Cyrus Sutton and Manda Sun Paste

By Jamie Brisick

Cyrus Sutton is a professional surfer, a filmmaker, an environmentalist, and most recently a co-founder of Manda, an SPF-50 sun paste that’s been getting a lot of buzz lately. They’ve been written up in Outside, Ski, Condé Nast Traveler, The Huffington Post, Elle, etc. Manda is made with coconut oil, beeswax, zinc powder and other natural ingredients that are good for your skin—and won’t harm the reef! I called Cyrus up to get the lowdown—

Jamie Brisick: How did Manda come about?

Cyrus Sutton: My dad got diagnosed with skin cancer about eight years ago, and he wore traditional chemical sunblock religiously—he was outside a lot; he surfed a lot. It was around that time that I started becoming aware of the different chemicals in sunscreen. I have been surfing professionally since I was 18, and I really took my health into own hands. I wanted anything that went on my body to be as natural as possible—and that extended to my sunblock. Surfers are really looking at their impact on the places they love the most. We are canaries in the coalmines, to some extent. I started making my own sunscreen. It was trial and error over the years, but it went well. My buddies who I started Korduroy.tv with told me they wanted to make a company and asked me to be involved and we started Manda. Our vision for it is to make the highest performing, edible, organic, sustainable sunblock possible. Something that lasts for four-plus hours and yet is completely derived from non-synthetic, food-grade ingredients. Everything in the formula of the eight ingredients you can ingest. The face paste was our first product and now we’re coming out with a couple new products, a body cream and a pawpaw that’s kind of an homage to the Aussie pawpaw.

JB: And Manda and Outerknown—tell me about that?

CS: We got some paste to Kelly. I guess he enjoys it. He picked it to be part of the giveaways to the competitors at the Outerknown Pro in Fiji last year, and it’s available on Outerknown’s online store. Kelly finds the product worthy of protecting him in the sun, and we’re really stoked to be included in his offering of really high-quality products made as environmentally responsible as can be.

Jamie Brisick is a writer, photographer, and director. He surfed on the ASP world tour from 1986 to 1991. He has since documented surf culture extensively. His books include Becoming Westerly: Surf Champion Peter Drouyn’s Transformation into Westerly Windina, Roman & Williams: Things We Made, We Approach Our Martinis With Such High Expectations, Have Board, Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate, and Snow, and The Eighties at Echo Beach. His writings and photographs have appeared in The Surfer’s Journal, The New York Times, and The Guardian. He was the editor of Surfing magazine from 1998-2000, and is presently the global editor of Huck. In 2008 he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He lives in Los Angeles. For more of his work check out jamiebrisick.com & @jamiebrisick