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SurfMom Launches First Online Surf Shop for Families

These days, the surfers out there shredding are as likely to be in elementary school as they are to be teenagers. Once primarily the domain of thrill-seeking young men, surfing has evolved into a popular family activity, complete with surf moms and surf dads cheering on their kids. And now, through the launch of SurfMom (www.SurfMom.com), the first online surf shop for families, one surf mom is working to acknowledge the sea of change in surfing.

SurfMom owner Claire Bediamol, a former national swimming champion and 1984 Olympic Trials contender, started SurfMom.com to fill a gap she saw in the surfing industry.

"I was standing waist-deep by the pier in Hanalei, Kauai, holding a board for my two-year-old son, watching this huge smile grow on his face as the whitewash carried him, and I thought, 'this is the life, this is the surf mom's life,'" Bediamol explained. "There are so many families getting into surfing these days. It has evolved into such a positive, healthy and unifying activity for the whole family, but most of the industry is still tailored toward teenagers."

SurfMom.com aims to shift some of that focus onto surfing parents, kids and even infants. The site carries apparel, jewelry, surf art, sarongs, oils, after-surf lotion and other gifts for all members of the surfing family. But the most exciting part of SurfMom.com, said Bediamol, is the message board where surfing families can connect to share surf club news, give travel tips, and meet other surfing families.

"I read this letter written to former world champion surfer Corky Carroll from a woman who was looking for another surfing mom to take turns 'beach-sitting' the kids so she could surf," said Bediamol. "That letter was the inspiration for the SurfMom.com message board. I hope people will find it useful and that those who have some inspirational surfing stories will share them on the board."

Bediamol wants to see surf moms connect with each other for support and friendship because surfing is more than a sport: It's a lifestyle, complete with its own lingo, culture and role models. A mom of three, Bediamol says her own family is immersed in the surfing lifestyle, and she wants to recognize other surf moms and dads that are embracing the sport.

"In my eyes, a mom who sits on the beach with the kids while her husband surfs is a surf mom too, and she needs to be acknowledged for the role she plays in promoting a healthy lifestyle for her family," Bediamol said. "I can't wait for the day when my kids are old enough to surf together, and I know it will be a huge day in my husband's life when he shares a wave with one of his sons. That's why I started SurfMom.com. It's about the surfing lifestyle and it's about families sharing an adventure."

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