I create programs that help build supportive female surfing communities.
My mission is to provide young girls and women the opportunity to learn surfing, and through surfing help them learn about themselves, how great they are, and how great they can become.
About Me: Kelly Potts
Sports have been the biggest part of my life since I was a little girl, and I had always pictured myself as a professional athlete. In Texas I grew up playing soccer, then got into volleyball, and spent most of my childhood traveling all over the state for tournaments. When I moved to Maui my sophomore year in high school, all of that changed. I realized public schools in Hawaiʻi did not receive the same benefits that schools in Texas had, and my visions of going to college on a volleyball scholarship were no longer obtainable. I decided to devote my time and passion to the individual sport of surfing...
I began competing in surfing contests, and shortly after started gaining sponsorship recognition. Before long I was traveling the world, receiving free product, and built my way up to a helpful salary. Surfing provided me with a wealth of opportunities, and supported me through a handful of rough times.
I have now been a professional surfer for 15 years. The one thing I struggled with through my career was finding my place in the industry. There seemed only two categories I could place myself in: competing, or modeling, and I always knew I could do more than either of those two.
When I started running into a bunch of women with the same story about their first experiences surfing: being traumatized after their boyfriend's attempt to teach them how to surf, or they could never afford to take lessons from a real surfing coach, I organized Maui Women's Surfing Retreats, to bring these gals together, and teach them how to surf in a safe, comfortable and positive learning environment - for free. Each year the annual weekend event has grown in popularity, and gained tremendous support from the Maui community.
After seeing my women's retreats take off, I decided to try out a new program, and started Kelly Clinics, a free surfing clinic for teenage girls on Maui to learn how to surf, or progress their surfing for free. It didn't take long before I realized I would need to expand my programs to accommodate more girls, with a growing number of interested participants.
I began to realize how much I love providing this experience for females in my community, and I want to center my life around this feeling of giving back what the surfing world has given me.
I have more programs I would like to create down the road, and I know that it is all possible, because I know I can do it. I owe a lot of my success to the valuable lessons I learned through my involvement in sports: being confident in myself, confident in my path, and connecting with the power of my own will to achieve. Through hard work, and maintaining a perseverant mentality, I truly can accomplish whatever I set my mind to. All I have to do is show up, and the sky is the limit.
Between competition and modeling in the surfing industry, I found the beauty in between -- Giving Back to my community the Gift of Surfing.
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