Jodie Nelson

Jodie Nelson


No idea is too big. Anything is possible—you just might have to work a little harder to get it.


By Roadtrip Nation

Jodie Nelson


My road in life has been direct.
I struggle with dyslexia and was embarrassed about it when I was growing up—however, my dad is also dyslexic and very successful in his career, which helped inspire me.
I realized that I needed to be passionate about what I was doing, but I struggled to find subjects that resonated with me—I tried so many sports and instruments in hopes of finding something that fit.
Once I found surfing, I was completely hooked—it took over my whole life as I followed my passion and became a professional athlete.
After high school, I made the tough decision to take a break from being a professional surfer and pursue my education.
I eventually found my way back to pro surfing, but knew it wasn’t something I could do forever—fortunately, I had done some sideline reporting and found that storytelling was also a passion of mine.
When my contract as a pro surfer came to an end, I was able to grow my career in other areas of the industry because of my connections within Hurley, the company I had surfed for.
I transitioned into broadcasting, which combined my passions for both sports and storytelling—I’ve produced broadcasts for Nitro World Games, Dew Tour, Spartan Race, and more!
After paddling from Catalina Island to Dana Point, California, to raise money for breast cancer, I started Paddle With Purpose to raise funds and awareness for causes through stand-up paddle boarding.
Keep following my journey


High School
Sports Marketing, Management, and Mass Communications
California State University, Long Beach



I produce live television broadcasts for sports competitions.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Action Sports
Communicating / Sharing Stories

Day to Day

As a freelancer, every day looks a bit different. I try to get in the water to surf or try other water sports every day. Then, some days I work from my home office. If I'm working on specific projects, I'll usually travel locally to meet with clients throughout the week. When I'm gearing up for an event, my time is split between my home office, clients' offices, and then spending a few days working at the event venue. The hours can be long and uncertain, but I love it!

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for professionals

If you want to be a freelancer, the main things that I look for are work ethic, initiative, and teamwork. When you're on a job, take initiative, be proactive, and work hard. The people who will get rehired and make it far will be those who step up to any task they're given. Nothing should be "beneath you" when you're starting out. I'd also advise to never burn a bridge as a freelancer. As you get jobs and build your network, you'll want to keep all of those connections and opportunities.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I have no business doing this. This is too big of a risk."

Challenges I Overcame

Learning Issues