By Tyler Rock
Monyca Eleogram is the definition of an island girl. She grew up more country than most, sequestered away in the remote Maui town of Hana. She gravitated towards surfing and this took the country girl to new places.
Getting her start as a sponsored competitive surfer, Monyca surfed for the Hawaii Junior Surf team at several World Champion events, but was never quite fulfilled. Once she joined forces with Roxy, Monyca, now 27-years-old, found her groove and passion as a true “Roxy Girl”, traveling the world to interesting locales and shooting campaigns that span multiple sport genres. Through it all, she has always stayed humble and true to her roots as a Hawaii surfer girl.
Let’s start with your role with Roxy. How did it all start and how has it evolved?
My role with Roxy is unreal! We travel quite often out of the year, I would say probably 100 days of the year we’re surfing, doing things for the swim aspect or even snow campaigns. I get to check so many incredible places off my bucket list. I think the role has evolved more so because of the way I’ve taken it. I’ve been doing it for about 6 years now and in the beginning, I focused on getting there, getting the job done, and going home. Obviously I had fun, but now I think I have so much more appreciation for my position because I have opened up more to experiencing different cultures, and talking to different people and embracing my location based on not only getting there and doing my job, but also embracing all the lifestyles and experiencing it for myself. So I think that’s been the biggest part of my evolution, opening up a little bit more.
You’re close with most of the girls on the Roxy team. What’s it like traveling with them?
Most of the time, I get to travel with some of my best friends, so that’s a treat in its own. I look forward to going to work because I get to see my best friends and we get to surf together and get to be in amazing locations. Everybody has such a different personality representing the brand, so it’s really really fun.
What’s it like being on the frontline of pioneering and really diving into the freesurf model/ lifestyle role?
There’s a lot of time spent creating content for the actual clothing, but I definitely have to focus on my down time to create content for surfing more because that’s how I got to where I am. I’m still trying to rip and whenever we do trips with Roxy that involve surfing, I try to stay out as long as I can and try and get the best shot in whatever I’m wearing because I want a surf photo to be run so bad! That’s my ultimate goal: I’m shooting all the time and it’s awesome to see myself in stores but to have a surf shot, I’d be stoked. It’s way harder to get a surf photo than you looking cute on the beach, you know. It’s a goal I’m always striving for.
Do you feel like you’ve become a role model?
Definitely. I think I’m an attainable pro surfer, too. It’s hard to give advice on the subject because I was really lucky to fall into the position. I don’t know if there is a way to have a surfer/ model/ freestyle type career. I simply stuck with what I love. I knew that contest surfing wasn’t for me, so I think my advice would be if you know the direction you want to go, be vocal with your sponsors and people who represent you and let them know you’re down to work, but maybe you’re just not that interested in doing contests, and hopefully they’ll find that position for you that works. Then, you have to work hard and be grateful for everything that comes your way, and that’s what got me to where I am. I made myself easy to work with and tried to get along with everybody. I think I have a role that girls are looking at more because it’s a totally different story than being competitive and training on a circuit. I’m here to tell girls to have fun, ride whatever boards you want and surf when you want, and to stay stoked and improve. At the same time, in my position I don’t have to be hard on myself, which is nice, but I have to be hard in other ways, like making sure I keep fit in the right way and things like that.
What’s your training regime when you’re traveling?
Usually when I’m on the road with Roxy, we are busy. We’re up before sunrise, getting hair done, makeup, and then shooting all day nonstop, breaking for lunch. I think it’s all a little hard on my body through the travel and everything else to do an actual workout routine, because we’re moving and when we’re shooting fitness, we’re actually running and swimming. A lot of the times we’re in the water, so I don’t really workout when I’m on those types of trips. On surf trips, it’s different. I’ll mix in a little yoga and stretching and things like that, taking it easy, since I’m already surfing so much. I leave the actual training, the squats, yoga, running and everything else for when I’m home because I’m able to balance the energy and not over do it. So on the road, I keep it simple: a little bit of yoga and then whatever we’re doing already, like surfing or running.
What’s been your favorite Roxy trip?
That’s tough, because I’ve had so many insane ones so I think it’s hard to categorize the very best one. I’ve been to some places in the world that I probably would have never gone without them bringing me. The most fun I’ve had on a Roxy trip is in Hawaii. For example, we recently had a house on Oahu. We were right there in Waikiki with party waves all day and shooting into the night with strobe lights and swimming and the beach and the warm weather…there’s nothing better than being in Hawaii.
What’s your favorite thing about surf travel?
I like finding perfect waves, because I feel like where we live, we have fun waves but not necessarily perfect. It’s fun to surf a wave that you can do more than 2 or 3 turns on. That’s what I love the most: riding a wave for a longer amount than I’m used to.