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Beads of salt water slowly form at the tips of Jessica’s still-wet hair, a mug of coffee steams gently, her shivering hands clutched tightly around it, desperately trying to leech what heat they can to regain their warmth. Fresh from the early Winter’s morning waves, she is cold but filled with that unmistakable vitality that only a surfer could know.

It has been said by many, felt by a few but truly meant by a precious handful: surfing can change your life, and she is one of that handful.

Jessica grew up in Cornwall, the last footfall before the great Atlantic Ocean and, somewhere far distant, the Americas

Jessica grew up in Cornwall, the last footfall before the great Atlantic Ocean and, somewhere far distant, the Americas. Always motivated to surf, opportunity, rather than desire, is what held her from the waves. Some are too lazy, others geographically challenged, but for Jessica it was more personal, and more painful.

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“When I was a kid, I had a pretty hard upbringing,” recalls Jessica of her youth. “I started getting into a lot of trouble at school. I found surfing when I was pretty young, but I had lots of barriers; I was a girl, I came from a not-so-well-off family and I didn’t have any parental support.”

Though looking at her today – positive, healthy and sparkly-eyed – you couldn’t imagine it, Jessica spent her younger years wandering far from the tracks of life. Derailed by challenging circumstances at home and at school, she was a bit of a wild one, directionless and careless.

But somehow, against the will of these challenges, she got herself a board and a wetsuit and paddled out into a new life in the less than temperate waves off the Kernow coastline.

surfing is very creative, but not only that, it’s also challenging and I think I really needed that challenge

“Because I’m a strong-willed person, I managed to get myself a board, set myself up and get out there and yeah, it changed my life. I was dyslexic, so I wasn’t able to learn very well by just sitting in class and I had all this energy and I needed to outlet it somewhere, but I was outletting it in the wrong places. You can express it through destruction or creativity. I think surfing is very creative, but not only that, it’s also challenging and I think I really needed that challenge.”

Jessica fought hard, grit and determination bringing about a pivotal shift and, against the odds, she got herself back on track, strong, motivated and with an entirely new outlook on life.

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