Teenage Surfing Prodigies Mathea and Sanoa Olin On Sisterhood and Sibling Competition

Mathea and Sanoa Olin are killing it in the surfing world - and they aren't even old enough to get a driver's license.

Action Sports

Students spend their entire lives in school in preparation for the real world. There are 20-something-year-old adults out there going through mental crises because they have no idea what they want to do with their lives. Meanwhile, these two teens in Tofino found their passions at a young age, and they’re currently killing it in the surfing world.

Mathea Olin, 15, and Sanoa Olin, 13, are surfing sisters that are making waves in competitive surfing – figuratively and literally.

“I love surfing. I don’t know what I’d do without it,” says Mathea. “Every day, even when I’m in a bad mood, I’ll go surf and no matter what I’ll come back with a smile. It’s literally like my home and like my best friend really.”

RELATED: Professional Surfer Pete Devries Gives Us His Perspective of Tofino’s Surfing Community

Mathea and Sanoa Olin having a laugh on the beach while filming with The MIX. (The MIX/ Oliva Van Dyke)

At just 15 years old, the athlete has been described as a surfing prodigy with the way she’s been riding the waves. “I think that they were both born with just this inherit talent,” says their mother Dion Olin. “You know Mathea, from the moment that she could walk, we were blown away by her physical ability.”

But Mathea isn’t the only one in the family who has this spectacular skill. Her little sister Sanoa seems to have a natural ability with the waves as well.

“For Sanoa, she’s like one of these children that are on the Earth but not of the Earth,” says Dion. “So I’m a little bit amazed by her and just her divine passion and her ability to just go out there and get things done. She’s got this fire. Mathea kind of led the way and Sanoa was just this force behind her.”

Bronson Whycross and Ross Allen interviewing Dion Olin about the Olin sisters. (The MIX/ Oliva Van Dyke)

The sisters have been active all their lives and grew up doing pretty much everything together.

“Since we homeschool, we do school together, we surf together, we eat food together,” says Sanoa. “We literally do every single thing together. So you kind of get on each other’s nerves like a lot. We know how to get each other upset and frustrated but we’re so close.”

And although Mathea agrees that they can tick each other off, the bond could not get any closer.

“My little sister is always beside me like blabbing in my ear, trying to get me into trouble. No matter what but I love having her there, especially when we’re across the world. Nothing beats having my sister beside me and I always love having my sister in the water with me.”

RELATED: Surf Photographer Marcus Paladino And How He’s “Living the Dream”

Bronson Whytcross shooting footage of the Olin sisters. (The MIX/ Oliva Van Dyke)

Anyone with a sibling knows that the rivalry is real. With the girls being sisters and athletes, their competitive nature is on another level.

“We’re kind of competing for ourselves but me and my sister are probably some of the most competitive people ever,” says Sanoa. “My goal is always to beat her. But at the same time, it’s actually kind of funny, when I am competing against her and I’m actually doing well, I’m almost scared because I’m scared I’m going to beat her and she absolutely hates it. Other times I just really want to beat her.”

Mathea echoes the existence of their competitiveness – but of course, it’s done in a loving way. “We definitely watch out for each other a lot,” she says. “I know she’s right behind me and if I want to keep on doing well I’ll have to put a lot of work in because she just wants to beat me. I know that.”

With Mathea and Sanoa consistently placing 1st and 2nd respectively, like most little sisters, Sanoa admits that she looks up to her big sister.

She’s probably my biggest inspirations. She’s like pretty much one of the only reasons I’m who I am. I see her surfing. I see her doing new turns and I want to do them.

RELATED: Tofino-Based Surfboard Maker on Creating Boards: “When I’m shaping, I think like a water drop.”

Sanoa Olin smiles as her sister, Mathea Olin, gives her a piggyback ride. (The MIX/ Oliva Van Dyke)

At only 13 and 15 years old, the girls are a force to be reckoned with. And although the trophies and the medals are validating and rewarding, Dion hopes that her daughters appreciate the value of having an ally, partner, and sister always by your side.

“I hope that they really get to learn the gift of having each other out there and even if they’re competing against each other that there’s a beauty to that. That they’re there together and that they’re sharing these experiences, whether in competitions or training that it’s going to help them become better and to share that in a family is pretty awesome.”

In the meantime, the sisters have some big aspirations on their mind. Competing in the Olympics, qualifying for the World Surf League, and even having a role in a surfing-related film, are just some of the goals that they want to achieve. At the end of the day, Sanoa says it’s all about being able to do what you love.

“I love competing but as long as it involves the ocean and surfing and my family, I’m happy with that.”

RELATED: Here’s What Happened At Rip Curl Pro Tofino 2018

If you want to stay updated with the girls and their surfing journey, be sure to give them a follow on Instagram: @mathea_olin and @sanoa_passion.

Planning a trip to Tofino soon? Ocean Village Resort proudly supports the Olin Sisters and the resort is the perfect place to immerse yourself in all of the natural wonders Tofino has to offer. The MIX will be hosting a contest to giveaway accommodations there in the near future, stay tuned!

The Olin sisters hanging out with The MIX’s Head of Content Ross Allen and Ray the wiener dog. (The MIX/Olivia Van Dyke)