Between the surf and the sky
Mark Moore discovered his dream halfway around the world – then brought it back home
Mark Moore was once a typical Canadian kid, whose life revolved around hockey and golf in his hometown of Brookfield.
It was while on an Australian beach that Moore, then age 23, picked up a surfboard and rode the waves for the very first time – and found his true passion in life.
“Surfing and kitesurfing are both very dynamic sports, so when you’re out there on the ocean with a combo of waves and winds and rocky coastlines, it demands your full attention,” said Moore, of riding the sea. “It makes you focus on what you’re doing and it takes away from other things that are distracting you.”
Moore first took to the surf 11 years ago, while staying with a family on Australia’s Central Coast, north of Sydney in the town of Terrigal. He spent nearly a year Down Under on a working holiday visa.
While Moore started out as a traditional surfer, he soon gravitated to kitesurfing during his time in Australia. By using kites as sails, surfers can better harness wind to power them across the water.
Since then, he has both surfed and kitesurfed in more than 40 countries, including Samoa and Fiji in the South Pacific. The life of a full-time surfer for him was a nomadic one. It centred around the seasons while he often lived in a van as he travelled to different stretches of coastline seeking his next wave.
“For the next eight years I would stay in one place for six to eight months,” recalled Moore. “At that point in my life, most of my friends were entering the workforce and starting their careers.”
The desire to translate his hobby into a business finally brought back home to Nova Scotia for good.
Moore founded his Halifax Kitesurfing and Halifax Surf School on the Atlantic coast east of the city in 2014, where he now lives with his wife Emma and their dog Breeze. He runs classes for clients through the warmer months, with his cocker spanielpoodle dog sometimes a spectator.
“It’s mostly a good thing, but sometimes it can blur the lines of what’s work and play,” admitted Mark Moore is an avid kitesurfer who now runs classes in his chosen sport on the Atlantic beaches east of Halifax. The Brookfield native first took up the sport in Australia 11 years ago.
Moore. “Sometimes I want to surf when it’s windy, but I can’t as I have students to teach; you have to paradigm shift there. I’ve come to learn that I can take almost as much joy from seeing other people learn these skills.”
Unlike Australia and the tropical South Pacific, the Atlantic’s waves, while powerful, are frigid.
Nevertheless, Moore was amazed to discover such strong waves and pristine beaches an hour’s drive from where he grew up, even if he has to wear a full body suit while on the sea.
“You stop and look around, the ocean waves are really good and there’s beautiful snow on the beaches,” said Moore. “You’re fully present in that situation.”
During the winter, Moore re- connects with his Canadian roots, coaching hockey six nights a week, which he first did as a youth in Brookfield.
While kitesurfing, the wind can be so powerful that Mark Moore is sent flying, which he did on this occasion as his dog Breeze watched from the shore.
Mark Moore met his wife Emma through kitesurfing. They have a dog called Breeze, a cocker spaniel-poodle mix.