Stab Magazine | Jaleesa Vincent Walks NZ's Long Left Catwalks

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Jaleesa Vincent Walks NZ’s Long Left Catwalks

Female surfing’s newest darling.

// Aug 9, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve been harbouring a moderate crush on Jaleesa Vincent for some time now.

In a world that seems to be coming more unhemmed every time you flick on a computer, there’s still few things that fill us with a modest hope that we mightn’t have veered completely off course: that a 200 lb Albanian rapper from Queens can have his own smash cooking show, that school kids are picking up the activist slack and marching out of school on Friday afternoons to stand up the the adults with their fingers in their ears about climate change, and, that Jaleesa Vincent, a multi-board, multi-instrument art tinkerer can call herself a professional surfer, of sorts.

stab mag jaleesa 6

An unremarkable wave breaking in front of a remarkable backdrop.

New Zealand’s a hell of a place for a road trip: coast to coast in a matter of hours (wind dependent), and more nooks and crannies than you’ve got the patience to check. It’s scarcely populated, beautiful, and Kiwi’s are generally friendlier than their Australian east coast counterparts (less of the perpetually tiring “yeah nah, nah, should’ve been here 25 years ago… mate.”) They’ve got lefts too, long lefts, and that’s what drew the goofy, affectionately named “Jelly Bean” across the ditch.

“Well first of all I just always wanted to surf Raglan,” says Jaleesa. “The trip was a good old fashioned roadie with Lachie (boyfriend), Luka (filmer) and Jake (older bro). I was so keen to surf some left points and New Zealand has sick ones we saw a swell hitting it and just thought let’s do it!” Jaleesa’s been putting in the work of late, including two Ments trips with the Rage gang, of which she’s the sole female member. 

stab mag jaleesa 5

JZ with a bona fide Rags whack,

Whilst the waves weren’t exactly the Ments, Jaleesa’s NZ trip screams fun, and therein lies her appeal. If it’s long and soft we’d far rather watch someone flow on something stumpy or finless than watch a grim man trying to desperately whack it in the pocket, and Jaleesa’s infectious smile and overt love of riding waves breeds optimism. 

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Apart from the surfing, the art, the music, Jaleesa also has the much underrated ability to throw an outfit together.

Jaleesa’s edits always contain moments that pertain to her hi-fi ability and leave us eagerly awaiting the inevitable shred clip, but in the meantime her ethos on the matter is hard to critique. “I mean, eventually I’d like to work to something more substantial, like a movie or a clip that’s got a year’s worth of my best waves and stuff like that,” Jaleesa says. “But for now if I’m having fun surfing with my friends and making music and doing little animations, well that’s something I enjoy doing and sharing.”

Amen to that, and – going on a few of the framies we’ve seen from the boat trip – Rage 3 may well introduce a whole nother JV.

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One of surfing’s finest bowl cuts, framed by brother Jake.

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