After graduating from the University of Florida, Kristy wanted to do her best to find a job and become a viable working citizen. She found that job with a global shipping company and went to work in a 9-5 daily grind situation. While at work she would sneak peeks at surfing magazines and fantasize about living the dream as a professional surfer. After work, she and her friend Jenni Flanigan would surf the Jupiter, Florida inlet and hone in on the skills they thought necessary for them to join the elite group of international surfers on the longboarding circuit.
Finally one day, after doing every East Coast surf comp they could enter, Kristy won the East Coast Surfing Championships. That was the moment Kristy and Jenni decided it was time to head to the West Coast, and give it a go against all the heroes they had been reading about in the surf magazines. The next day at work, Kristy quit her job and packed up all the gear they thought they needed into her 4x4 Jeep Wrangler and headed West, to San Diego. They were going to do it! They were going to become professional surfers!!!
Once in San Diego, they surfed ALL the spots. Cardiff, Swami’s, Pipes, and Oceanside. These legendary surf breaks were where they spent most of their time surfing and learning from those very same heroes that they had read about. They had graduated from University and went right back to school getting a Master’s in surfing, with professors like Mary Bagalso, Linda Benson, the Ledingham Family, Kevin Shaughnessy, and the boys up on “the Hill”, The Channin Surfboard and Glassing factory, which she worked for a while packing boards. She received an advanced course in the art of surfboard building from the best. She was also able to watch Joel Tudor and Donald Takayama surf, and not only watch them but talk story and hang out. Those San Diego days helped make Kristy the surfer she is today.
At that time, she started entering contests on the West Coast and was making the quarterfinals regularly. During one of the Margaritaville, Longboard Magazine events she met Cat Slatinsky in Imperial Beach, California. It was a series of 3 contests held in the San Diego area. Kassia Meador and Cat were planning to do a road trip down to Baja with a group of the pro longboard ladies, so Cat had flown in from Hawaii for the event. Everyone was going to stay at her parents’ house in Imperial Beach, do the comp, and then head down to Mexico to shoot pictures and video for the magazines and sponsors.
Kristy had come in 3rd place and was dying to tag along with the group of women surfers. That was the first trip Kristy and Cat worked together on and even though the Baja surf did not deliver much that trip, they all still had a great time getting lost, changing tires and eating lobsters straight from the local fisherman.
Kristy liked working with Cat and had heard that she had a spot available in her room in Costa Rica, for the 2003 Women’s World Longboard Championships held at Boca Barranca. She roomed with Cat and Australian pro-Melissa Combo. Once again, Kassia Meador and Cat were planning another photo/video trip down to Pavones, after the competition with a group of ladies who included Prue Jeffries, Melissa Combo, a young Jen Smith, and fellow photographer Jim Pidgeon.
After coming in 7th place and winning a little prize money, Kristy was invited to come on the trip with the group of ladies to Pavones. It rained for an entire week and the swell never quite came through which really put a strain on the trip but Kristy and Cat continued to jive well together. Tired of waiting for swell, the rest of the group started back to Jaco beach while Kristy and Cat stayed it out and eventually scored PERFECT left point Pavone’s perfection all by themselves which pretty much sealed the deal for the working relationship that was starting to flourish between them.
Also starting to flourish was the professional longboarding contest scene. There were quite a few events popping up around the world and the prize money was slowly getting better and better. Kristy, went to the Noosa Festival in Australia, the Longboard Magazine Series held in California, the China event held in Waikiki, and then the Women’s World Longboard Championships which was held that year in Huntington Beach, where Kristy came in 5th.
As she progressed Kristy could feel the momentum she was gaining and the next year she finally brought home the winner’s trophy beating all her heroes to become the 2005 Women’s World Longboard Champion at Ocean Beach, California. All the hard work and dedication to a life spent on the ocean as a Captain, a bodyboarder, and a surfer had paid off.
Meanwhile, her career as a surf instructor was also starting to pay dividends. In 2003, Mary Bagalso had mentioned to Kristy that there was a surf company that was doing surf retreats down in Mexico and that they needed surf instructors. Looking for a way to supplement her surfing career while at the same time giving her the time to work on her surfing, she took the job.
During her breaks, Kristy and her fellow instructors would take trips throughout Mexico, which not only helped her excel as a surfer but allowed her to visit the many surf spots that make Mexico one of the best surf destinations in the world. THAT was the year she first visited Playa La Saladita and fell in love with the best-left point break in the country.
Winning the World Championships solidified Kristy as a world-class surfer which is why Robert “Wingnut” Weaver picked her up to work for him as a travel surf consultant for his “Go With A Pro” surf tours. With “Wingy” she learned the essence of what V.I.P surf travel was all about and is now a surf guide with elite coaching for Siren Surf Adventures.