It’s a well-known story: Surfer finishes college, gets a 9-to-5 job, squeezes surf sessions before and after work. This was Kristy Murphy’s life. She also competed on the weekends and won a string of surf contests including an East Coast Championship Women’s title. Murphy moved to the West Coast for better surf and the dream of being a professional surfer. Soon after arriving she was sharing the lineup with inspirational surfers including the highly regarded Linda Benson.
Murphy landed a job packing surfboards at the Channin Surfboard and Glassing factory in Encinitas and was living the dream. Her afternoons were spent surfing Cardiff Reef alongside Joel Tudor and Donald Takayama, who witnessed Murphy’s surfing blossom. Murphy began surfing in events around the San Diego area and planning surf trips south to Mexico and Central America. She often travelled with fellow competitor Cat Slatinsky. On a trip to Pavones, Costa Rica the two caught perfection all by themselves, which helped ignite a working relationship between them. Murphy’s fledgling career as a surf instructor was also starting to pay dividends, and she landed a surf instructor job in Mexico.
Her competitive surfing was also maturing, and she became the 2005 Women’s Pro Longboard Champion. Winning this prestigious event solidified Murphy as a world class surfer, which led to Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, star of Endless Summer II, offering Murphy the opportunity to work with him as a travel surf consultant for his “Go With A Pro” surf tours. With Wingnut she learned the essence of V.I.P surf travel as she guided elite professionals around the globe on surf adventures. With that experience, Murphy and Slatinsky launched Siren Surf Adventures, which guides surfers to some of the world’s best waves.
Photos by Cat Slatinsky