When and how did you get into surfing?
I grew up around water and started on a bodyboard when I was young, pulling into closeouts at my local beach. Eventually, when I was 18 or so, a good friend convinced me to try standing up. He showed me new waves in our town and eventually up and down the Rhode Island coast. So many of my friendships over the years have been cemented by a mutual love of water.
What are your favorite parts about the area where you live?
Westerly is a pretty small town. I’ve always preferred living in a tight community where every dollar spent at a local business feels like it’s helping out in some way. We also live a few minutes from beautiful beaches with crystal clear water and an amazing network of trail riding.
What do you want people to know about Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is a special place. We have fun waves, great seafood, and lots of open space for hiking and biking. Living in New England year-round can be tough—there are lots of cold, gray days. With that, though, comes a vibrancy. Watching shuttered summer towns come to life in the spring is just as thrilling as seeing the daffodils poke through the ground. The sum- mer landscape hums with beauty, exhausts itself with one last hurrah in the fall, and slips back into its winter slumber. This ebb and flow keeps things interesting in a really subtle way.
What’s it like being a surfer in New England?
The waves can get really good here but it is important to have a well-rounded quiver. We can go a month without seeing anything over waist-high. And when a proper swell does pop up, there may only be a four-hour window where tides and winds align. However, in the winter months, you can surf some really amazing waves with just the people you showed up with. Not being able to surf every day can be a blessing, really. It allows us to stay focused on work, family, and other responsibilities—and then drop everything for a few hours when it gets good. And when it does turn on, it feels like that much more of a reward.