SURGEBODYBOARDING.COM | VERSION 7.0 Chris Schlegel | PH:Kalen Foley | instagram.com/kalenfoley
Wintertime surfing on the east coast is one of the harshest wave riding experiences I have encountered. Cold water, combined with inconsistent swells, and freezing air temperatures, make the thought of surfing in a 5-millimeter suit, boots, gloves, and a hood seem not even worth it. This is my home though, and a lot of people say that when their local is on there is no place they would rather be. I feel the same way. I grew up surfing in conditions like this, and during the winter surf season have come to respect this routine as a part of my lifestyle. December 21st 2012: The first day of winter here in the northern hemisphere coincided with one of the east coast surf communities most memorable swells in over a decade. The “doomsday swell” received its nickname from the Mayan calendar’s prediction that on 12/21/2012 the world would come to a cataclysmic end. That morning the swell greeted east coast beaches with pumping sixfoot surf following a two-month flat spell and the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy.
SURGEBODYBOARDING.COM | VERSION 7.0 Chris Schlegel | PH:Taylor Bradley
My first time entering the water again after Sandy was a pretty surreal experience. The coastline had been so drastically altered that many of the beach accesses had become unreachable. Houses had been torn apart and were falling over onto the seawalls and streets lining the ocean. Debris littered the beaches and ocean water washed in and out of people’s homes without the protection of the dunes that were now non-existent. The National Guard and state police patrolled the beachfront on ATV’s, with many of them bearing semi automatic weapons to ensure that the wide open houses were not looted and the continuous fires, flooding, and lingering damage were held to a minimum. The “doomsday” session itself was incredible. I feel like the ocean is a place where many of us can escape to and not worry about the pressures of everyday life. There are no bosses, no teachers, no one telling us what we can and can’t do … just the water, waves, and maybe a few friends to share the experience with. That day a large coastal low had set up a combination of wind and ground swell that was accompanied by offshore winds and nearly flawless conditions. It was a gift from Mother Nature and from sunrise to sunset we had been reunited with our passion for the ocean. Humbled yet honored to share my experience with all of you, the feeling I had at the end of that day is what wave riding and life is all about. Thank you for the support and enjoy Surge Version 7.0! -Chris Schlegel
SURGEBODYBOARDING.COM | VERSION 7.0 Thomas Gaulke | PH: Joshua Shelly | instagram.com/joshua_shelly I tend to look at the glass half empty when it comes to surf conditions in California. Fellow boog and photographer Josh Shelly would normally agree with me, especially when the water hovers around 53 degrees and impending onshore winds are knocking on the door. After a lack luster morning sesh, my optimism had run dry. For some reason only known to Josh, he convinced me to stick around long after the rest of the boys had gone home. After a brief lunch, we noticed the winds shifted to a light east and the tide settled. Our spot started to wedge better and better with each set without clouds to shade the sun from creating this rare emerald colored water. Not even ten minutes into the session Josh called me into this wave shown in this image. Obviously I was too deep, but it was a nice green freight train. We stayed out for two more hours during a session I wonâ€™t soon forget. -Thomas Gaulke
PUBLISHER SURGE MEDIA GROUP | SURGEBODYBOARDING.COM CREATIVE DIRECTOR | FOUNDER Richard Pata email@example.com EDITOR IN CHIEF Evan Fa firstname.lastname@example.org PHOTO EDITOR Maurice Aubuchon email@example.com ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITORS Colin McGillivray firstname.lastname@example.org REGIONAL EDITORS East Coast Nicola Lugo email@example.com South Pacific Eric Schnitzler firstname.lastname@example.org
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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Maurice Aubuchon, Nicola Lugo, Sacha Specker, Joshua Shelly, David Baker, Edwin Morales, Ryan Craig, Andrew Chisholm, Dan Taylor, Patrick Grady, Dane Grady, Chris Allen, Jordan Anast, Alex Verharst, Carlos Santana, Luke Shadbolt, Chris Zeh, Steve Jones, Mike Cerrone, Clark Little, Eric Schnitzer, Chris Burkard, Caleb Davenport, Bret Winners, Vince Cavataio, Colin McGillivray, Adam Warmington, Kalen Foley, Cameron Gundlock, Joe Grodzen, Richard Diaz, Ben Jackson, Travis Hackett, Fred Booth, Greg Nielson, Matt Vaughn, Eric Schnitzer, Julien Durand, David Tuarau, Addamon, Patrick Vierra, Warren Anderson, Dustin Michelson, Mitch Nibbs, Zach dela Cruz, Shane Grace, Andrew Rams, Josh Tabone, Robbie Crawford, Aaron Goulding, Keila Grodzen, Andrew Westerman, Nathan Tyack, Mark Balasbas, Timmy Hamilton, Emalia Zuttermeister, Matt Catiglione, Alessandro Masciotti, Tosh Demello, Daniel Moreira, Warren Baynes, Roger Fa, Damien Antioco, Gavin Shigesato, Jeff Yusa, Matt Byzak, Jordan Stallard, Chris Gurney, Brandon Colbert, Jem Cresswell, Joseph Libby, James Mertens, Kristy Kaku Joe Grodzen, Justin Mack, Kevin Gonzalez, Shea Sevilla, Jeff Blege, James Hennessy, Andrew Herch, Joyner, Pablo Jimenez, Jye McDonald, Jeremy Phillips, Marty Kooistra, Morgan Halas, Ron Ziebell, Nick Arant, Don Nguyen, Matt Clark, Dave Weedall, Martin Yelland, Tim McCaig, Josh Wills, Martin Justinevicius, Elmo Ramos, Chase Miller, Ricardo Faustino, Rich Bean, Pedro Ferreira, Jenavieve Belair, Jay Vodipija, Bryan Pezman, Andrew Herchakowski, Scott Sporleder, Aaron Mizushima, Ricardo Estevez, Jon Alexander, Evan Conway, Bob Baldwin, Ricky Miller, Manuel Velez, Gabriel Padial, Chad Barlow, Evan Fa, Julien Durand, Conan Whitehouse, Makana Chaffee, Michael Bolton, James Dawson, Colin Goddard, Wes Broshears, Eddie Olmeda, Neal Miyake, Nicholas Seymour, Bryan Cabalce, Nick Borgens, Manuel Gonzalez, Mike Bain, Mike Neal, Jo Bessen, Jimmie Hepp, Tyler Walker, BJ Yeager, Justin Pirtle, Daniel Kauhaahaa, Carey Trabue, Jared Houston, Nic de Jesus, Caleb Burns, Luke Forgay CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Darren Delmore, Eric Schnitzer, Luke Shadbolt, Jay Reale, Russell Hoover, Jared Houston, Nicola Lugo, Jacob Reeve, Mike “Libo” Libudziewski, Mike Cerrone, Joshua Shelly, Murphy Bartling, Neal Miyake, Thomas Pagano, Matt Vaughn, Chris Schlegel, Mike Coots, Micah McMullin, Aaron Byzak, Jacob VanderVelde, Ian Patton, Evan Conway, Richard Pata, Chris Won Taloa, JT Grey, Nicholas Seymour, Mike Stewart, Kawika Kaui, Clark Little, Paul Benco, Spencer Skipper, Sacha Specker, Mark Watts, Eunate Aguirre, Ben Player, Amaury Lavernhe, Happy Zurowski, Mark Balsbas, Adam Dumas, Greg Tindall, Glen Thurston, Adam Burton, Joe Suzuki, Ryan Frazzetta, Jason Bitzer, Al Rumbos, Nicholas Seymour, Anthony Olayon, Robert Isambert, Marcus Rodrigues, Alistair Taylor, Claudia Ferrari, Edwin Morales, Joseph Libby, Robbie Crawford, Hauoli Reeves, Elmo Ramos, Eric Fairbanks, Jeremy Phillips, Sundaran Gillespie, Jonah Romero, Bob Baldwin, Rich Bean, Chris Schlegel, Ricky Miller, Julien Durand, Joe Grodzen, Adam Burton, Alisha Kayama, Alex Gero SurgeBodyBoarding.com online magazine is published by Surge Media Group / SurgeBodyBoarding.com. Reproduction of any material requires the written consent of the publisher. Copyright ® 2012. All rights reserved. The opinions in the articles are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of Surge Media Group / SurgeBodyBoarding.com and the advertisers. Advertisers assume full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of all advertisements. Advertisements and articles are accepted upon the representation that the author / agency, or advertiser will indemnify and save Surge Media Group / SurgeBodyBoarding.com of all claims and legal action. Surge Media Group / SurgeBodyBoarding.com does not assume responsibility for unsolicited contributions. All photos should be submitted to Surge Media Group Attn: Photo Editor at email@example.com. Advertising rates available upon request. Contributors retain all rights to their contributions. Surge Media Group Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cameron Gundlock | facebook.com/cgundlock
PURE CONTENT SURGE EMPTIES | 42-77 WHO YOU ARE/THREE WAY | 82-111 TWO FEET AND A HEART BEAT | 118-119 PROFILE KIM FEAST | 120-131 SURGE FITNESS | 132-135 TAHITI | 138-151 DA SECRET SAUCE | 158-162 CANARY ISLANDS “CIELO” | 164-173 SURGE SHAPER / JARROD GIBSON | 178-183 PROFILE MICAH MCMULLIN | 184-193 SOL PRODUCTIONS / DECLASSIFIED | 194-201 EL NUEVO NOSTROS | 204-215 DK LIFE | 218-237 THE VIBRANT SOUND | 238-245 SURGE LENS / JORDAN STALLARD | 250-261 STYLE & POWER | 262-297
Ph: Jon Alexander | jon-alexander.com
JACOB ROMERO | Ph: Maurice aubuchon
Back to its
Essence I know it has been a long time since Version 6.0. Way too long. So long that the dots connecting the past issue to this one absorbed most of the excitement. No doubt it bums me out a lot that it has taken so long. I believe bodyboarding needs consistent, non-bias, positive direction. Something that is definitely hard to come by today. Considering the fact I have lived on both ends of the mainland and back home in Hawaii since the last issue, I couldn’t help but reflect on things. The essence of bodyboarding being one such thing. As I have thought about the essence of bodyboarding, I realize that it is not bodyboarding that hinders itself from growing. Bodyboarding is pure. So it must be us. I think it’s when we start pressing our will on it with ulterior motives of what we want to make it that things tend to get clouded. Realizing that from the beginning, our intention with SurgeBodyboarding.com was never to press our will on bodyboarding but rather to express bodyboarding for what it is. Its essence. Meaning that we wanted to capture the common passion we have for the ocean and surfing a bodyboard despite the various lives we all live. In order to truly express bodyboarding for what it is, bias has to be thrown out. It has to be muted. That is because bias is a type of will—and like I mentioned, once we start pressing our will on something, things tend to get clouded. So despite this long hiatus, we are proud to bring you Version 7.0. We affirm that its pages contain the essence of something we all love and can agree on—Bodyboarding.
