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How do you know you’ve got a good thing going? When you launch a YouTube channel that racks up 43,000 subscribers in less than six months!
Tina Cohen is a social media personality, content creator, and bright-eyed surfer hailing from the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Here’s what happened when Eidon caught up with this rising star about life behind the lens, expert vlogging tips, and her famous Tina terminology.
Eidon: Your life is full of adventure, from faraway lands to your backyard in Oahu. Tell us about the most amazing trip you’ve taken!
Tina: Growing up, my goal in life was to complete university and travel the world. It didn’t necessarily have to be in that order, but most of my adventuring happened after I graduated, since I finally had extra time on my hands. And let me tell yah, I’ve had so many fun adventures!
Although there are many that come to mind, I have to answer this question with: any adventure where I can be in a swimsuit the entire time. Bali and Brazil were some of my favorites – bikini 24/7 and no one thinks you’re weird! In Hawaii, I go grocery shopping, to the bank, and to the post office with sandy feet and in a swimsuit!
Eidon: You launched the Tina Cohen vlogs with your sister in October 2020 and have since grown to over 43k subscribers. What inspired you to put your life on camera?
Tina: Oh my goodness, before I answer this question, I just want to say wow – 43,000! Literally lost for words! Okay, now that I got that out of my system, back to the question.
Growing up with a professional photographer as a father, I was very used to having a camera in my face 24/7. He would seriously never give me a break, taking photos of every moment, but I didn’t mind it at all. It was normal for little Tina. My parents are definitely the reason why I started modelling at age 4 or so, for a Japanese wetsuit company showing off their kiddo line!
As I grew up, I managed to get more modelling gigs, TV show work, and even commercials (all in Japanese – which was cool, but because I did all my work in Japanese, I wasn’t too ready to be in front of the camera speaking English.) Fast forward to now: I am dating Jamie O’Brien, who has his own YouTube channel that I actually help run.
Since I helped a lot with structuring Jamie’s vlogs, I knew exactly how much work went into each and every episode. That actually made me NOT want to do my own channel initially – but I had plenty of practice, which was a huge advantage! After about a year or so of encouragement from Jamie, plus other YouTubers like Casey Neistat, I finally went for it and WHO KNEW I’D BE WHERE I AM NOW!
Eidon: What kinds of lessons have you learned from putting your life on camera?
Tina: Don’t be too fake. I add “too” because everyone that puts themselves out there is somewhat fake. They want to do their best to portray a better side of themselves to the world, but that doesn’t mean you need to pretend like everything is only rainbows and butterflies. When things go wrong, I showcase it.
I’ve already fully cried in one of my vlogs … it was so embarrassing, but I got a really good response because I was being myself. Honest and raw. And at the end of the day, filming vlogs like that – which really showcase ME and WHO I AM – is more enjoyable for me as a vlogger. I don’t have to pretend to be someone else, I can just be myself!
Eidon: What do you think makes a good vlog? Do you have any tips for girls who want to start their own?
Tina: I know this might sound silly, but my tip is to simply be happy! Even when the waves aren’t that good or the weather forecast was meant to be sunny, but now it’s raining all day, just film and say it’s an awesome day! Believe me, sometimes I feel silly doing it, but it works! Not only do the viewers believe you, but suddenly, you also believe it yourself. I’ve had a solid number of filming days when the waves were so junk, but once I started rolling, it ended up being one of the best days ever!
If you want to vlog, pick up a camera, smile, have fun with it, talk about how awesome the day is, and your happiness will be contagious – not only for the viewer, but for yourself too!
Eidon: Anyone who watches your vlog will hear you refer to waves as “Tina Size.” How did this term come into existence? Where are the best “Tina Size” waves?
Tina: I used to say “Tina Size” years ago – it definitely is not a new term! Living on the North Shore, waves are often TOO BIG for me, and instead of saying “the waves are too big” or “the swell is way too gnarly,” I just say “today is not Tina Size” or “today is perfect Tina Size!” I’m pretty much the same person in real life as I am in my vlogs, so if you hang out with me, you’ll hear me say “Tina Size” and “excited!” a lot.
The best Tina Size waves are probably at Chun’s Reef or Haleiwa Ali’i Beach, or even Pua’ena Point! They’re all about 5 minutes apart from each other on the North Shore of Oahu. I hope to keep adventuring around the world and find more perfect Tina Size wave spots!
Eidon: Swimwear is a part of your everyday life. What do you look for in surf-able swimwear and what are your favorite Eidon pieces?
Tina: My favorite bikinis are ones that are not only cute to wear, but also don’t fall off when surfing. Flattering + Functionality = Perfect Suit! I have to say, I love Eidon pieces for the fact that they do both, AND they come in BRIGHT AND HAPPY COLORS! I mean, what more can a girl ask for? (Correct answer: nothing other than some Tina Size waves to go with it!)