Fashion designer Heidi Merrick, lifelong Southern Californian and the daughter of a famous surfboard maker, talks about surfing, sandcastle-building, and sipping Champagne in the sand.
What do you never go to the beach without?
My daughter, Hiver. An umbrella, towels by Channel Island (my parent’s surfboard company), and lightweight beach scarves/throws. I use them to wrap around my bum if I am wearing a bikini and have to jump up and chase children. For sunscreen, I like Neutrogena Sunscreen Ultra Sheer SPF 70.
What’s in your cooler?
I am not super-organized that way. I normally depend on my friends. I do often bring Champagne or California sparkling wine, like Mumm Napa. Beer’s too heavy. And for sparkling wine you don’t need to bring a corkscrew — just pop.
What’s a typical day at the beach for you?
We do a lot of sand-castle building — it’s the great equalizer for family and friends — and the kids just run free. The beach is the healthiest and easiest place to be with your kid.
What’s your favorite beach in L.A. or O.C.?
I think Topanga is also awesome. The locals there are kind of freaky, so it’s great for people-watching. And I like the point break there for surfing.
Do you have any tips for beginners who want to learn how to surf?
Take a lesson. Never go out in bad conditions; you can check them at surfline.com. Definitely use a soft top board. And don’t try to do anything gnarly. It’s super fun if you are just safe and not trying to prove anything.
What do you love about surfing?
Since everyone in my family does it — I can be out with my dad, my nephew, my brother, and my husband. So it’s a way to be together, have fun, and be challenged — for us, it’s a lifestyle.