Editor in Chief at SurgeBodyboarding.com
Evan Fa | Ph: Maurice aubuchon
SURGELIFE PH: Aaron Goulding | instagram.com/aarongoulding
PH: Chris Joyner
Photography is relative. In regards to surf photography, if you don’t ride waves you can never truly get it; although that’s not to say waves don’t hold aesthetic value. As a passionate wave rider, contextually for me empty wave shots are associated with bliss. Empties are not simply a static image … they are a mind surfing passage. Welcome to bliss. -Joshua Shelly
Photo: Joshua Shelly | instagram.com/joshua_shelly
PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
PH: Pablo Jimenez | facebook.com/pablojimenezfotografo
PH; Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
PH: Sam Squires
PH: Colin Brown
PH: Andrew Herch | aherchphotography.com
Ph: Danny Sepkowski | instagram.com/dannysepkowski
PH: Andrew Westerman | instagram.com/andrew_westerman
PH: Evan Conway | Reddawnproductions.net
PH: Parker Mendenhall | instagram.com/ocwedge
Ph: Marc Goodnough | instagram.com/marc_goodnough
PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
PH: Brandan Carr | facebook.com/brandon.carr.5268
PH: Evan Fa | instagram.com/evanfa
PH: Zachary Ramos | http://www.shutterrage.com
SURGELIFE PH: Josh Johnson
PH: Evan Fa
PH: Jon Alexander | jon-alexander.com/
Spencer Skipper | Ph: Kalen Foley | instagram.com/kalenfoley
Justin Brown | PH: RJ Shulenberger
PH: Cameron Gundlock | instagram.com/gundlockgold
Cyrus Lewis | PH: Benny Crum | instagram.com/_crum
Chris Zeh | facebook.com/ChrisZehPhotography
Kupai Keahi | PH: Kea Espiritu | instagram.com/hbay81
Eli Gutierrez | PH: Robbie Crawford | instagram.com/robbiecrawford
DUBB | Ph: Josh Wills
Thomas Pagano | PH: Ryan Characky | instagram.com/tha_xkushiner
Seabass Perez | PH: Nicola Lugo | www.nicolalugo.com
Thomas Gaulke | PH: Joshua Shelly | instagram.com/joshua_shelly
PH: Andrew Herch | aherchphotography.com
Ivy Cerrone | PH: Mike Cerrone | instagram.com/cerrone_photo
Dan Cera | PH: Nicola Lugo | nicolalugo.com
Ph: Jersey Mobb | www.facebook.com/theJerseyMobb
Matt Holzman | PH: Mike Cerrone | instagram.com/cerrone_photo
Ryan Rhodes | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo.com
Kainoa Behasa / PH: Mike Cerrone | instagram.com/cerrone_photo
PH: Max Krumpholz | instagram.com/maxkrumpz
Jeff Hubbard | PH: Mike Aguiar | instagram.com/mikeaguiar
SURGELIFE PH: Chris Allen | Allen-Photos.com
Jordan Anast | jordananast.com
SURGELIFE Nic Lugo | nicolalugo.com
PH: Yoji Eguchi
Greg Voster | PH: Mark Mcinnis | markmcinnis.com
Two Feet and a Heartbeat By Greg Vorster “Two feet and a heart beat.” This simple phrase has helped me get through tough times out here. I used it once on our grueling five hour hike through snow and sleet filled mud trails when, about half way to our destination, a pack of cunning timber wolves began stalking our party. Although, logically, I knew they were only after my dog, it still fills you with doubts of your safety when you’re crossing the river within a few feet of their alpha. Hiking through the forests out here in the Pacific Northwest searching for waves can soak you to the bone in minutes, so preparing yourself with the right gear is key to an enjoyable experience. Your limbs, hands, feet, and face really don’t feel good when suffering from mild hypothermia. Even when geared up, you often have to keep moving just to stay warm because once your clothes are drenched there really is no other option than to suck it up, pick up your feet and get yourself home. Once back home, warm, dry and comfy in front of the computer, looking at swell and wind forecasts for the next day, the dread of stepping back outside into the pouring rain and cold floods back in. That simple phrase, “Two feet and a heart beat” thunders through my mind. Of course, it’s not always pouring rain, minus temperatures, dodging mild hypothermia, and confronting bears, cougars, and wolves. There are those magical moments of scoring completely uncrowded gems to yourself on rare sunny winter days. Days when you can watch the ice crystals from the morning frost melt way on the beach as you breathe in some of the purest air in the world. Air that has made its journey across the north Pacific to meet the giant conifers standing tall on this magnificent coastline.
PH: Gordon Becker
Pain + Gain By Kim Feast
Focus. Drive. Three words which are so important in life that have come and gone over the last two or so years. If somebody told me back in June 2011 I’d be sitting here writing about where I’m at right now I would have laughed at them. I’ve never been great at being consistent or confident in my own abilities. Looking back right now I can see a rise and fall in areas and where I have been unable to stop it. Realistically, my situation is no where near as bad as others but when perspective is missing it seems that you can only comment on your own set of unfortunate circumstances. I’ve fallen in many holes trying to come through everything. This is probably my tenth attempt at writing this. It seems like so many times there is an end in sight only to have my legs kicked out from under me, but that’s just life and shit happens for everyone. Heading back to June 2011, I’d just rehabilitated myself well from tearing my medial ligament in my left knee. I felt like I was as fit as I’d ever been and was starting to collect and piece together footage for a project. It had been a great autumn with lots of surf, and June was shaping up to be no different. We had an epic run of back to back
North Point swells. It is pretty rare to get it more than once a month, if that. During one of these sessions, a wave came to me and I accepted the challenge. I paddled hard only to realize I was too late, in the lip and going to go over with it. I just let go and went with it. I went over sideways and landed feet first and whip lashed down violently (See 3:11 of “In Between”). Dropknee in solid waves is hard. Beat downs are inevitable. Ironically, it was fun. I popped up laughing and paddled back out and continued to surf. Days later I awoke in the morning with what seemed to be the worst crookneck I’ve ever had. The only place I was remotely comfortable was having my chin tucked against my collarbone. It looked hilarious. Things had awoken but I didn’t then associate it with the beatdown. Treatment followed and I returned to surfing and shooting as the waves didn’t stop. I jumped off the top of another down at Boodji and felt like I hyper extended my shoulder and had somehow torn something in my left arm. More treatment followed and I worked to treat and get through it. Things didn’t progress. They only got worse. The physios and doctors were continually asking if I had pins and needles that weren’t present. When they did show up it was all over and I was told it wasn’t my arm it was my neck and spine and I had
PH: Chris Gurney | chrisgurney.com.au
PH: Alexander Miller
to have scans to see what was up. The diagnosis was disc bulges to my C2/3, C3/4, C5/6, and nerve damage present down my left side. The bulges were impinging on nerves that were causing the pins and needles and pain. I was told it wasn’t a worst-case scenario and more of a “time thing.” The discs and nerves needed time to heal and settle down. To me, information has been key. Although, I didn’t seek specialized information to be able to make an assessment of where I should go. I was working two jobs day and night, editing at a computer, and still trying to keep myself sane by staying in the water. As little as I possibly could. In hindsight, I only exacerbated the situation. January 2012 rolled around and I missed both the opportunity to defend the title I had won at Pipeline the previous year and go snowboarding for the first time— A lifelong dream. Nothing seemed to be happening or getting better. The pain and the pins and needles had become gnarly. It was affecting my mood and relationships with people. My left arm fizzed and burned at times. I was doped out on painkillers just to get through my workdays to earn money to get treatment. Physio, acupuncture, and pilates. I was trying anything suggested to me. I was successful in getting a new job working with
lots of friends in the geology department for an upcoming mining company. Great environment, great people, and a one week on, one week off roster potentially meant finally a high level income and the opportunity to have large blocks of time that I could devote to progressing my surfing. I struggled through working, managing the pain and trying to do whatever I could to rehabilitate myself. Any time I thought things were feeling ok, I would start slowly and get put back on my ass as things flared up and pain took over. At the end of May, my brother’s fiancé was killed in a horrific country driving accident at the hands of another driver. All hell broke loose on the home front. Watching your brother have his life ripped in half because of someone’s careless mistake is completely heartbreaking. I suddenly didn’t care about my situation. I did what anyone would do and dropped what I was doing to be there as best as I could. After a few more months the pain was getting to me and I’d disregarded the affect everything was having on me mentally. Still I tried to ignore it all and be there for my brother, but the mental and physical strain was becoming too much. Getting by doped up on painkillers just to get through the day somewhat comfortably was a massive drag. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t exercise. I wasn’t a nice person to be around. The stress of being
in pain 24/7 was weighing on me. It cost me a beautiful relationship. If I wasn’t working I had to be lying down or on those heavy painkillers just to go do menial tasks. I was losing motivation. I went to my mentor, who just happens to be a doctor, and told him all of this. That was the first step. It was September 2012. Pretty much a year. I’d stopped surfing and whatever energy I had was going to getting to treatment. Some days I didn’t want to get up. It hurt. I just wanted to lie there and for it to all fuck off. I moved to a specialist then onto an exercise physiologist. This seemed to be a good stepping stone but the pain level didn’t subside. I was working continually to strengthen myself up but things came to a point where I couldn’t even sit without being in pain. I didn’t know what the hell was happening. I wouldn’t take heavier painkillers and I was frustrated and wanted off all of the medication. Upon returning from a trip to Melbourne for a course, and being unable to cope with the pain and stress, I hit rock bottom. The next day I dragged myself up and literally told myself fuck this. I can’t keep going on like this. I was burnt out. Nothing I seemed to be doing was working. I didn’t know what to do so I sought out someone better. I finally found the best spinal specialist I
could. He was able to pin point what was happening and tailor a rehabilitation program and the pain eased up. The time I am now finishing writing this is now September 2013. I have gotten myself off all painkillers though a side effect of this extended period of stress and medication is that I have really had to count the cost of this mentally. Sitting here writing this is still difficult, but if there’s some form of silver lining it is that I have been able to learn a lot about myself and my body and am working to change things as I never want to be in this place again. The nerve damage is still down my left side but I can at least surf now. After a break in America to gather myself, I am back training hard to strengthen my whole body. I’m working with specialists to heal my mind and face what I need to. It’s confronting and difficult at times. I have a lot of work to do and can only do what I can to look forward and am doing my best to stay motivated. I gotta keep going. I’m not where I need to be, but I’m closer to it than I was yesterday.
