The Team

The
Lovewater
Story

Matt & Abby Coleman

In 1981, in the heart of Santa Barbara, Matt was born to a small business owner father and a artist mother. Over his childhood he quickly adopted a love for the ocean. Whether it was surfing down at Hendry's Beach, spearfishing Mesa Lane, or sailing to the Channel Islands with his family every summer, it became clear that the ocean was a playground that was always open and ready for adventure.

While spearfishing and sailing were both fun, surfing quickly became Matt's passion. After years of competing on Point Loma's National Champion surf team, he moved to San Sebastian, Spain where he taught english, befriended the Basque people, and found a launch pad for a surf mission to 20+ countries around Europe and the world.

After two years teaching and traveling, Matt returned to his hometown to pursue higher education, receiving his Masters from UCSB in 2009. With a desire to give back to his community, Matt went on to teach high school, coach a surf team, and spend 10 years directing a local non-profit which used surfing as means for mentoring the community's youth.

After a decade working in education and the nonprofit sector, Matt finally took the step to found Lovewater Surf Co., a company committed to passing on the love of surfing to people of all ages, ethnicities and life backgrounds. Today, as experienced educators and mentors, Matt and Abby enjoy finding ways to better lives through surfing, experiential education and community based projects.
Founders

Experience &
Qualifications

  • BA from Point Loma University
  • Masters from UCSB
  • 4 Years Experience Teaching High School
  • 10 years Experience Directing Youth Based Non-Profit
  • 25+ Years of Surfing Experience
  • 15 years Surf Coaching Experience
  • 4 Years Competing on the NSSA Collegiate Level
  • CPR Certified w/ Lifeguard Experience

The Team

Ian K.

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Ian has been coaching with Lovewater since back in 2012. A graduate of Westmont College, Ian's one of our head coaches for years, coaching a number of our after-school program days. A true lover of the ocean, Ian's always up for surfing, spearfishing, bodysurfing, or even a good sail on his trusty Hobie Cat.
"Ian's instruction was spot on and we were all quickly standing up and having a great time."
Andy H.
Frosterley, UK

Austin M.

A fun fact about Austin is that Matt actually taught him how to surf back when he was 10 years old. Ever since, Austin has been a true lover of surf, getting in the water pretty much every chance he gets. People are always commenting on Austin's patient and encouraging nature as well as his all around good vibes.
"Austin was friendly and professional from the start. I was nervous about the lesson, more like a little scared, but Austin immediately put me at ease. "
Shelly T.
Acton, MA

Robert H.

Originally from the rugged beaches of Nor Cal, Robert carries a deep love for surfing and all things nature. With what many have described as a heart of gold, Robert's kindness and stoke are truly contagious in and out of the water.
"Robert was fantastic, taking his time with us, always encouraging, and making every effort to make the session fun and memorable, which it was!"
Mary L.
Seal Beach, CA

Michael P.

A Santa Barbara local, Michael has been surfing up and down the California coast since he was a grom. It seems like every few months, Michael is headed out on some epic adventure around the world. People always talk about Michael's bright countenance and uplifting attitude.
"Michael was encouraging, positive, and provided first class instruction to our group. We are really looking forward to more surf lessons with these awesome instructors."
Tianna L.
Thousand Oaks, CA

Zach W.

A recent graduate of Westmont College, Zach is originally from just down the road in Ventura County. Zach loves traveling, experimenting with different surfboards, and surfing with the Lovewater crew. With a big smile and an even bigger heart, Zach brings a ton of joy to his surf lessons (and pretty much everything he does for that matter).
"He was an amazing instructor who was not only personable and extremely engaging, but an expert in teaching limited skilled people how to do some real surfing. I've done lessons with OTHER instructors before, and so I feel I can give a little bit of context to why Lovewater is so great."
Luke R.
Los Angeles, CA