For Kerri Walsh Jennings, arguably the greatest beach volleyball player—man or woman—of all-time, Huntington Beach holds a special place in her heart, beginning at 10 years of age when the Northern California native and her brother went through the city’s world renowned junior lifeguard program, despite being intimidated by the size of the waves.
“They were huge to us!” Kerri says. After graduating from Stanford University in 2001, she moved to Surf City USA, where one magical day she tried out for volleyball legend Misty May (they would go on to form a dream team that would dominate the sport for more than a decade and win three Olympic gold medals) and met her future husband, pro beach volleyball player Casey Jennings.
“Huntington Beach represents the start of my adult life and of my life and dreams on the beach volleyball court,” Kerri Walsh Jennings says. “The community, the lifestyle, the love of all things fun, surf, wellness and beach life are forever in my heart. It is a bit of a homecoming every time I return.”
She says Huntington Beach has a little something for everyone “I don’t care if you're a boy or girl or if you're single, you know, wanting to meet amazing people, or if you just want to come and be inspired and live the California lifestyle, Huntington has something for everyone, you know. The bars are so fun, the restaurants are amazing, the shopping’s incredible.”
Jennings is still one of the top players in the world. She is currently training for the 2020 Olympics. “It’s an exciting time where we can empower women in sports; this is the way the world is going.”
Get to Know Kerri Walsh
What's your sport of choice?
How long have you been rocking your sport?
19 years since first Olympics
How did you get into your sport of choice?
Grew up playing indoor volleyball and actually avoided beach volleyball. All my family is very athletic, and I’ve always loved volleyball. I played at Stanford and when it was then I had the opportunity to try out for the Olympics.
Why do you love rocking your sport in Huntington Beach?
I equate Huntington Beach to the start of my beach volleyball career & really the start of my adult life. I met my husband here and now its my home.
If you had to go back & tell your amateur self about who you’d become, what advice would you give her?
To stop regurgitating the past & start creating new stories. Be uncomfortable to support change and make change. To stop regurgitating the past & start creating new stories. Be uncomfortable to support change and make change.
How are you living the dream?
It’s an exciting time where we can empower women in sports; this is the way the world is going. And I want my little girl & two little boys to know the power they have and take the reigns. All the contrast & history we’ve lived, we’re learning and creating.
Favorite Thing About Huntington Beach?
Met my husband and started her beach volleyball career in Huntington Beach.
Meet Our Surf City Women
We think you'll be so inspired that you, too, will want to visit Huntington Beach - with family, with friends or solo -and follow your own path to dream big and do more, in whatever way that makes life better for you and yours.