PH: Alexander Miller
Surge: Kim, first of all, thanks for your introduction. It sheds some reality on both life and the risks we take as bodyboarders. Glad to hear you are recovering and back in the water. Now, could you give the readers some background about yourself. Kim: I’m from a little bay called Gracetown in the southwest corner of Western Australia. My Dad was a principal and my mum is a teacher, so they first bought the place as a holiday home the year before I was born. We always lived out in the country, moving towns every few years, but the one constant in life was The Bay. As soon as school finished each term we were straight down there until I was eighteen. When I finished school, I moved straight down. It’s my favorite place on earth. Surge: When and how did you get into bodyboarding? Kim: My parents bought my brother and I little foam hotshot bodyboards for Christmas when I was eight. Dad always encouraged us to enjoy the ocean and took us surfing. One of my first memories is paddling out to North Point in a t-shirt, racing bathers, and snorkeling fins. I was shitting my pants. Surge: Haha! For sure. So then what inspired you to dropknee? Kim: The first proper bodyboard that I got was when I was eleven or twelve or so. It was a 42” Rheopaipo Stringer. I was so little and the board dwarfed me. I had trouble lugging it down to the surf and used to string it over my shoulder at times holding the leash. After seeing Dave Ballard in the first issue of Riptide, I tried it out. Having a board that was too big was actually beneficial for dropknee, and from there I was hooked by the challenge. Surge: Who are the dropkneers that have influenced the way your surf and are the most? Kim: Dave Ballard, Kainoa Mcgee, Fred Booth, Kyle Maligro, Phil Harnsberger, and Aka Lyman. Surge: Has growing up with North Point as your front yard patterned the way you ride on the knee? Kim: It has, yes, for sure. It’s definitely shaped the way I ride. It’s such a hard wave to ride and so down the line. You don’t have time to play around out there when it’s big. You have to be in the right spot on your board and up and going. It’s probably had both a positive and somewhat negative affect. I spent so much time trying to learn and just make the wave that it came at a bit of a cost to my style. Something that’s super hard to change once you have engrained years and years of riding out there. Surge: But you’ve obviously developed a keen ability for handling bigger surf on the knee. Do you accredit that to North Point? Kim: Yeah. All of my first big wave experiences have come from out there. I used to be so scared as a grom. Especially compared to my brother out there. It’s bashed the fear out of me I think. Knowing you can take beatings and pop up is kinda fun. It’s all part of it. The whole Margaret River area has really helped I think. There is such a diverse range of
heavy and big surf to go and test yourself out in. Surge: How is it being not only a bodyboarder but a dropkneer where you’re from? Kim: The whole surfing vs bodyboarding rivalry thing is settling down, for sure. There was a lot of agro for a bit, but it’s mellowed and I just don’t buy into it. Some of my good mates ride surfboards so I just cruise. Wave wise it’s epic. There is almost every different kind of wave possible, and lots of waves suited to bodyboarding. As a dropkneer, it’s very good, too. Many challenging waves. The only downfall is that there are next to no dropknee riders down there. Surge: How do you feel about the current state of dropknee and where it’s going? Kim: This is kind of a bitter pill to swallow, and only my opinion, but I think dropknee professionally is kinda dead. Dropknee isn’t dead in the way that there aren’t people doing it and trying their hardest to push themselves and their riding. It’s just that, if we are honest, there hasn’t really been any progression past the level that was set by the guys like Roach, Aka, Kainoa, Raffi, etc, that we all grew up idolizing. Sure, we may be riding at their level, but we haven’t gone past it. Surge: What do you think it would take to kick start dropknee again? Kim: That’s really a tough one. It will take some progressive riding and guys going out in waves that require them to take risks. Competitively, I think some competitions in proper waves would help, but that’s easier said than done. I believe the Pipe comps that were in good waves showed that dropknee is entertaining to watch. Surge: What has it meant to be a professional bodyboarder to you? Kim: I don’t know that the term “Professional” can really be associated to dropknee anymore. I’ve never been paid to do what I’ve done, and everything I’ve done has come off my own back financially. But whatever has happened so far with my journey in bodyboarding has meant that I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people, forge great friendships, see incredible places, and have experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Surge: Being a dropkneer in a prone dominated country and sport, what has been your experience with sponsors? Kim: Shocking. I’ve either had sponsors that promise lots and do nothing or just had no luck at all. But that’s the way it is, and it’s not easy for anyone in bodyboarding in this day and age.
PH: Chris Gurney | chrisgurney.com.au
Surge: There was an email that leaked out a year ago or so about the dropknee world tour. What are your thoughts about the direction of the tour? Kim: Dropknee is in a tough place because the industry and tour is in a tough place. There are so many people working so hard to try to make things happen, but we have to be patient and hope that things will turn around sometime.
Surge: What do you think should happen with the dropknee world tour? What could legitimize it? Kim: I think it needs contests in proper waves with an element of risk involved. The prone guys are going out and literally risking life and limb. Dropknee contests, apart from Pipe, are in safe two to three foot waves. It’s just boring unfortunately. Surge: Bodyboarders in the States have this misconception that Australian bodyboarding is all glamorous. That guys are getting paid big bucks. Do you agree with that notion? Kim: No, I don’t agree. I think those days are long gone. The industry is pretty much at a standstill here. Companies are doing it so tough. There are guys who are making “OK” money, but they would be putting so much of it back into their surfing. It’s not setting anyone up for life, that’s for sure. So many guys have to work to support themselves. It’s just the way it is. Surge: Your video project, “In Between,” required a lot of work, travel, and resource. Can you share some background on what it takes to complete a project of that caliber? Kim: Time and dedication were the biggest things that it took. All the travel and surfing kind of took care of itself. I didn’t start out with the intention of it becoming what it did. I am blown away by how many checked it out and am super thankful at how it was received. I’ve always had an interest in the creative side of life, not just in surfing. So to go hunt for shots, work with videographers and then sit down and edit everything together in a manner that I could release parts of the video separately as I gained more footage, structured it, and linked it all together as one movie, was a very enjoyable learning experience. Surge: Some dropkneers have given you flax for occasionally using fins on the bottom of your boards. What you do you have to say about that? Kim: I’ve heard a bit here and there. Like some people assuming that’s the only way I ride or that that’s how I was able to ride bigger waves. The reality of it is that I’ve had two boards with a fin setup in them, and they died pretty quickly. I don’t think it discredits dropknee. It’s just a way to see if you can gain a little bit of traction in heavier waves to get some more speed. I didn’t really use them in smaller waves though backside they were really good until my boards died, and I resorted back to riding without fins. I hope I’ll get a Vector setup in my new boards somehow, but with Vector being in Hawaii it’s hard. With the way they do it your able to ride the boards with or without the fins anyways. Surge: Any words of advice to the aspiring dropkneer out there? Kim: Stay in school. Your Education or skill set is the one essential thing you will need to be able to fund yourself to progress your riding. In the water, push yourself to progress your riding in all types of waves you can and seek out that challenge. Most importantly, just have fun. That’s what it’s all about. Surge: Last words. Kim: Thanks guys for having me in the mag and anyone that’s supported and helped me along the way. I’m lucky to have been able to do and experience the things I have.
PH: Chris Gurney | chrisgurney.com.au
TRAINING Mike Simone: SurgeBodyboarding.com Fitness & Training Correspondent
Similar to the way other sport’s athletes train, bodyboarders are no different. Yoga moves, exercises and stretches that replicate the sport translate well to better performance and safeguarding from injury. As bodyboarders, we’re constantly in the prone position (unless, of course, you dropknee). In this prone position, we’re paddling, scooping into waves and transitioning body weight. Our lower back and neck take on a great deal of strain over long durations in the water. Or even the opposite, lack of acclimation from long breaks of not being in the water. The cobra pose, as featured, replicates the natural arch of the lower back and the upwards extension of the neck. For bodyboarders suffering from low back pain and stiff necks, this would be an idea pose to include into your regular training routine. Your body will acclimate and strengthen muscles in the position. Daily Use: 14-45 sec holds for 3 to 6 sets. Pre-Surf Use: 10-20 secs of gradually progressing into the position for 3 sets. A Physical Therapist’s take on the cobra pose: “The cobra pose is an excellent movement to improve spine extension and targets muscles such as the triceps, erector, spinae, middle trapezius and rhomboids. Heavy bodyboarders should, without a doubt, incorporate this pose into their daily mobility work.” -Ben Musholt, Oregon-based Cerified PT.
SURGE FITNESS EDITOR | MIKE SIMONE
MOVE NATURALLY THE COBRA POSE PH: Javier Oddo | http://www.javieroddo.com/
MOVE NATURALLY THE COBRA POSE
Evan Fa | PH: Clark Little | instagram.com/clarklittle
SURGELIFE PH: Maurice Aubuchon
PH: Dewey Kiethly | dakfour.com
Tepo Faraire | PH: Mike Cerrone | instagram.com/cerrone_photo
For most of us traveling is only a luxury that we pursue when we have free tim livelihood. Whether it's traveling up the California coast or half way around th matter how expensive or horrendous they can get. As soon as I finish one trip, I so thankful to have met so many great people along my travels and to come ho
After sitting patiently for eight and a half hours in the plane I finally arrive training, Julien Durand. Both of us were excited for the next couple of days kno As the next few days inched along we scored epic conditions and pumping swell. never in my life have I seen waves with so much power and water movement.
PH: Chris Allen | allen-photos.com
me and available funds. For others, like myself, it is part of our lifestyle and he world, all my trips are experiences that I wouldn't trade in for anything no I start planning and calculating the time till my next adventure begins. I am ome and share my photos with everyone.
ed at Faaa Airport on Tahiti. I was soon picked up by rally car racer-inowing that there was a decent amount of swell the first few days of the trip. Paddling out at 5:30AM and coming in after the sun had set. For myself,
David Tuarau | PH: Sebastien Dubois | instagram.com/dubsky40
As the swell faded, we moved on to some other surf spots. One wave, in particular, was like a machine. Tahiti's lineups are truly remarkable in many aspects, but one aspect stood out to me more than anything. Everyone in the lineup greets each other and shows respect when someone paddles for a wave. California could sure use some lessons in surf etiquette from the Tahitians. Eventually the swell faded away and the wind picked up, so we set off on some other adventures. Julien, David, Kentin, and I all set out on a few hikes through the
Julien Miremont | PH: Chris Allen | allen-photos.com
Larry Punaa | PH: Alex Tanguy
Alvino Tupuai | PH: Mike Cerrone | instagram.com/cerrone_photo
rainforest. These were no doubt the most insane yet amazing hikes I had ever been on. The hikes were filled with narrow trails, stream crossings, waterfalls, jumps, natural waterslides, and no shortage of insects. Before we knew it the trip was over
Alvino Tupai | PH: Sebastien Dubois | instagram.com/dubsky40
and we were standing in line to board our plane back to Los Angeles. By the time I finally got home, I was exhausted, had been up over 43 hours straight, had 10,000 photos to go through and an Ironman race to train for the following weekend. In the end, it was all worth it, and I truly believe that Tahiti was my most favorite trip all around. A great experience. I owe a tremendous thanks to Julien Miremont. He's the man. Also a huge thanks to our tour guide David Tuarau and master chef Kentin Houssaye..Lastly, my friend Julien Durand. Thank you for everything. Happy Traveling! CHRIS ALLEN
Julien Durand | PH: Chris Allen | allen-photos.com
Thibault Casabianca | PH: Sebastien Dubois | instagram.com/dubsky40
SURGELIFE PH: Mike Cerrone | instagram.com/cerrone_photo
PH: Danny Sepkowski | facebook.com/danny.sepkowski
SURGELIFE PH: Wade Saunders | instagram.com/wade0bell
PH: Jordan Anast | jordananast.com
Josh Wills | PH: Darrel Delagarza
Da Secret Sauce | Rex Moribe By SurgeBodyboarding.com
R ex Moribe comes from the island of Kauai, which has a rich bodyboarding history stretching back from the Kauai Classic days to
the newer school of Boogie Nation. Back then, bodyboarders outnumbered shortboarders three, maybe even four, to one. Discovering bodyboarding later than most, Rex played rapid catch up and pushed himself until he was winning contests against his peers. From 1995 to 1998, whether it was HSF, NSSA, HABA, he was competing in contests almost every weekend. In essence, this was his hay day. In 1999-2001, according to his grandfather’s wishes, Rex bowed out of bodyboarding to attend college. He put his head into the books and graduated with a 3.93 GPA and two associate degrees—One in business and the other in Information Technology. Ironically, his two B’s were in English … “Shoots brah!” Meanwhile, the bodyboarding industry took a brutal downturn with Bodyboarding Magazine going under, Blue Torch dropping bodyboarding from their channel, and companies going under while others stopped supporting the sport. So his grandfather’s wishes truly were ones of wisdom. Among the many things Rex is involved in today, arguably the biggest is that of Da Secret Sauce. It is the culmination of a lifestyle and passion to be successful. It is also his way of supporting the sport he loves—bodyboarding. So give your ear to bodyboarder and entrepreneur, Rex Moribe, as he touches more on the subject. Surge: What were you doing for a living before you started Da Secret Sauce? Rex: I was IT administrator contracted through a corporation working for the DOD. I’m still currently doing this job. My forte is exchange, which is email to all you non-IT folks. I’m a last resort person. When a server goes down and all hell breaks loose, they either call me or one of my counter parts. I also do a lot of proactive work to prevent the server from crashing and some other random projects that will probably bore you, so I’ll spare the details. Surge: Who or what inspired you to start Da Secret Sauce? Rex: 1. The Heresa Family: It all started by me going to their house almost every weekend. I, not knowing how to cook, would bring my chili pepper water. Darren’s daughters Brianna and Brendi would always ask me, “Uncle, did you bring your Secret Sauce?” Loving these kids and the family, they would always encourage me to start selling my sauce. And when I eventually did, inspired by his daughters, it became “Da Secret Sauce.” 2. Koji: Koji runs EightyTwoCreations (printing), 808 Empire (clothing), More Aloha (clothing), and used to have a pipe shop and some other business. In fact, he started a business in his house when he was fourteen. He would call companies telling them he had a surf shop, they would send it to his house, and then he would turn around and sell it out of his bedroom. He basically had a surf shop in his bedroom at one point with shelving and everything. I wish we took pictures back then. Anyways, you could write a whole story on him alone. Koji is the driving force behind me and makes sure I don’t make any mistakes. He also does all of our printing and design work for the flyers. 3. Death and losing everything: I first started trying to sell the sauce in 2007. After two runs, many brick walls and losing my dad to suicide, I put everything on hold. What began as a seed soon becomes a sturdy tree, and this is what unfolded through out the years after my dad’s death. Something like that hit so close to the heart. After mak-
ing many mistakes in my own life, death started knocking at the door a little closer. I started to ask myself what do I want to do and how I want to be remembered. What I wanted to do was enjoy life, and how I wanted to be remembered was doing everything that made me enjoy life. This included traveling, helping others, surfing, writing, reading, making films, and lastly making my own stable business that would still be around long after I’m gone. 4. Hawaii is a small place: A quick drink at Duke’s with a bunch of Hooters girls changed everything. I met Steve Robb, brother of Ian Robb who previously owned DOJO (BSD, Manta, LMNOP, and 2013). Ian was pretty much my boss when I was sixteen to twentyish while I rode for Manta. Talking to Steve, I learn he also makes sauce—a bbq sauce called Wao Nahele. After several meetings, this reignited my interest in doing the sauce again. 5. Bodyboarding community: They seemed the most amped when I first purposed and started this. If you look at our Facebook page, in one of the albums you will see a ton of familiar faces amping on my sauce. Surge: Why sauce and not something else? Rex: Do what you do best. Nuff said. Surge: How did you make it happen? Rex: It took eight long, grueling, creative, out of the box thinking months to get the idea into a bottle. From logo to label design to locking down the recipe to upc code to FDA and DOH approval to sourcing materials and ingredients to insurance to taxes to shipping to craft fairs to social media to marketing … you get the idea.
