The Stab Interview: Karina Rozunko
The San Clementine stylist discusses growing up on a longboard, her new short, art, and the benefits of carrying around a “fried mascot” on surf trips.
Karina Rozunko was nominated for best style at the Surfer Poll awards this year for her short film, “Doll Riot.”
But if it’s Kelia Moniz who got the prize, for me it was Karina who won it. Karina surfs with a unique grace complemented by the unpredictability of her maneuvers. It is neither formal nor boring. Just like her .
From mouths critical of Miss Rozunko, you may hear she’s attempting to emulate Ozzy Wright (who quite frankly, isn’t a bad idol). Nevertheless, spending some time with her in Hawaii, I can tell they’re wrong. Karina pretends nothing. She is raw, sincere and endowed with a pinching sense of humor.
Stab: How old are you and where do you come from?
Karina: 23 years old. San Clemente.
How did you get into longboarding?
My dad grew up surfing and later started collecting boards that dated from the 60’s till now. He was always talking history of who and what was happening in the old world of surf and I thought that was interesting. So I guess that sparked my love for longboarding.
Who pushed you into it? Your brother?
I wouldn’t say he pushed me into it, he pretty much recommend that I shouldn’t ride a shortboard [laughs] and riding a longboard felt very natural.
Tanner rides short boards forever, don’t you like those?
It’s not that I don’t like them, I’m just not good at surfing them. And Tanner shreds harder than most humans on this earth though. Respect!
What makes the longboard more attractive in your eyes?
I think it’s the person surfing that makes it beautiful, not what type of board they are riding.
How would you describe classic longboard in your words?
In my opinion there is longevity in “classic” longboarding there is so much culture behind it, it’s where the surfing now evolved from, I think that the unique history is what has been keeping it alive and genuine.
And what about the modern longboard?
I feel if you longboard now, you are surfing in a modern way unless your riding balsa boards or D fins. There is a way to be progressive in a tasteful manner.
Between classic and modern longboarding where would you place yourself?
Hopefully in its own place.
What would you say to those who think longboarding sucks?
I love that. People thinking longboarding sucks it makes me love it more.
Who are your favorite shapers?
Thomas Bexon has been shaping me boards since I was 18 years old. I think that says something.
What do you think about the international female longboard scene today?
Yeah it’s crazy how many more girls are surfing in general. I’m into it.
How was it before? Any old inspirations for you?
There has always been a pretty solid Southern California longboard scene since I could remember. I always looked up to Kassia Meador, she’s great.
How do you imagine the log culture in the future?
Hopefully stay independent, if anything I think there will be more opportunity for the younger generation to travel and make money with events like the Duct Tape Invitationals.
Who we should keep an eye on?
So many girls are ripping right now the list could go on, but some groms that I think are ripping are California girls Summer Richley and Eva Levy, and Wakiki’s Kelis Kakeopaa and Keani Canullo are some girls to keep an eye out for.
Do you ride midlength singlefins as well? How does that change your approach of surfing and your approach of the wave?
I love to ride midlengths I have a few 7’6” gun shapes that I love riding. The approach doesn’t change I surf them like how I ride my log, just faster.
You just dropped your first film, how did it go?
I’m not sure how to measure how it went, but I was happy to release it and I feel good about it. It was fun to premiere Doll Riot alongside Hoon’s and Ainara’s edits. It was such a good mix between the three films.
Why the name “Doll Riot”?
Well the film was originally called “Bintang Barbie.” I bought a Barbie Doll on the way to Desert Point at a mini mart, because it’s always fun to bring some fried toy mascot on a trip. By the end of the trip she was pretty thrashed: dyed hair, tatted and pretty much living in the Bintang bottle. She makes a few appearances in the edit. There were some legal issues with using Barbie and we came up with Doll Riot.
The name “Doll Riot” for me stemmed from the 90’s music genre and movement ‘Riot Grrrl’ that came out of the indie rock and punk scene. Where women were able to express themselves in the same way men had been.
I thought that tied in because I wanted to make an edit like the boys edits I have seen. I don’t want to be put on a pedestal because I’m a girl.
Where was it shot?
It was filmed in Indonesia. Bali and Lombok
What did you want the public to see through this movie?
I wasn’t thinking about the public when making this, but I guess I was looking for a reaction. And maybe I wanted people to enjoy the surfing.
Who helped you to make it?
Jimmy Jazz filmed and edited it.
Who does the music?
A song called Manic by RED THEME. Two songs from Blistar.
There is an obvious artistic dimension in your film, what inspired you? How important was to put some art in it?
Everything fell into place and was filmed organically. I left my notebook lying around when we were at Deserts and Ozzie picked it up and did some drawings and poems. Jazz had the idea of putting his art in the film.
You also do some art work of your own, can we see?
How is art important to you?
I enjoy painting when I’m home, which hasn’t been often this year, I keep a notebook on me everywhere I go. I’m constantly doing random sketches and love sharing that with whoever I’m around.
Sounds like you had a tight crew behind your first short.
I admire everyone who was apart of the piece between the music, the drawings and the filming/edit I thought it was charming how it all tied together.
What would you show in your next movie to make it different from the first one?
I’m not sure yet. Even if I had an answer it will probably change by the time this interview comes out.
Any wishes for 2020?
To not spill as many drinks.
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