Dkoko ambassador Delilah Hutchins is a 17 year-old competitive longboard surfer from North Carolina who convinced her mom to move to Costa Rica to chase her surfing dreams. We chatted to Delilah about her plans for the future, what it's like balancing her surf and school schedule in the jungle, and got the inside scoop from her recent experience competing at the Mexi Log Fest. She even shared a few pro tips for women and girls who want to get more versatile with their surfing style - thanks for the inspiration, Delilah!
We love your smooth, confident style in the surf. How did you get into longboarding?
I was raised in a small beach town in North Carolina where the waves are usually 1-2 feet everyday. It was tiring trying to surf with a shortboard when there was rarely any swell. I decided to try longboarding, fell love with the grace and style of the dance, and knew I wanted to stick to it.
How did you end up living and surfing in Costa Rica?
Like I said, the waves were so small in North Carolina, there would sometimes be weeks of no swell. I knew I wanted to compete and improve my surfing and I needed more of a consistent wave. I wanted to form my life around surfing. My mom had travelled to Nosara, Costa Rica when I was in the womb and we decided to come back for a visit. I checked out a school in the area and all the pieces just seemed to come together for us to move here.
How do you balance your schoolwork with your life as a surfer?
I prioritize surfing in my schedule, and most days I'll surf in the morning to make sure I get my time in the water. Usually after surfing I will come home around 10am and work on my schooling until around 4pm. Afterwards, I'll either surf again or watch sunset with my friends. It’s hard to find a perfect balance, especially because life in the jungle becomes chaotic - but we make it work.
How would you describe your absolute perfect day?
My absolute perfect day would be sleeping in and waking up to perfect longboard waves with barely anyone out. I would eat a really nice breakfast and then head out surfing with my friends, my mom, and her friends. We would surf all day and only come out of the water to eat and maybe take a nap. We would go back for a sunset session, then eat a huge dinner and fall asleep to do it all again the next day.
What were some of the highlights from your experience at the Mexi Log Fest? Give us the scoop!
I had so much fun at the Mexi Log Fest! It was definitely my favorite contest experience yet. It was incredible to surf alongside my favorite surfers of all time. I felt so inspired and motivated by their surfing, and it was the most amazing feeling to surf in the same heat as my two favorite surfers, Karina Rozunko and Lola Mignot. I was so happy with my performance and my ranking!!
What are you looking forward to now?
Next month I am going to Malibu to surf in the Queen of the Point contest! I can’t wait.
Your surfing is so versatile. What tips do you have for other women surfers?
I feel like the biggest thing I’ve learned as a surfer is that you’re going to have off-days, even off-months, when you feel like you’re not surfing your best. In those moments you just have to work harder rather than giving up.
What do you love doing when you're not out surfing?
I love to write music, sing and play guitar. It was the first thing I loved to do and it’s always nice to sit down, just reconnect with that, and respect the years I put into learning. I also love spending time with my friends and taking day trips to other beaches. Another one of my favorite things is travelling with my mom and trying new restaurants! :)
How do you describe your connection to the ocean and how you feel while you're surfing?
I couldn’t live without surfing or the ocean. I think, like many surfers, the ocean is a place where I feel safe and nothing else matters. I feel happiest and like the best version of myself in the water. The ocean has given me a purpose and reason to wake up in the morning.
Interview written by Tara Ruttenberg
Surfing photos by Salt Shots