All of us at Shaka have grown up near the beach in places like Hawaii, Florida, California, and Costa Rica.
Frank Bauer – Co-Founder: Frank grew up in Florida and began surfing at the age of 12. “Surfing is not a sport to me, but rather a lifestyle”. He has spent the last 24 years searching for that perfect wave. When not in Costa Rica, he lives in Aspen, Colorado where he owns his own business and serves as a volunteer firefighter with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department. “Snowboarding is my second favorite activity but lacks in the spiritual side compared to surfing. Building and opening the retreat has been a dream come true and I am blessed by the support I have received and by the opportunity to make such an amazing dream come true”.
Chris Mo’e - Co-Founder: Chris grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii around the ocean and surfing. When he wasn’t at the beach, he could be found spending time outside mountain biking and playing beach volleyball. He has also lived in Huntington Beach, CA, and Las Vegas pursuing beach volleyball, becoming a personal trainer, and owning several businesses. Eventually his passion for the ocean and living actively brought him and his family to Costa Rica.
Chris turned his love of surfing into a career when he co-founded and built Shaka Beach Retreat. He has been the head surf instructor and managing partner for several years. As an extension of Shaka, Chris is also an adaptive surf instructor for Oceans Healing Group, a non-profit adaptive surf program, that provides once in a lifetime surf opportunities to disabled kids and their families.
Krista – Partner/Operations Manager: Krista grew up in Hawaii where she spent her weekends at the beach learning to surf and body board. She now enjoys living in Costa Rica and traveling with her family.
Her role at Shaka includes overseeing the staff and all daily aspects of operations; from planning the menu around fresh local produce & seafood, to ensuring the guests at Shaka have the best vacation possible!
Megan Panchinin grew up near New Smyrna Beach in Florida. She spent many of her childhood and teenage years in the water and on the beach. She moved to Denver, CO in 1999 and remained there until 2012. She came to Shaka last November to participate in the volunteer program and ended up sticking around to be the resident yoga instructor.
When she’s not practicing yoga, you can find her on the beach pursuing her newest love…surfing! Her classes are challenging and playful, accommodating the novice practitioner, to the more advanced. Our intimate setting really allows our guests specialized instruction and personal care during their stay.
Christiaan “Otter” Bailey- Adaptive & Special Needs Director: Christiaan was born in Santa Cruz, California on March 31, 1981… Raised in both Santa Cruz and France, he has been surfing now for 23 years, 13 of which as a professional. Christiaan was also a professional skateboarder, who unfortunately suffered a spinal cord injury in july 2006, while he and his team were filming a skateboarding video… This however has not deterred him from continuing to do what he loves in life!… He still spends a majority of his time traveling the world surfing, as well as developing specialized surfboards with Eric Roush and Surftech. His role as a ambassador for the “Life Rolls On” foundation, has allowed him to work very closely with a variety of different foundations i.e. (UCP Wheels for Humanity, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Access Surf Hawaii, National Association of Amputee Surfers, Shared Adventures and many others…). He is also currently a coach at “Ability First”, a live in sports camp based in Chico, California and geared specifically for wheelchair bound youngsters ages 7-18… This gives Christiaan the experience of working with children with a wide array of disabilities and special needs, from Spinal Cord Injuries and Spina Bifida, to CP and Muscular Dystrophy. He is dedicated to addressing any and all of the special needs and concerns our disabled guests may have… Christiaan has been involved with Shaka Beach Retreat since it’s ground breaking, and has also helped both develop and modify the building plans to make our camp not just ADA compliant, but fully wheelchair accessible.
To learn more, please feel free to visit or write Christiaan at Myspace.com/SantaCruzSoulSurfer