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Branden Aroyan

Ocean Divas Surf to Inspire

Growing Group of Middle-Aged Women Learn to Love Waves With Surf Happens


Last fall, mother, clinical psychologist, and newbie surfer Robbyn Jackson (second from left) organized a surfing lesson for herself and a few friends through Santa Barbara’s Surf Happens, the same school that taught her two sons to surf. The idea was simple: Turn a handful of “women of a certain age” onto the wonders of surfing. Little did she know it then, but Ocean Divas was being born.

In less than a year, Ocean Divas has grown into an eclectic crew of women ages 30-65 who gather frequently to surf under the tutelage of Surf Happens instructors and share their lives with each other during epic post-session champagne brunches on the beach. Explained Jackson, “We are women overcoming fears and losses, rediscovering ourselves, learning what it is like to be in action rather than on the sidelines watching our kids, and accomplishing bucket-list items.”

Currently, the Divas have a Sunday-morning clinic each week at Mondos Beach in northern Ventura County, as well as a few weeklong camps throughout the summer. Come fall, the group returns to three Diva sessions a week and is also planning for its first surf trip. “It is pretty inspirational,” explained Surf Happens honcho Chris Keets. “Seeing these middle-aged women, most of whom had no surfing experience, fall in love not just with surfing but with the whole lifestyle and the sense of tribe and community that comes with it — it’s amazing, really.”

For more info, go to surfhappens.com/surf-lessons/ocean-divas.

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