The Sunski Collective: Nicki Clark

The Sunski Collective: Nicki Clark

Who is Nicki? Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Marin County. I started mountain biking, surfing and snowboarding when I was in highschool, around 16, and that was when my love for the outdoors and adventure sports was ignited. I went to college in Durango Colorado, and I’d say I got a BA in adventure sports and guiding- but my actual degree was Humanities… which to this day I can’t tell you what it means! In Durango I worked as a snowboard instructor, mountain bike guide and raft guide.  After college I traveled to Australia and worked at a backpackers in Byron Bay and surfed everyday. I spent about 6 months doing that, then headed to Juneau Alaska, where I lived for 2 years and worked as a snowboard instructor as well as a glacier guide for a helicopter company. From there I pursued an internship with K2 snowboards in the marketing department, and then got a job at Sugar Bowl in Tahoe as the group sales coordinator. All of these experiences led me to eventually start Marin Outdoor Adventure. To describe who I am, today, I’d say I’m first and foremost a mom to my two teenage kids, Jordan and Clark. I love being their mom and supporting them as they grow. I am a proud owner of Marin Outdoor Adventure. I take pride in being a female owned and operated business- especially in the surf and outdoor industry. There are not very many of us as surfing is a male dominated sport. My passion is to support people to heal and grow through the adventures that I offer. I love sharing my passion for the outdoors with others, especially when I can help people connect with a deeper aspect of the sport.

How did you get into surfing?

A high school friend offered to take me surfing if I took him snowboarding. We went to Stinson and surfed in the whitewater when I was 16. Also, my dad taught me how to windsurf when I was about 14 or 15. I loved being in the ocean from when I was a teenager. I was a passionate snowboarder, and competed in big air and boardercross events for several years in the late 90’s. I think once I moved back to the coast, after living in the mountains for years, I was drawn to getting back into surfing. Surfing was also my go-to when I was going through my divorce. It held me strong and reminded me that life could be fun, free and playful, when I was going through very difficult times.

What is Marin Outdoor Adventure?

Marin Outdoor Adventure offers surf lessons, guided hikes, mountain biking and mindfulness in nature experiences. We believe in the therapeutic benefits of adventure and connecting with Mother Nature. Our hope is to inspire, empower and awaken others to a conscious way of being outside.We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Everyone is welcome to adventure with us regardless of age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and mental and physical abilities. We acknowledge being able to offer programming to all humans is still a work in progress for MOA.

You work with some really cool non-profit organizations. Who are they?

Send It and Play Marin. I also started a project called Under the Sun with Meg, one of my surf instructors. Sendit foundation provides free outdoor adventures for young adult cancer survivors. Play Marin provides opportunities for children of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in Southern Marin to learn and grow together through play. Under the Sun's mission is to create opportunities for youth living in Marin County in order to grant everyone regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, access to the ocean. Thus facilitating a "changing of the guard" in the outdoors, diversifying the lineup in the surfing community, and creating healthy resources for youth cresting from childhood into adulthood.

Mindfulness in Nature, what exactly does that mean to you and how did you get into teaching it?

I have had a strong meditation and spiritual practice for about 10 years. One of my teachers along the way has been Mark Coleman. I did a teacher training with him to be certified in teaching mindfulness practices, outside in nature with the emphasis on allowing ourselves to be guided into presence through connecting with Nature. On one of the first hikes I led, I introduced the guests to some of the practices and they loved it. Mindfulness in Nature is very simple- practicing meditation while outside- listening, and using all of our senses to connect with not only the present moment, but also to connect deeply with Mother Nature.

You are a passionate surfer, but also a snowboarder, cross fit coach, and mountain biker. What do all of these sports have in common? add to your life? do you find that these feed into each other, and if so, how?

It’s an interesting question- surfing, mountain biking and snowboarding have a lot in common.  Obviously they are all outdoor adventure sports.  I LOVE speed, always have.  I am a super fast snowboarder.  I love going fast on the downhill mtn biking, and my favorite style of surfing is shortboarding on fast waves. So speed is definitely a theme.  I am now 47, so I try to keep that in mind when I'm on my bike or snowboarding, because although I love speed, I know how dangerous it can be. Crossfit is just a great way to be superfit so that I can do all of the other things.  I love the intensity of it, the community, and I enjoy the aspect of competition on a regular basis at the gym.  They all add so much to my life, and I am grateful to have a healthy body for now that I can pursue all of these things!

What's life like living out at Muir Beach?

AMAZING. Love living there.  Slow paced, it just has a totally different feel than most of the rest of Marin.  It’s quiet, beautiful, and halfway between where I work and where the kids go to school.

Last but not least, what's your favorite pair of Sunskis and why?

Currently the Madrona.. but I love all of them!

Meet the Author

jordyn bio

Jordyn is Sunksi’s Marketing Coordinator. Embracing a nomadic work lifestyle, she now resides in Truckee, CA where you can find her exploring scenic hiking trails or embracing serenity through yoga. At Sunski, Jordyn's commitment to sustainability shines through her work on content and environmental nonprofit partnerships, making a positive impact on the world she loves to explore.