South Padre Surf Company owner and instructor Gene Gore, is Texas' most experienced surf instructor, ocean lifeguard, ocean safety expert and professional level surfer, a fully dedicated waterman. Gene grew up on the beaches of Texas as a lifetime dedicated surfer, ocean lifeguard, and became a City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Officer. He has dedicated his life to surfing and lifesaving, yet one of his greatest thrills is still seeing someone ride their first wave. Gene has accumulated an extensive and unique history of accomplishments in his field while pursuing his passion for surf. He worked for the Hawaii Water Patrol, trained in heavy surf rescue with jetski/rescue sled, 3 time winner of paddleboard races on the North Shore of Oahu and several U.S. National Surfing Championship Paddle races, along with the Harpoon Barry Bay to Gulf Paddle Race, selected to the 6 man Hawaiian World Lifeguard Team, former Texas State longboard champion and Allstar team member, 6 time U.S. Lifesaving Association National Competitor with medals in paddle racing, paddleboard rescue, and 2 mile beach run, winner of the Diamondhead Biathlon, Galveston Beach Patrol (where he met his wife and surfing partner Rachel) Senior Lifeguard and Marine Rescue RHI pilot and Jr. Lifeguard Instructor, and Corpus Christi and Port Aransas Beach Patrol Lifeguard. Gene has hundreds of documented surf rescues, assisting and treating injured beach patrons and performing CPR in many real life incidents, as well serving 8 Years as a Licensed Texas Emergency Medical Technician and volunteer ambulance/fireman, competed in over 100 surfing competitions both amateur and professional in France, Spain, Mexico, California, Florida, New Jersey and Hawaii. Gene has designed and shaped nearly seven hundred custom longboards, and was competition director and judge for the Texas Gulf Surfing Association. Gene has taught over 50,000 private and group surfing lessons, through Galveston College and G.C. Kid's Camp, Moody Hospitality Institute, San Luis Resort, Surfside Surf Camp, and South Padre Surf Co. He authored the first book on surfing in Texas "Surfing the Texas Gulf Coast". He competed in the ILSA World Lifeguard Championships in Italy with a team of elite guards from Galveston where he captured 4 medals and was the top ranked American competitor! In 2004 Gene and Rachel paddled the entire length of the Texas Gulf Coast, 404 miles in 19 days, as a fundraiser for Surfrider Foundation's coastal education program. Gene was instrumental in founding the South Padre Island Fire Department Beach Patrol and worked as a surf rescue technician and trainer, after many years of pursuing an Island lifesaving program. Gene works with the National Weather Service in developing new coastal marine forecasts, rip current guidance packages, and coastal hazard and warning advisories for public safety during tropical storms and hurricanes. Gene's daily beach and surf report is a very popular resource for all Texas surfers and beachgoers, he has been forecasting and documenting surf conditions as an ocean lifeguard since 1986.
Rachel Gore can always be found on the biggest and best waves when she isn't teaching surfing! Although Rachel grew up in Tennessee, it was on her annual summer vacations to visit her grandparents in Florida that she discovered where her heart was...with the ocean! To become the watergirl she always dreamed of, she moved to the Texas Gulf Coast where she graduated from Texas A+M Galveston with a degree in Maritime Administration, surfing the local lineups day and night, before and after classes. Rachel has been surfing for over 20 years now, and with every session her love for the sport and the ocean grows,along with her stylish smooth surfing. Although no longer a competitor, Rachel is widely known as the top female surfer in the state (she surfs better than most of the guys too!). (On her honeymoon Rachel entered into a women's longboard pro contest on the North Shore at Sunset Beach, and she took second place!) She worked as a lifeguard for the Galveston Beach Patrol, and was chosen as a team member for the USLA National Lifeguarding Competition. Rachel has been teaching surfing for 19 years, teaching through Galveston College, the Galveston College Kids Camp, The Moody Hospitality Institute, San Luis Resort, Goreboards Surfside Surf Camps, and South Padre Surf Co. Rachel has won first place in numerous surfing competitions. She won first place in the women's division for the 8 mile Harpoon Barry Bay and Gulf Paddle Challenge, and finished 3rd in the Hawaiian Paddleboard Championships. Her favorite thing about teaching surfing is being able to share her knowledge of the sport with people who have the same dreams she did, and watching their "stoke" as they stand up and ride their very first wave.
