Bespoke Surf Leggings creator Danny Clayton can cut a rug

All photos courtesy of Danny Clayton

All photos courtesy of Danny Clayton

Gripe about technology all you want, but it's pretty magical when it comes to connecting people across oceans. Take Danny Clayton for example: we may have never known about her had it not been for her blog, Salt Gypsy. Now, we're lusting over her Bespoke Surf Leggings and chatting with her about life as a surf guide and getting down to some salsa music. Danny eats, sleeps, and breathes surfing, a lifestyle that's taken her from the corporate offices of Billabong New Zealand to the freewheeling life of a surf guide in the Maldives to a full-time job launching her own surfwear label. Get to know her now:

My name is Danny and I live in Bali. I'm originally from Aotearoa, New Zealand, where I grew up learning how to be confident in the ocean.

By trade, I'm a self-employed professional salt gypsy, which means that I spend my days chasing tropical barrels and curating style in the lineup. On my own time, I scour Bali for good coffee joints and slick surfwear makers.

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I admire people who make shit happen and believe in themselves and their vision.

When I have the weekend off from working, I usually spend it surfing, reading, and snuggling. And occasionally, a dance-floor blowout, preferably to live music and preferably barefoot.

My favorite place to spend time outdoors is in the ocean because it calms my monkey mind and makes me feel strong both physically and mentally.

My favorite outdoor activity is surfing (closely followed by lawn bowls and beer on a sunny afternoon) and it has taught me patience and humility (repeatedly). My gear of choice is from indie surfwear labels.

The most amazing place I've ever traveled is Japan where I drank a ton of beer, discovered my inner-karaoke-goddess, got naked with new friends at outdoor hot springs, and marveled at how contemporary and traditional life co-exist side by side. Living in the Maldives is up there too. The sunsets and waves are pretty epic.


One luxury item I always have with me is my all black and lime Nixon 51-30 watch. My most prized possession is my silver old-school revolver necklace inherited from my wannabe-cowboy dad.

To take care of my skin, I cover up, sunscreen myself, and moisturize! And regularly use Rosehip Oil. When my hair is in rough shape thanks to being outdoors all the time, I use deep conditioning treatments.

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One thing I'd love to learn how to do is speak Spanish fluently because I want to travel around Central and South America.

The most challenging outdoor activity I've tried is windsurfing! My brain just does not compute how to do this sport.

My weekly workout schedule looks something like this: surfing (but post-dengue/typhoid, I need to add back in yoga and running).

Bali Eastside

The next item I have a chance of crossing off my bucket list is doing a surf survival course and learning how to increase my breath hold and manage panic and fear in challenging surf situations.

My favorite piece of advice for living a healthy lifestyle is to be active daily. The words of wisdom I live by are: Life is short, so what's the point being miserable in sucky situations? Be brave, make change, and do what makes you happy. Keep smiling. Also, a New Zealand Maori proverb:

He aha te mea nui?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the most important thing in this world?

It is people, it is people, it is people.

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