Lexie Hallahan, owner and director

P.O. Box 425

Seaside

www.nwwomenssurfcamps.com

Lexie Hallahan, a former manager at Cleanline Surf Shop, offers a supportive introduction to surfing for women, both through events and scheduled lessons. She can be contacted at 503-440-5782 or surfcamps@freedomnw.com

What do you do?

“We empower our students with the skills so they can pursue surfing. And we try to do it in a way that allows them to feel like they didn’t just get pushed into a wave. We start our events up in June, and we run them all the way through September. We do day camps for women; we do surf weekenders for women; we do two couples events every summer; we do two weekend retreats, one here on the Oregon Coast and one over in Kauai (Hawaii); and then we do lessons all around that.”

How did you get started doing this?

“This is our ninth actual active summer. We were realizing that a lot of women weren’t getting into surfing. I couldn’t really understand why, because I’d lived in Hawaii for a lot of years, and there’s a huge women’s community of surfing there and California and Florida and North Carolina. I thought ‘Well; let’s run a couple-day clinic for Cleanline (Surf) and see what will come of it.’ There were about 20 women, teenagers all the way up to moms. We realized very quickly on that second day that this is a really transformative thing.”

What is the volume of your business?

“In our events alone, we teach about 100 people, if all the events are full over the summer. It’s typically 12 people per event. Group lessons we can teach up to 12. This summer’s been a quite busy summer. I imagine we’ll have taught 50 or more students this summer (in group lessons).”

How does the economy and weather affect your business?

“Our first couple years we tried to offer spring events … and Mother Nature decided that wasn’t going to happen, because the swells were really big and it was raining sideways. What Oregon has up here on the North Coast is a small window, and it’s really about mid-June to mid-September. In 2008, the summer after that was 2009, I think everybody was looking around going ‘Where is everybody.’ What you’ve got to do if you’re going to survive a recession … is you’ve got to think outside the box, and you’ve got to be very flexible, and that was kind of how the group surf lesson Saturdays came about. It’s kind of recession-proof, because everyone seems to be able to afford $104.”

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