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Beach Grit

Watch: Lisa Andersen shine in epic advertisement!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

I am completely biased, seeing that Lisa Andersen is my favorite surfer, but the newest advertisement from UK pharmacy chain Boots is the best of the year. I, like, you perk right up anytime surfing crosses into the mainstream. I watch Point Break (2015) and cringe. I watch Jeep’s Discover the Journey feat. Jordy Smith and turn away with tear-filled eyes. It’s just not right. It’s never right.

Until Lisa Andersen.

The beauty of this advertisement, featured in Adweek, is in its figurative approach. Surfing is very difficult to translate to a mainstream non-surf audience. It seems as if creatives always fall back on cliche or hyperbole when trying to capture elements of the lifestyle. This one succeeds by being gorgeously abstract. And of course Lisa is gorgeous.

I spoke with her just after she had come back from South Africa, where the piece was filmed, and she said the responsible ad agency (Mother London) was phenomenal. I asked what the most difficult part of the campaign was and she told me that she would have to sit in the cold water for long stretches at a time. The production crew would worry and ask if she needed breaks but, like a true, surfer she never flinched, knowing that it is impossible to get back in to cold water once exiting.

And let’s chat with her again!

What was the best part of the experience?

The best part was acting in a studio with such cool people in the cosmetics industry and the overall feeling of accomplishment at the end of production. Hard work and it has hopefully paid off and everyone enjoys the ad.

What was the most difficult part?

It was challenging to get the surf clips because the surf wasn’t very cooperative. We only had so many hours to complete a few shots that had to be very specific for the production crew. I’m used to just surfing for surf photographers and this was very different.

Is acting or surfing more difficult?

Hahaha acting for sure! I had so many takes for some scenes but at the same time it was fun and worth every take to get it right. It was important for me to come across as natural and not awkward even though I am an awkward person. (ed. note: She is not an awkward person. At all.)

Which pro surfers on tour are your favorites right at this moment?

My favorites to watch right now are Caroline Marks and Griffin Col. The young guns are inspiring and, like with all new generations, are raising the bar. I like seeing the change. It’s what surfing needs.

Amen and we will be hearing more from Lisa in the very near future. As you may, or may not, know I am almost almost almost done with Trouble: The Lisa Andersen Story. The incomparable editor, Jesse Schluntz, worked an honest to goodness 24 hour shift last week. I would be but a clanging gong without that man.