Meet Ruby Meade, surf coach and founder of Surf Box

Learn to ride the waves of life, as nothing stays the same. – Ruby Meade

Ruby Meade. Surf Box founder. #AmazingWaterPeople #OceaninaDropNZ

Where were you born, and where do you live now?

I was born in Auckland, NZ, but have been living in the small coastal town of Raglan for many years now. It’s a dream and I love it here.

Where are your favorite waters?

I absolutely love the waters of New Zealand – so diverse, we really have it all here!

I also love the waters of Central America. It’s hard to beat surfing bath temp water and fresh coco’s post surf. In saying that, I love indonesia too. Its difficult to choose!

Ruby Meade. Surf Box founder. #AmazingWaterPeople #OceaninaDropNZ

Would you please share a favourite water memory or two?

I have so many it’s hard to narrow it down. For me, there is nothing better than having an epic session, no matter where it is, with a bunch of mates, especially if the conditions are glassy and I am having one of those “this is what life is about” moments.

Other than a collection of those memories, my favourite, although not all pleasant water related memory was when I was travelling through Central America with my partner. We were surfing a very remote surf spot in the jungle of southern Costa Rica by ourselves which we had gotten to via our quad bike. We decided to stash the key in the sand dune, assuming the tide was already at its maximum.

Fast forward 2 hours, as the sun has already set –  we went to collect our key to realise the sand dune had eroded with the surges, and had obviously taken our key with it.

Its pitch black by now, and my partner and I find ourselves stuck in the middle of absolute nowhere with nothing (me just in my bikini.) Anyone that knows the area knows that the wildlife is plenty – including deadly rattlesnakes, pumas, and even the occasional crocodiles. Of course this is peak mosquito time also. You could say that we were appropriately paranoid.

It took us 3 hours to walk/ run back along a gravel road to the main town. Guided by the moonlight, and driven by fear and my repeated imagery of me batting away a puma with my board upon attack haha. My feet were so torn up from the gravel that I couldn’t walk properly for days. We never hid our key in the sand dunes again.

Although that was a very terrifying experience, I also felt incredibly alive, and these are my favourite memories in life, as they remind me how precious life is, and I always feel such a buzz afterwards.

How do you incorporate nature in your life, and the way you make a living?

Well my life revolves around surfing, and hanging out with my dog. So I spend a lot of time in nature. Through surf coaching obviously, I am constantly in the water – almost a little too much!

The Surf Box (my business) is based around coaching Women to be the best surfers they can be. Recently, I have decided to run some all Womens Surf Retreats in Indonesia. So yes, that’s a lot of nature time again!

I feel lucky to be able to live a lifestyle and create an income whilst being immersed in the elements, although sometimes it’s nice to find shelter!

Ruby Meade. Surf Box founder. #AmazingWaterPeople #OceaninaDropNZ

Why do you do what you do?

I think that life is about connection and about doing what you love. The Surf Box is a manifestation of those two things, connecting with women and helping them to improve in a context that I am passionate about. It’s a no brainer really. I think ultimately humans really seek connection. Connecting with others is really important to me.

Ruby Meade. Surf Box founder. #AmazingWaterPeople #OceaninaDropNZ

What happens when you don’t have time for nature?

Everytime I neglect nature from my life – for whatever reason, intentional or not, I feel disconnected from reality, and I always have increased anxiety. Nature is grounding – I know that sounds cliche but it is true! When I spend time in nature, I always feel closer to authentic self – who I really am, rather than some societal expectation. It is super easy for me to get caught up in things that don’t matter when I remove myself from nature.

Could you please share a time or experience where you felt lost in the crowd, like a tiny, insignificant drop?

Hmm, for many years of my life. I studied something I really disliked for 4 years and mentally and emotionally I had a really tough time. I went straight out of highschool into academia, purely because of pressure from others. Why did I stay studying? Because I wasn’t really strong enough in myself to turn away from something I had put work into. I was also afraid as I didn’t have a back up plan of what to do if I wasn’t in this structured study program. I felt a very heavy sense of dread when I thought about going into the workplace after my studies, but I did it anyway. Throughout my studies all of my peers were so excited to finish and get jobs. I was (secretly) horrified and my zest for life was fading quickly.  I asked myself “is this life?” “is this being an adult? This f****** sucks!”

