Our Crew

NW Women’s Surf Camps – Our Crew

Lexie Hallahan
Director and Visionary, Head Surf Coach, Surfer, Bodyboarder, Dancer.

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. 2024 is their 20th Anniversary, an exemplary milestone in the surfing industry, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. In celebration of twenty years of creating unique empowering, connective and transformative surf and bodyboard event experiences for women and girls, the desire to share the outstanding beauty of the North Coast, the bounty of outdoor recreational opportunities, and amazing women leaders in local NW outdoor endeavors (outside of surfing) is how New Perspectives Day Adventures for women and teen girls was born. Check Out 2024 Series Here in hiking the Oregon Coast Trail, Kayaking the Nehalem Bay and Fishing out of Garibaldi Harbor

Favorite Rumi quote – “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

Kayli Jones
Surf Coach, Surfer, Gig Worker, Free Diver

“Surfing has become a way to experience joy, overcome fear and find a really deep connection with the natural world that I crave. Since my first wave I have taught myself and hundreds more people to surf and find that same sense of joy I first did in the beautiful waters on the Oregon coast.

I have a background in free diving and teaching yoga that I bring to my lessons and can give students unique emotional and physical tools to feel the most comfortable in the ocean.  I vividly remember all the struggles of learning how to surf and having so recently worked through those things myself, I feel I can help students from a fresh and relatable perspective.”

Jeannine Mackie
Mother of Kaija and Sadie, Surf Coach, Surfer, Physical Therapist

Surfing keeps me humbly connected to nature. I tune in and focus completely so my senses, vigilance and physical prowess can accept the dynamic nature of the ocean and the weather it creates. In the ocean’s mercurial resilience I find serenity.

Joanne Cremer
Bodyboard Coach, Bodyboarder, Landscaper, Volunteer Firewoman

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!

Personal quote- “The peace and quieting of my mind I get in the water is like no other.”

RJ Sweet
Camp Photographer, World Traveler, Surfer, Surf Coach, Snowboarder, Skater

RJ’s love of surfing started at a young age, being a second generation Oregon surfer. His dad Rick had him in tow on many summer days down to Short Sands as a young boy. He brings his enthusiasm and passion to every session he surfs. His love of photography came later to him. He studied in college the art of capturing life in photos, then after graduating he began traveling for surfing and photography. RJ has surf coached and been the staff photographer at the Sansara Resort in Panama for four winters. He has been our camp photographer and videographer for our surf video series for five years. We are thrilled to have RJ as our Camp Photographer. He shoots everyone of our camp events each summer. Photos shared after each camp event with our students.

Favorite quote- “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun!”

Rachel Steinke
Newlywed to Tyler, Surf Coach, Surfer, Pediatric Speech Pathologist

Rachel’s attraction to spending time in and around the ocean dates back to her youth. She gained her life-long “stoke” for surfing in college. She took an all women’s surfing class and was hooked! Rachel started surfing as often as possible and began teaching surfing and boogie boarding courses through the college and other community organizations. After graduation, she dedicated the next seven years to surfing and teaching surfing while studying yoga and massage on the beautiful island of Kauai. Since 2009, Rachel has lived and surfed the Oregon coast, but currently resides in the mountains. She looks forward to any opportunity for a weekend trip to the beach. When coaching surfing, she brings her commitment to always having FUN in the water, staying safe and utilizing proper surfing technique.

“Don’t worry if you’re making waves simply by being yourself. The moon does it all the time.” – Scott Stabile

Cara Ballard
Mother of Daysha, Surf Coach, Surfer, Special Education Teacher Asst.

Growing up on the North Shore of Oahu 3 houses from the beach my hair was rarely dry. I don’t remember when I learned to surf, as a child my entire day revolved around playing in the ocean. My love for the ocean and its impact on my life are immeasurable. I have been fortunate to travel and surf waves in Africa, Tahiti, Europe, Indonesia, Japan and Australia. Our family moved to Oregon in 2017 and we fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. Our winter days are spent on the Mountain snowboarding and when we are not there we are at the beach.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills as a surf coach at NWSSC. 

Beth Catt
Mother of Jonah and Neah, Surf Coach, Surfer, Asst Speech Pathologist

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.”

Macy Ray
Mother of Wake and Haven, Bodyboard Coach, Bodyboarder, Surfer, Senior Accountant

Macy started surfing in 2016 and immediately felt a connection. The ocean is one of the few places where she finds complete clarity and peace. Her connection with surfing has inspired her to be brave, to travel to new places, and to do things she never envisioned like coaching bodyboarding. Outside of surfing and bodyboarding, Macy has a corporate job where she spends her time learning new things, being bossy and always laughing! 

“When I’m out lost in the ocean, my restless soul echoes with the beauty of the sky.” – Anais Pierquet

Danni Bennett
Surf Coach, Surfer, Professional Landscaper, Artist

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!

Personal 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 and bodyboard instructor/coaches are experienced water people with over 150 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. All instructors teach with Gath surf helmets for their student’s safety and concussion prevention. 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!” 

Book your space in the best surf camps, lessons and clinics on the Oregon Coast today!