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ReSurf Ambassador Spotlight

Zach Katz and the Katz Family

It’s certainly no secret that the success of ReSurf programs around the world is reliant on volunteers and the generosity of members of local communities. We recently sat down with ReSurf ambassadors, Zach Katz and his Mom, Kathy. Zach has been involved with ReSurf from the early stages, collecting used boards, mentoring new surfers and bringing surfing and stoked with a purpose to San Diego and to his favorite breaks in Rosarito, Baja California.

Zach’s started surfing with his father Max, a longtime surfer and his sister, Arielle (also a big part of the ReSurf Rosarito crew). Zach’s mother, Kathy Katz, has been a supporter of her children and their involvement in the ReSurf movement from day one.

“Zach had been telling me about ReSurf and got involved through the Jewish Academy. He was really into it. It’s an amazing program. I spoke with Oran (ReSurf founder) and understood why. Like Zach, (Oran) has such charisma and spirit and really enjoys helping others.” Kathy beamed.

Before ReSurf, Zach was heavily involved in the youth surf community in Rosarito, mentoring kids and teaching them how to surf alongside local Rosarito Surf Club founder, Carlos Luna. With the template and spirit of the ReSurf program, Zach was able to put all the pieces together and mobilize. Through his efforts, ReSurf successfully launched a program through The Club de Niños y Niñas de Rosarito (Boys and Girls Club, Rosarito Chapter) in June.

Kathy was quick to point out, “[ReSurf] is key for the youth of Rosarito and gives them somewhere to go and stay off the streets.”

In Rosarito, the perception of surfing is changing rapidly with the surf-positive influence of ReSurf ambassadors like Zach. Working parents in the community there are seeing that their kids have an opportunity to do something that is engaging and helps them learn skills like creating art, making films and having fun in a safe environment.

Film and photography are such integral aspects of surfing and ReSurf offers access to the gear needed to create those epic moments experienced in the water. Kathy commented, “Zach and his buddies love their go pros.”

Of the event in Rosarito in June, Kathy was particularly impressed with the community involvement and spirit of goodwill, stating that, “There were young teens from the U.S. who teamed up with teenage surfers from Mexico working together with one goal in mind, mentoring children through surfing. At some stages throughout the day they didn’t speak the same language but it didn’t seem to matter. They had the same goal and passion and it showed at the end of the day when first time little new surfers stood up on their surf boards for the first time.”

Zach shared his mother’s excitement and thinking of the future, imagined ReSurf as an organization that, “would be known worldwide. Every Boys and Girls Club around the world would want to be a part of ReSurf. In just a very short period of time, ReSurf has already changed the lives of many kids in Rosarito. In 5 years, ReSurf will have changed the lives of millions of kids worldwide.”

“Its people like Kathy, Zach and their family that make ReSurf programs successful.” ReSurf founder, Oran Bendelstein said of the Katz family. “Their energy and passion to give back to their community is truly inspiring! ReSurf is so very lucky and fortunate to have the Katz family on board and part of the ReSurf Team. This is just the beginning of a long lasting relationship.”

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Zach took a few minutes to answer some fun questions about surfing and his favorite break:

ReSurf: When did you start surfing?

Zach: I started surfing at the age of 4 with my dad and sister.

ReSurf: What, if any, were your biggest challenges in learning how to surf?

Zach: I was always scared of big waves. My biggest challenge was telling myself that everything is going to be ok, it’s just another wave.

ReSurf: If there is one thing you could tell the world about Rosarito and the surf community there, what is it and why?

Zach: I would say that unlike many other surfing communities, Rosarito has a very welcoming community. They always love to share the waves.

ReSurf: Who is your biggest influence in surfing and why?

Zach: My Dad. Ever since I was little I would always tell myself “Man! I wish I could surf like him” and even to this day I still tell myself that.

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ReSurf: ¿Quién es su influencia en el surf?

Zach: Mi Papa.

ReSurf: ¿Qué te inspira más sobre el Proyecto ReSurf?

Zach: Ver a todos los niños pequeños divirtiéndose en el surf y ver las vidas de todos los niños cambiar.

ReSurf: ¿Dónde está su lugar favorito para navegar en Rosarito?

Zach: El Hotel de Rosarito.

ReSurf: ¿Qué consejo le darías a las nuevas personas que practica surf?

Zach: Que no se asusten en el mar. Todo va estar bien.

ReSurf: ¿Prefiere navegar en Rosarito o San Diego?

Zach: Rosarito!

Thanks to Kathy and Zach Katz for their support of ReSurf. We’re so thrilled to have you involved. You are the perfect ReSurf ambassadors!

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Shane Roeschlein
shane.roeschlein@gmail.com