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jettygirl online surf magazine's second annual new year's feature

Kelly Nicely, Second Annual Jettygirl New Year's Feature, 2009. Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine

Presented by Blue Surf Sanctuary

kelly nicely photos by chris grant

JettyGirl: While faltering economies, political turmoil and energy issues dominated most of the headlines during the past year, much of 2008's good news slipped through the cracks. What's the best thing that happened to you in 2008 and what are you most hopeful for in 2009?
Kelly Nicely: Although the economy has taken a hard hit and it's sad to see the losses due to the fall in the real estate and stock market, the fall in the market has given me a chance for investment.  I am very excited to be a home owner in California after only living here for two years.  When I first moved to California prices were very high and I never thought I would have the chance to be a home owner here.  With luck of finding a wonderful career with Genentech, I now live 2 miles from work and 4 from the ocean.  It's nothing too fancy but I now have a new hobby and place to spend my time out of the water.  I am excited and happy but it's also a scary big step because watching the market take such a hit clarifies how  there is no such thing as job security.  I am going to be hopeful and put my full heart into everything working out.  

My biggest hope for 2009 is to see political and economic focus on new energy resources.  It's an obvious need for our day and time and I hope to see more and more technology hitting our markets and raising our economy by providing new jobs.

JG: Tell us about the first time you ever stood up on a surfboard. Where was it and what were you riding?
KN: After my grandfather died, my grandmother gave me and my brother their old Mach 77 boogie boards.   They were bright yellow on the top and bright orange on the hard slick bottom.  I was about nine years old and pretty scared of the ocean...all because of crabs that bite your toes and the murky sharky waters in Emerald Isle, North Carolina.  I only went in the ocean for a week out of the year when my grandmother went on summer vacation.  I thought laying down was boring so I tried standing and it was much better.

JG: What is your current favorite board? In 2009 do you have any plans to experiment with different surfboard designs, materials or fin configurations?
KN: For at least a year I have been  hooked on Donald Takayama Noah Comp boards.  They've got a high performance tail and still have a pretty wide nose that is really great for nose riding.  I don't know how much I am going to experiment with fins because I really fell in love with the set up I use now.  Donald has recently patented some new fins that are absolutely amazing.  I first used them and the turns were so loose that I was doing laybacks on accident (not pulling them off) so it was hard the first day.  But once I figured out that you could turn in a really tight section like when shortboarding, I kept them in every board and my roundhouse has improved because of them.  I have really learned to like light boards, although when you ride nine footers that's a problem because lighter boards snap easy so my shaper is trying new and lighter foams to compromise with heavier glassing.

JG: Do you have any heroes? If so, who and why?
KN: My heroes are my friends, family and co-workers who I see follow their hearts and find stoke and  happiness in the little things in life. 

JG: In 2009 we'll see the best single maneuver ever done by a female surfer. Who do you think will pull the move and what do you think it will be?
KN: I think it will be a surprise!!!!!


Next Surfer: Kim Mayer  


For those of you who like to jump around instead of going one by one, here's the complete list of surfers...

Alizee Arnaud Elizabeth Pepin Silva Kassia Meador Nicole Grodesky Schuyler McFerran
Amee Donohoe Erica Hosseini Kelly Nicely Nikita Robb Serena Brooke
Anna Garaway Frieda Zamba Kim Mayer Nikki Brooks Shaney Jo Darden
Anne Beasley Weber Heather Hudson Crummer Kim Mearig Paige Hareb Shannon Switzer
Ashley Lloyd Heather Jordan Kyla Langen Pam Burridge Silvana Lima
Bethany Hamilton Holly Beck Kym Campbell Pauline Ado Sofia Mulanovich
Betty Depolito Jacqueline Silva Lauren Sweeney Pauline Menczer Sormarie Nieves
Chanelle Sladics Jenna Balester Laurina McGrath Prue Jeffries Stacey Guy
Christa Alves Jenni Flanigan Layne Beachley Rebecca Woods Tammy-Lee Smith
Claire Bevilacqua Jessi Miley-Dyer Leah Dawson Rochelle Ballard Yvonne Mendel
Cori Schumacher Josie Drude Lynne Dickinson Rosy Hodge  
Courtney Conlogue Julie Cox Marissa Graham Sage Erickson  
Danielle Beck Kaitlin Maguire Mary Osborne Sally Fitzgibbons  
Darlene Conolly Karin Kendrick Megan Abubo Sam Haddad  
Donna von Hoesslin Karlee Mackie Nicola Atherton Sara Taylor  


Image Caption: Four views of North Carolina's Kelly Nicely, one of the most talented surfers I know. If there's a short list of surfers who can do airs, there's a REALLY short list of people who can air it out on both short- and longboards. Proud owner of two science degrees and a world-class cutback. Kelly has been an avid supporter of JettyGirl and truth be told, she's almost like a sister to me. Photo: Chris Grant /

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Additional Resources:

Donald Takayama




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