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OUR AMBASSADORS

Athletic Ambassadors

Hannah Bennett

Athletic Ambassador

Hannah grew up on Rotuma, a small remote island north of the Fiji archipelago. She competed in the 2016 World Qualifying Series as Fiji’s first professional surfer on the circuit. Preserving and  prioritizing the natural world is a big part of her culture and heritage and its shows: she serves as Vice President for the Fiji Surfing Association, as a trustee for Fiji’s Great Sea Reef campaign and is the co-creator of DILO UP, Fiji’s first ever reef-safe sunscreen.

Miguel Blanco

Athletic Ambassador

Born in Portugal and raised by the sea, Miguel Blanco has found himself in the ocean since the early years of his life. He has experimented with alternative board shapes and pushes the limits of big wave surfing to the point of becoming a fixture at the heaviest and most demanding surf breaks. As an ardent environmentalist and socially concerned citizen, Miguel uses his platform as a professional surfer to spread awareness about the importance of ocean conservation. He currently lives in Ericeira, the epicenter of surfing in Portugal and home to the 2nd World Surfing Reserve.

Otto Flores

Athletic Ambassador

Otto’s love of surf and environmental advocacy have merged into his current career trajectory. In 2017, he became a key Waves for Water Caribbean Hurricane Initiative leader in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, helping set a course for recovery with an emphasis on sustainability.

Tyler Fox

Athletic Ambassador

Tyler Fox hales from the cold water and powerful waves of Santa Cruz, California. He has been fortunate enough to travel throughout Europe teaching kids to surf, mixed it up with the world’s best big wave surfers on the Big Wave World Tour as well as a 4th place finish in The Mavericks Invitational. Founder of Santa Cruz Waves magazine publication.

Sarah Gerhardt

Athletic Ambassador

Sarah Gerhardt grew up on the Central Coast of California and started surfing in the 8th grade. She was soon connected to surfing as a daily part of her life, and started exploring new surfing challenges within her high school years.

Cliff Kapono

Athletic Ambassador

Born on the eastern shores of Hawai‘i, Dr. Cliff Kapono lives a life filled with science research, journalism and professional surfing.

Greg Long

Athletic Ambassador

Greg Long is often referred to as “the best young big wave surfer on the planet.” Born and raised in San Clemente, and despite success in the amateur ranks, Greg took a turn away from traditional pro surfing, to pursue his passion for surfing huge waves.

Pacha Luque Light

Athletic Ambassador

 Pacha Luque Light is a 23 year old Ecuadorian-Australian surfer led by passion and purpose, sharing stories and doing what she can to heal the Earth. At 14, she organised a paddle to raise awareness for a World Surfing Reserve from Snapper to Burleigh, Australia. She competed on the WSL World Qualifying Series full time for 5 years, she decided to step back from the contests and shift into free surfing and advocate for ocean playgrounds. Since then she’s traveled back to her birth country of Ecuador and continued her work in ocean conservation and coastal protection with local communities. 

João de Macedo

Athletic Ambassador

João began his surfing adventure by bodyboard at age seven in Praia Grande, Sintra. Back then, he found his lifetime passion in Atlantic Ocean roughness. This passion inevitably became a career connected to the sea: he was the first Portuguese, and European, professional surfer to qualify to paddle in the WSL Big Wave Tour, which he finished in the Top 5 back in 2012/2013 season. He founded “Surf Academy” and was a co-founder of World Surfing Reserves. 

Katie McConnell

Athletic Ambassador

Katie is a surfer, diver, ocean scientist, and educator. She holds an M.S. in Microbiology with a minor in Risk and Uncertainty Analysis in Marine Systems from Oregon State University. Hailing from the kelp forests of California, Katie supports programs that benefit people and the planet, from the tropics to under Antarctic ice and everywhere in between and beyond. She loves surfing big waves and was the women’s winner of the 2022 Lobos Por Siempre big wave contest at the Punta de Lobos World Surfing Reserve in Chile as well as the 2022 Red Bull Magnitude Rookie of the Season. 

Kassia Meador

Athletic Ambassador

Kassia Meador, is California born and bred, and began surfing the waves of the Pacific at age 14. Known for her graceful style and flow, she was crowned the “queen of noseriding” by the New York Times and ranked 2nd on the women’s longboard world tour. Her first-hand experience inspired her to launch a brand of high-vibe low-impact women’s surf lifestyle products called KASSIA+SURF.  

Ramon Navarro

Athletic Ambassador

Chilean surf legend Ramon Navarro was born at world famous point break Punta de Lobos. He is one of Chile’s first professional surfers, and has a reputation for seeking out and riding giant surf, whether in his home country of Chile or around the globe. The son of a fisherman, Ramon also maintains a strong passion for protecting precious coastal resources in Chile and beyond.

