Meet the Team!
Ocean Culture is the brainchild of Felipe Dos Santos and Courtney Hunter. A young entrepreneurial couple, driven to provide top of the line service, highly customer focussed and always looking for the long-term goal, not what is going to work for right now!
Brazilian born, Felipe has been living in Auckland, New Zealand since 2010. Intending only to stay a few months to study English, his plans quickly changed when he became a member of Orakei Watersports. Paddling and coaching Waka ama has been a big part of Felipe’s life. On a bus ride to Mission Bay one day he passed Orakei Water sports and in a frantic effort he managed to stop the bus in time. With little to no English he convinced the club owner, Donna Tamaariki to let him paddle with her son’s then team, Wolf Pack. Not long after, he scored himself a job working with famous Olympic Gold medallist, Ian Ferguson and his sons Steven and Alan. He worked for the family for over 3 years managing their Kayak store, then decided to branch out and start his own distribution business with Courtney, distributing a brand of Stand-up Paddle boards; called Art in Surf.
Over the past 7 years, Felipe has paddled for some of New Zealand’s best Waka ama teams. In 2012, he represented New Zealand in Calgary, Canada for the World Sprint Championships claiming two gold medals with his then team; Vaka Manu. In 2016, he became the New Zealand National Stand Up Paddle Board Champion, in the 14’ class for the technical race. He now spends 50/50 of his time on both Waka Ama and SUP, paddling with Team Pineula from Takapuna.
Partners in crime for almost 7 years, it was Felipe who ignited Courtney’s love for Stand-up paddling. Not one to shy away from a challenge, she immediately jumped into racing back in 2014, 3 years on and Courtney is finally hitting her stride or shall we say, stroke. This season she claimed two beach series in the Women’s Elite divisions; City Surf Series (Mission Bay) and Beach Series (Takapuna). A keen CrossFit convert since September 2016, she credits her recent performance to CrossFit and the guidance of Felipe who is well known within the SUP community for his technique sessions. You will often find the paddling duo down at Takapuna Beach, or sprint training on Lake Pupuke. Training squad runs every Saturday 8am, rain or shine! Come join in!!