Meet Your Instructors:
Kevin’s passion is all things ocean. From the science of a wave, to the animals, to conservation, Kevin is wealth of information- just ask him! Kevin grew up on the Finger Lakes in NY where he spent as much time as he could in the water wake boarding, life guarding, and was a champion swimmer. He graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in physical education. As an elementary school teacher at St. Marys in Wilmington, it’s only natural that he spend his summer break teaching surf lessons! Kevin is often heard saying that he loves surfing, but there is no greater feeling than helping someone else catch their first wave, which makes him such a great instructor. A combination of skill and patience, Kevin is sure to get ANYONE riding a wave! He is an avid supporter of Sea Shepherd, a die-hard Notre Dame fan, and the head stand master (only on a surf board though). When Kevin isn’t on the beach, he loves spending time with his two furry friends, Koa and Hogan. You can often find him skateboarding through the neighborhood streets of Carolina Beach, with one of the two of them towing him!
Kevin is also one of the pioneers of the non-profit, Ocean Cure. Going back to his determination of assisting others to surf, Ocean Cure helps those with disabilities through surfing. They also focus on giving back to the ocean by helping to protect and clean our beaches.
Chris LaCoe Owner / Surf and SUP Instructor
More info Coming Soon…
Brandon Bonnette Surf and SUP Instructor
Brandon came to the South Eastern NC coast in 2004 for college at UNCW and since then, he hasn’t figured out how to leave. His life has always been about water, growing up he was a competitive swimmer. When he was old enough he became a lifeguard. Once he found himself in Wilmington and on the coast, it was only natural that he picked up a surfboard. Always curious about surfboards he started to make his own, and after many shapes, he still finds there’s nothing cooler than riding what you create.
Matt, a native to eastern North Carolina, has been in and around the ocean his entire life. He has been an avid surfer for 14 years. He graduated from UNCW in 2010 with a B.A. in Film Studies, and a B.S in Marketing; Matt was introduced to Ocean Cure after being hired to film there first feature documentary in 2009 “Surfing Through Barriers”. Since then he has worked on several promotional videos for both Odysea Surf School and Ocean Cure. Matt has been an instructor for the Odysea Surf School since 2010 and looks forward to another great season.
Micah Tootoo is a 21 year old Wilmington native who spends his summers at the beach and his winters getting barreled in Raleigh, NC. There’s not many things that Micah loves more than surfing. This summer will mark his 5th year working with the Odysea Surf School Crew and he is excited about teaching you to surf!!!
Jenn Rollins wants to be a mermaid when she grows up! She absolutely loves the ocean and all things in it. She attended UNCW and majored in marine biology. She has worked with all sorts of sea creatures around the world ranging from the fish at the Fort Fisher aquarium, the sea turtles in the Topsail rehabilitation hospital, and dolphins at Dolphin Quest Oahu and Discovery Cove in Florida. She is an avid SCUBA diver, surfer, body boarder, beachcomber, and sand castle builder.
Other qualifications include certified life guard and registered nurse.
Jill Kraz Surf Instructor
Aloha! My name is Jill, I’m going to spare you all the stuttering with my last name and stick with, Kraz. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, so surfing was merely a dream of waves after a hurricane. It wasn’t until I moved south and enrolled at UNCW that I picked up a board. The last couple of years have been a learning process. Upon graduating, I packed up a suitcase, skateboard, and sunnies and jetted off to the pacific on search of adventure. First Hawaii, then Samoa, and finally New Zealand, which I set up camp for a year. There, I blended into the Kiwi culture and found work as a personal trainer and an elementary school Red Cross Instructor. Not long after my visa expired, I returned to Wilmington, the land of endless sunshine and outdoor activities. Even thought traveling is a thrill, it’s feels great to be back! If there were one thing I’ve learned while wandering, it would be to share. Share what you know, what you see, share your experiences, and most importantly, what you have. This is exactly the reason why I got involved with Ocean Cure. I figured what better way than to teach what I am most passionate about? And who could complain when you are in the ocean?
Scott Taylor is an Eastern North Carolina native. Having been raised along the shores of the Crystal Coast, Scott began his love affair with the ocean as a child. He has been surfing for more than 25 years, and as his passion for surfing grew so did his dedication to the environment. Scott has used his life experience as a waterman and woodworker to create a unique line of eco-friendly wave riding vehicles known as Engrain Surfboards. He is actively involved with several local organizations who share the same vision which is what brings him to Odysea.
Josh Winneberger Surf Instructor
Josh Winneberger (pronounced win-a-burger, insert stupid joke here) is 22 years old and has lived in Wilmington pretty much his whole life. With 10 years of surfing experience and CPR certified, Josh joined the Odysea Surf School/Ocean Cure team for the 2012 summer after hearing about the group through his good friend Micah Tootoo (model, NC bachelor, Simoan shredder). He recently graduated from Wake Forest and plans to attend ECU for dental school in the fall.
Molly Lewis Surf Instructor / Videographer
Chelsea BuffingtonMarketing / Media Intern
Chelsie Buffington, lovingly known as Buffy by many, is a Greenville girl born and raised. Even though her home has remained stationary, she has not. Buffy has been all around the globe visiting Ghana, Belize, Jamaica, Mexico, and finally moving her home to Wilmington, NC this May. She hopped on board with Ocean Cure because her heart is serving, and believes fully in what the organization is seeking to do. Buffy also has a passion for film, photography, music, and anything outside. She seeks adventure and lives to be with people, serving them and loving them how her maker has taught her. Also, check her Canvas Chronicles on Twitter.