Last year, I had the lovely experience of surfing with Kara Sparkman, a long boarder, artist, and surf coach at Peaks n’ Swells, who is also a founder of She and the Sea, an inspiring initiative to explore women and surfing in the Pacific Northwest. Far from the warm tropical waters of Costa Rica, Kara has spent this summer and fall on the Pacific Coast between Oregon and Vancouver Island delving deep into the surf culture and lifestyle unique to that corner of the world. Road tripping along the coast line and documenting the journey through art is the simple story of She and the Sea. The real story though, is the people they will meet and lives they will impact through this endeavor. Their most recent stop at Neah Bay in Washington is a perfect example. Partnering with the non-profit, Warm Current, She and the Sea hosted a free surf camp for kids from the Makah reservation in Neah Bay. Warm Current provided the boards and wetsuits, and Kara joined a group of volunteers to provide instruction. These are kids who have grown up on the coast, but without much access to water play. The ocean is cold and wetsuits are expensive. I liken it to the kids here in Vermont who grow up in the shadow of the mountain, but never get the opportunity to ski or snowboard. Getting out into their own backyard to surf connects the kids to their home environent in a new way, and provides the kids with a healthy source of recreation. Most important though, they have a blast. Kara wrote to me that she can’t wait to go back to the reservation for continued surfing and mentoring…and I can’t wait to read about this next chapter of her adventure on She and the Sea.
Of course, an endeavor such as She and the Sea requires funding, and so Kara and her team have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to raise money for the rest of their journey. I think this video they created beautifully showcases their mission and artistic talent, and I’m more than happy to share it with all of you in support of their journey.