Surf is My Religion

My pulse slows as I enter the water.  My vision connects with the sea, hues of aquas, greens, and dark blues that I would struggle to create by mixing colors of paint.  Diving under waves, the water pulls back my hair like a massage, the saltly bubbles kiss my skin as I rise out of the water.  Just being in the ocean is ecstasy.

Born by the beach but moved away, I was a landlocked little mermaid.  I longed to visit the beach growing up.  We made hour long trips a few times each summer but I mainly settled for the neighborhood pool.

I would ride my bike every summer morning to swim team, one of my first jobs was as a life Guard at the pool. On a family trip to the Caribbean, I was introduced to scuba diving and fell in underwater love.  My senior year of high school we moved further from the beach, and oddly enough I found a scuba diving class in Ohio.  I was scuba certified in a rock quarry, not so exciting, but it was underwater.

I spent my entire adult life learning to surf.  As soon as I was free to choose where to live I moved to the beach.  I made surfer friends who gave me a board and told me to paddle.  I paddled for a few years before I could really surf, but I thought I was awesome. I was one of those, who would paddle out in surf way too difficult, get pounded and come up with a grin on my face.

I was in everyone’s way, no harm no foul, right?  One time in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, some snobby French pro told me, “Thiz iz for expertz only”.  I smiled and paddled out into a wave heavier than I had ever seen, but I survived.  I was the biggest kook for a while, yelled at enough to figure out what not to do.  It wasn’t about the wave count for me, I was having the most fun because I was in the ocean.

My first jewelry designs were waves, mermaids, and sea creatures along with set stones and pearls. I came to Costa Rica selling jewelry on a surf trip and Playa Guiones in Nosara stole my heart.  I was still throwing myself into waves I couldn’t make but somehow Guiones was gentler.  The locals were overly kind and it was heaven on earth. 

Life happened, I married a local surfer, had a baby, surfed, divorced and surfed through it.  I still traveled but Guiones spoiled me because there are always waves, they break at ever tide cycle, and it’s a beach break.  The only way you can get hurt is by your own board, or by some kook (like I was) who runs into you.

Passionate about surfing, it warms my heart to paddle out with my teenage son who now schools me.  I met my sweet surfer boyfriend in the water in Virginia and imported him down to Costa Rica.  Surf, is our religion...

Then, Corona hit...quarantine would have been fine with waves, but the beaches closed right away.  We spent two months out of the water.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it really changed our mode of being.  We suffered a bit, got a little more cuddly, and tried to forget the bliss of the ocean.

Today the beaches opened in Costa Rica, only from 5:00 am to 8:00 am, and not in Playa Guiones, for some odd reason.  Our alarm was set for 4:00 am and we were on the beach at first light at a secret spot south of town.  It was magic, after paddling out to Tetas, (yes we surfed a rocky reef break called Tits) and taking turns riding waves, we felt more than normal again, we were high from the sea.  I probably won’t shower again today, I love the salt on my skin, my surf hair and the buzz glistening in my eyes.

I know it’s cliche to say that you never appreciate things until they are taken away, but I will never take my surf session for granted again.  I will never take my sales in the shop, at a show or on line for granted.  We are living in crazy times but if we can count our blessing and appreciate the richness of little things, everything is going to be alright.

Jen-Stone-Playa-Garza-Costa Rica

Thanks again for all your support!


  • Shawn Shafai

    Great story, Jen, thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to be back in Nosara. Glad you can get into the water again!

  • Bradley Branscome

    Love this blog and the message behind the story. I’m so happy you are living your “best life”. I have nothing but fond memories of you girl, I hope our paths cross again
    Love & Light

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