Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Karina Elizabeth Bergheim Petroni, my mother is Norwegian and my father was of Italian decent. I am 50% Viking and 50% Mafia, a very spicy combo.
I was born and raised in the Canal Zone of Panama, where my father was a pilot taking ships through the extraordinary Panama Canal. My upbringing was filled with adventure and numerous “bare foot” escapades.
I started surfing at 9 and quickly became involved in the local surf competitions which snowballed into a full blown professional surfing career by age 12. I surfed on the world tour for about 11 years and I am still the last woman from the East Coast of the USA to qualify for the world tour.
I met my now husband back in the fall of 2009, quickly fell in love and married him in 2013. I have now lived in The Bahamas full time since 2010 and have adapted to yet another adventure-filled lifestyle that involves flying in sea planes to look for unchartered waves, spearfishing our meals and diving in the clearest waters I have ever seen.
I still have my wonderful ties in the surf community and industry and have somewhat rebranded myself into a “adventuring water woman.” I have had the pleasure of collaborating with like minded people and creating beautiful imagery and content through out the last couple years and plan on creating more magic in years to come.
Where, when and how did you first learn to surf?
I started surfing in Atlantic Beach, Florida, my parents were commuting between Panama and Florida by the time I was 6 years old. My parents had me in the water at 6 months, and had me boogie boarding at 4 years old, although my brother didn’t push me into my first surfing wave until age 9.
What brought you down to the Bahamas?
I came down to the Bahamas on a 3 day weekend whim with a friend back in the fall of 2009. I met my now husband David, quickly fell in love and married him in 2013. That is an incredibly short answer to that question! [laughs]