Amelia Hutchins and her daughter, Delilah, surf together at Playa Guiones in March 2020.
The landmark Nosara Beach Hotel overlooks the beach.
from other areas simply cannot match.
Quickness, great timing and an extensive knowledge of the ocean
are required to successfully ride short, windswell waves — traits
that are not as much of a requirement elsewhere. All of these factors
amount to the East Coast being a perfect breeding ground for a devel-oping
surfer, at least in childhood.
A quick internet search will show that many top names in the
surfing world emerged from extremely wave-poor areas along the
East Coast. Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Ben Bourgeois, Cory and
Shea Lopez, Ben and Michael Powell, and Tony Silvagni are just a few
Delilah knows what it will take to join that list of luminaries.
“I have a chance to go pro,” she says. “But I am not working as
hard as I could. I’d have to put everything into it, start winning every
single smaller competition. If not I am not going to get anywhere.”
With the phenomenal support of her mother, a new life in Central
America with consistent, high-quality surf, and the perfect back-ground
to stoke her ambition, Delilah Hutchins is poised to put the
surfing world on notice in the coming years.
“Huge iguanas will walk through our class,”
she says. “I’ll be the only one that’s shocked.
I’ll step outside and see monkeys swinging
through the trees.”
She became a member of the 13-guy
Nosara Surf Team, owing to the fact that
there was simply no other competition.
“I am the only girl on it,” Delilah says.
Artavia, the Nosara Surf Team coach
“He’s hard. He’ll push me to go in condi-tions
I am not comfortable with,” she says.
“We went to Nicaraugua. The waves were big
and scarey, over rocks, a mile paddle out. He
just pushed me. I had to just trust him in that.
He has confidence in me.”
Increasingly, she has confidence in herself,
challenging the guys on the team for the best
“She is not afraid to mix it up with the boys,”
Delilah has become an inspiration to many
of the young women she has encountered in
her new home and the surrounding areas.
“It was so cool to meet these little Nicara-guan
girls recently, who kept asking to have
their picture taken with Delilah,” Amelia says.
“Delilah’s surfing experience here as the only
girl competing with the Nosara Surf Team has
been similar to my own experience growing
up and never seeing girls in the water. There were just not a lot of
women surfers around back then.”
For those who are not outliers, innovators or groundbreakers,
seeing an example or a role model is essential to visualize ourselves in
that role. Of course, seeing her daughter become that person for a new
generation of young women has made Amelia an even prouder mom
than she thought she could be.
Amelia experienced a similar feeling of pride when they traveled to
Noosa, Australia, where Delilah competed in the Noosa Longboard
“Watching Delilah have a chance to surf against her heroes was an
amazing experience,” Amelia says.
Though she admits that she felt a little nervous while her daugh-ter
was competing on such a big stage, she says Delilah seemed
It may seem counterintuitive, but her childhood experiences
growing up on the East Coast are another asset in Delilah’s favor.
People who are from wave-poor regions like Wrightsville Beach
develop a sense of hunger for surf and a love for the sport that people
WBM june 2020