We caught up with Danielle who is not only an amazing, stylish surfer but also an artist and president of San Diego Surf Ladies:
So, tell us a little about yourself:
I grew up in the bay area in the 80s. My dad is from Jamaica and my mom is a native Californian. We spent a lot of time swimming at local rivers, and body boarding at the beach. We travelled a lot as a family, mainly to tropical islands to snorkel and play in the surf or to the mountains to ski. My parents separated when I was young, but my mom worked her butt off to provide for my big brother and I. We never went without or if we did we didn't know it.
How long have you been surfing and what do you love most about it?
I have been surfing since I was 19, but I really got heavy into surfing in my 30s after having my son. I needed an outlet that was just for me and I found an amazing community of ladies to froth out with. I feel like a kid again!
I love the freedom of being in the ocean. I can have the worst day ever and if you just add salt water to that day, it's a game changer. I'm more calm, patient and relaxed. It's also my main source of exercise. I truly loathe the gym and although I enjoy fitness it has to be fun. I enjoy hiking, swimming, climbing, skating, downhill skiing and really most outdoor activities.
Where are your favorite surf spots and what is your favorite board(s) to ride?
My favorite breaks are dotted all along north county from Cardiff to San O. My home breaks in Oceanside always have something to offer. I love living so close to the beach. We are so spoiled for choice in San Diego.
I honestly love my entire quiver right now and like to try different setups whenever I get the chance. Even just playing with fin placement changes a board. My favorite all around boards are my high performance longboards, a 9’0 Stewart CMP, 9’0 Takayama beach break and 9’6 Bruce Jones. These are my go-to boards when I want to have a guaranteed good session. I recently added a 7’4 Takayama scorpion and I am crushing pretty hard on that. I love my two logs for cruising on smaller days, a 9’2 Meremade Pig and 9’4 Hage Grandpa. I have a 7’6 Meremade mini pintail and a 6’2 Meremade groveler which I hand painted. Most of my boards have my original artwork on them in some capacity. I might add a fish to the family eventually, but I haven't found the right board yet. I like to be intentional when I add a new board to my quiver, particularly as my surfing evolves.
You also create amazing art, tell us about your creations and what inspires the art you make?
The ocean is a huge source of my inspiration! I love drawing and painting waves and the people who ride them. It's my favorite thing to do besides surf. I’m not even mad when it rains lately, because I have so many things I want to experiment with, with my art right now. I have gotten really into fluid art and resin pouring recently. It's seriously addictive, like surfing addictive.
Have any exciting plans or surf trips coming up?
I'm going to Rincon to surf with my surf club, the San Diego Surf Ladies.
Then I'm off on a girls surf trip to Nicaragua! I can't wait to surf my face off with my surf sisters. I've never been to Nicaragua, and I'm excited to explore and go on some adventures!