Our next rider comes from a city of firsts...
The first continuous English speaking settlement was established here, Americas first free public education was offered here and NASA trained its first astronauts here.
Could our next rider be the first pro female bodyboarder to be produced here, only time will tell!
The path was laid pre lock down and I am positive you will see her name pop up sooner rather than later on the IBC world tour.
" Hi I'm Katlyn Tuttle and I am 17 and from Hampton, VA. I have lived here my whole life.
My dad put me on a bodyboard as soon as I could walk but I started taking it seriously when I was about 13.
When I was 13, I had my own wetsuit and that’s when I really started to bodyboard, my dad has influenced me my entire life.
I always looked up to Bethany Hamilton, especially the days I felt discouraged about being out in the water, but also my parents are my heroes.
They’ve supported me through everything and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support.
I also looked up to Alexandra Rinder and Isabela Sousa, their determination inspired me.
My local break is Buckroe Beach in Hampton. Personally, I love the breaks near home, my favourite break at home is S-Turns in Rodanthe, NC.
Australia has some beautiful breaks....
I may be a little biased, I was hoping to travel to Puerto Escondido in May but because of Corona this wasn't possible, Puerto has a dreamy break.
My first board was a Toobs board and my crew is mainly my dad and I and occasionally some locals.
I started competing when I was 15, It started with local contests in the Outer Banks such as the Shorebreak Showdown by Shacked Boys and the Outer Banks Surf classic.
A few months ago, I travelled to the West Coast for a bodyboarding contest called the Bodyboarding Festival in Ocean Beach California and competed with women from around the world, I am a high school student and work a part time job as a receptionist at a local yoga studio called Tribal Yoga and in the summer, I work as a lifeguard.
I am sponsored by CustomX, Duck Village Outfitters (DVO, a local surf shop in the Outer Banks) and Danuva Clothing (a local clothing brand from Virginia Beach). My board, fins, and leash are all Custom X, my wetsuit is either XCEL or Hubboards.
I wear my Danuva clothing, they sponsor bodyboarders, skaters and other athletes. I listen to a wide range of music from rap to instrumental music I’ve seen in bodyboarding videos, to heavy metal, to electronic. It all depends on where I’m going and what the surf is like.
My favourite memory has to be when I was just starting to get into bodyboarding, my dad and I were in Rodanthe and he made me paddle out on my own at 9 years old, I was terrified to paddle out alone.
Growing up, I have always paddled out with my dad. He would always reassure me and encourage me to keep paddling when I’d want to give up and let the white water take me in.
When I made it out, I realised that he had helped me gain the confidence I needed to grow and excel as a bodyboarder.
I caught my first wave without his help out in the water, the feeling was unexplainable.
I felt a connection stronger than ever with the ocean, out in the water, it was just me and the wave.
I have grown up bodyboarding my entire life and never thought I’d ever be sponsored. I always looked up to Alexandra Rinder and Isabela Sousa and still do to this day, their passion, strength, confidence, and determination has kept me going in the sport. Unfortunately, it was and still is difficult to get a lot of practice with the waves.
I live in a city where people don’t even know what bodyboaring is. Buckroe Beach, my local break, is a blast! However, it only breaks occasionally.
Sometimes we go to Virginia Beach which also has a great break at times, but most of the time my dad and I take trips down to the Outer Banks.
It’s about an hour and a half if we go “in town” (Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills) but most of the time we go to Pea Island or Rodanthe which takes about 2 hours.
In order to balance out these mini surf trips with school we wake up at 3:30/4 a.m and drive down to surf for about 2 hours. Usually, I paddle out first while my dad takes pictures and then he paddles out with me eventually.
After we get in a good session we drive back to Hampton in time for me to make some of my classes and my track/swim practices.
If we go in the morning we stop by Barrier Island bagels to grab some delicious bagels before we leave. If we leave in the evening, we stop by Mama Kwans or Front Porch cafe for some delicious, clean eats.
At times, the waves are just too good and we stay longer than expected. Luckily, my school, coaches and bosses are very understanding.
When I am able to stay down in the Outer Banks for waves, I stay with my best friend, Gavyn DeBerry, she is so supportive and is the best person to go get sushi with after surf sessions. It is hard sometimes......
Photo credits include:
If you need a new wetsuit then click on the link below for 10% off SENNOSEN using discount code KRISTIANMARTIN
If you need new bodyboard gear hit up Guy by clicking on the link below, great advice and all the latest gear, just click below....
If your thinking of booking a trip post lockdown click the link below to check out The Puerto Experience....Trips
If ]you fancy the Mentawais hit up Stevie Maher for one of his All Bodyboard Charters....
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