Krista Allen Gets Her Bodyboard out in Boston!
In the ramp up to our campaign starting in July “BRING BACK THE BOOGIE” we have been coming across so many amazing stories of mermaids who love to and are so talented with their bodyboards. Having a brood of kids and living in Boston is not stopping this super mum from living her mermaid dream and taking her bodyboard out whenever the opportunity arises. Be inspired!
Krista Allen is a proud mother of 4 and lives in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s not really the first place you’d expect to hear a story of the love of bodyboarding, not is it renowned for the wedges and hollow barrel rides that bodyboarders hang out for. Krista looks for a nice small wave, something that will allow her a steady drop in, glide down an adequate face and room to explore her options.
She was born into the hustle and bustle of New York City, spending her childhood on the beach of Shelter Island, New York adrift a land mass only accessible by boat and plane (protected by the Hamptons). She says it was a pretty good place to spend the days of youth pass by “As a baby, I napped on the porch by the beach to the sound of the surf.I’d swim out to the sandbar in front of my house at low tide as a kid. This was at the eastern end of Long Island. I loved big storms and lighthouses, especially the one at Montauk Point. I’d like to get down there again to try some bodyboarding now.”
As an adult and mum Krista has settled in Boston where she makes the ocean part of her and her family’s life. She says “I tried living inland once for 9 months. It was terrible. I felt claustrophobic. Landlocked. I have to be near the ocean.”
She was introduced to the work of bodyboarding by her boyfriend she says “We were together for over a year, and I am so grateful that our time together brought me back to my roots of spending time in the open water doing something I love.” She’s now hooked and bringing her love into the lives of her children, who are all getting into the sport. In her car you’ll find two boards (one her new GT Dragon from Brazil) permanently placed amongst the kids stuff ready for water and raw Atlantic Ocean glide.
Krista is a writer, she’s currently working on a Vegan Cookbook for kids but she would say her most valuable project is a book she’s working on that is dedicated to her only daughter. “The youngest of my 4 children is my daughter Maia the Mermaid who is 6. I told her I was tired of reading all the fairy princess books she likes, so I’m writing her a new book about a mermaid. She doesn’t know the main character will share her name yet. I hope I’ll have a publisher for it by her birthday this Summer and if all goes to plan I can get a series written too.”
HURRICANE SEASON & THE ATLANTIC
Being a mum you can’t be picky when you get the opportunity to get out in the ocean and the cold weather is not a hurdle for Krista, and why should it be with the best technologies in wetsuits available these days.
“While it can get plenty hot here in the summer, most of seasons are on the cool side. The water temps in the summer do get warm enough to go without a wetsuit, but if you want to be in the water during the rest of the year, you just have to accept that it’s going to be cold and that even with a full wetsuit, your time is going to be limited. I like wearing the least that I can and I really love my 4mm Rip Curl steamer. In the warmer weather I have a 2mm Roxy spring suit. I find it’s really important to purchase a wetsuit made specifically for women to get the best fit. The best waves here aren’t always in the summer months. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November and there are usually some pretty good storms throughout the winter that bring a few impressive swells.”
“If you want waves, you can’t be picky about the weather. When everyone else is stocking up on pantry essentials and cowering indoors, we’re watching the wave forecast waiting for the next adrenaline rush of paddling into a stormy sea.”
“On the coldest of days I have a separate hood (because I hate hoods, again, so claustrophobic) that I use when temperatures are below freezing or in high wind and blizzard conditions. I wear 5mm gloves and 5mm fin socks.”
“I was down at my favourite spot at Narragansett, Rhode Island recently and I was getting ready to head out. It was a sunny day with gorgeous barrels, about 35 degree fahrenheit water and 25mph winds. Beside my car was a guy getting his surfboard waxed up. He commented on my attire: “No hood? I give you 20 minutes.” I chuckled. “I lasted at least twice that long a month ago when it was below freezing,” I said. About 45 minutes later my leash broke and I called it a day. The guy was already back at his truck. “I win,” I said, smiling.”
MERMAIDS OF BOSTON
Krista inspires the imagination of local girls…
Just last month I was swimming in the lake nearby. Two little girls were sitting on the town beach dock with their nanny as I approached in the water. They began calling out and waving, asking who I was, so I swam over.
The 5 year old asked, “Are you a mermaid?”
“What do you think?” I asked.
The nanny said, “See, I told you she’d have long blonde hair.” The little girl asked, “Do you have fins?” I stuck my finned feet out of the water.
“See?” The 5 year old exclaimed, “She does! I can only swim with floaties. But you can swim all the way from over there!”
THE RISE OF FEMALE BODYSURFERS
‘I have seen a grand total of ONE other female bodyboarder in my year of bodyboarding in New England. There are probably a dozen or so surfer girls, but it’s really rare to see anyone on a bodyboard, much less a girl. I know half a dozen bodyboarders here altogether. I am hopeful that number will increase, especially as more surf shops stock better bodyboarding equipment.”
“The surfing population is impressive despite the cold weather. During a warm summer swell, it’s not uncommon to be surrounded by a hundred surfers in the line up at places like Second Beach in Rhode Island. Cape Cod and the New Hampshire coast can also get pretty crowded, but not so much in the winter. You have the opportunity to choose which wave you’d like to ride, and often have it all to yourself. Though it sure is fun to share a wave too with a buddy, ride it in together, huge smiles on your faces as you watch each other, doing cutbacks and S-turning into the shore. WHAT A RUSH!”
“Surfing is increasing in popularity everywhere, and New England is no exception. Bodyboarding will inevitably increase as well.”
The United States and it’s surrounding countries have vast coastlines with hundreds of thousands of surf options, many without snow in the line up and some that are frozen barrels as the Winter sets in. So what do you do when you want to escape your frozen paradise? Road trip of course…
“My normal range is the coast between Portland, Maine and Misquamicut, Rhode Island. So four states: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island. I need to get down to New York and New Jersey this year, maybe Florida too.”
“This winter was the snowiest here in recorded history. All I wanted to do was travel someplace warm with a bodyboarding buddy. But while it seemed everyone else was off on trips to tropical destinations, here I was, getting sick of the endless snow and cold. So in early March, I watched the wave forecast for the Carolina coast. The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a fabulous spot that I have visited a lot. As soon as I saw a decent forecast, I booked a flight and within 24 hours I was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My criteria was simply a location that was new, quick to get to, above freezing, and had NO SNOW!”
“Temps were mostly in the 60’s and it was off-season so I had my pick of everything. I got a room with a kitchen at The Mermaid Inn (really!) and spent four days soaking in some sun, catching waves, and hanging out at the local beach break. It wasn’t anything super impressive, but it was such a welcome warm relief.”
And while this devoted boogie chick has been to both Hawaii and Australia, she has surfed neither. “That needs to change!” She says. “Indonesia, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica are all on my “to ride” list. And while I am partial to rights, I would love to give Skeleton Bay in Namibia a go. For now, I will stick close to home and become more adept at what New England has to offer. My kids are all picking up bodyboarding and adore the beach.’
If you’re a bodyboarder or surfer in the Boston area you can follow Krista on Facebook BOSTON BODYBOARDERS
See Krista’s CHILLING swimming with Ice clip