A Surf Gal We Adore: Bree Kleintop
Words by Ali Klinkenberg | Photos: Clint Robert / San Lorenzo bikinis
Oh boy we love biting off more than we can chew! Bree Kleintop's been on our radar for ever and a day, because... do we need to explain? @Breekleintop's a dreamy follow. After much ado we finally tracked down a taster of her latest modelling output, and fired questions away without expectation. What came back was more candid and insightful than we could have hoped. We went for aesthetics, and stayed for the banter. The brain truly is the sexiest organ!
Are you a surfer/model, or a model/surfer? Growing up I was always a surfer girl surfing all day. Then around 13 my sponsor pulled me onto a campaign shoot. After that things really took off. I was given amazing opportunities to travel as a lifestyle surfer/model, and modelling agencies soon came knocking. I've kept growing taller which has helped build my modelling career. It's become something I really love doing and I've gotten to work with amazing clients from all over the world. It's a bit of a juggle between the two worlds, I wear a lot of sunblock now! At heart I'll always be that surfer girl.
Who's your surf hero? My dad Kleiny for sure. He's still the biggest grom, and he rips! He still hassles me in the water to this day.
Professional female surfers either have to be pretty or on the tour, right? There's only 17 girls on the elite tour, and a world full of amazing female surfers. The industry's changing and creating different avenues for varying types of female surfers. You could be a girl who's a talented competitor and has sponsors backing you to be on tour, or you could be the girl who can surf great, and's really marketable freesurfing and living the lifestyle. I like that companies are incorporating girls that bring different things to the table it's very cool and gives diversity to the sport.
You're dating the gorgeous Eric Geiselman, how did he sweep you off your feet? The first time we met was at Lowers. He called me into a couple waves, and had such a great vibe about him. Later that afternoon I went to play a round of golf with a mutual friend of ours, and Eric came driving up in the other golf cart. I remember thinking, oh my, he's possibly the sexiest man I've ever seen. The next time I saw him was months later in Hawaii at a party. When I leaned in to hug him hello it felt like a full on electric current between us. He asked me out on a date, and from that point on he swept me off my feet. He wooed me in every way and stole my heart completely. That was over two years ago, he still gives me butterflies.
Does he let you have waves, you him? Always, or else he knows he'll be in the dog house! We paddle right next to each other and split waves, it's the best.
You've got a strong social following, and you obviously put a lot of time and effort into your social game. How essential is that to your success as a brand? Social media has become very important in building your own personal brand, it's a business in itself, it's crazy! It has always blown my mind a bit how many people follow along with me through my day to day adventures. It means a lot to hear from followers who reach out and are stoked for me though!
Your site Breeology is aesthetically wonderful, what's the story behind it? It's the study of what I'm lovin’ and feelin’. Whether it be traveling, health tips, music, images from recent shoots, fashion, recipes, or something that moves me. It's fun letting people get a peek into my life and sharing what's on my mind.
We get a lot of heat for sexualising female pro surfing. We believe that we're simply celebrating the beauty of the female form, in a tasteful way, and the fact that the girls happen to rip is an added bonus... I think it's rad making the girls feel feminine and sexy, and showing a different side to them. It's very empowering. It's also the underlying fact that these girls aren't just gorgeous, they absolutely rip! Part of being an ambassador for your sponsor is shooting in their swimwear, the same as surf guys do in boardshorts.
Do you see yourself as a role model to younger girls? I really hope so, that's always been a goal of mine. I love answering the sweet emails and comments I get from girls who look up to me, and I try to encourage them in anyway I can. It puts the biggest smile on my face and means a lot to know I've been able to make a difference.
What about the role of social media in the lives of teenage (and younger) girls today. Is is a positive thing that exposes them to fit healthy, positive role models such as yourself, or is it a dangerous overload of information to the vulnerable mind? Social media's definitely a tricky thing. There's positives and negatives, depending on the type of girls you follow. It's awesome in a way that you can see fit, healthy women living a great lifestyle that inspires you to get out there and do it. But on the downside, when girls think everything they see is real it can be overwhelming. For girls to feel like unattainable beauty is the standard can be quite unhealthy. The key's to not always believe all that's put out there, be healthy, get outside and enjoy life! To me that's what makes a girl beautiful.