Mary Osborne / More Waves
Mary Osborne is a gifted California surfer and model who is super-stoked on life and adven ture. Her rela tion ship with Patagonia allows her to travel and be an ambas sador for the envi ron ment. We caught up with Mary to ask her about her busy life.
What was your child hood like?
I had an amaz ing child hood. I was raised at Solimar Beach with my mother and father (who are still mar ried), my three older broth ers, my grand par ents who lived down the street and an entire neigh borhood that was like family.
When did you get your first surf board?
When I was 15, I saved up babysit ting money and bought my first surf board at Waveline Surf Shop in Ventura. I was so excited and I wish I still had that board today.
What was the feel ing you had when you first stood on a surf board?
It was a big rush of fun! I was so excited that I was actu ally stand ing and rid ing a wave. I was so proud of myself and at that moment I fell in love with surf ing. I wanted more waves!
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young woman?
My three older broth ers were my inspi ra tion. I wanted to as good as them in and out of the water. I also loved Jessica Little (who was our local pro surfer girl here in Ventura) and Matty Slater because she ripped in the water as well.
What is your rela tion ship with Patagonia like?
I am very for tu nate to be with a com pany like Patagonia. I am what they call an “ambas sador” for the com pany on and off for the last 8 years. I help with prod uct design, test ing and surf mar ket ing. Patagonia has taught me so much in so many lev els. As I have got ten a bit older, or shall I say “more wise,” I have come to real ize what com pa nies I really want to be involved in and work with. It’s not about hav ing as many spon sors as pos si ble or the biggest pay checks any more. Now, it’s about want ing to be a part of a com pany that is carv ing new paths for the future, using inno v a tive core prod ucts and giv ing back to our environment.
Patagonia’s core phi los o phy and envi ron men tal aspects have blended into my every day life. I am learning how to be more eco-friendly and how to make ben e fi cial choices for not only myself but our future gen er a tions. Patagonia has taught me to open my eyes to the world, live sim ply, play hard, work hard and be thank ful for every thing I have. I am very for tu nate to be work ing with such a suc cess ful com pany and have them sup port me in my surf ing world. I hope to con tinue to work with Patagonia for future years to come.
Of all the places you have trav eled to, what place in par tic u lar stands out and why?
Every place I have been to has some thing spe cial about it. I was just in Fiji two weeks ago and it was def initely amaz ing. The surf had great poten tial in the remote islands we char tered around, but the lack of swell equaled small waves. We were aboard the boat Tui Tai doing a surf-humanitarian trip with four other pro surfer girls. We ended up vis it ing a tiny vil lage that had never had vis i tors the entire time they lived on the island. We shared a mem o rable day together danc ing, talk ing, shar ing sto ries, eat ing coconuts and fruit. We brought them gifts each girl donated and the Tui Tai boat wrote the head of the vil lage a check right there on the spot. It was pretty amazing!
Who/what inspires you?
Anyone who takes risks, chances and lives a pos i tive lifestyle.
What is the great est thing you have learned in your life?
Everyone is dif fer ent in so many ways, so I try not to judge and get to know them. You never know what you might learn from another per son or when you will cross paths with them again.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done some thing dif fer ently?
There are only a few regrets I have, but they are not even worth talk ing about The only things are sim ple things and, hon estly, they are things that I can still do in life. For exam ple, I was asked to work on a boat char ter in Mexico and I said “no”. I really wish I would have said “yes” so I could have surfed amaz ing surf and learned more about boats, how they work, char ter ing, etc. I love boats and this would have been a real treat.
What are you most proud of?
Being able to travel the world surf ing. It was once just a dream as a young girl. I am very proud of the hard work I have put into my surf ing career and all the great things I have learned along the way.
What mean ing does surf ing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing is my entire life now. I live every day in and around the ocean. Surfing has shaped me in so many ways. I have learned so much about life and other cul tures through surf ing and trav el ing. Every adven ture opens my eyes to new things. I am extremely grate ful for what I have and don’t have. The chal lenges and risks I take have only made me a stronger, more edu cated and all-around a bet ter person.
What brings you the most hap pi ness in the world?
My fam ily and friends. Also, warm, mind less, per fect waves—but fam ily always first.
Who are some of the peo ple you feel are shap ing the path for surf ing today?
There are so many young male and female young surfers who are tak ing surf ing to an entirely new level. The tal ented abil i ties, new inno v a tive tricks, rid ing big ger waves, and all of the new shapes of surfboards.
What is in your cur rent quiver? What is cur rently your favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
Favorite surf spot is in Ventura. My quiver con sists of clas sic sin gle fin long boards, high per for mance long boards, quads, fun shapes—and they are all in cute col ors. (Laughs)
Right now, I have two favorite Patagonia boards that Fletcher Chouinard shaped me. One is what we call a “Fark” (quad fun shape short board) and the other I call “Pinky” and it is my tri fin all-around longboard. I ride Pinky all the time; it’s not only cute, but works amaz ing in all sizes of surf!
What’s your favorite meal?
A healthy salad or I like to indulge in Mexican food.
What are you cur rently lis ten ing to on your iPod?
Ray Lamontagne, Steel Pulse, Paulo Nutini, Natalie Merchant, Todd Hannigan I lis ten to every thing and anything.
What are you most grate ful for?
Health, fam ily and the ocean.
What causes/organizations do you sup port?
I am involved in sev eral non-profits. I believe it is extremely impor tant to give back. I love peo ple, children and help ing those in need. I am apart of Free Wheelchair Mission, Boarding for Breast Cancer, Women’s Sports Foundation and sev eral oth ers. Every year I help host a “surf ing cruise ship”; all the proceeds go to var i ous organizations.
What’s next for Mary Osborne?
It’s non stop right now, which is excit ing, and a lot of new things are on the hori zon. Besides work ing closely with my spon sors (Patagonia, Bettybelts, Go211.com), I have started a new side busi ness Solymar Tan. I am set ting up surf camps and yoga retreats (www.mosurfcamp.com). Hopefully still trav el ing this upcom ing year, writ ing for var i ous projects, maybe film ing a new TV documentary/reality surf show and, as of this morn ing, maybe work ing with Panama Jack (www.panamajack.com) on a few dif fer ent lev els. This next year is going to be an excit ing one and I am really look ing for ward to it! New adven tures, learning more, surf ing, and being healthy!