Between the surf and the sky

Mark Moore dis­cov­ered his dream half­way around the world – then brought it back home

Truro Daily News - - COLCHESTER COUNTY - BY FRAM DINSHAW

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mark Moore met his wife Emma through kitesurf­ing. They have a dog called Breeze, a cocker spaniel-poo­dle mix.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO/ADAM COR­NICK

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