Our Crew

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. 2020 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.”

RJ Sweet, Camp Photographer, World Traveler, Surfer

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 the last few winters. We are thrilled to have RJ join us this summer in all of our camps, as our Camp Photographer. 

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

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

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 Surf Coach, Elementary School Teacher, Mother of Sophia

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!

Favorite quote- “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Danni Bennett

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!”

Joanne Cremer, NWWSC Bodyboard Coach, 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.”

Macy Ray, NWWSC Bodyboard Coach, Business Manager, Mother of Wake and Haven

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

Aiden Herth, NWWSC Surf Coach, Farmer

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!

“You can’t fight these big waves…” -Big Z from movie Surf’s Up

Jeannine Mackie, NWWSC Surf Coach

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.

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!