6 October, 2016 6 October, 2016

Lightwaves With Saskia Koerner

Saskia Koerner is a world renowned photographer from Cape Town who is creating ‘light waves’ with her beautiful portraits of the lovely tribe of single fin lady sliders who she has encountered along the way. After a stint in fashion design and nailing a degree in photography, Saskia has recently moved back to Bali after living in New York City.

While she still has a keen eye for fashion and shooting on the international stage, Saskia is currently focusing on fine art portraiture in Bali and throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

Saskia cruising on her coveted single fin. © Sasha Golnayova

Saskia cruising on her coveted single fin. © Sasha Golnayova

At present, Saskia has an exhibition on in Bali at the Deus Gallery where she is featuring a portrait series on single fin female surfers. It is an exhibition celebrating the feminine spirit of women surfers whose lives are closely interwoven with their passion for surfing single fin boards, all taken on a vintage Hasselblad analogue camera. Zigzag caught up with Saskia to find out more about her story…



Zigzag: How did you get into surfing, what do you surf and where do you mostly ride nowadays?

Saskia: I grew up dreaming of surfing but was terrified of the ocean and back in those days it wasn’t too common for a girl to be surfing in Cape Town. My father is a surfer and luckily through him I always had some kind of access to the surfing world but was terrified. I finally got into it at age 29 in Cape Town and have been hooked ever since. I started with short boarding but I love riding various boards. I am currently obsessed with this 6’2 egg shape thruster and my 9’2  singlefin. I am still looking for a step up board – maybe a 6’6 singlefin?



How would you describe your particular style of photography / art? Do you have similar themes between your subject matter or a particular conceptual focus?
I am for sure still developing my eye and style. Portraiture is my favorite. It is the most challenging but also the most enjoyable for me. I love meeting people and hearing their stories. If I manage to capture them – that’s a magical moment. I love shooting analogue and experimenting with pinhole, double exposures and different formats. I did an exhibition once of transfers on to silk chiffon, I would like to experiment more with that.



Tell us a bit more about your exhibition ‘Light Waves.’ How long have you been working on this piece and what makes it unique?
Whilst studying in LA I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was going to spend 3 years down the road from one America’s best right hand point breaks, Rincon – the Queen of the Coast. I noticed the amazing crew of ladies surfing Rincon and knew that I wanted to capture them on this old camera I was experimenting with. The break is so rich with surf history and you have all generations charging solid Rincon – amazing.


Sweeney and Anita.

I moved back to Bali and was surfing my old local Batu Bolong again. I was so stoked to share the waves with so many amazing girls on long boards. Many of them were long time friends already and I asked if they were keen for me to take a portrait on the beach. I had a pile of expired film that was given to me and I took the risk. I enjoyed the process of meeting up with all these awesome wave riders at sunrise to capture them before or after their morning session. Suddenly it was 40 girls I photographed and we decided to put on the show LIGHT WAVES at the Deus Gallery in Canggu. Luckily the expired film came out great! Dreamy with sparkles and pink fog. I couldn’t be happier.

In a particularly male-dominated surf industry, how does ‘Light Waves’ challenge feminine stereotypes / shed a unique light on women’s surfing?
Hmmm, big question. Haha, Well, its pretty apparent in the commercial surf industry that the portrayal of women is quite sexist. In the competitive women’s surfing world it is harder for a girl that doesn’t fit this ‘stereotypical sexy babe’ look to get a sponsor. I wanted to just capture all of the awesome women from all over the world, all generations.


Be sure to check out more of Saskia’s work HERE.
*All portrait images are by Saskia Koerner.
**Featured Image: Kate.


  1. Claire Tucker
    7 October, 2016 at 1:16 pm · Reply

    Awesome xxxxx SUSKIA you are an inspiration, an artist and full power babe xxx amazballs!!!!

  2. Tapuwa
    8 October, 2016 at 12:47 pm · Reply

    Yay! Great article about a great woman capturing other great women. The spirit of adventure continues.

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