In her mid-twenties, Carolyn Day was pursuing a degree in Clinical Criminology in Montreal, Canada where she co-owned a home brewing store. Then one day, following a major heartbreak, Day – now a stuntwoman based in Los Angeles – woke up and decided to pull the plug on her life as she knew it: she bought a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. “I’d heard friends raving about the beauty of it and the abundance of nature so, needing a big change, I headed there by myself,” says Day.
And that’s where she experienced her first wave – “It was love at first ride. My life was changed forever,” says Day, who ended up staying in Costa Rica for two formative years. “No longer was I satisfied following the ‘normal path,’” she says, and left Central America to follow her dreams of becoming a circus acrobat. Day, a former gymnast, was training in Montreal one day when she was spotted by Cirque du Soleil’s Director of Creation. She explains, “He saw my acrobatic skills, heard that I surfed and decided that I would be a perfect candidate to ride horses standing up!” She left Canada and began touring the United States as a media spokesperson and acrobatic horse vaulter for the Cheval Theatre – “I became the only woman in the world to perform a back handspring on a galloping horse and land back on it.”
During a tour break, Day met a fellow surfer – an NSSA- National College Champ, in fact – who, like her, “dreamed about creating a life built around surfing and the pursuit of great waves.” It wasn’t long before they were in love, married and living in Hawaii – along with her circus horse. As she describes, they lived an idyllic life on the North Shore of Oahu, where she then began a career as a stuntwoman.
While she may seem fearless, Day – who has competed in surfing competitions such as the first-ever Women’s Pipeline Surfing Championship and the NSSA Nationals – has had her share of scary moments in the ocean, such as when she was surfing sunset in Oahu when an unexpected set of 18-footers rolled in. “It took me by surprise,” she says.
The surfing duo eventually relocated to Los Angeles. And, while on a one-month summer vacation in Mal Pais on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, they came back pregnant with their first child. “We now have two kids and an RV we call the “StokeMobile” and spend every day chasing waves. Just yesterday we were out surfing in the ocean as a family, with a child on each of our boards, riding in tandem.”
Does it get any dreamier than that?
Name: Carolyn Day
Where do you live: Los Angeles.
Years surfing: 15 years.
Surfing is: “It used to just mean catching waves, now it’s about expressing creative movements while riding and sharing the stoke. It’s a feeling of freedom and timelessness.”
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