Steph Wilson works a corporate job in San Francisco, speaks fluent Spanish, and gets excited about arm wrestling. She likes riding in the back of muddy trucks and stylish riding of longboards on long fun rights. Yew!
Rox grew up in the Philippines with strict parents that claimed surfing was too dangerous. When she was 27 she moved to San Francisco and as soon as she got a car she also got a surfboard, and finally followed her dream of learning to surf. Two years later, she is loving her life spent in the ocean as much as possible. She came to Nicaragua to improve and loved it, especially the horseback riding.
I grew up in Southern California but my mom also thought surfing was too dangerous for a nice young lady. Fortunately I only had to wait until I was 15 and I had friends with cars until I could disobey my parents and go surfing. I was so inspired to hear Rox’s story because I could definitely relate.
It’s never too late, and anything is possible!
Nadine Janker is a tough German girl who played water polo in high school and built up some serious arm muscles and water comfort. She started the week in the whitewash, paid her dues with a few awesome wipeouts, but quickly progressed to riding overhead green waves! She is hilarious, charged to the top of a volcano, grabbed a real Nicaraguan machete, and proved that with determination and confidence anything is possible!
Jee Mee Kim lives at Rockaway Beach in New York, runs triathlons, has a young son, and rides all types of boards. She and I agree that too many people think longboards aren’t cool, and fun shapes are for kooks. A good surfer should be able to ride anything and if you know how to turn a longboard, shredding on a shortboard is even easier. On top of that, it’s all about fun so whatever board allows you to have the most fun is the one you should ride!
Check out this video for some advice on healthy living. Eat Right, Get in Shape, Be Outside, and Ride Something Fun!
Corine is a Suave Dulce addict. She learned to surf while growing up in Hawaii but never really mastered it. She came on her first retreat in July and learned more in one week than she did over several years in Hawaii. She came back again in November and took the progress even further. By her third retreat in El Salvador she was paddling herself into overhead green waves and even starting to walk the nose. So awesome!
Sharon is a writer from New York who learned to surf for the first time with Suave Dulce in Nicaragua. She came back for another retreat a year later and achieved her goal of catching a green wave. She says her boyfriend calls her a “determined little monkey” and I can see where the nickname came from. Go Sharon!
Tube riding is a surreal experience. Time slows down, worldly problems disappear, one feels totally connected and completely in the moment. Pulling into closeouts is still totally fun, but once you come out of a tube it’s the most amazing feeling ever!
Kelly Latimer is an inspirational character. She flies jets as a test pilot and was one step away from becoming an astronaut. She’s super smart, super funny, and super fun to hang out with! A member of the Huntington Beach based women’s surfing club Wahine Kai, she came to the very first Suave Dulce retreat when it was held at the infamous House Hunters house! All the girls were super fired up to get in the water right out of the airport taxi and rushed out into the warm ocean. Before I had even gotten all the girls organized with boards, wax, leashes, etc., I was informed that we already had an injury. What?! Kelly had somehow broken something in her leg. She was an absolute trooper, thinking it was just a sprained ankle, she carried on and walked all over the place and surfed in a tripod style (that I would copy when I broke my foot a year later). To see footage of her first trip:
She needed redemption! She came back to El Salvador and I actually got to see her stand and ride. She was ripping. See video at the top of the post.
Cyd Gurvich is from Vancouver, Canada. She spent the season in Nicaragua with Suave Dulce, scoring super fun waves and teaching yoga. Her surfing improved so much and the last two weeks in El Salvador she took it to a whole new level, doing cutbacks and sneaking into some little tubes. If you’re in Canada and want to do yoga with an awesome teacher who also surfs, check out her website: Sukhaline