by Cheryl Crabtree
When 16-year-old Heather Hudson first paddled out and stood up on a wave in Malibu in the 1970s, she was hooked. “I thought, ‘I’m going to do this the rest of my life,’” recalls Hudson, who has plied the waves ever since that pivotal moment. Her passion runs so deep that filmmaker Peck Euwer chose Hudson as one of five subjects in his 2006 documentary about surf addiction, The Craving.
A Southern California native, Hudson traveled often to Santa Barbara and fell in love with the area. In 1995 she, her husband Keith and two young sons, Jack and Wil, moved here permanently. “It was the best choice we ever made,” she states. “I felt like I was finally home. This place is so beautiful. The mountains come right down and meet the ocean, and I always look forward to looking at them when I’m out in the water. It’s a gift just to be here. I feel so complete.”
While winter swells bring the best waves to Santa Barbara, Hudson says spring surf sessions are still fun and often uncrowded. Her advice for spring surfers? “Keep looking every day and you might find waves somewhere! It’s great just to get in the ocean.”
This year also marks the re-release of The Women and the Waves, a film Hudson coproduced with Euwer and showed at the 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. “I wanted to talk about what it was like to be in the water as a woman. Socially, it’s a really interesting experience—there are lots of dynamics,” explains Hudson. After doing the festival circuit, Filmworks Entertainment picked up the film. The new DVD version, which includes extended footage, is available at www.thewomenandthewaves.com, as well as Amazon.com and iTunes Store.
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