Born and raised in Santa Cruz California, Jack Akrop has always been an active guy. He grew up playing various sports and joining junior lifeguard in Capitola, which eventually led him into surfing.
By the time Jack got older he knew his future was in the water.
To stay out longer, he started to work as a junior lifeguard and teach surfing at the same time. After staring at the sea for several years with many kids and young adults he realized there are more ways to teach water safety, so he decided to create his own program; the Water Warriors.
The purpose of Water Warriors is to teach swimming or surfing through understanding the ocean and how it behaves. Jack’s hoping to teach the kids how to swim, paddle and surf through changing tides and powerful rip currents. The Warriors are working towards developing an entire community of kids ready to be confident in pumping surf and helping everyone stay safe no matter the conditions.
He also speaks From his first-hand experiences at sea. When he decided to advance in surfing and ride bigger waves, Jack knew he had to dig deeper and learn, respect and understand how the ocean behaves to stay safe, and the Water Warriors ultimate focus is learning to respect the sea
Surfing has become a huge part of Jack's life. After a long day in the water teaching his kids, he wants to do nothing else but paddle out for a few. Jack lives to surf, and he’s hoping to build a life around his passion. We asked him what it is that makes him so attached to it. “Freedom” was a word that stuck with him.
No matter your mood or situation you can always get in the water and let the waves put things in perspective. The ocean calms you down and gives you a fresh slate, some might even call it meditation. Your problems out of the water are never as important as the next set.
Jack’s whole life revolves around the great outdoors, so when we asked about how we can help sustain our natural world he had plenty of ideas. . Jack says that it’ all about the little things.
We are pretty lucky here in Santa Cruz to have a community who truly cares about our environment, but we can always do more. We won’t solve the world’s problem tomorrow, but if we all picked up a bit more trash every day, we could go to sleep knowing our world got a bit cleaner today.If our kids see us taking care of the details, we can slowly start passing on a greener earth to each new generation. Just imagine a whole world getting healthier instead of ill!
Jack couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of helping the younger generation realize they will soon be in the thick of things and running the show. We will be leaving this place to the kids eventually, so we at Växa want to be part of their journey before it's too late.
We asked if there was anything else he wanted to share with our community and he said he wants to remind all surfers out there to have fun with it. it’s a crowded sport here in Santa Cruz, because our home happens to have some of the best waves on earth. As someone who introduces people to the sport he knows it’s really important to remember to have fun.
“Happier people make a better world and surfing is one of the best ways to do it”
Happiness’s importance in a healthy world is a really important message that is easy to forget sometimes. Talking to Jack further motivates us to do our part inspiring a happy and healthy future.