May 2021

by Joni martin & Christy Shults | Photographed by Kevin Painchaud

...in Santa Cruz County there’s a whole subculture of moms who get recharged regularly just by paddling out for a killer surf session.

Every year on Mother’s Day our society seems to suddenly remember that the wells women draw on for their parenting need intentional refilling. But in Santa Cruz County there’s a whole subculture of moms who get recharged regularly just by paddling out for a killer surf session.

No female Jeff Spicolis, these women include college professors, teachers, business owners, a judge, a surfboard shaper and a nonprofit executive. What they have in common is a passion so deep that many have taken turns watching each other’s children on the beach to get their water time.

For some, surfing is a shared bond with their kids, keeping teenagers close and filling weekends, holidays, and family vacations. For others, surfing is “me time”; stress washes away as they focus on the ocean and its motion in the company of otters and seabirds, sometimes even dolphins and whales.

This is far from an exhaustive list of the moms who surf in Santa Cruz, and their tidbits of stories are just a sampling of what they shared with Growing Up.

Read More About These Mamas

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