Jeannie started surfing in South Beach Miami in 1964. She won her first contest in 1965 in a hurricane swell at South Beach. Jeannie moved to Hawaii with her son Todd (age 2 1/2) in 1971 after her husband's death in 1970, she drove across the country packed up her car and shipped it to Hawaii so that they could surf some real waves. Her proudest achievement is that she was the mother to Todd Chesser, big wave surfer and all around ripper. Tragically, Todd passed away on a big day at Alligators on the north shore in 1997. She misses him every day.
Jeannie started airbrushing in 1973. She worked at SurfLine Hawaii, where Al Dove was her mentor and guru. She worked on window displays and similar work before airbrushing working full time for Hawaiian Island Creations, then Local Motion, Naish Hawaii, and almost every other major name and shaper in Hawaii, including Schaper Hawaii.
Jeannie surfed every day at Ala Moana Bowls and had a boat in the harbor in 1973. Supplementing income by lifeguarding at the Ilikai hotel and judging surf contests both amateur and professional events held in Hawaii. Jeannie became a commentator for Hawaii events in the mid-90's including the Triple Crown on the North shore. She retired from commentating and judging but still gets called up to judge today.
Jeanine was Hawaii State Amateur short board women's champion several times, her last title was in 2001. She was fourth in the World Amateur surfing championships in France in 1980 and California in 1986.
Today you can find Jeannie still surfing with her buds and painting boards all over the island. She continues to airbrush but also paints on canvas and wood and makes jewelry. She has jewelry in the Hawaii State Art Museum gift shop and In their sister shop, called Oceanology on Maui at the Whaler's Village.
You can find her work here: www.surfingarts.com
and Instagram/FB: Jeannie Chesser