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Posted by Rick Civelli | 02.01.2010 | WB Surf Camp News

Surf Camp Instructor of the Week, Jan 31 – Feb 6: Michelle Johnston

Michelle Johnston

Michelle Johnston

Michelle Johnston has been an integral part of the WB Surf Camp community for over five years. She has directed our teen camps in Hawaii, Australia, and the Bahamas. She has also been an instructor for our teen summer camps in Wrightsville Beach. Not only is she an amazing role model for kids and teenagers, she is extremely dedicated to our environment. Her passion for this cause has inspired her to work towards a Ph.D in Environmental Sciences, which she will receive in the spring of 2010 from the University of South Carolina. We are super proud of Michelle, and feel so blessed to have been part of her world for the past six years!

1. What drew you to a position at Surf Camp?  I was drawn to Surf Camp knowing that I would get to teach amazing kids about marine conservation in a hands on learning environment. Being in the water and surfing everyday was a pretty big draw too!

2. Who is your favorite surfer and why?  Rochelle Ballard is my favorite female surfer as she is beautiful on her board, a huge advocate of environmental awareness, and lives by the mantra “Surf into Yoga.”

3. When did you start surfing and where?  I grew up in Ohio, so I started surfing at Wrightsville Beach when I moved to Wilmington to go to school at UNCW.

4. What is your favorite surf break?  My favorite break is in Hawaii, on the southwest coast of O’ahu (about 30 minutes from Waikki). You can’t beat great long board waves where sea turtles and dolphins surf along side you.

5. What inspired you to start surfing? As a marine biologist, I wanted to start surfing to truly understand the power of the ocean. Anyone who thinks they control the world should surf…they will soon get a reality check and realize they don’t! I also appreciate the fact that surfing helped my balance in yoga, or maybe yoga has helped my surfing.

6. Where was your most memorable session?   I remember a perfect wave in the Outer Banks right off Cape Hatteras. I made the drop and rode what seemed like forever in emerald green water…. haven’t experienced anything like it since.

7. What is the worst wipeout you’ve ever had?   The worst wipeout I ever had was surfing off Tallows Beach in Byron Bay, Australia. It was really rough, and after nose-diving I came up for air and the board hit the back of my head. I had to sit out the rest of the day with an awful headache.

8. What are some of your interests outside of surfing?  I teach and practice yoga. I love to run, hike, and scuba dive. On a rainy day, I think there is nothing better than a good book, comfy chair, and hot chocolate.  I also love sea turtles, as I spent four years working at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. I have recently moved to the Washington DC area to start a position with the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, to pursue my passion of endangered species and marine conservation.

9. What is your favorite movie?  My favorite movies are always changing…my most recent favorite was Avatar.

10. What is your favorite music?  I love all types of music, but generally load up my iPod with beach music and indie rock.

11. What is your favorite food? I am a vegetarian, so I love Indian food.

12. Where do you see yourself in five years?  I see myself working at a marine reserve and educating the public about the importance of marine conservation with the threat of our changing climate. Outside of work, I see myself doing yoga and enjoying life with my boyfriend, family, and friends.

13. In your eyes, the three things you value most are: honesty, a sense of adventure, and love for the things you are passionate about in life.

To learn more about Michelle, Click Here.