Micah Gore, 18 years old, is currently studying Aviation Technology at TSTC. This past summer Micah was an ocean lifeguard for the City of South Padre Island where he was lucky enough to qualify for the USLA national competition where him and his sister each took home medals (the first medals ever for South Padre Isand!). Micah was honored as being named United States Lifesaving Association Junior Lifeguard of the Year in 2016. He is a very accomplished surfer and has surfed around the world in places such as Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Mexico, California and the Texas Coast. When he was only 10 years old, he competed in the Rell Sunn Menehune Surfing Championships where he advanced to semi-finals in longboard and shortboard, an amazing feat considering he was up against all Hawaiians! He was commented on often on his style, which is the greatest compliment a surfer can have. In December of 2007 he was the youngest competitor in the Haleiwa International Surfing Competition on the North Shore of Hawaii. He can ride just about anything - he loves to surf on both shortboard and longboard, boogie board, skateboard, and snowboard. What really stands out about Micah is his natural ability, incredible wave knowledge, and beautiful surfing style. Micah recently got to surf the world famous Pipeline on the North Shore of Hawaii. An all around waterman, Micah also enjoys spearfishing and paddleboarding. Micah is very helpful and experienced in teaching and assisting students during surf lessons!
Melia Gore, 16 years old, was the first Junior Lifeguard from South Padre Island ever to qualify and attend the national USLA lifeguard competition, where she brought home two medals! She was honored to be named United States Lifesaving Association Junior Lifeguard of the Year in 2016. Melia has also surfed in many places around the world including tackling the waves of Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, California and Mexico. Melia surfed in her first surf contest in August of 2007 on the South Shore of Hawaii where she was by far the youngest competitor (at only 4 years old!). Melia Gore is not your average girl next door... as a young girl Melia was asked to model for ROXY's teenie wahine line which sent her traveling and doing photo shoots in LA and Hawaii. She was also ROXY's youngest surf team member. Along with Micah, Melia is one of the top members of the Cameron County Junior Lifeguard program. Outside of the water, Melia enjoys training and riding horses. She recently competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, where she had approximately 100 days to train a wild mustang ending in a 4th place win! Check out her blog at meliagore.blogspot.com. What stands out the most about Melia is her beauty inside and out and her ability to make everyone she meets walk away with a smile. Melia likes to have fun while she surfs, and she loves to "party wave"!! She is extremely helpful and is quite an entertainer in and out of the water.
WE DID IT! An endurance paddle to benefit Texas Surfrider Foundation's Education Program and to raise public awareness of the Texas Gulf Coast and issues it faces such as public access, erosion, pollution, and litter. Gene and Rachel paddled on a custom surfboard Gene made, the entire length of the Texas coast, 404 miles in 19 days, through the worst weather possible in May with hurricane force winds on Day 1, cold, rain, headwinds and longshore currents, torturous choppy conditions, constant neck and back pain, hunger, food raiding coyotes, lack of sleep, and incredibly strong wild rip currents at some of the major passes and jetties. It was much more difficult and dangerous than we imagined but the people we met along the way were great and getting to see every inch of the vast mostly undeveloped Texas coast was unforgettable, not to mention some of the great waves we caught along the way and a few new surf spots. Thank you to all who contributed to both the Surfrider Foundation fund raiser and elsewhere in hopes of a brighter future for our coast.
Gene and Rachel received a National Award from the Surfrider Foundation in honor of the historic "Paddle Texas" event.