Those of you who visited us last season met our lovely surf coach and resident artist/long boarder, Kara Sparkman. This fall, Kara’s passion for art and surfing are coming together in a beautiful and inspiring endeavor, She and the Sea, that explores the surf life and culture of the Pacific Northwest. If you spent any time talking with Kara about She and the Sea, you already know how passionate she is about this project. As she and her team road trip along the coast from Oregon to Vancouver, they will be capturing and sharing the unique stories of the people (and especially women) who surf the cold and rugged waters of this area.
One of her first stops was in Washington, where Kara put her coaching skills to great use at a surf camp for kids from the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay. Watching Kara work with the kids here at Peaks n’ Swells, we have seen her genuine joy in helping kids catch their first wave, and we’ve seen her pass her love of surfing onto kids who never dreamed they’d be able to ride a wave, so we can only imagine the impact she must have had on the kids from Neah Bay. One of her She and the Sea colleagues, Elissa Pfost, who was a volunteer coach at the camp captured the experience in her own words:
“What a beautiful time! So many beaming smiles as we pushed kids onto the waves of their backyard beach; many standing up in the first half hour – total naturals in the water. The setting was stunning, with classic sea stacks silhouetted offshore, the forest plunging steeply to a wide, crescent beach, bald eagles winging overhead, and a river running through it all. The surroundings are beautiful, but reservation life is not easy, and most of these kids don’t get much opportunity for extended water play; the ocean here is cold and wetsuits are expensive. I am always impacted when I go to this area and work with the community. Connecting with the kids and their families around the universally joyful power of surfing reminded me of why we are working so hard to make this project go.“
Wow…”connecting kids and their families around the universally joyful power of surfing.” Couldn’t have said it any better.
She and the Sea is just getting started, and I can’t wait to see what this talented group does next. As they travel the coast, they will be exploring the unique minority of women who surf the Pacific Northwest, and chronicling their discoveries through drawing, painting, journaling, video, blogging, and photography. You can follow them on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, & Vimeo) or check out their beautiful website.
We can’t wait to welcome Kara back to camp later this fall, and to hear all about her adventures with She and the Sea!