Right now it’s finding distribution and getting the word out through craft and gift fairs.
Surge: Do you invest into bodyboarding? Or have plans to? Rex: I do invest into bodyboarding. In fact, I made lunch for the entire staff for the last Sandy Beach comp. I also support Jonah Romero, Kona (he made the cover of SurgeBodyboarding.com Version 3.0), Willy Petriovic (who also sends me peppers from the Big Island), Boogie Nation crew when I can, and I also try to keep Jeff Hubbard and Spencer Skipper well stocked. Jonah Romero, now a triathlete, says, “I do consider myself a health freak, and I’m super conscious of what I put in my body. I’m stoked to have a sauce that I can put on everything I eat from my eggs, pastas, and even my salads. Sometimes I even sauté my veggies and meat in it. Epic stuff.” Surge: Where do you see Da Secret Sauce going to in the future? Goals. Rex: My goal is to get it running by itself. Meaning one or two phone calls and it’s off and running. After working in this industry there are companies that have the co-packers make their sauce, then the distributor picks it up, and sends it off to the stores. This would be ideal, and the company would basically run itself. I would still campaign it, do fairs and social media marketing, but, as far as manufacturing and hustling it in stores, I would leave that to the distributor. Right
now my living room looks like it could be on hoarders with boxes everywhere.
Surge: What are some sources for inspiration that you recommend? Rex: I recommend watching Steve Job’s Stanford Speech, “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, “What if Money was no object—what would you do,” and the first season of an HBO show called “How to
make it in America.” I also recommend reading Steve Jobs’ autobiography. I read it in two days. I don’t plan on being him but there is a lot to be learned from his life. Surge: What sort of insight do you have for fellow bodyboarders looking to start a company? Rex: Think outside of the Box! The industry is saturated with board, clothes, and fin companies. I bet everyone has a dish or snack that is mind blowing, or a home made gadget that makes life easier that could be taken to market. There are endless possibilities with starting a business. These days even a terrible idea can make you millions; you see it happen all the time. My partner once told me if you could see yourself working just as hard as you are now and not complaining about it six months from now, you found your business. Well, I still complain, but it’s about hitting brick walls and pushing your way through them. I’m enjoying doing this interview about the sauce, and right after this I’m going to be packing up my truck to the brim for the next three day fair while everyone goes bodyboarding on the North Shore. Instead of stalking the surf report, I find myself shuffling through craft and gift fairs. If you told me that ten years ago, I probably laugh in your face, go for a surf, and make it rain in the strip club. Growing up is awesome. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe!” Meaning do your research and first things first, like register your business and get a GE license. Just because you printed out a couple of t-shirts doesn’t make you legitimate company. Too many times I see new companies repping hard and they haven’t even registered their business. Surround yourself with the “Why Not” kind of people and not the “Why” and go for it! PAU.
Mariko Stickland | PH: Andrea Alfiler
Pedro Santiago | Ph: Larry Castro
“In this crowded world, the surfer can still seek and find the perfect day, the perfect wave, and be alone with the surf and his thoughts.” -John Severson, Surfer Magazine, 1960. While this quote comes from Surfer Magazine over 50 years ago, even before the sport of bodyboarding was born, it still rings so true in this day and age. Back in Hawai’i, John Severson’s quote, printed on a picture depicting a lone surfer paddling out to an empty and perfect Cloudbreak (Fiji) lineup, hangs up on my bedroom wall. Many mornings, when I would wake up, my eyes rested on that picture, wondering when I would be that lone surfer. Again. “Tienes tu billete y pasaporte?” Laidback customs officials, inquisitive European passengers’ eyes looking over my massive bodyboard bag, and the warm West African wind have always greeted me in Gran Canaria’s Las Palmas Airport. This being my fourth trip here, I knew good waves would also be welcoming me within this island chain at some point, a volcanic series of islands eerily similar to Hawai’i’s. But, little did I know, that within 3 weeks of arriving here I would be writing this very article for you; An article written out of a duty to inspire those in doubt, and to continue inspir-
All photos by: German Barrameda
ing those on personal journeys. October 22, 2012. “Cielo” not only means sky in Spanish, but even more than that: Heaven. It’s not often that I ever use the word “heaven” when it comes to describing riding waves. Actually, the concept of finding heaven in waves has only come to mind on two separate occasions during my bodyboarding career: An 8-hour session at Bintangs and Supersuck (1999) with only Eric Schnitzler (Within Films) and Jonny Russell, and a perfect late-season April morning at Pipeline (2007) with only the Hubbards and two surfers trading off perfect barrels to ramps for hours. But on October 22, 2012, “cielo” manifested itself again in front of me, this time in another corner of the earth. “Ten out of ten!” Ardiel Jiminez (Long-time Fronton local and 2011 Dropknee World Champion) shouted out to me as we paddled out into Gran Canaria’s premiere wave, Fronton. This perfect “10” day at Fronton greeted me, Ardiel Jiminez, and Miguel Perez when we arrived just before sunrise. Four to six foot (Hawaiian scale), spitting A-frame waves beckoned us as two bodyboarders were already trad-
ing off barrels and aerial maneuvers. Automatic instinct took over at that point. I sprinted down the mountain haphazardly into Fronton’s minefield of volcanic rocks and with mucha velocidad changed into my wetsuit. For the next 3 hours, I, Reunion Island local Amaury Lavernhe, along with a small group of local Canarian bodyboarders and even a lone surfer, were blessed with Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand up” beautiful idea of finding our heavens here on earth. While I’m a true believer in the power of the written word, I also feel the photos surrounding my words speak for themselves. As you can see, Fronton produced barrels and ramps the entire week of October 20-26, allowing the riders here to continue advancing this sport we love. However, it was the October 22nd day that stood out to me as being the day of days; the type of day I imagine when I wake up in Hawai’i and study John Severson’s words on my wall. And while it’s slightly ironic that my day of “cielo” at Fronton probably wasn’t the type of day John Severson had in mind for a 1960’s surfer, personal happiness remains the focal point, no matter where you’re surfing and in what decade you find your “cielo.”
Fronton, along with many other waves of the Canary Islands, is heavy, grinding, hollow, and dangerous. Understandably, everyone reading this article is on their own “level” of bodyboarding, and your “heavy, grinding, hollow, and dangerous” wave may be just a few blocks from where you live, and may even be a challenging sandbar for now. But maybe it’s for these very reasons that we truly appreciate these waves, especially these days of “cielo,” just like the other things we have in life that come with hardship: relationships with friends/ family/lovers, understanding/relationship with God if you’re a believer, your education, your satisfaction in a job you have a passion for, and all the other areas in life where achievement is attained through your desire and commitment. So whether you’re a bodyboarder or not, know that within this “crowded world,” your “perfect day” will come with patience, no matter if the path you “seek” leads you to the far corners of the earth, or more importantly, within yourself. Mahalo and muchas gracias to the bodyboarding community in Gran Canaria for giving me the chance to enjoy the waves in your backyard.
October 4, 2013 It’s been nearly a year since I wrote the article you see above, and not much has really changed. While I haven’t found more days exactly like October 22nd, 2012, I’ve been fortunate enough to “discover” new waves around the Canarian island chain, local riders here are still pushing the limits in aerial maneuvers without the help of jet skis, and Fronton has once again woken up nice and early this winter. So, on that note, enjoy the upcoming winter or summer wherever you are, and really live and breathe those perfect days that are just around the corner.
