My name is Kyle Jouras, I am 29 Years old from Santa Cruz California. I am the youngest of three siblings, and since infancy grew up in and around the ocean. My mother was a competitive body surfer from Manhattan Beach, so from a young age, there was a strong emphasis on all activities in and around the ocean. My family has been heavily involved with the Jr. Lifeguard program in Capitola and I began standing up on my first waves as a nine-year-old on the race paddle boards we would use for competition. I was pretty hooked instantly, and it wasn’t long before I got my first actual longboard and began exploring the reefs and point breaks in the area. At the time, all of my peers rode shortboards, so my surfing is for sure heavily influenced by that. I grew up watching Taylor Steel films and looked up and wanted to surf like guys like Taylor Knox, Slater etc. It wasn’t until high school when I was exposed to the older generation of longboarders in Santa Cruz. I started surfing with guys like Carl and Waylon Olsen, Dane Perlee, Andrew Barker and Tanner Beckett in Pleasure Point. Those guys really took me under their wing, showed me the ropes, and helped get my surfing to the place it is today.
Surfing has always been one of the most important things in my life, and the water is the only place where I can really quiet my mind and focus. Most people don’t know this, but I’ve struggled with bipolar depression and severe anxiety my entire life. And I used alcohol and drugs heavily to cope most of my teen and adult years. It was not until I hit a very deep and dark bottom, ended up in a rehabilitation center and was finally diagnosed, that received the help I needed. It hasn’t been easy since then, and I have suffered and struggled greatly, but the clarity and strength that come from admitting your mistakes and asking for help is monumental. All of that has put me in a position to pursue my surfing, passions, and goals with nothing holding me back. I am extremely grateful the support and love I’ve received from my family, friends, community, and sponsors. For work, I make and sell pottery professionally. I assistant teach in the ceramics lab at the community college and am involved with the Farmers Market community here in Santa Cruz. I am also a DJ and play gigs and festivals in and around the Bay Area.
I’m going to be thirty next year, and while most people I know in that position seem to be freaking out in one way or another. I’m more excited and stoked than I have ever been. For the first time in my life, I know exactly what I want to do, and where I want to go. I feel like my life is really finally about to start. Huge shoutout to all my sponsors; VonZipper, Pacific Wave Surf Shop, CJ Nelson Designs, and especially CJ Nelson himself for offering me unending love and support on my journey, and for giving me a platform to express myself through my Surfing, Art, and Music. Stoked and grateful. See you guys in the water.