Tiago Pires

Athletic Ambassador

Tiago Pires, aka Saca, is the first ever Portuguese surfer on the ASP World Tour. Pires, a national hero in Portugal, faced the world’s best surfers to become the first surfer on tour to break 9X ASP World Champion Kelly Slater’s domination in the first half of the year in 2008 at the Rip Curl Pro Search in Indonesia.

Mariana Valencia

Athletic Ambassador

Mariana grew up surfing in Baja California, Mexico and became Mexico’s Under 12 National Champion in 2016. She has been a member of the Mexican National Team for the ISA World Junior Championships 4 times and is currently participating in the Latin-American Professional surfers Association tour. Mariana’s love of the ocean lead her to join in and coordinate beach cleanups at age 13, trying to inspire younger generations. She is an ocean advocate interested in promoting and advancing surf ecosystem conservation.

Bianca Valenti

Athletic Ambassador

Bianca Valenti is a big-wave surfer, business innovator, media spokesperson and environmental activist. She is hoping to use her platform as the most accomplished female big wave surfer in the WSL to create more gender equity in surfing and other sports, as well as to raise awareness around ocean-health and environmental issues.

Creative Ambassadors

Erik Abel

Creative Ambassador

Erik Abel is an artist and surfer from Ventura, California. He’s spent the last 20 years surfing around the world, painting, and designing art. Sliding around on waves and pushing paint have been the two most influential aspects of Abel’s life. His focus on fundraising for ocean-related nonprofits allows him to use his creative talents to support causes he believes in.

Matt Beard

Creative Ambassador

Matt has spent over twenty years of traveling up and down the entire state of California, exploring new sections of coast. Each road trip has provided ample inspiration for his ongoing effort to paint every region of this amazing coast, as well as instilling a strong conviction in him that our coastal regions are worth preserving in their most pure and natural state for generations to come.

Nikki Brooks

Creative Ambassador

Santa Cruz photographer and surfer Nikki Brooks loves to document surfers on journeys near and far in search of waves less ridden. Nikki is excited to collaborate with like minded surfers and to continue to create imagery that will inspire others to protect the waves, coasts, and shorelines of places both near to home and those far away.

Ryan 'Chachi' Craig

Creative Ambassador

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA, Chachi started surfing at 12 and switched to bodyboarding after falling in love with sand bottom closeouts at Fingerbowl and Its Beach. He began pursuing photography in his early 20s. In 2014, Chachi won the Surfing Magazine – Follow the Light Foundation award. Shortly after, he secured a senior staff photographer position for Surfer Magazine where he worked until the magazine closed its doors in Fall 2020. Chachi loves shooting imagery from the water and tries to compose his images to showcase all the unique landscapes that he’s been fortunate enough to travel to.

Sachi Cunningham

Creative Ambassador

Sachi Cunningham is a filmmaker, water surf photographer, and Associate Professor of Multimedia Journalism at San Francisco State University. Her award winning work has taken her from the deserts of Iraq to the shores of the Amazon for outlets including PBS Frontline, The NYTimes, LATimes and top surf magazines. She has been included in both Surfline’s list of top filmmakers and Surfer Magazine’s list of top photographers. She has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.J. from UC Berkeley. A cancer survivor, mental health advocate, and mother, Cunningham lives with her husband and daughter across from Ocean Beach in San Francisco, CA.

Ethan Estess

Creative Ambassador

Ethan Estess is an artist and marine scientist from Santa Cruz, California who communicates about the challenges facing the ocean through sculpture, printmaking, and painting. He travels extensively for his work as a marine biologist and draws on these experiences to inspire his creative works.

Clara Mokri

Creative Ambassador

Clara Shuku Mokri is an Indonesian-Iranian photographer, documentary filmmaker and surfer from Los Angeles, living in Santa Cruz. She received her BA from Yale University, where she was a member of the Varsity Women’s Basketball team, and her MJ at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where her thesis film, Anchored Out, was nominated for an International Documentary Association award and acquired by The New Yorker. In 2019, one of her photographs was selected for TIME’s Best Photojournalism of the Year. Her work centers around character-driven stories that touch on themes of the environment, immigration, gender and sports.

Rodrigo Farias Moreno

Creative Ambassador

Publicist, photographer and documentalist. He grew up exploring and documenting much of the beautiful Chilean coastline and the surf scene in the last 15 years, filming, traveling, and working with environmental surfer Ramon Navarro. He is a highlighter of the spirit of surfing, stories of the coast, lover of the ocean, and aware that we must protect and take care of it. He is currently Parley for the Oceans Chile Country Manager and Co-Founder of Fundacion Rompientes, to work and raise awareness about the beauty and fragility of our oceans.

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