Paul Benco | Ph: Larry Castro
Amaury Lavernhe | Ph: Ruben del Valle
Elliot Moralles | Ph: Larry Castro
Paul Benco | Ph: Ruben de Valle
SURGELIFE Ph: Wade Saunders | instagram.com/wade0bell
Luz Marie Grande | Ph: Gonzalez.com
SURGELIFE Ph: Chris Joyner
Ph: Evan Fa | instagram.com/evanfa
Jarrod Gibson | Ph: Rob Sherwood
Jarrod Gibson | Ph: Rob Sherwood
It’s the first wave of a session as you set your rail with your head
down to the gutter and aim toward the rampy end bowl. You glide effortlessly off the lip as if it was scripted … even pre-destined. There is so much to contemplate as you paddle back out. Underlining those thoughts is the craftsmanship it took to create the board that allowed the experience. Jarrod Gibson is one with such craftsmanship. A native of New South Wales (NSW), well-respected wave rider and competitor, businessman, and the spirit that exudes the essence of surf, Jarrod is the glue that holds a delicate balance between the development of the sport and its athletes and future technology. No college degree teaches what he has been able to learn and achieve through years of experience in perfecting his craft. With his creativity and exploration into making new ideas into realities, the future of the bodyboard is in store for some amazing things. Surge: Aloha Jarrod. Tell us about how you got into shaping? Jarrod: I began shaping in Feb ’99 out of the Mez Boards-Toobs Australia factory when I was sixteen. Basically, I was getting customs from Nick for a few years and did my high school work experience program with him when I was fourteen or fifteen. I’d been competing and doing the junior events in Australia, but when I completed my school certificate it kind of just went from there. I was given the opportunity to start shaping with the highly esteemed Toobs label. Surge: That “Shaping the Way” edit was an epic look into your world and new technology. Can you tell us what’s been going on with development technology and what we have to look forward to? Jarrod: Yeah, I’d been working with Robert Sherwood on a few film projects over the past couple of years, and I loved his work. I felt Rob could really tell a story and give the project the depth that I wanted to introduce our latest product and technology advancements. When we started the process of Skintec development, I knew we were onto something pretty amazing. Over the two years we spent refining it and incorporating the right material compositions it really just opened up a whole new level of technicality that we haven’t seen before in shaping and manufacturing. What you see from the film is just an introduction to what it’s really all about. I’m amped to have such a creative team to work with into the future with Skintec. The link: http://vimeo.com/70725816 Surge: Tell us about the brands your shaping for and what makes them unique? Jarrod: I work with many different brands all over the world as AGIT Global bodyboard product manager and designer. Basically, my major role is product development and to design and refine our boards. Unfortunately, I can’t name all the brands. However, it’s a significant number within the industry. It’s a great position to be in as I work very closely with the brands and team riders to get their product to the market. Each season presents new challenges, and I’m fortunate enough to have the freedom to really drive innovation and progression, whether it’s exclusive technology or our latest industry standard. Surge: What’s your take on this whole IBA Tour mess? Jarrod: It’s a difficult situation that the IBA faces to turn things around. Although, I don’t believe the current tour is sustainable. Economically, we’ve seen that it isn’t a viable tour with so many events and, unfortunately, in the wake of previous management it’s now up to the new team to pick up the pieces. There were some amazing events held over the last two years. That’s for sure. No one will argue that the first GSS event in Mexico and last year’s title decider in maxing
Fronton were events for the ages, so it’s hard to swallow that 2013 has effectively collapsed. I don’t have all the answers for how we move forward, but I think it is time to get on with it. The riders and industry need to work with the IBA again to develop a platform that everyone is happy with; which, in turn, creates sustainability. We want to showcase bodyboarding for what it is and how spectacular the sport can be, so I think we’ve only really just started to develop the medium to do it correctly. Surge: What makes for a good shaper-rider relationship, and tell us some of the guys you’ve shaped for. Jarrod: In my opinion, it comes down to communication and understanding the vision of what the rider wants and combining that with the goals of the brand. I spend a lot of time in the water with my team of riders that I shape for, which is super important to get direct feedback as we’re constantly refining their production models. When you can have the guys talk to you about what they’re feeling with their boards in an environment they are completely comfortable in, the design process flows easier into the shaping bay. I’ve shaped for most of the top guys at some point in my career and for guys on various teams like Ryan Hardy, Damian King, BP, Joe Clarke, Michael Novy, Jake Stone, Thomas Robinson, and extensively with Mitch Rawlins over the past decade. There’s a great deal more in Australia and internationally, too, that I’m privileged to work with and amped to keep turning out boards for many years to come. Surge: What guys are impressing you in the water now days? Jarrod: From the new generation, guys like Jake Stone, Jared Houston and Pierre are pushing the limits with technical surfing in heavy waves. I think these guys are the future kings of bodyboarding, for sure. Thomas Robinson has always impressed me. He has one of those timeless styles, you know … like Skipp Surge: Your favorite place to surf and somewhere you would love to surf? Jarrod: Home is always amazing to score. We have so many good waves around, but I love G-Land in Indo. It’s gone under the radar for quite some time now, but when that place fires at 6-8ft it’s unbelievable. I’ve got my eye on a few islands in the Pacific though that I’m keen to do some more exploring and board testing at as well. Surge: What inspires you day in day out to do what you do? Jarrod: Knowing that I chose the life I have because I wanted happiness over everything else. I now have the freedom to be as creative as I like with my work to really start developing some cool things for bodyboarding. That’s my number one inspiration. When I see kids ripping on boards I’ve designed, or team guys taking bodyboarding to the next level on my custom shapes, it really makes me appreciate that I’m impacting their lives in a positive way. Surge: In closing, words of advice to aspiring bodyboarders and shapers? Jarrod: Dedication is what will help you achieve your goals for progression. Set small goals and work hard at them. Success has to be earned not given, so keeping focused on the positive things that will ultimately get you to the level you want in surfing and shaping. See you soon mate! JG.
Jarrod Gibson | Ph: Josh Sim
Micah is my brother. One of those people that you know will always be there for you through the good and bad, thick and thin. Not just during fair weather. Not because he wants something from you. He is there just because that is who he is. That same characteristic shines through in everything he does. Whether with his family and friends or in the water, he is always there and stays true to himself. He doesn’t put on a front or fake anything. It’s because he knows who he is … and who he is Micah McMullin. It goes to say that Micah is unique. Especially since we live in a world packed with fake people that fake what they do. For that reason he excels in whatever he puts his mind to. Given the circumstances he grew up in, he has risen above them and established himself as a household name in the sport of bodyboarding. I know I am probably biased, but Micah is my favorite regular footed dropkneer to watch. Undoubtedly one of my favorite people to surf with in general. He truly lives by his nickname, Da Hammah, when he surfs on the
knee. Just imagine the swiftness, precision, and speed of a master carpenter slicing his hammer through the air only to drive the nail deep into the wood. Such is the style, grace, and yet raw power of Micah on the knee as he glides across a wave to carve out another defenseless section.
PH: Azch Delacruz | instagram.com/sharkzcruz
Evan: What attracted you to dropknee on a bodyboard? Micah: Dropknee caught my attention in the mid-nineties. During the nineties, dropknee was on fire. I used to hitch hike, or catch the bus, to surf spots and more than half of the peeps in the water were dropkneeing. Back then, whether you were good or not on the knee, you damn sure tried to be because it was definitely the thing to do. Fumanchu came out and everyone who saw it must have lost their shit because I know I did. Ever since then, DK4LIFE. Evan: Do you feel it is more difficult to do than prone? Micah: On bigger waves it is. Evan: Why do you feel more people don’t dropknee? Micah: I think at first most people don’t realize that dropknee is functional until they start thinking outside of the box to make if functional. Jah feel me?
When you would walk down the beach, you would see signs saying, “Locals only,” “No Haoles Trespassing,” “Da Hui Runs Sh*t Hea,” etc. So if you didn’t know somebody or wasn’t a part of Da Hui, most likely you got sent in. If you talked back or never went in, then you’d get false cracks. For bodyboarders, it wasn’t much easier. Some bodyboarders were treated like they were a foreigner. But, for me, I grew up in La’ie, where some of the heavy hitters from Da Hui were from. I was taught to be fearless in da water but be respectful to your elders. These days, I trip on people that are not even from Hawaii or even bloodline that run their mouths. We call them “implants.” They just don’t know about the culture, and it seems to me they don’t want to learn. Respect the people and da ‘aina.
Evan: That’s the truth. If people only knew. Touching on another one of your spots. What is it about OTW that calls your name? Evan: Do you think there tends to be a Micah: Some people spend most of their lot more dropkneers from Hawaii than lives trying to find a spot that suits their other regions? Why? style. I’m blessed to say, I found it. Since Micah: I used to think that but, after dropknee is intense yet smooth, you need traveling a bit, I came to realize that drop- an intense and smooth wave to match it. I kneeing is like a virus spreading through think OTW matches that description. the countries. It only appears like Hawaii has a lot more dropkneers because Hawaii Evan: What is goes through your mind is geographically smaller compared to when you are in the water? When you other nations. If you consider how small are catching a wave? we are with the number of people that Micah: I try to free my mind of worldly bodyboard, it is impressive to think that things and tune my body to flow with the Hawaii has such an impact on dropknee. ocean before I catch a wave. Then I posiHawaii will always stir a passion for drop- tion myself with a marking point on the knee since this is where Jackstance comes beach like a coconut tree that lines where from. the waves are mostly breaking. I always take a deep breath before I get on the Evan: Where did you grow up surfing? wave to have a lot of oxygen flowing to my Which spots do you frequent most now? brain. Breathing right helps your surfing Micah: Goat Island, Pounders, V-Land, to flow with the wave and not against it. and Off The Wall (OTW). Evan: If you could choose only one Evan: People don’t understand that Vdropkneer that has inspried you most, Land used to be a lot different than it is who would it be and why? now. Growing up surfing V-Land, what Micah: Paul Roach. Why? Because he was it like being a local kid on a bodyhas the whole package. The way he can board out there? control his speed and power yet still have Micah: A lot of things have changed in finesse on the wave is mind boggling. It the past years at Velzyland. Let me paint a trips me out sometimes. Paul Roach, I just picture for you on how it was back then. wanted to thank your mom for having PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
you on this earth. Haha! Just playing … wait, am I? Evan: You are a family man with a wife and daughter. How has that changed the way you approach dropknee, the ocean, or life in general? Micah: First off, I am very blessed from God to have a beautiful wife and daughter. Now that I am a family man, I don’t waste time la-li-gagging on the beach. When it’s time to surf, it’s time to surf. It seems like having a daughter pushes me and keeps me more focused. She makes me a better person in everything I do in life. Evan: If you could surf any one wave the rest of your life, where would it be and why? Micah: Pipe! That wave is so secy when it goes off. It’s one of the best waves in the world. Pipe even let’s you go through the Backdoor. Doesn’t get better than that! Just imagine back in the 1950’s when nobody surfed it. They say dreams do come true. Well, I’ve been dreaming about surfing Pipe by myself for a long time now and it never came true yet. Haha! Evan: Most people might not realize this, but you work a full time job on top of taking care of your family and finding time to surf. What sort of advice would you give to bodyboarders aspiring to pursue the sport professionally like you do? Micah: I’m not going to sugar coat this answer. It takes a lot of hustle on your part to stay in the game. If you are young, your parents support you, and they have the funds to support you as well, then you may go far in the sport. You gotta have talent, too. If you come from a broken home without much support financially, like me, then don’t quit your day job. I feel this gave me more drive and perseverance to go all the way. Naturally, I had the heart for the sport, which gave me that extra push. So if you feel you were meant to do something, go for it; that’s your dream. This is my dream, but it took determination, confidence, and practice, practice, practice to get it right. Evan: What goals do you have yet to accomplish that you are pursuing as we speak? Micah: It would be sick if I won an event on the IBA World Tour. Another goal of mine is to get a backside barrel at Pipeline when it is hitting second reef. It’s going to happen when the time is right.
Evan: Fill us in on your sponsors and people you would like to thank. Micah: Big SHAKA to NO.6 Bodyboards. They work hard to make my board model perfect for my riding. Mahalo to Hinano clothing for the fresh Polynesian gear and Foam Company in Maui for all the support and aloha. To all the special people who made an impact on my bodyboarding career in one way or another, Mahalo nui loa for your love and support! I want to thank God, Jesus Chris my Lord and Savior for giving me the confidence, courage, and motivation to believe in myself; my beautiful wife Hana and daughter Malia, my supportive mama and ‘ohana, Maurice Aubuchon, Evan Fa, Zach Dela Cruz, Aaron Eskaran, Michael Kini, Leroy Kaiwi, William Ka’ai, Asa Aquino, Mason Rose, David Nitta M.D., Under Pressure, and KBB.
PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
Jacob Romero | Ph; Don Nguyen | instagram.com/thedonnguyen
hat do I say about Ryan Thompson? How do I introduce someone I’ve known for twelve years? I’ve been through a hell of a lot with the guy—from puking in the Honolulu canal to riding through a Costa Rican rainforest in the middle of a storm to helping him out of the water after he got knocked in the head with a water housing to literally watching him contract IBS while surfing San Clemente pier in the rain. I’ve loved and hated him; not talked to him for months to living with him. He’s a solid guy with a passion for bodyboarding and videography. Don: How long have you been filming? What got you into it? Ryan: I’ve been shooting bodyboarding off and on for about twelve years. I’ve always had a love for film, video, and photography, so combine that with my love of bodyboarding and SOL Productions was born. Don: Where did the name Sol Productions come from? Ryan: Well, it started when my friend Mike Gener and I were joking about “stoked on life,” which is a kind of corny play on words for SOL, “shit out of luck.” I think that’s sort of the truth of a lot of bodyboarders in the U.S. They’re stoked on the sport and just love the ocean and riding waves, but they’re kind of shit out of luck if they’re looking for fame or fortune in it. So the name SOL just stuck. Bodyboarders do it because they’re stoked on it, not because they’re trying to be cool or fit in … especially in California. Don: You’ve released a video—“Double or Nothin,” various podcasts, and have “Declassified” on the way. What has been the greatest lesson you’ve learned through it all? Ryan: Probably the best lesson I’ve learned is that if you plan on making a video, be sure to log all of your clips the day you shoot. It makes it so much easier than trying to compile everything later. I say that because the problem I’m having right now is going through six to seven years of footage. I have a lot of older HDV tapes to go through combined with footage with my newer memory card based camera. I would also recommend keeping multiple back-ups of every file. You never know when you might lose a memory card or hard drive. Don: Since we all know that bodyboarding doesn’t pay these days, what do you do for a living? Ryan: I work for my family business selling manufactured housing. It’s a lot of fun and gives me the opportunity to make decent money as well as the freedom to set my own schedule and travel when I can.
Bud Miyamoto | Ph; Don Nguyen | instagram.com/thedonnguyen
Don: Through your travels and shooting various bodyboarders, who do you enjoy filming most? And where have you enjoyed filming most? Ryan: I really love shooting explosive riders; guys that you know will do something good when you see them take going on a wave. Shooting Hubb at Pipe is always exciting because you know that nine of out ten times he is going to launch himself into some crazy maneuver. It has been fun shooting Jacob Romero and Micah McMullin at OTW the past two winters. More recently, I’ve been shooting Bud Miyamoto in California, and he has the ability to destroy small waves even though I know he misses surfing real waves. I always have fun shooting, but I think when you combine guys that really know the ocean plus are surfing their home breaks, that’s when the magic happens. Don: Who have you enjoyed traveling with most? Least? Ryan: Oh, there are too many to name. A lot of wild nights and good times for sure. A few that come to mind
are Tyler Wiemann, Greyson Waller, Bladam, and way too many crazy stories with you over the years. Back in the day, Manny’s Freakfest trips always ended with some really crazy and funny stories. As for the least favorite person, I won’t name any names; but some people shouldn’t bring their girls on surf trips. Dealing with a couple that fights constantly isn’t my idea of a good trip. Don: Which destination in the world do you want stamped on your passport next? Ryan: I really want to get back down to Central America again. I’ve also been talking about Puerto Rico. And I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. Don: Who do you feel is the best California bodyboarder and why? Ryan: California has always had some really good talent, but I think the waves and lack of travel limit their exposure. A lot of guys surf really well but don’t get any exposure or, in some cases, don’t want the exposure. They
do it for the love and aren’t looking for any publicity. In my opinion, Tyler is one of the better guys to come out of Cali in a long time, but unfortunately he had to get a real job and doesn’t travel as much anymore. He knows how to ride big waves and can hold his own with some best in the sport. Ross had a big impact on the sport with No Friends for most of the last decade, and I think Roach is one of the most recognized figures in our sport with both his riding and wild personality and antics. Don: You did a Super 8 film last season on the North Shore. What inspired you to do that? Was it expensive? Ryan: Shooting Super 8 and motion film, in general, has always been a passion of mine. I wanted to do something different. I took some film classes in college but hadn’t messed with it in a few years. I had a vision in my head before I went to Oahu and ordered six rolls of film and bought the camera on eBay. Anytime I wanted to capture the nostalgic feeling of film combined with the aloha spirit, I shot with
the film camera. I’m stoked on how it turned out and the feedback was good. The whole process is expensive but worth it for a small project like that. I loved opening my mailbox and having the processed film and a hard drive with the converted files that I got to watch for the first time. It’s so different than today’s digital world. Don: “Declassified” … why that name? What can we expect from it? Ryan: All of my footage since “Double or Nothin,” which was released in late 2006, has been classified. I have a ton of footage shot by Mike Gener, Juan Farfan, Omar Leon, and myself from all over the world from 2007 until now. Most of it has only been seen by a handful of people, so I guess the footage will no longer be classified when I release it. Expect footage from Oahu, Maui, California, Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile, Cook Islands, and hopefully a few other spots if I can sneak in another trip or two before I finish the video.
Don: When are you planning to release it? DVD or online? Ryan: I hope to have it done sometime in 2013 by the end of the year. I think the future is online distribution. I will probably make a few DVD’s to sell in some core bodyboard shops, but I want to sell it online at a ridiculously low price. Don: Any future projects in motion? Ryan: Just “Declassified for now. Maybe some more film stuff. Been doing a lot of time lapses of random things. We will see what happens. I just go with the flow. Don: Last words and props you want to give. Ryan: Thanks to SurgeBodyboarding.com for opportunity and you for hashing out this interview! I appreciate all the sponsors of our previous projects and all the friends I’ve made along the way. I’d also like to thank my family for always supporting me with this boogie stuff. Please check out our YouTube and Vimeo channels: www.youtube.com/solproductions OR www.vimeo.com/solproductions
Bud Miyamoto | Ph; Don Nguyen | instagram.com/thedonnguyen
SURGELIFE Ph: Chris Zeh | instagram.com/chriszehphotography
Ph: Roger Fa | instagram.com/rogerfa
Chino | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
El Nuevo Nosotros ~eponymously, what an outsider was able to glean~
Nosotros | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
Now that Ours is theirs, and theyâ€™re everywhere, our home break, El Hoyo in Caldera, Costa Rica is Nuestros. And it will stay that way. It will remain so. We will keep it. It is nuestros ... all day, every day. It is. We are our own nosotros. Our groms surround like mosquitos. Our young attack like ants. Our bros charge like bulls. And not just the wavesâ€”You. You are an outsider. We will charge you. We will. We are not here to debate. We are here to surf our wave. There are no arguments.
Johary | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
There is nothing to argue about. It is Nuestros. That is our home. We know who is who because we grew up with each other in the ghettos of Baranca. Our friends visit, but they know better than to show up without us. You are not our friend. You don’t belong so don’t try to play it off like you do. You are they, so go surf theirs. There is everywhere but here. It’s not just a vibe. It’s not some front. We are looking straight through
Chucky Fallas Varela | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
you. You pretend not to notice, but you know we notice. You should go home and back to theirs. You’re safe there. It’s not safe here at El Hoyo. But it’s much safer than the ghettos we live in. We know what danger is. We grew up with it. We didn’t make it dangerous. It just is. This is not a threat. Nosotros are threatening. That’s how it’s always been. We know no different. It will probably stay that way. Not safe. So go … go somewhere else. Go everywhere except Nuestros.
It’s best to paddle in. Don’t even go on the wave we didn’t catch. El Hoyo is not shares. It is not “No, no, you go.” It is not priorities. El Hoyo is Nuestros. It is our home. It is for not for anyone who isn’t in or invited. No outside photographers. No unknown video. We have our own. You need an invitation. This is our home. We are our own and keep to ourselves. We simply want to keep what is Nuestros. Not cash in on it. There is no bidding, no negotiations, no treaties. It’s not that we’re possessive. It’s not that it is our sole possession. That’s not it. It is our soul possessed. You don’t get that, do you? The world is now, now, now. It’s all about me, me, me. We understand that.
Diego Alfaro | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
We’re cool with it. We are forced to deal with it … with you. We get it. We do. We are not trying to change the world. We are not trying to change you. We accept you and how you’ve developed it. Accept us. Accept Nosotros. It is not for the world. Neither are we. Nuestros is our own. It is our home. It is who and what we are.
Every carpenter knows. He looks at his hammer and his hands as the same, just an extension. Any artist understands. If you don’t lose yourself to it, you haven’t quite expressed what was intended. That’s Nosotors. It is who we are: a collective expression. It expresses us, not you. For you to take what we are and use it to express yourself doesn’t make sense does it? So don’t. Don’t try that here. Go do it there. There is everywhere. Leave us alone. Leave Nuestros to it’s own. Us. Not you. Go ... not away mad, not in a bad way. It’s much more comfortable. You come from comfort. It’s not comfortable here. There is much, much more. There is much more you. There is all about you. Express that. Make that your statement. Let the whole world know. It’s cool. But let Nuestros alone. Let it be us … our own. El Hoya, our home … Nosotros.
