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Posted by Rick Civelli | 04.22.2012 | Surfer of the Week, WB Surf Camp News

Instructor of the Week for 4/22/12: Danielle Andre

After directing WB Surf Camp’s amazing Barbados Teen Travel Camp for two summers, Danielle went back to school to pursue a career in nursing. Unfortunately we didn’t see much of her smiling face during that time but we missed her pretty badly. Thankfully she’s finishing up this Spring and is coming back this summer to direct our Barbados Surf & SCUBA Travel Camp. Barbados is like a second home to Danielle now, and we are super pumped to have such an amazing and talented young woman to bring the stoke and spirit of adventure to a group of lucky teenagers this summer.

PS: She’s not afraid to charge!

1. What drew you to a position at WB Surf Camp? I initially applied shortly after moving to Wilmington, NC when I attended a job fair at UNCW.  To be honest, it was the only company that looked remotely appealing! The other options paled in comparison. WB Surf Camp combines some of my very favorite things, surfing, the ocean, and conservation efforts! I couldn’t walk away from their table without applying!

2. Who is your favorite surfer and why? It’s funny; I’ve never really had a favorite surfer. Certainly I’ve been inspired by different professionals who have gone above and beyond the status quo, like Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, etc. And then there’s Bethany Hamilton who will never cease to amaze me with her passion, fearlessness, faith, and SKILL! But if I had to choose an all-time favorite surfer, I would have to say my dad. He started surfing when he was 35 and twenty years later he’s still charging on 8ft closeouts! He’s known by almost everyone at our home break in the Outer Banks as Ironman, and he certainly lives up to that name! Seriously, when the man started surfing, he refused to spend $100 on a wetsuit, and instead covered his arms and legs in Vaseline as a barrier to the cold. You don’t get much more Iron than that!

3. When did you start surfing and where? I remember my brother, Jason, and my dad trying to get me out when I was 11. I don’t think I was quite tough enough yet to take on the dumping waves of the Outer Banks. My brother would yell at me to “just paddle!” which he still does today. : ) It wasn’t until I turned 14 that I really started to “paddle.” I guess I eventually faced my fears, ate it on a few good ones, and soon loved it!

4. What is your favorite surf break? Nothing brings me quite the same joy as does surfing with my friends and family at the lighthouse on Cape Hatteras. The break is constantly changing, but I’ve never surfed there without seeing a friendly face. Some of the best waves of my life were there. I imagine it will always be my favorite.

5. What inspired you to start surfing? Definitely my dad and brother. I had the coolest dad and brother growing up; I wanted to do everything my brother did. They helped raise me to be tough and I felt like surfer chicks were the toughest! I was often the only girl out surfing, and I’m so grateful I had them to continue encouraging me.

 6. Where was your most memorable session? Such a difficult question to answer! There have been so many. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to and surf in many different places in the world, some where seals swim by and you can gaze up at snow covered mountains as you’re riding a wave in. But, my most memorable session was probably in Cape Hatteras with my dad. I had just gotten back from Costa Rica and just in time for a hurricane swell. The sets were around 8 ft and we found a spot where we were literally the only ones out. I caught a right and, without trying, pulled right into a barrel, my first one ever! I couldn’t believe it! It closed-out on me, but it was incredible for those few seconds, crouched in a room made of water. I came up and turned quickly to look at my dad who was cheering with a huge grin on his face; he had seen it! I paddled up, STOKED, and yelled, “Holy ****, dad. That was awesome!” He laughed and said, “Yeah it was!” I’ll never forget it.

7. What is the worst wipeout you’ve ever had? Knock on wood, I’ve never had a really bad wipeout. No stitches or serious injuries. The only one that comes to mind is one day when we were surfing Masonboro Island. It wasn’t huge, but it was barreling and dumping in shallow water. I tried to pull into a messy little barrel and was crushed on top of my board and the sandbar. When I came up, I was injury free but had a chipped tooth and had my watch ripped off of my wrist. I guess it’s not so bad though when you come up laughing!

8. What are some of your interests outside of surfing? Mostly things outside. I like to run, go for hikes, play disc golf, jump off waterfalls (when the opportunity presents itself!). I also really like to play guitar and mandolin, although I’ve been out of practice since I started nursing school. So I suppose nursing is also an interest, but I’m ready to be done with school!

9. What is your favorite movie? Shawshank Redemption

10. What is your favorite music? Acoustic, bluegrass, or alternative stuff mostly. I really like Sufjan Stevens, Avett Brothers, and John Butler Trio. But, I can also get down to some good dance music!

11. What is your favorite food? Peanut Butter!  Hands down, my favorite. : )

12. Where do you see yourself in five years? Living on a sailboat traveling to different countries working as a nurse…I hope!

13. In your eyes, the three things you value most are: Loving people, loving the environment, and having fun doing it!