Malia Manuel Made a Splash With Her SI Swim Feature in Turks and Caicos

The professional surfer was photographed by James Macari for the 2020 issue.
Malia Manuel

Malia Manuel was photographed by James Macari in Turks and Caicos.

Professional surfer Malia Manuel was photographed in Turks and Caicos for her SI Swimsuit feature in 2020. The Hawai’i native traveled to the breathtaking island and posed for photographer James Macari.

The 30-year-old became the youngest surfer to ever win the U.S. Open of Surfing in 2008 at the age of 14. She won Rookie of the Year in ’12 and was ranked fifth on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour in 2014. Manuel revealed to SI Swimsuit that her biggest inspiration is her environment.

“Work for me, for the most part, is in nature, in the ocean; I’m constantly motivated and inspired with all that surrounds me in the water, whether that’s other athletes, friends, kids learning to surf for the first time, or just the stillness between waves,” she shared. “I thrive on the moments in between chaos and composure Mother Nature brings in the ocean. Every day is so different in the water, I’m constantly inspired to flow and learn to be present with my surroundings while I surf. On a personal level my friends inspire me—I’m lucky to have such healthy, forward thinking, supportive, confident, adventurous people in my life.”

Today, Manuel, who is a brand ambassador for Lululemon, is still riding waves around the world on the daily, but she’s also the cofounder of the sclpt co, an eco-friendly activewear and workout accessories brand.

Below are five of our favorite photos from Manuel’s 2020 SI Swimsuit photoshoot in Turks and Caicos.

Malia Manuel
Malia Manuel
Malia Manuel
Malia Manuel
Malia Manuel

Now through Nov. 1, 100% of SI Swimsuit’s portion of proceeds from cover prints purchased here will be donated to the Maui Strong Fund, which is helping to support the people and places of Maui affected by the recent wildfires.

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.