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
Athletics have been the biggest part of my life since I was a little girl, and I had always pictured myself as a professional athlete. Little did I know that dream would come true.
After moving to Maui at 14 years old, I began competing in surfing contests, and shortly after started gaining sponsorship recognition. Surfing provided me with opportunities, and supported me through a handful of rough times.
I’ve been a professional surfer since 2003. 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: competitor, or model. Neither resonated with my soul.
Having taught surfing straight out of high school, I ran into so many women with a similar story about their first experiences surfing; being traumatized after their boyfriend's attempt to teach them how to surf. In 2010, 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, and have provided the event every year since.
After the women's retreats took off, I started Kelly Clinics, a free surfing clinic for teenage girls on Maui to learn how to surf, or progress their surfing for free. And the programs have soared.
In 2016, I had a calling to revisit my homeland in the Pacific Northwest, and before I knew it I was planning my first Indigenous Surfer Girls Retreat for the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay, WA, the next year added another retreat for the Tolowa Dee-niʻ Nation in Crescent City, CA, and now, in 2018, have provided a third retreat for the Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians.
I love providing this experience for females in the communities that have given so much to me, and I want to center my life around the feeling of giving back.
I owe the success of these programs 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 can accomplish incredible feats. 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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