Noserider Surf Club is the dream of a little girl finally come to life 28 years later – it’s more than a swimwear brand and it’s not about being the best surfer. Instead, Noserider Surf Club is about bringing people together who are out there chasing their dreams day after day.
Born into the Right Family, Wrong State
I didn’t grow up surfing and I wasn’t even close to the ocean – I grew up in small town Wisconsin. From as far back as I can remember, I have always dreamed of being a surfer from California. I always joke that I was born into the right family, just the wrong state.
The first time I ever surfed was on a family vacation in Hawaii when I was in middle school. I took one lesson and everything I believed had been confirmed - although I didn’t stand up once, I was going to be a surfer. For the next few years, I spent my time making playlists perfectly curated for driving down the 101, watching Blue Crush and The O.C., filling my Pinterest board with “surf life” inspired pictures, and watching surf YouTube videos.
The next time I surfed was a few years later out in California. I was looking at colleges to attend and saw it as an opportunity to finally move near the ocean and surf every day. I remember walking into a dorm room at USD and seeing the surfboard in the corner – this would be me next year! That dream was quickly crushed after looking at tuition costs in California, so I ended up attending UW Madison – a fantastic school, but still very far from the ocean.
This is It, I’m a Surfer
At the age of 26, I finally moved to Hawaii, bought a board, and started surfing. I would spend hours up on the North Shore at Pua’ena Point with friends learning to surf on my blue Wavestorm. At night, I would watch video after video on YouTube to learn as much as I could about surfing and then try to implement it the next day.
A few months later, I graduated with my master’s in public health and a few people got together and gifted me my first longboard. It was love at first ride. I immediately took it out for a surf down in Waikiki.
I can’t quite put into words what it felt like to ride a surfboard that wasn’t foam for the first time. I remember everything about that session – it was sunset and I was wearing my favorite blue bikini. All I could think was, “this is it, I’m a surfer.”
It’s a weird feeling to realize you’re living a life that the younger version of you always dreamed of. It’s something you want to hold close and never let go, but at the same time it’s also something you want so badly to share with the world. I want every single person to experience their own version of the moment I felt that afternoon.
Bali Bound: The Dream Continues
Less than two years later, I landed a fully remote job that allowed me the flexibility to move to Bali, Indonesia. I immediately bought a surfboard and started taking lessons. I knew that if I wanted to progress, I would need to start training and seek out coaches. I started taking weekly lessons and signed up for two surf retreats.
More surfing was the perfect excuse to treat myself to a new surf suit! After shopping around, I couldn’t find anything that worked for me. I wanted something supportive but cute, something cheeky but that wouldn’t move – so I started drawing up my dream surf suit.
A few days later I had sourced fabric, found a tailor, and started prototyping what is now our best seller, the Noserider Surf Set. This set consists of a simple, yet supportive bikini top, a mid-rise bottom that’s cheeky but has a strong elastic band, and a matching ¾ length sleeve cropped rash guard.
After testing it out in the water a few times, friends started asking me to make them the same one – and just like that, Noserider Surf Club was born!
The Most Important Part of a Club is the People
Our first collection launched the same weekend as my first surf retreat and I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive group of people to launch the collection with. I had just met the girls that week, and they all rallied together to create content, finalize the website, and push Noserider to their own personal network of friends.
It was exactly what Noserider Surf Club is all about. Since that surf retreat, we’ve all stayed close and continue to cheer each other on and support one another both in and out of the waves.
Each of us has our own businesses and come from different parts of the world but surfing brought us together.
Lessons Learned in the Ocean that I Apply to Business
The ocean and surfing have taught me so much about myself, life, and business. It’s one of the only times when I am completely disconnected from technology and I find myself able to think and reflect most clearly.
Rarely do you have the ocean all to yourself – this is especially true when surfing in Canggu. So often I would find myself hesitating to paddle for a wave because I was so nervous that I would miss the wave and other surfers would be mad at me for “wasting a wave.”
Surfing has taught me the importance of letting go of the fear of disappointing others to not disappoint myself.
At the end of the day, this type of mentality didn’t help me advance as a surfer and I realized that I had this same fear outside of the water. The fear of disappointing others can be paralyzing, but if you let this fear hold you back from going after your dreams, the only person you’re disappointing is yourself.
The Next Cross-Step
Since the launch of Noserider Surf Club, I’ve continued to set bigger and bigger goals for myself as a surfer and for Noserider. Starting a new sport so late in life was extremely intimidating for me. I had to constantly fight to quiet the voice inside my head that kept telling me I’m too old and not a good enough surfer to chase this dream.
I’ve learned that in surfing and in business, age doesn’t determine success, and starting now is better than never starting at all.
With each collection, we aim to be innovative and create designs that are both functional and beautiful. We strive every day to continue cultivating a community of surfers that support one another both in and out of the water.
At the heart of it all, Noserider Surf Club is about chasing your dreams and creating a dream life that younger you would have been proud of and so excited to live.
Written by Emma Bukowski, Founder + Designer