Photo Credit: @Rudy.ortiz

Katie LaLicata

San Diego, California,


Join Katie's Retreat in El Salvador April 18-25th, 2020!

Photo credits: @enriccoromina

Photo credit: @jefferson_99.9

Photo credit: @enriccoromina

Photo Credits: @enriccoromina

Years Surfing: 5

Fave Board: My 5’6” retro fish with the raddest pineapple print ever! Her name is Piñita

Instagram: @mermaid_gypsy_

What/who got you started surfing? I was making some major life changes about 5 years ago. I’ve grown up on and in the ocean, always fascinated by its vastness, and always wanted to surf, so when I came back to San Diego I decided to get on a board and my brother would let me paddle out with him. Once I got a good board under my feet all I wanted to do was be in the waves. I put in about a solid year of face plants before someone told me to right or left. haha. At this point, I was also traveling quite a bit. I found myself in Costa Rica, and for about 3 years I pretty much didn’t come home. I became so in love with the magic of the sea, and the peaceful power of being in the ocean, it made sense to do nothing but surf.

What do you love/hate (you choose!) about surf culture as it pertains to women surfers? I think the surf culture as it pertains to women is absolutely beautiful. I know a lot of people have negative things, to say, but I’d rather focus on the positive. The ocean is most certainly female, and like Leah Dawson said one of the biggest compliment anyone can give her is to say she surfs like a girl. We are not men, and it’s nice to actually not be compared to them. By nature we are different. There is something innately sensual about the way women (or soulful connected men) move in the waves. I feel like there is a fluid feminine divine force that is somewhat unrepresented in power surfing and aggressively attacking the waves. Although woman have been surfing waves for a long time, It seems like the industry is just taking off, and to see the way the sister hood of the sea is creating a powerful bond amongst women far and wide is absolutely incredible. To feel so supported, uplifted and empowered by my sea sisters who love the ocean as much as I do is the greatest force on the planet. Coming together with women from across the globe makes me so stoked. Our potential as a global community of surf/seasisters is untapped and unlimited.

Who are your surf heroes, and why? My surf hero’s are the women of the @changingtidesfoundation these power surf goddesses have created a platform for us ocean people (both men and women) to be better by coming together. Their mission is simple, love our oceans, and positively impact the world we live in. They do this by raising awareness about the importance of minimizing single use plastics in our life, adventuring consciously, helping one another along the way and empowering others to do the same. They also believe in having a lot of fun, and I know any time I paddle out with any of these women the surf session is going to be epic wether the waves are knee high or pumping overhead. 

My friend Tara @tarantulasurf has also inspired me, with her dedication to creating solutions within surf tourism while working on her PHD, through her writing, through her capacity to love and travel, and through her desire to keep learning, connecting and uplifting others.

How has your surfing life in the water affected the rest of your life on land? Learning to surf has taught me about courage, determination, and humility. My adventures (mostly solo) to the ocean and waves are filled with countless wild stories of everything unpredictable and have lead me to meet the most amazing people. Surfing life has taught me believe in myself and the pure wonder of life beyond the horizon. The ocean is my greatest inspiration and love – she has taught me about how to be fluid and to go with the flow, and embrace change as the ocean is always in a constant state of flux from day to day and tide to tide. She lets the moon pull her in all directions without resistance, and is also beautiful in all of these different states. Our bodies are made up of almost the same composition as the ocean, so when I’m surfing I feel so free, I feel complete, whole and at home. When I’m in the water all in life is not just okay, but perfect, life in the ocean is a journey into bliss. A portal to all things magic and mysterious. The ocean makes me a more peaceful person, a happier human and a more compassionate friend. The ocean is the greatest place to heal and grow, and I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I had not found surfing along the way.

I had a gnarly accident in June 2018 that resulted in a major knee and wrist surgery and as a result I was out of the water for over 10 months.  It’s been a long, patient road of humility, surrender and acceptance back to healing and being able to do the thing I love most. So it’s just a blessing to be back in the water again, and dancing with the waves. =) It makes me feel extra grateful for the healing powers of magic mama ocean