May 2021

Shana Bartlett

26 years Surfing

Tell us about an intense or fun surfing memory

I was on a surf trip in Mexico with about 14 grom surfers and a few guy leaders including my husband when I was 21 years old. Funny enough,a handful of those groms became Santa Cruz’s top surfers just a few years later(Anthony Tashnick, Bud Freitas, Darshan Gooch, Peter Garaway and more). I was feeling really off, tired and nauseous. It hit me on the trip that maybe I am pregnant. There were no girls to talk too about these symptoms and no phones to look up anything on. I can still remember confiding in my little brother Peter who was 12 years old as we walked to the outhouses that “I think I might be pregnant.” Sure enough, I came home, bought a pregnancy test and found out we were expecting our first child. I stopped surfing almost immediately after finding out we had a baby on the way. Three weeks after Selah was born I as back in the water again.

What is your occupation

Full time mom

Tell us something unique about you as a mother who surfs with/without your kiddos

I have 5 children. After my first was born I competed in the last 5 or 6 Star Oneill Coldwater Classic event that came to Steamer Lane. I think it was 1999 or 2000, about 21 years ago! All the best female professional surfers in the world were here competing. I ended up making it to the quarter finals, last local girl still surfing in it. I even made a little money. This was one of the last competitions I did.

What is your most memorable surf moment with your kids?

Well, with all 5 of my children it is the same memorable experience when my husband and I see them ride their first wave. Nothing beats the pure joy that this brings watching the smile go across their face as they ride the wave. It is a similar feeling when I watched them catch their first wave at the Lane which is our home break.

What are some challenges of surfing related to motherhood?

Wow, there are so many! When I was a young mom it was very hard for me to not be able to surf all the time and to be exhausted. Each new baby made this more challenging. However, with maturity and perspective change this challenge completely went away and I found a new appreciation in watching my children be out in the water catching waves. Another challenge is as a mom there are always countless things going through my mind from schedules, dinner plans, school work and all the needs children have. Often, as a woman, at least for me, it is hard to separate all of these demand and be able to relax and go surf. This is exactly why I have surfed a lot less over the years.

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