The Inertia Editorial Intern

Winter Olympians recently came together in Sochi, Russia to compete against the best their respective sports have to offer. While many may assume that their talent for snow sports is the only thing they have in common, these Winter Olympians also share a love of surfing.

Shaun White, going right. Photo: Shaun White

Shaun White, going right. Photo: Who Say

1. Shaun White

Possibly the most well-known American Winter Olympic athlete, Shaun White shocked fans and viewers when he failed to medal in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe competition in Sochi. As an extremely gifted snowboarder and skateboarder, it should come as no surprise that White is also a talented surfer. However, White does acknowledge that surfing is different from snowboarding and skateboarding. He explains surfing is the only thing where “you’re not really moving, the water is.” With a beach house in Encinitas, California, the Olympic snowboarder should have no trouble at all enjoying and riding the California waves.

Sal Masekela and Julia Mancuso, about to test the waters of the Blac Sea. Photo: Sal Masekela

Sal Masekela and Julia Mancuso, about to test the waters of the Black Sea. Photo: @SalMasekela

2. Julia Mancuso


Currently holding the title as the most decorated female American Olympic alpine skier, Julia Mancuso just snagged the bronze medal in the Alpine Skiing Ladies’ Super Combined – Slalom competition in Sochi. Although Mancuso was in Sochi vying for a medal in three events, she managed to spend some time surfing off the shores of the Black Sea. Sal Masekela and Mancuso journeyed to find the surf in Sochi and they both managed to find some good waves. Splitting her down time between California and Maui, Hawaii, Mancuso has managed to transfer her impressive skiing skills to surfing skills while riding the waves.

Mark McMorris on some R&R in Hawaii. Photo: Instagram: Coco Ho

Mark McMorris on some R&R in Hawaii. Photo: Instagram: Coco Ho

3. Mark McMorris

Quickly taking over the snowboard slopestyle scene, Mark McMorris just snagged a bronze medal in the Snowboard Men’s Slopestyle competition in Sochi, Canada’s first medal of the games. However, McMorris’ talents aren’t confined to the mountains. Off the slopes, McMorris can likely be found in or around the water. Already a gifted wakeboarder, he has since taken up surfing. With his skills on both snowboards and wakeboards, it’s likely been somewhat of an easy transition from the mountains to the waves for McMorris. If his existing skills weren’t enough, I’m sure his girlfriend, professional Hawaiian surfer, Coco Ho, has been more than happy to help McMorris hone his skills on the waves.

4. Jenny Jones

Winning the bronze medal in the Snowboard Women’s Slopestyle in Sochi, Jenny Jones became the first British athlete to claim an Olympic medal on snow. Although her slopestyle medal will likely solidify her image as a snowboarder, she has long been an avid surfer. Frequently found riding the waves off North Devon in England, Jones explained that if she wasn’t a professional snowboarder, she would have done her best to become a professional surfer.


Many of us are drawn to the ocean. We love to ride until we catch our perfect wave, and as soon as we catch it, we search for one even better. These Winter Olympians are no different. When they’re not attempting to ride their best run on the mountains, they trade in their skis and snowboards for a surfboard. One thing’s for sure, I have no doubt the weather on the beach is much better than it is on the mountains.


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