Just a little more about my surfstory….water has been a huge part of my life since I was a baby. I was born in Minnesota and my parents, both water lovers, put me in the lake with them when i was 6 weeks old. I don’t remember a time of not knowing the water. Its been a place where I’ve reset my life over and over again. I remember this random weird thing I dd as a kid….we spent summers at Pelican Lake, and every so often, I would just run to the end of the dock and jump in the lake in my clothes, and sit at the bottom for a second. My parents moved me West when i was 6, I grew up mostly in Idaho, but I still found water, teaching swimming lessons to neighborhood kids, racing on the swim team. I didn’t grow up on a coast like most surfers, so surfing started a little later in my life, but I always wanted to surf. and when my chance came, I took it. It was during the first part of my photography career at the time, and an amazing couple who just had a baby, had a surf shop they were closing down. They were generous, kind people and I traded them photos of their new baby for a brand new fiberglass 9’6″ Gordon Smith longboard I named Lola, and a wetsuit. I didn’t know how to surf yet. I was starting my life over, and found myself visiting Cannon Beach. Some strangers I made friends with took me surfing my first time in the whitewater at Short Sands Beach. They showed me what to do….and I’ll never forget my first ride, I got right up and rode to the shore with the biggest smile and sense of freedom I’d felt in a long time. I was hooked. Immediately after that, I decided to move to Cannon Beach full time, and make surfing a big part of my life. Some of my greatest friendships have happened over surfing. It was also then I met Michael in Boston, and when I saw him in a crowded room of Bostonians, I thought he might be a surfer, because he had a different vibe than most in the room. That turned out to be true…he’d been surfing the waters of the outer Cape. He came out here a couple years later and we’ve built our life living by this ocean. I’ve also been fortunate enough to ride waves in some other fun locations too.
Within a year after my first ride, I went through a very thorough certification program at Cannon Beach Surf to teach surfing. That was 15 years ago, and I’ve been teaching students and instructors ever since. I’ve met so many people over the years through water. I’ve also become a professional photographer and singer/songwriter during the course of this time, but managed to keep the water-time going. Its very grounding for me. This year, Mark Makenas sold me the surf rental and surf lesson part of Cannon Beach Surf, and although i never thought in a million years, i’d be doing this…..i’m doing this. So here we go in our first year of starting the business ourselves. I’ve seen how coming to the ocean for people means so many different things….but the one common thing i’ve seen in all the students i’ve worked with over the years when they get in the water is a sense of adventure, freedom, happiness, and empowerment…no matter what their skill level. I’ve learned from teaching over the years that surfing for people is so much more than riding a board….(that’s pretty great too), but it brings us back to our center….which is pretty cool. The ocean teaches us how to become more fluid.
Thanks for letting me share about my love affair with water.
KEEP RIDING WAVES!
Photos by Michael Costello