That’s me, maroon shirt, all tomboy.
I recently watched the movie Chasing Mavericks and felt like I was reliving part of my childhood, except that I am not a crazy surfer nor do I dream of riding one of the heaviest waves on the planet. I am a So Cal (Southern California) native, the daughter of an original Dogtown pioneer and spent most of my childhood and teenage years sitting on the beach, watching my dad, my brother, my uncle and all their friends surf. Rain or shine, summer or winter, freezing or warm, I spent many a day sitting, watching, and eventually photographing west coast surf.
Many surf mornings we’d leave about 6:00 a.m. and drive to a few local spots before my dad would decide where he would be paddling out that morning. There were also many nights where we would be watching the Weather Channel, following a swell. That meant we’d be up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, out the door no later than 4:30, and my dad would be blasting some custom mix tapes he had recorded as we drove up the coast, hours before the sun would be up. This usually meant that they would surf at one or two local spots and the “crew” would be there long before the sun came up as well. I can remember pulling up to the beach in the dark and hearing what sounded like thunder as the sets would break. As you stood in the sand, you could feel the ground shake as sets broke and could see the vibrations level the sand.
Picture I got long before digital cameras.
My dad and his crew would usually suit up in the dark and would paddle out just as the grayness of dawn would lead to morning. Years of sitting did delegate me some responsibilities…. like watching everyone’s gear (i.e. car keys), taking pictures, but none so valuable than realizing that many of the crew relied on me to scream “Outside…. Outside” when a monster set would roll in; they would need to paddle and get out of the impact zone.When I entered my teenage years, my dad discovered snowboarding. He treated my brother and I to a penny-size budget snowboard trip when I was 16 and I fell in love with the sport. Like our surf adventures, I have over a decade of memories of crazy snowboard adventures… getting up at 2:00 a.m., driving 5 hours in rain and snow, changing in bathrooms at the lift parking lots before sun up… all that before the adventure of riding all day even began. Those are stories for another day. Continue reading