Witch Wednesday – Meet Sam

HEY SURF WITCHES IT’S WITCH WEDNESDAY!!! PSA: You DO NOT want to miss this one !! Today we had our inspiring and giving babe Samantha Crossley 🤩!! Sam shares her time between multiple surf groups and has introduced several of the switches to the Kirra Surfriders Club! This Witch doesn’t just glow, she friggin’ shines ☀️! We feel so stoked that she was willing to share her story and open up to our community!  

Read to learn about Sam’s surf journey!

What’s your age?

34

Where are you from originally?

Sydney’s Northern Beaches

How long have you been surfing and when did you get started?

I dabbled in it on and off growing up having a dad who is an awesome surfer and surfs every day he can and a sister that has always been into it too but having had a stroke in 2010 I have only just in the past year and a bit gotten back into it and discovered a whole new love for surfing. It has been a real struggle but so worth it. I got back on a board early 2019 by using my dad’s McCoy mini mal which was definitely not the board for me due to my balance issues from the stroke but at the time it was all that was available to me, so I persevered and slowly improved. I asked around and was soon pointed in the direction of Dave Davidson who runs Coolangatta Learn to Surf to help me work around my lingering disability/injury to really start making the most out of every surf session and honestly I can’t thank him enough for how much he helped me and built my confidence back up and I haven’t looked back since.  I highly recommend Davo for anyone needing that extra push especially if you want that bit more one on one attention or are trying to work through the whole surfing after an injury or like myself have an ongoing issue that we need to work around. He is fantastic. Such an awesome bloke too and makes you feel so comfortable and even on days where my left side just didn’t want to cooperate (its weak from the stroke) he would show me something fun and different to do so I would still get the most out of the lesson rather than throwing in the towel that day and instead of being frustrated with myself I had a blast.

What level surfer are you – white wash warrior or chasing green waves?

Chasing green waves

What board are you rocking?

So not long ago I finally transitioned back down to a mini mal and decided that after shopping around just couldn’t find what I was after and decided to bite the bullet and hit up Bruce Kay as he came highly recommended and had a chat with him about where I was at with my surfing and what I was hoping to accomplish and spoke about my stroke and how I am weaker on my left side and all of that and we came up with a board design that was exactly what I had in my head but just couldn’t find in stores. I am in love with it, its 8 ft, shaped a bit like a short board.

What beaches do you normally surf?

Kirra, Rainbow and Greenmount

What do you do for work?

I work for my family’s plumbing company doing admin work, stuck indoors at a computer all day, so when I’m not working, I just want to be outside.

Any cool hobbies or interests outside of surfing?

When I’m not surfing, I enjoy walking, bike riding, stand up paddle boarding (which is great for flat days), and horse riding although I haven’t had a chance to do that in quite a while.

I love horse riding, I have twice been over in the USA working at summer camps as Camp Counselor and horse-riding instructor.

Also in my spare time I am on the committee as the Secretary of Kirra Surfriders Club so that keeps me pretty busy. I try to keep myself involved with as much as I can with this club as after joining I feel like I finally found my place for the first time since moving to the GC. I want to give back so much to the club that has given a lot to me. As mentioned above it’s like my second family. Go to every event, organise social events and comps, rock up and help the groms with their coaching, mainly just there to keep them in line although Davo does a better job of that than I do, he can be more intimidating when needed lol. This club has also been a life saver for me over the whole Coronavirus lockdown, I find my anxiety is best eased when i keep myself busy with positive things and despite no club rounds there has been a lot of behind the scenes work going on so keeps my mind busy. It’s great. I have a lot of passion for this club.

What has been your best surf or ocean experience so far?

Honestly just getting back into surfing in general has been amazing, I have really struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life and this was made way worse after having had a stroke a number of years ago and getting back into surfing has been one of the most amazing things for my mental health, sometimes like what has been the case for the past 6 months my mental health has gotten in the way of me surfing so I feel my progress has actually gone a bit backwards but when I do push through and get into the water it’s one of the most calming, relaxing, fun experiences and the people I have met through it have also been amazing.

Part of what I did last year was to join Kirra Surfriders Club, I was lucky enough to know some members, so nomination wasn’t an issue. It has really pushed me to pursue my renewed passion for surfing and it’s also given me a way to get involved in the local surfing community and help others in their journey too. Through this club I have such an amazing support network that have been with me through the ups and downs, they’re my second family.

Any surfing goals you want to smash this year?

This year now that I feel I am finally back on track after a really rough start to the year I want to get stuck into my surfing and make sure it doesn’t get put on the backburner again as I know how good I feel when I’m out there both mentally and physically. So, for the rest of the year just having more commitment to get myself progressing more and who knows maybe next year might try for a trophy with KSC.

What do you love about the Surf Witches?

Joining the surf witches was one of the best things I’ve done this year, I have met some incredible women and finally feel like I found what in was missing which was friends that share a common passion and I just feel like I am surrounded by such positivity and support. Moving forward now, once the restrictions are lifted, I am so determined to do more with them.  I was so nervous the first time I went to a meet up and yet everyone was so warm and welcoming. They really are a fantastic group of women and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

What advice would you share with other women starting out?

Well joining the surf witches is a great start, having a buddy or multiple friends to start on your surfing journey can certainly help with calming those nerves a bit. Ask around for advice on the best surf schools, there is many out there but can be a fair bit of difference between them and one may be better for you than another, you may find that an all-girls one is less intimidating for you. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself mentally and physically. Surfing is no longer such a male dominated sport, so don’t feel that you don’t belong out there