Rip Curl Pro Tofino trophy shells beachcombed by local surfer

Dawn Batenchuk

Photo Credit: Asia Dryden

For the third year running, we are stoked to collaborate with our friends at Rip Curl Canada, to create the women’s division trophy necklaces. This year we wanted to create more of a story behind the casted shell. Rather than beachcombing Tofino for the perfect trophy shell, we reached out to a local surfer we believe is living the Tofino dream.

Dawn Batenchuk.

Not only is she a local RVCA advocate, Xcel wetsuits team rider, Coastal Bliss yoga teacher (my personal fav) but also a past and current competitor in the Rip Curl Pro Tofino. In 2012, she took home third place in the Pro Women division and still proudly wears her karenjess piece.

Her love of surfing has made her chase waves all over the world, ultimately settling down in beautiful Tofino. Her collection of seashells puts ours to shame! This years trophy necklace has been cast from one of her shells, into a unique, solid Bronze piece. A perfect symbol of strength, talent and unifying love of the ocean.

I sat down with Dawn and dug into what makes her a true ambassador for living a life driven by passion, nature and community.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Creative. Fun. Genuine.

When did you start surfing and why?

I tried surfing on a trip to Mexico when I was 19. It was the first time I’d seen the open ocean. But I really started surfing at the age of 21 when I moved to Tofino.

What division are you competing in for the upcoming Tofino Pro? 

Women’s short and longboard.

Are you going to win a karenjess trophy?! 

If giving it all means you get to win a trophy, than hell yeah!!!

Where have you travelled to chase waves? 

All over the pacific and beyond! My first trip I travelled for four months from Mexico through El Salvador and Nicaragua to Coast Rica. My next trip was 3 months in Chile Then 3 months in Hawaii on the Big Island and Kauai. The following year I spent 6 months in South America between Chile, Peru and Ecuador.

After that I spent two years away surfing in Hawaii, New Zealand, Austraia, Indonesia and Samoa. Portugal and Isreal were my most recent overseas adventures and I’ve frequented Mainland Mexico for a number of years. Lately I can be spotted anywhere on the Coast between Vancouver Island and Southern Baja California.

Describe Tofino in 3 words. 

Paradise. Precious. Home.

What brought you to Tofino?

I moved to Tofino to learn to surf and live by the ocean .  Growing up in Winnipeg was awesome, giving me the tools I needed to follow my heart and as I headed West things just got better and better. I found freedom snowboarding in the Rockies and happiness surfing on the West Coast.

What does community mean to you?  

A bunch of different people interconnected by similar lifestyles, ideas and motivations moving forward together on common ground.

What brought you to your yoga mat?

I remember the first time I felt who I was deep in savasana at the age of 19. That curious encounter sparked a desire to know myself better and live a more meaningful healthy life.

Describe how your yoga practice helps your surfing?

It keeps me strong, in tune and feeling light. If I can’t surf, I practice yoga. In a way they provide the same experience, in that they both bring me into the moment, connect me with my environment and make me feel alive and free. They also challenge me immensely so I am constantly learning and evolving.

What inspires you? 

Nature and passionate open people

Tell us your favourite…

Tofino surf spot?  North Chestermens

Board? Hobie circa 71 twin fin on any given day and when it gets good I have been loving my Super “Toy.”

Type of wave? Point break…Head high and glassy

And for fun…

wetsuit vs bikini? bikini

coffee vs tea? organic espresso

sunset vs sunrise? sunrise

sweet vs savoury? sweet

summer vs winter? winter down south!

And lastly, what connects you to karenjess?

karenjess jewellery is beautiful and classy. Simply capturing nature and its beauty as a real treasure.

Thank you Dawn! Good luck this weekend! xo