I am a snowboarder. I started ripping it up in the mountains as a scrawny eight-year-old girl, and now I'm in my 30s. You do the math! In my head, surfing seems a lot like snowboarding, except that it’s free and you don't have to drive four hours in sketchy conditions to jump on a board. The folks I photographed for this series don't even have to get in a car. They cross the Great Highway and the ocean is their playground.
The incredible people I encountered in the Outerlands all share one common thread – an organic, almost spiritual love for the ocean. Pam took me out to the beach for a little surfing with Henrique. I met Alex of Surf For Life, who takes kids on surf/work trips to Costa Rica. I got to know Sarah and Alex of Alex Martins' Surfboard Repair, who fix boards (usually broken in half). I then befriended James at Sunset Shapers, who builds custom boards for people from scratch.
Finally, I photographed Aleks, the owner of Aqua Surf Shop, and became acquainted with his dog, who stole the show.
My overall take on the surf crowd? Every person I met was incredibly fit, happy, positive, and mellow. If that's what happens when you're one with the ocean – a full-on cleanse of the body and mind – then I want to be a part of it. Looks like I'm going to have to get my first wetsuit soon. The water is calling!
Head out to the ocean past the Great Highway in the Outerlands for some surf! New to the sport? You can get a board at Aqua Surf Shop out on Sloat and suit up to hit the waves.