How did you turn that around, and how did you get back to feeling like you were a whole Ocean in a Drop?

Well, it kind of took a tragedy to shake me up. When I was finishing my studies my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and passed away shortly after. The next two years were really awful and I hit my rock bottom. The positive of this is that  you cannot go lower, so the only way to go is up. As I began to put the pieces back together I left NZ to travel Central America to immerse myself in something very different and live a little less conventionally. I had a lot of epiphanies on this trip about myself, who I am in the world, and what is going to happen to me if I don’t learn to respect my own happiness and soul. I think losing someone really shakes you up to the idea that life is, as I have mentioned before, very precious. You have the power to design the (one life that you get) and all you need is the courage to do it. I am feeling much more like the whole ocean in a drop now, however I still have my days and I am working on building and manifesting the life  that I want each and every day.

Ruby Meade. Surf Box founder. #AmazingWaterPeople #OceaninaDropNZ

Is there anything bothering you about the whole eco/green/conservation thing at the moment?

Yes, it inspires me when companies, people, organisations etc make big strides to cut down their use of plastics and other harmful materials. I love that so many more people are making a conscious effort. It frustrates the hell out of me however when I travel to places like Indo, and see the absolute mountains of rubbish, lack of education etc that is taking us many steps backwards. However, it is not fair to blame it on one or two countries, and we all have our parts to play. I have seen many awful practices here in New Zealand, and to be completely honest, I could do a better job too.

Is there anything you would love to tell the you from ten years ago?

Yes, heaps!

  • Don’t take life so seriously. It’s all about learning and growth and things don’t need to be perfect, they just have to happen.
  • Don’t worry so much, it’s just going to make you look older, faster haha
  • Always prioritise friendships very highly, don’t let them slip, they are your lifeline in tough times.
  • If you feel really bad about something it’s a sign for you. Don’t override these feelings – listen to them!
  • Things always get better, then they get worse, and then better again. Learn to ride the waves of life, as nothing stays the same.

Ruby Meade. Surf Box founder. #AmazingWaterPeople #OceaninaDropNZ

Anything else you’d like to add?

Reach out to people when you need help and remember that at times, everybody feels like like an insignificant drop. Just know that you are not, it’s a feeling, not a reality. Don’t forget to enjoy the process of life – it’s not always about the outcome

Where can we find out more about the work you do?

Check out my website

I also have an active community of lady surfers that engage with each other on my facebook page  Come join!

Ruby Meade carving it up. #AmazingWaterPeople #OceaninaDropNZ

Ruby Meade carving it up. #AmazingWaterPeople #OceaninaDropNZ

#OceaninaDropNZ colouring competition is now finished! We’re announcing the winners very soon!

Wonderful merchandise for kids and adults is ready soon, look out for special deals for your Christmas shopping!

The free artwork is still available. Download your free copy here.

Ocean in a Drop : A series of illustrations by Candace Loy, with each water drop shape filled with sea life and the life that water supports, of a country or state (e.g., California & New Zealand). The bigger vision is to use portions of profits from the sale of beautiful and unique merchandise, to contribute to local marine, freshwater education, research and conservation initiatives in the region depicted by the drop.

#BlueMind is a movement started by Dr Wallace J Nichols, who is also a successful turtle conservation researcher. He has done collaborations with many people including neuroscientists, to show the positive effects of being around water, on the brain.

Not only is there an increasing number of organizations supporting people in overcoming PTSD and other debilitating circumstances through water-based therapy like surfing and swimming; his message is to encourage as many people to reconnect and strengthen their bonds with water, and be inspired as a result to take care of waters across our blue planet.

Combining neuroscience, honouring emotions and using it to create more beneficial solutions for our planet and the life she supports. Here are some of his talks on neuroconservation.

#OceaninaDrop + share your favourite water memory to inspire others, on Instagram and Facebook, and get featured xo