Julie Cox is a passionate California surfer who lives life to the fullest. Between her many roles as an athlete, museum director, designer, and model, she still manages to find balance. And it all begins with her close relationship with the ocean and living her dream.
What was it like growing up in California?
Growing up in California was great. I love this place. I grew up with a lot of oak trees and hills to hike and explore, but within about a 30-minute drive from the northern beaches of Malibu. I had the best of both worlds. It’s beautiful here. I feel lucky.
When did you get your first surfboard?
I think it was about 1990. I was about 10, not really sure when exactly. It was a thruster from the local surf shop called Perfect Balance. I had saved up my money from allowance and chores and bought it, but it was stolen from my garage a few months later. I was super bummed, but saved up enough to buy another. It wasn’t until I got on longboards though, that I connected with surfing. Age 15 or 16, I got an 8’0” Perfect Balance. That board changed my world.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
Whitewater was alright, but it was too turbulent. But the green water wave was so smooth and “freeeeee” feeling.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young girl?
I looked up to the other girls who did Junior Lifeguards with me and who were a little bit older. They were the ones to drive me to the beach and to get me surfing different boards and in different situations.
I also admired Lisa Andersen from the magazines. She was so beautiful and seemed respected in the male-dominated mags. There was also the Fletcher brothers and the Hobgood brothers. I remembered reading about those guys. They were more my age.
You seem to have your hand in a lot of things. How do you manage such a busy life?
I see many of the things that I am doing as amazing opportunities and experiences, so I am thankful for the busy life I have right now. I like to feel productive and I guess I am pretty disciplined on how I manage my time. Plus, I am just stoked on a lot of things and it is hard to shove them in a box and forget about them, so I work a little on all my projects/passions when I can and feel.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out?
That’s a really tough question. Each stands out and has affected me for a different reason. One may be for a wave, a type of food, a way of life, a crazy experience, success at a contest, a struggle, or falling in love. Every spot has taught me a lesson and changed me. I could tell a lot of stories from each, but that might take a long time. Most recently though, Biarritz has stood out as a life-changing trip because of the difference in culture, the friends I met, and the love I became involved with.
Who/what inspires you?
I am inspired by passionate, positive people who take chances to follow their dreams and put themselves out there. Love, music, friends, the weather, ideas, other motivated people.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
The greatest thing I’ve learned is that I will always be learning.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
I think things happen for a reason so I am meant to learn some lesson instead of beating myself up and regretting something. Of course, I would do things differently if I had the knowledge I do now, but that is life and you have to let things go and not be too hard on yourself. I never want to be that person that regrets that they didn’t do something.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my family and friends. They are all so amazing and talented, loving, and positive; each person inspires me and makes me proud. Truly.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing has shaped who I am. It is part of my story. If I were religious, surfing would be my religion. If I were a drug addict, surfing would be my drug of choice. It has been my teacher, my trainer, my spiritual guide, my enemy, my best friend, my lover, my creation, my livelihood, my creativity—you get the picture.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
The things that bring me happiness are friends, sharing a meal, good conversations, laughter, adventures, love, nature, and simple times.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
There are a lot of industry people and particular friends of mine who I feel are shaping surfing in a way: Michael Blum, Kristi Murphy, Ashley Lloyd, Jennifer Smith, Linda Benson, Cori Schumacher, the filmmakers, the shop owners, the small clothing makers, the crafty board makers, photographers, writers, artists, non-profits. There are so many paving the way. It will be fun to see where we go next and who takes us there.
What is in your current quiver? What is your favorite board?
Your favorite surf spot?
9’4” Diamond, 9’2” Emerald, 9’2” Emerald EPS foam, 9’0” Sapphire EPS foam, 7’4” Opal, 6’ Ruby Quad, My favorite board right now is my 9’2” Emerald EPS foam. I like its buoyancy, responsiveness and shape. Surf spot? Currently I’m surfing Oceanside Harbor, North Jetty, and Pipes. But in the world, I love Malibu, Leo Carrillo, Tea Tree a lot. Give me a right-hand point and I’m a happy girl.
What’s your favorite meal?
Fish, rice, salad or veggies, bread. Or Sushi. Or Mexican. I’m a food lover.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
Junior Boys, Lykke Li, Milosh, Regina Spektor, ATB, the Knife, Zee Avi.
What are you most grateful for?
I am grateful for good parents—a supportive and loving family. My health. I’m grateful that I discovered surfing. I am grateful I have been able to fulfill so many of my dreams. I have a good job, a great house, wonderful friends. That I’m not being shot at in some war. I have a lot to be grateful for and I appreciate it every single day.
What’s next for Julie Cox?
I could be gone tomorrow, so I try to live each day being the best person I can be and appreciating and enjoying all that I have in the present. But good times for the future? I’m going to keep having fun with the Jule Collection. I want to play more music. I want to make a movie. I want to do a lot of things: continue surfing, traveling, exploring other things like bike riding, hiking, growing food, making my house more sustainable, spending time doing creative things. I’d like to keep teaching surfing when I can. Love would be good. I tend to have pretty short relationships because I love my freedom, independence and space, but hopefully I can balance that with someone some time for a while. Hopefully, there is plenty of time for it all and for more adventures and discoveries in all aspects of life.