It wasn’t long after falling head over heels for surfing that I started to wonder if, at the ripe old age of 27, that perhaps I had missed my prime. Absorbing any and all of forms of surf media that I could get my eyes on, it appeared that if you hadn’t started surfing before you started walking, you might as well not even bother. Meeting my friend, Josette DeLoach, quickly pulled me out of that mindset and opened my eyes to all the potential that lay ahead. She is an inspiration, both in and out of the ocean, casually paddling out on some of the biggest hurricane swells , sharing both a smile and stoke on some of summer’s smallest days and filling flat spells with mountain bikes, paddleboards and snow skis.
Where were you born? When did you first start surfing?
Montreal, Canada. About 17 years old… My earliest influence in surfing was Joe Roland, my first boyfriend who happened to hold the East Championship Title and then Shaun Tomson who held the World Championship Title…just a coincidence! Ha! Ha!
I’ve seen a couple of photos and some references to your time on the North Shore (presumably in the 70’s?), can you tell us a little bit about that?
My twin sister, boyfriend and I hitched a ride across country in three days from JAX to LA then flew on to Hawaii. We lived and worked on the North Shore at the time of the invasion of the Australian, South African and Brazilian surfers (early 70’s) This trip was to be a vacation which ended up lasting 9 years for me…..Lots of great years on the North Shore of Oahu in the pro surfing world!
Have you traveled anywhere else?
Japan several times, Australia, Costa Rica and my favorite Mexico
What was it like being a woman surfer in the 70’s?
Not as many surfer girls in the water so it was unique to see a girl out in the lineup…but basically the same…you have to prove yourself to gain respect…guys still tend to take off on a girl way more than a guy!
You have a twin, Josie, who surfs also, what was it like growing up with her?
Super fun…I always had a best friend for all my adventures while growing up…We had some real moments out in the water together catching some great waves!
How long have you and Mike been married? How did you meet?
It’s gone by so fast, 25 years this coming March…We met through our good friend Sandy Forsyth of Aqua East surf shop…Mike has been my greatest influence and partner in life…My world champion husband! We love surfing together as well as many other sports…Mountain biking and snow skiing are just a few of other passions we have…a couple that plays together stays together!
Have you made any major life choices based on your desire to surf?
Surfing has been a huge part of my life….all the adventures too numerous to count…great surf sessions with my husband and friends…all the friendships it has brought me along the way! Surfing has given me so much pleasure and fond memories! Surfing just followed me in life…I wouldn’t change a thing!
You are in fantastic shape! How do you stay so fit?
I’ve been athletic all my life…working out to stay in shape for my sports has always been a priority…grateful for my health and strength especially on those extra long paddle out surf sessions in Hawaii!
What’s next for Josette?
As long as I stay healthy and strong, my plan is to continue the “stoke” as long as possible!
Photo Credit: Eddie and Pattie Pitts, 911SurfReport.com