Betty Belts team rider Hailey Partridge shares with us her story and photos from her summer trip to Spain and Holland, where she and her twin sister Sierra and other O’Neill team riders taught surfing to hundreds of eager Eurogroms.
Sierra and I were given the opportunity to go on the trip of a lifetime this summer; both of us along with Joey Hutson, Chris Lynch and Travis Nicolet from Santa Cruz would fly to Holland and Spain to be surf instructors for the Oneill Surf Academy. The Surf Academy was started back in the 90â€™s by Richard Schmidt, Jay Moriarity and Robert â€œWingnutâ€ Weaver in conjunction with Oneill Europe. The â€œSurf Academyâ€ is a surf school that travels through a few countries in Europe every summer and teaches kids ages 6-16 how to surf. Since the program was started, very few girls were chosen to be instructors so it was a huge honor for Sierra and I to be a part of it.
After those three spectacular weeks in Europe I wasnâ€™t ready to leave at all. The trip had far exceeded my expectations and was way more than a trip of a lifetime. We met so many amazing people, got to surf some epic waves and most importantly we taught over 600 children how to surf for the very first time.
The gratification I felt after each day of teaching those kids was almost indescribable. Just seeing the smiles on their faces after they stood up on their very first wave was amazing. I was able to see firsthand how incredible it is to pass on the gift of surfing.
â€œThe journey has ended but the dream will never die.â€ -Chris Lynch (on the last day of the Surf Academy)
By Hailey Partridge, Betty Belts Team Rider
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