story a little deeper. Read on to learn more about Liz and her remarkable story!

1. Why did you set out to sail?

I wanted to see the world, live closer to nature, discover remote waves, experience other cultures, and learn and grow as a person through the challenges that I knew the voyage would present!

2. What were some of the fears and initial instincts you felt when you were faced with the opportunity to set sail?

I had all the feels! Self-doubt, fear of the big wild ocean, fear of the unknown, of being alone, of encountering bad people… it wasn’t easy to convince myself that this was a good idea. But I gained confidence in my boat during the almost 3 years overhauling Swell for the voyage, and I learned to trust myself as a captain little by little with each small victory like making it to the next port or sailing through a storm.

3. When you set out to sail, did you have big ambitions for yourself? How did your self confidence impact your ability to persevere throughout your journey? 

I certainly had big ambitions! I set out to sail and surf around the world, and prove to myself and others that I was a capable captain. There were no other women captains sailing to surf at that time, so I was entering new territory for women! My self confidence as a captain was imperative to persevering through the onslaught of difficulties that the voyage would present me. 

4. We recall from your book, Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening that you recounted lots of experiences where men were shocked to find you sailing without a male counterpart. How did these experiences make you act and feel? 

Yes, it was often a surprise to both men and women to find out that I was sailing alone. This always made me feel proud to be breaking down gender norms, and proving that women are absolutely as capable as men at sea. 

5. Tell us about your involvement in Changing Tides Foundation, a nonprofit for the empowerment of women through surfing and sustainability. 

The founders of CTF are dear friends, and I have been supporting their amazing work from the start. I’m an honorary board member and huge fan!

6. Are you familiar with the concept of Ecofeminism? Do you see or believe in a correlation between the mistreatment of the environment and that of women?

Yes, of course. And I certainly believe there is a correlation between the two. Men have held more power, privilege, and authority throughout human history and far more often they have chosen domination versus collaboration with both women and nature. So it’s easy for women to understand and sympathize with nature, and therefore want to protect it. 

7. What is a piece of advice you were given that you find yourself often passing forward to others?

Keep choosing what you love and what is important to you, even if it doesn’t always make sense at first. By using life’s adversities as opportunities to grow and learn, you can’t go wrong. 

8. You’ve been with Avasol since our inception! How did you find us and why did you choose to stand with us then and still now, 12 years later…

My surf seaster Nicole DeLeon first introduced me to Avasol in the parking lot at Rincon so many years ago! I was hooked after the first try. It has been easy to keep choosing Avasol over the years, because no other brand feels as good, works as well, cares as much about the planet, and keeps innovating to perform at the highest level. Thanks to Avasol I am able to continue surfing and sailing and living in the sun, without having to compromise my health or the health of the planet!

9. What would you say our society needs to emphasize more in order to create a world where the rights of women and the environment are protected?

We need more emphasis on both human and environmental well-being, on community, on our connection to the planet and each other, on leaving behind a livable world for future generations! 

10. What impact do you hope to leave on those who read your story?

I always hope that I leave people feeling more empowered, both to follow their dreams and to believe that their choices, both big and small, can have a positive impact on our world. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published