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- American Canal Zone at the Isthmus
Karina Petroni Personal Life
Born in the American Canal Zone at the Isthmus of Panama, Karina grew up in an amazing paradise in her jungle home next to the Panama Canal, where her father was a sea captain and taking ships through the Panama Canal and her Norwegian mother the ever loving home maker. She began surfing at the age of two. Barefoot with fishing pole and machete in hand, adventure was her life, giving her the nick-name, “Mowgli”. Karina lived an outdoor life many would find hard to fathom as she spent most of her time in the jungle, exploring, surfing and fishing the undiscovered coasts of Panama and Canal Zone.
In 2000, her family moved to the U.S. when she was twelve, an adjustment Karina tackled with guts and grace. Much like a fish out of water Karina took to what she knew best ~the water~. Her family’s new beachfront home in Atlantic Beach Florida provided her the training ground where she could hone her surf skills towards competitive surfing. Her brother Erik, a surfer and previous competitor in Panama, saw her potential early on and began to coach Karina. It was his vision that has brought her to the top in her field. Erik set out on a very steady and calculated path to help his sister to be the best. Along with several months in California and elsewhere; their travels take them to Puerto Rico, Australia, Mexico and Indonesia every year where Karina explores the coast line surfing some of the best waves in the world. She is also a gymnast, plays the piano and was an honor student through completion of high school.
Her talent as a surfer has gained her a lot of attention, but her good looks have landed her modeling jobs as well. She has been appearing in publications like Girls Life, Teen People, All About You, Cosmo Girl, Teen Vogue, FHM, and ads and posters for watches, clothes, shoes, swimwear, skin products, automobiles, soft drinks and others as well as being styled in couture by fashion giant Versace. At 5’-11” and with the face of an angel and look of a surfing princess, it is no wonder that many refer to her as the “Maria Sherapova” of surfing.
Karina sets a high standard and fine example for other young hopefuls who want to surf competitively. With her strong convictions, Karina is devoted to her family and Christian upbringing. Her priorities are obvious as she carries herself like a young lady, well beyond her twenty years. She will be the first to speak out against drugs, alcohol abuse, smoking and anything that reflects women in a negative manner. Karina is an individual who not only stands her ground but exudes star quality. Be it her amazing athletic ability and fierce competitive nature in the water, her girlish giggle, breathtaking beauty or charismatic spokes-model confidence, one can’t help being drawn to her angelic appeal.
As Karina's accomplishments are a natural progression, she is determined to enjoy her youth and the spiritual soul surfing journey, which takes her to the far corners of the world. This young starlet is out to truly enjoy the world.