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Anastasia Ashley: Fellow Sports Illustrated models as pretty inside as they are out

Anastasia Ashley is not only a celebrated pro surfer, she was also splashed across the pages of Sports Illustrated’s coveted Swimsuit Issue. She joined us at the Fox411 headquarters to chat about her rising fame, a close encounter with a shark and her celebrity model gal crush.

FOX411: What was it like shooting for SI?

Anastasia Ashley: It was something I always dreamed of doing like who doesn’t want to be in a magazine with all of the most beautiful women in the world. Sports Illustrated is such a cool thing because it’s an athlete magazine, and it’s rad that they put athletes in the swimsuit issue every year because athletes have great bodies just like the models, maybe a little more athletic and toned but I think it’s really nice that they showcase that. So, this year they approached me, and asked if I wanted to do it and I was like, “Hell yeah, let’s do this.” 

FOX411: On your Twitter, you’ve befriended a lot of the models so you’re hanging out with Chrissy Tiegen and Kate Upton. 

Ashley: Yeah. Through SI and meeting all the girls at the events, they’re as beautiful personalities as they are looks-wise so they’re a blast.  It’s always fun to have drinks. They’re fun girls. What’s not to love? Chrissy Tiegen’s the best. She’s hilarious.

FOX411: Is she your celebrity gal crush?

Ashley: I’d say Chrissy Tiegen is definitely my celebrity girl crush, or Hannah Davis is a favorite too. She’s amazing. 

FOX411: When yo uare out there on your surfboard ave you ever had any crazy shark encounters?

Ashley: I’ve seen them and that’s been enough for me. Super close but maybe thirty feet away was close enough.

FOX411: What kind of shark?

Ashley: I believe that was a tiger shark.  I wasn’t really close enough to see but I was in Hawaii so I was assuming it was a tiger shark.

FOX411: When you see a shark what do you do?

Ashley: Get out of the water! I see a shark and I say, “Peace.” Surprisingly, the times I’ve seen sharks, people don’t get out of the water. Sometimes they’re just dolphins but when I see a dolphin, I’m out.

FOX411: What is the difference between being a male surfer versus a female surfer?  Are there fewer competitions?

Ashley: For any sport, I think females are not as usually well paid or they don’t have as many events. Surfing has been like that for a long time, and it’s been hard for a lot of girls to get sponsorships because there’s been a cut in events, so it’s great now with the Internet there’s so many great female surfers now that it’s awesome that we’re getting a lot of competitions back that have been gone for years, and a lot more money being put into women’s surfing. It’s been a lot harder for females to make it than guys.

Diana Falzone is a reporter. You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.