NW Women’s Surf Camps – Our Crew
Lexie Hallahan, Director and Visionary
In the spring of 2005, Hallahan launched NW Women’s Surf Camps with an inspired and talented team of surf instructors. Her vision then and now being realized, is to create Northwest surfing opportunities for individuals to expand their lives, deepen their connection with the ocean and its environment, and broaden their horizons with the transformation that surfing offers. Along with her vision is her mission to continue to widen the newly thriving NW women’s surfing community in the Pacific NW for decades to come. Since that initial summer with just three Day Surf Camps for women offered, NWWSC has grown sustainably and organically with the diverse surfing program they now offer, to women and men, adults, teens and little kids. 2018 is their 16th season with their focus, accomplishments, mission and vision having been a resounding success!
Favorite Rumi quote – “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
Beth Gergick, Surf Coach, Asst Speech Pathologist, and new Mother of Jonah and Neah
Meet the Talent of NW Women’s Surf Camps and Retreats- Beth Catt’s joy for life and the ocean is contagious! She brings her sweet passion and enthusiasm to each event and lesson she teaches for NWWSC. Her years of surfing and surf traveling offers students a personal perspective for them to learn from. Gifted in teaching others, both in Spanish and English, what she shares is invaluable to the NWWSC program.
Personal quote- “Surfing for me is so much more than just riding a wave. It’s respecting and loving the ocean for its playfulness and humbling power, it’s my connection to the Creator, the cultures and adventures I’ve thrown myself into searching for waves, the belly laughs and amazing people I’ve met along the way. When it all flows together in perfect synchronicity on a wave, it produces a kind of joy inside of me that’s really hard to explain. So all I can do is give thanks and hope that I can share that feeling with others.”
Katie Sasso, NWWSC Surfing Coach
Surfing gives me a feeling of freedom and peace. I love being challenged by the ocean and feeling part of something bigger than myself. I love being in the water plus it is great exercise. I have met great people through surfing, including my husband, and we hope to continue surf adventures around the World. As a surf instructor, I love to share my excitement and stoke with students!
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Born with the salt water smell in the air, I grew up less than a mile from the beach. The beach was always my favorite place, my playground, my safe place, my church. I started splashing around on a bodyboard when I was 5. I was 10 when I felt strong enough to paddle out on a surfboard for the first time.
I surfed throughout the North East, where I grew up. I have been out West for the last decade, hitting the waves and mountains of California and Oregon. I quickly fell in love with the PNW. The water is pretty close to the color and temp of my home beach, but with a more raw feeling; a place where I find peace, and epic storm days, where I get to experience Nature’s powers of both destruction and growth to breathe into my Life!
Joanne Cremer, NWWSC Bodyboarding Coach
Joanne started bodyboarding in 1982. NWWSC Director Lexie and Joanne were 2 of the 4 original North Coast women in the mid 80’s to surf waves here. They both started off bodyboarding in the Seaside Cove. Joanne’s passion for travel and being in the ocean has taken her through Central America, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and the West Coast. She lifeguarded on Cannon Beach for 25 years and has been an essential part of the Cannon Beach Fire Department for years. She is grateful for the beauty and positive energy the Ocean gives us!
“The peace and quieting of my mind I get in the water is like no other.”
Cheryl Johnson, Owner/Paddler Clatsop Paddle Company, NWWSC SUP Coach
As a local North Coast resident, CJ’s life has always been intertwined with the sea, her business Clatsop Paddle Company was born out of a desire to introduce people to the magic potion of the sea on paddleboard tours. In addition to great surf, the Oregon Coast is a flat-water paddler’s paradise with numerous estuaries, bays, lakes and rivers. With stunning scenery as a backdrop, an abundance of wildlife and a region steeped in rich history, this is a prime destination for paddlers, nature lovers and history buffs.
Paddle trips have taken CJ to the Canadian Rockies, Central America and as far as Indonesia and the Philippines. While it is incredibly exciting to travel and experience other cultures and landscapes, CJ feels blessed to paddle here at her home along the North Oregon Coast. CJ and the Director of NWWSC have been collaborating in numerous stand up paddling camps for the last two summers. CJ will sup coach with Lexie during this summer’s Mindfulness on the Water and in Life- SUP and SUP Yoga Day Camp experience.
“The sea is calling and I must go.”
Danni first started surfing in the fall of 1997 at Oregon’s Oswald West State Beach, Short Sands Beach, affectionately called Shorties. Upon catching her first wave she immediately fell in love with surfing and hasn’t looked back since.
Danni’s passion for surfing has led to many adventures both here locally along the West Coast and beyond to Hawaii, The Great Lakes, the East Coast, and internationally. She has met many amazing characters along the way and feels blessed to live the surf life!
Favorite Quote: “After I caught my first wave everything changed for me, it shifted, in a good way!”
More About the Talent of NWWSC
All of NWWSC’s surf instructor/coaches are experienced water people with over 100 years of surfing time between them. They’ve traveled for surfing adventures to Indonesia, Europe, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaiian Islands, Canada, California, Florida, and the Pacific Northwest. They have all taken and completed a Lifeguard Certification Course. All are currently certified in American Red Cross CPR and First Aid. Surf Coach Dennis Braun has spent 22 years beach lifeguarding on both Seaside and Cannon Beach. All instructors teach with Gath surf helmets for their student’s safety. Soft top surfboards are provided in their camps. A rescue surfboard and First Aid Kit are provided at every lesson and event, in case of an emergency. They’ve “raised the bar” in both qualified surf instruction and the safe way they conduct it.
“We don’t simply push our students into waves so they can claim they caught one, we empower them with the necessary skills to pursue their passion to learn surfing!”
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