Human beings are inherently social creatures. We crave connection.
We are meant to live in close relationship with other people - sharing together in our joys and in our sorrows, and offering systems of support and care. Community support networks, in various forms, have been around forever - but these days, we might just not know where to look to find our village, or how to ask for the help we need.
As a woman-owned and women-led brand, we intimately know the importance of community, especially in caring for and raising our children. Community is integral to their healthy development, but it is as equally integral to the happiness and mental health of caregivers - particularly mothers, as they are the ones who so often shoulder most of the burden of care. As surfers, we know how important getting into the water is for our mental health. But, finding time to surf can be hard enough, let alone with children in tow.
So we were pretty excited to learn about Surfing Moms, a 501c3 nonprofit, launched in 2018 with the vision to start meet-ups all over the country (and world!) to help one another take care of ourselves, our children, and our oceans.
Five years later, Surfing Moms has local groups across the country, from Hawaii to Texas to Florida!
Surfing Moms' mission is "to help improve maternal mental, physical, and spiritual health by helping moms, and other caregivers, get back in the water after having children. Surfing Moms offers surf-care, community, support, play, and ocean time to improve everyone’s well-being. As our sisters in Australia have always said, A Surfing Mom is a Happy Mom! "
Through their weekly surf-swaps, Surfing Moms encourages mothers to continue to follow their pre-motherhood passions and remember that before they were amazing moms, they were already incredible women.
We love that Surfing Moms come together through their mutual love of surfing, but build and deepen this connection by sharing a love and responsibility for each others' children. This helps their children make friends with whom they can develop their love for the ocean, while developing caring relationships with other adults outside of their immediate family. In turn, their children gain a more diverse picture of their moms (and caretakers) in which they see them as full, whole persons who need to have fun and take care of themselves, too!
So, how does it work and where can you join?
Step 1 is to join via the Surfing Moms website and pay their annual dues. These dues pay for things like general expenses associated with running an organization, and also the cost of public liability and accident insurance.
Once you're a member, you'll have access to your local Surfing Moms Facebook page, which is where all the coordination for weekly meet-ups happen.
The group operates on the "surf swap" system, which is essentially the buddy system. During meet-ups one mom is partnered with another so that they're each only responsible for each others children. This is to ensure everyone's safety, which is paramount! Meet-ups typically last for around two hours, which gives each mom around 45 minutes to an hour to surf!
No group local to your area? Start one!
Surfing Moms will help guide you through the process of establishing your own local chapter.
The impact that Surfing Moms has had in their members lives is undeniable.
Founding board-member and Surfing Mom since 2018, Dr. Amelia Rachel Hokule'a Borofsky (pictured below) says, "As a solo mama, there is no way I could have surfed without this free childcare and guilt -free mama village. Surfing Moms gave me community, surf, and sanity. When I'm yelling, my kids now say, "Go SURF mama!" ...Surfing Moms changed my life."
Yulia Maui, a San Diego based Surf Mom says , "Joining Surfing Moms was one of the best things that happened in 2022. It made me feel like myself again. Gettingout in the water with girlfriends, meeting after for brunch and dinners, being surrounded by like minded ladies and building community-is priceless. It was a breath of fresh air. ...A life changing experience. "
Surfing Moms is truly inclusive, welcome to all levels of surfing and to all caretakers - whether you're a father, a grandmother, or an auntie !
Santa Cruz based Surfing Mom Jeannine says,"I'm so glad I found Surfing Moms. I was worried being a perma-beginner surfer that I wouldn't fit in, but the mamasare so supportive and positive; it turns out every level and ability is present. It is wonderful to have this organization to create intentional community, support other moms, and spend time having fun outdoors! "
We are so grateful that a group like this exists and hope our Seea sisters around the country find it inspiring! If you're a mom (or any caretaker!) looking to get more time in the water while also building a village of people who share in your love of surfing, then fifind out if there is a group in your area or begin the process of starting a group here.
*All photos courtesy of Surfing Moms