Alfonso | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
Dropknee is a feeling that I can only get when I ride a wave DK. It’s like when you’re in love and you feel butterflies in the stomach. It’s relaxing. It’s satisfying. You feel like you can touch heaven. DK is my love, my life, my escape from the bad things in life. DK is my reality, present and future. I love DK. -Chucky
Chucky Fallas Varela | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
JJ Ayala| PH: Nicola Lugo | nicolalugo.com
Bud Miyamoto | PH: Don Nguyen | facebook.com/thedonnguyen
Whale | PH: Alex Verharst | facebook.com/AlexVerharstPhotography
Cale Moore | PH: Joshua Shelly | facebook.com/JoshuaShellyPhoto
Leroy Kaiwi | PH: Evan Fa | instagram.com/evanfa
Tommy Pagano | PH: Joshua Shelly | facebook.com/JoshuaShellyPhoto
David Kelly | Ph: Shane Lono | Facebook.com/shane.lono
Derek Miyashiro | Ph: ColinMPhotography.com
Miles Kauhaahaa | PH: Wade Saunders | facebook.com/wade.saunders.14
Photos Courtesy Of The Vibrant Sound
Photos Courtesy Of The Vibrant Sound
Surge: What does The Vibrant Sound mean and where did it come from? McKay: It took a while to come up with the name, and finally when it came to me it just sat well because I always wanted to stay fresh and new. To keep something vibrant, lively and creative. It just stuck with us as a band, having all types of influences from different members, always growing and trying to expand. We didn’t ever want to go stale. We want to stay fresh … stay vibrant. So we try to translate that into the album and into live shows. Surge: What type of sound, or genre of music, would best describe The Vibrant Sound? McKay: A lot of people call it alternative hip hop or indie hip hop. I think it’s because it mixes elements of hip hop with a full band atmosphere and a lot of alternative styles from ska, punk rock, reggae, indie rock … things like that. Aaron: We do a lot more than just one type of genre. A lot of bands are heading in that direction because they can. Information is coming at us from every direction so we can pour it into this. Surge: So which groups do you feel have best influenced your sound? McKay: From when I was a little kid, I was heavily influenced by the Beastie Boys. Aaron: Nirvana, Vanilla Ice … for real, though. McKay: Haha! A lot of hip hop. I grew up in Los Angeles, so Snoop Dog, Dr Dre … they were all really big. Then I got into punk, like NOFX. Nowadays, I’m more into indie rock. Even classic rock with Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, stuff like that. I think it all comes through somehow. Surge: There is this stigma when people hear the word “Indie” these days. Can you help break down what it means to clarify some misconceptions? McKay: For a long time, at least when I was younger, indie meant independent. If you are independent, you aren’t with any label or anyone telling you what you need to do or designing your music. A lot of times that meant the music wasn’t formulaic; it doesn’t have to fit any structure or style. I think, unfortunately, nowadays “indie” is classified as hipsters and whatever the cutting edge cool band that no one has heard of. From my frame of mind, though, independent is what we are doing. We are doing it all ourselves. No one is helping us out. That way we get full creative control and we can do anything we want at any time we want to do it. Surge: So tell us about yourself McKay. McKay: First, I grew up a little bit in San Diego til I was about five years old. My dad was a Navy Seal. When my parents’ divorced, I spent time in Los Angeles. Now I’ve been living in Utah for a while now. So I have been influenced by those different things. When I was a little kid, my dad had a lot of synthesizers, beat makers, so I’d mess around with that stuff. When my parents’ split up I took one of my dad’s synthesizers. I would make beats and do verses over that. When I was fifteen, my grandmother
got me my first acoustic guitar, so I would be playing that and making songs all the time. That’s when I got more into live music as opposed to putting on a beat and doing verses. Surge: Where you in any kind of bands? McKay: I have played in a lot of bands. When I was younger, I was a part a few little crews. Even battled on the playground. Then I started to get really into punk rock and ska bands. Then in college it’s been indie rock bands where we are doing what we want to do and messing with different formulas. Surge: You have gone through a lot of school as well, huh? McKay: I like school a lot. I just love learning. When I got into college, I just started getting really into it. I did a lot of research with professors, got my bachelors degree. A lot of them suggested I get into a PHD program, so I got into a PHD program and started doing research and teaching at different universities. Got my Master’s along the way, but I still haven’t finished my PHD. Surge: So tell us about yourself now Aaron. Aaron: Born and raised on the north east side of Oahu. I went to Laie Elementary School, went to Kahuku. That’s when I got into music. I was in High School band. Played the trumpet. One of my biggest influences was my uncle, who was a professional horn player for all kinds of people. My parent’s instilled a lot of that drive for music. At the end of high school, we decided to start our own band. So I played with a
Photos Courtesy Of The Vibrant Sound
group for over ten years. Surge: So what brought you guys together with The Vibrant Sound? Aaron: McKay saw me playing with my friend’s group Cubworld. My wife was friends with McKay, so she introduced me to him. When we moved to the mainland, McKay invited me to come out and watch them play. For the longest time, I was telling him “yeah, yeah” because I was going to school for art. One night we made our trek to this place called The Velour. I saw these guys play and I was blown away. I was thinking I’d love to be a part of their group. Then I started to add in my horn and vocals where they would fit. That was about four to five years ago now. Surge: How many albums have you put out? McKay: We have put out one main album, then an acoustic sessions album, and then a few singles here and there. We have been working on a full-length album. Surge: Who makes up The Vibrant Sound? McKay: The Vibrant Sound started off with my writing songs to an acoustic guitar. Then when I moved out to Hawaii, I met a kid Ed. So we started playing. Then we met Aaron, a drummer, a bassist. We all started jamming. It all started coming together with all the different components. I think a band is a huge relationship, so you have to get used to playing with each other. How it’s going to go with a live show. Adding
each element along the way has improved the band and helped us realize where we want go, what we want to see. You gain more influences hearing amazing stuff out there. It’s harder than some other bands because a lot of other bands just say, we want to sound like this band, or be the next this band. For us, we have nothing that we say we want to sound like or be. We try to jam, and if it feels right then we go with it. If it doesn’t, then we try something else. Surge: Has being on tour helped work out some things as a band? McKay: Being on tour has helped us realize a lot of different things and given us a lot of confidence. Like people actually like this music and want more of it. Aaron: Being away from home for a little bit is easier because no one knows you, but bringing it back home can be the most uncomfortable sometimes because your friends and family can be the most critical. But it’s been nice to come back and do what we have done out on tour and have it well received. It was really eye opening. Surge: Aaron, you are a bodyboarder yourself. Tell us about bodyboarding and all that. Aaron: I absolutely love bodyboarding. My twin brother and I used to live and breath it. It’s what we woke up wanting to do. When we weren’t at school, we would wake up and run down to Hukilau. It’s something that I really like to do and will do as long as I can.
Photos Courtesy Of The Vibrant Sound
Because I was into school and art, I stumbled across photography and started shooting photos of the locals out here. I recently worked on a project with Micah McMullin. I grew up with him, and I even worked with him at Surf N Sea in Haleiwa for a while. It’s been cool to see him come into his own and excel in dropknee. So I was stoked to work with him on his project. We have been doing a homegrown event called Pounders Roundup on the east side of Oahu. It’s our home zone. I have been helping with the media aspect of that. On the latest promo video we used one of our songs “Gravity” for it. Surge: Rad! Even more of a reason for people to check you guys out. So any other big plans? McKay: Working on the next album. Spending the past six months out on tour, we want to be stationary for a while so we can create some new music that we can take back out on tour. Lastly, make sure to text “Vibrant” to 85775 to download the song “Gravity” that Aaron just mentioned. Peace.
SURGELIFE Ph: Chris Zeh | instagram.com/chriszehphotography
Ph: Chris Zeh | instagram.com/chriszehphotography
SURGELIFE Ph: Neal Myake | hisurfadvisory.com
Ph: Roger Fa | rajahdatphoto.com
When I was first asked to write this about Jordan, all these adjectives started coming to mind—Generous, flexible, kind, easy going, helpful, outgoing, connected, well rounded, accomplished, grounded, balanced, intelligent, centered, patient, and, of course, creative. Jordan has helped more people out than just about anyone I know. His door is always open and he will go out of his way to support his friends. Jordan is also my mysto surf partner. Whenever we go out, we surf pretty much alone. The guy knows how to find the mellow crowd spots for sure. He also happens to be a really well-rounded wave rider. As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate different wave riding crafts for different kinds of waves. Jordan can do it all. Surf, bodyboard and SUP, whatever the conditions present, he is on it. The photos Jordan shoots to me are a visual culmination of his persona and understanding of the ocean and world around him. I hope you enjoy his work and one day get to know the man behind the lens. Surge: Jordan, tell us a little about yourself for those who don’t know you. Jordan: Well, I have a major obsessive compulsive disorder problem. When I take up a sport, hobby, collection, etc., I really go all-in. Besides riding waves and taking photos, I’m in 11 fantasy football leagues, have a massive collection of music, didgeridoos, old-school bodyboards and bodyboard videos, old metal lunchboxes, disc golf discs, etc. When people see me take something new, they shake their heads and say “uhhh ohhh, here we go again....”. But, out of all my OCD addictions, bodyboarding and photography have been my biggest addictions. Enough to the point where they’ve earned me an interview in this great magazine. Surge: Of course! Haha! When and how did you get into bodyboarding? Jordan: Well, besides a couple of family camping trips to the beach where I would ride in the whitewash on my Morey Boogie Aussie, I got into bodyboarding around the summer of 1987. I was living in Campbell (next to San Jose, CA), which was pretty inland. My longtime friend Paul McLure was taking his bodyboarding to the next level, and when he upgraded to a Mach 7-7, he sold me his hand-me-down—a Morey Boogie 142 with skegs! I was stoked to imagine the turning power that the skegs would provide and couldn’t wait to try it out. My father, seeing me obtain this wave riding vehicle of perfection, decided that he would take up surfing, and we drove over the hill together and he got set up with a surfboard. A father and son wave riding partnership was formed. We started out riding Seacliff and quickly graduated to The Hook and eventually Pleasure Point. For those of you who know Santa Cruz, you’ll know that these are by no means bodyboarding waves, but, at the time, I didn’t know better. I just knew that I was going to the beach and learning to ride waves with Dad, and that was cool.
Photos Courtesy Of Jordan Stallard
Surge: When did you start to take bodyboarding seriously? Jordan: I started to take it seriously around the summer of 1989. Before that, skating was my primary focus. Bodyboarding was still secondary on my sport’s priority list. I ended up breaking my arm when a shoddy launch ramp buckled on me. It wasn’t all that bad, but three weeks in a splint watching “How To Bodyboard With The Pros Parts 1 & 2” over and over again got me more and more stoked on riding waves and less stoked on skating. Dad and I would always rent surf videos, and when they had a bodyboarding section (like Chris Bystrom’s Blazing Boards), I would get amped seeing the riders be able to do these El-Rollo things. Also, by this time, I had upgraded to a Mach 7-7, so I was ready to spin and roll myself. Back then, a cable TV channel called Prime Ticket used to run the Bud Pro tour events, and I would tape all the bodyboarding finals and analyze them. Since the contests were held on “surfing waves,” I strove to ride like that. As a result, my bodyboarding learning curve progressed in reverse order. I used to make the finals in local contests and have sponsors before I knew how to pull into a barrel, let alone ride shorebreak. And since I used to ride right reef breaks, I couldn’t go left to save my life; and when I did go left, I would hold the board wounded duck style. I eventually corrected my ways, although I still I’m still a lot stronger on rights than lefts.
Photos Courtesy Of Jordan Stallard
Surge: You not only bodyboard but surf as well. Why do you think it’s important to do that? Jordan: For the longest time, I was very one-track minded. Bodyboard, bodyboard, bodyboard, and that’s it. But I was younger and had the surfing versus bodyboarding rivalry with my friends, and it would help create a standoff-ish view on crossing over to the dark side. My surfer friends would rather move to Kansas than be seen on a bodyboard, and I would reciprocate the feeling back at them. Around 1996, I got a 9ft BZ doyle (soft longboard) and started taking up longboarding. It was nice to add that to the arsenal for small San Diego summer days, as I could walk to Tourmaline from our house. Fast forward to now, I ride a bodyboard, a twinzer, a SUP, a longboard, and I bodysurf. I think it’s very important to be able to ride as many kinds of boards as possible. A bodyboard is a tool to ride waves, and there are a lot of waves where the bodyboard is the most superior wave riding vehicle, and that’s why we all do it and enjoy it so much. But there are plenty of waves out there where a bodyboard is an inferior tool, and some waves where a bodyboard just flat out won’t work. I love being able to throw the bodyboard and fish in the car, and if I find bodyboardable waves, I bodyboard. If I find small punchy waist high waves (Town in the summer produces lots of these), I’ll take the fish out and have a blast. I’d rather have a blast on my Fish than not ride waves that day. My Stand Up Paddle board takes that one step further. I dislike Stand Up Paddlers that take over established surf spots and cause animosity in the lineup, but I’m not one of those. I ride outer reefs where I’m all by myself most of the time. There is a wave like that
across the street from my office. It’s not bodyboardable, surfable, but on the SUP, I can get 30 second rides while enjoying the scenery of mountains, clouds, and blue skies. So with all the different types of boards that I ride, I can surf something any day of the year and close-by to the house if I’m on a time-crunch. Surge: You filmed bodyboarding for a long time. How and when did you get into it? Jordan: Once I started taking bodyboarding seriously (see above), I bought a VHS camcorder from Radio Shack. It took the large tapes and would sit on your shoulder, which was state of the art at the time. I used to think to myself, “How can it get any better than this?” I would go to the beach with my Dad, and also with Paul, and we would take turns filming each other and then race home to slow-mo the footage and see how much we ‘ripped’ or how much we ‘floundered’. And once I got more and more into filming, I strived to obtain grade-A bodyboarding footage, and in my eyes, that came from shooting contests. The local NSSA contests would bring out the top local riders, and the pinnacle filming was when the Bud Pro tour contests would roll through Steamer Lane or Ocean Beach and bring such legends as Mike Stewart, Ben Severson, Team Kauai Classic, etc. to our local spots.
Surge: What sort of projects have you worked on with video? Jordan: Well, from 1991 until the days of digital video and desktop editing, I had a progressive homemade bodyboarding video. I would lay down hours of audio track on a blank VHS tape, and then I would “video dub” footage over the pre-existing audio. Any time I got footage I would blaze home to see what I hauled in, and add the keeper waves to the video. Any special timing with the music and video was accidental, but if I picked the right songs, there would be enough beats to line up with something. Some excerpts of this progressive video can be seen on YouTube. Go there and search for “Steamer Lane 1991,” “Ocean Beach 1993,” “Pipe Bodyboarding 1994” (my favorite), and “Ocean Beach 1995.” In the summer of 1995, I knew that it was time to take my filming to the next level, so I upgraded to a Canon ES2000 Hi8 camera. I then started shooting and collecting footage with the dream of one day making my own video, which was never meant to be. I did however sell footage to other videographers, and some of my clips can be seen in Revolution, X-The Video, and a few others. And once I upgraded to a Digital8 video camera and a PCbased editing system (around 2001), I would film and edit even more. Most of my edits can be seen under the YouTube usernames “jordanstallard” and “bodyboardershawaii.” But my favorite projects were my self-directed coverage of the Pipe Bodyboarding Events and the USBA Sandy Beach contests. Before webcasts became the norm, my edits would be the only place where bodyboarders could go to see (almost) all the good waves that went down in the contest. Bodyboard videos would show some highlight waves from the events, but I liked to show it all. My goal was to represent every rider that entered and got a good wave. And I was stoked to have an audience on the ebodyboarding.com and 805bbr.com message boards waiting for each edit to be released, which inspired me to keep plugging away with the editing. Surge: What inspired you to make the transition from video to photography? Jordan: It was a combination of several things. YouTube was muting the audio on some of my
Photos Courtesy Of Jordan Stallard
edits. (I’m a music snob and picky about what songs I edit to, but I can’t blame them for doing that though). And, at the same time, I had a Canon S80 point and shoot (which was a really good camera with full manual controls) and was pushing it to its limit with slow shutter photography, macro photography, etc. I was really inspired by photographer Ryan Beppu’s jedi-masterquality empty wave imagery, along with the bodyboarding scene coverage by my roommate at the time, Danny Black. Danny is a great friend and great help, and he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes as far as techniques and settings go. When I shot video, I was very one dimensional, all I would shoot is waves and people riding waves. With photography, I became more multi-dimensional, as I enjoy shooting more than just surf. Slow shutter, sunsets, macro, landscapes, people, etc. I like it all. Surge: What was your first camera setup? Jordan: Besides my old Pentax K1000 back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and my various digital point and shoot cameras from the year 2000 onwards, I got my first “real” setup in 2008. I’m very thankful for Danny Black’s advice on what gear to buy. It was a perfect mix of performance versus cost. I ended up with a Canon 40D, a 400mm F5.6L, 70-200 2.8L IS. Those were/are my surf shooting lenses. I also have a Canon 10-22, 24-105 F4L, and 100mm Macro. Surge: What stokes you out about shooting photos? Jordan: I’ve honestly crossed over the line to the point where, unless the surf is great, I’d rather shoot pics than ride waves. It’s a line that I thought I’d never cross, but I have. Lots of my wave-riding friends think I’m crazy, and my answer is that when you’re surfing a wave, the ultimate goal is to get barreled. They all agree, even though some of them never will get barreled. Well, when you’re shooting shorebreak, you’re getting the same barrel view as if you were riding the wave. And you get the view over and over again, and it lasts forever since you’ve captured it on camera. Also, when you’re shooting barrels, you can focus on the details of the wave, such as how the light hits the lip, or backlights the wave, or frontlights the wave, etc. It almost feels like you’re in the Matrix and able to slow down reality. It’s a great feeling! I also love the ability to capture humorous and unusual scenes in my photography and make my
Photos Courtesy Of Jordan Stallard
audience laugh out loud, spit out their cof- It’s always good to learn from exfee, drop their jaw, or say “WTF?!?!?!” perienced and knowledgeable photographers. Everyone was a beginner at some Surge: What are you shooting with right point, and the chances are high that they now? learned from an experienced photograJordan: My land setup is a Canon 5Dmark3 pher when they started out. Be very thankwith the same 400mm and 70-200 lens that ful if they give you advice, but do not pry I mentioned above. My walk around cam- for their secret spots, shooting, or editing era, which I use for scenery, sunsets, con- techniques. Every photographer has laycerts, lifestyle, etc. is my iPhone5 & Olloclip ers and layers of knowledge and techwide angle attachment. I like to leave the niques that define their style. They “might” heavy setup at home and get maximum re- be willing to share their basic layers, but sults from minimal gear. But my real pas- their deepest techniques might be closely sion is shooting in the water, and for that guarded secrets, and if you sense that feelI use a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition along ing, then don’t ask. Also, this is very imwith the newly launched Knekt trigger han- portant: Follow their lead on whether or not dle system. That Knekt system is a definite to name spots. Some spots are obviously paradigm shift on what you can do with a public knowledge—Wedge, Sandys, PipeGoPro. It has a 100% chance of being a line, etc. Everyone knows those spots, evgame-changer for everyone. eryone names those spots, and so if you name them, then no harm and no foul. But Surge: And what sort of advice would if you’re shooting “other” spots, look up you give those interested in starting to to the experienced guys who shoot those shoot? particular spots. You’ll know who they are. Jordan: My biggest advice to people who If they’re not spot-naming, then you’ll gain are looking to start shooting is to study the a lot of respect points by going with their art of composition, and to do it before or flow. And if you’re shooting in the water, try while you’re upgrading your gear. Don’t as- to avoid encroaching on other photograsume that because you shoot with a $4,000 phers out there, if possible. Sometimes this setup, your pictures will be better than if is impossible to do, but if the spot allows, you shot with a GoPro, point and shoot, give a buffer between yourself and the camera phone, etc. The SLR setup with ex- other shooters. You probably don’t want pensive lenses will extend your capabilities them in your photos, and they don’t want and allow you to take your photography you in theirs. Same rules as surfing. Imagto a higher level in a wider variety of light- ine if you’re riding a beachbreak that has a ing conditions, but if you can’t get past the mile of unridden waves, and a pack of surfbasics, it will be like owning a Ferrari and ers visually scan the empty beach but then only driving it in 1st and 2nd gear though proceed to paddle out next to you and start Honolulu traffic. Composition means such taking waves. things as straightening your horizon, cropping dead space and unwanted items out Surge: You went to college. Give some of the picture, selective positioning of the advice on whether you think people item that you’re focusing on (example: rule should pursue an education while purof thirds). Learn the art of composition with suing bodyboarding? your phone or point and shoot, and then Jordan: Honest truth here, I was slacking in if you go all in on the SLR setup, make school big time until I started bodyboardsure to learn how shutter speed, aperture, ing seriously. Once I became enlightened and ISO all interconnect, and how you can about our sport, I went on a mission to get tweak those settings to achieve better re- the best grades possible so that I could get sults in-camera. into any school that I wanted, and then I’d
Photos Courtesy Of Jordan Stallard
choose the university that was geographically closest to good surf. My parents were smart; they would remind me with maps of California, pointing out which universities are on the beach and which schools aren’t. I was rolling with a 2.0 through my first two years of high school, but my grades shot up to a 4.0 for my junior and senior year. I extended my good grades though Junior College to the point where I could’ve gone to almost any university. And going with my “proximity to surf” plan, I chose UC San Diego. Surge: You have built quite a following on Instagram. What got you into it? Jordan: I got into Instagram last November simply because I upgraded to an iPhone5, which was quick enough to surf through Instagram without being annoyingly slow like my unlocked iPhone3GS running on T-Mobile’s snail-paced Edge network. I quickly got sucked in once I started seeing how much exposure my work could get, and also how easily I could find and latch onto other photographers’ feeds and enjoy their mastery of whatever it is that they shoot. My photos have become quite popular on IG because I really marketed them outside of the surf photography circle-of-influence and presented them to a worldwide audience of users who think that they’re the craziest and most unique thing that
they’ve ever seen. I love when I get (serious) comments from them like, “How did your camera not get ruined?” It makes me happy to get that sort of feedback because I know that I’ve shown them something beautiful that they’re not used to seeing in their own everyday life. Likewise, in addition to following my surf shooting buddies, I get super amped on following photographers from all over the world who specialize in stuff like macro images, European architecture, Asian beaches and jungles, etc. Make sure to follow Jordan on Instagram - @jordanstallard Surge: Lastly, anything else you would like to share with people about photography? Jordan: In my opinion, the greatest photographers are the ones that give their images some sort of unique “signature” look or feel to the point where you can look at an image, without seeing the name attached to it, and “know” who shot it. Maybe it’s the subject that they photograph, maybe it’s the way they process the image … there are so many variables to experiment with that can achieve this level of photography. Think of Ansel Adam’s high contrast black and white images from back in the day, and the lines that his images drew that your eyes would follow. You would “just know” that you’re looking
Photos Courtesy Of Jordan Stallard
at one of his images before you saw the name. For all of you that have seen Ryan Beppu’s images of waves and underwater imagery, for example, they also have that “it” factor to them where you can instantly identify his work without seeing his name on the photo. Work towards developing that style, and whatever your signature look turns out to be, enjoy the journey, make lots of friends along the way, be a student of basic and advanced techniques in addition to constantly improving gear … and stay respectful. And thanks for listening! Surge: Thank you Jordan!
Mike Stewart | PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
“With wave riding, Style and Power are inter-connected. Ideally it’s the energy and power zones of a wave that dictate where, when and how to ride it. Your movement on the wave should simply work in concert with this energy, most efficiently directing the waves forces for your purpose. A rider’s style is this interaction.” -Mike Stewart
Jorge Colomar | PH: Nicola Lugo | instagram.com/nicolalugo
David Shaub | PH: Chris Allen | Allen-Photos.com
Brandon Rosa | PH: Keaka Gonsalves
Joe Suzuki | PH: Luke Forgay | instagram.com/lukeforgay
Paul Benco | PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
Brendan Newton | PH: Andrew Chisholm
Amaury Lavernhe | PH: Adolfo Francisco Marin
Dave Hubbard | PH: Edwin Morales | instagram.com/moralesedwin
Angelo Faraire | PH: Eric Schnitzer
Jeff Hubbard | PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
Jacob Vandervelde | PH: Neall Miyake
Jacob Pembrook | PH: Evan Fa | instagram.com/evanfa
Karla Costa Taylor | PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
Sacha Specker | PH: Maurice Aubuchon | facebook.com/aubuchon.imagery
Nik Martin | PH: Pierre Marqua
Jonny Correa | Ph: Nate Rubio
JB Hillen | PH: ColinMPhotography.com
Nicolas Richard | Ph: Sebastien Dubois
Published on Nov 28, 2013
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