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Interviews, Surf, Surf Interviews

Aaron Smith – Destination Surf x Patagonia

December 5, 2012

Aaron Smith is the owner of Destination Surf. Destination is a family run business, that was started by Aaron’s father…over thirty years ago. They make killer board bags. Outside Destination…Aaron represents Patagonia’s surf division, up here in the Pacific Northwest. He helps us pick out our suits, has beer with me when he’s in town, and tolerates me photo-shopping roller-blades on him…when I don’t get my way. He’s a great guy. You should know more about him.

When and where did you learn how to surf?
I learned to surf in Encinitas CA. I was around 5 or 6, my first time standing up. My dad taught me how to surf. He grew up surfing in Leucadia Becons, Swamis, and Moonlight Beach.

What are you riding these days?
I mainly ride 6’ thrusters…but I do have some quad fishes from DK, and a Christenson 10’6 glider.

What’s your most memorable moment out in the water?
I happened to be in Florida in 91’ when the perfect storm hit. I surfed some of the biggest surf on the east coast. I also got my first shot in Surfer Magazine.

What are some of your other interests?
Free diving, BJJ, and Mountain Biking

How did Destination Surf come to be?
My dad has been in the industry since he got out of High school in Encinitas. He started with surfboards, and and owned a surf shop in Encinitas called Ocean Pacific. He eventually sold the store…which later became OP clothing. After that, my dad took a break and moved our family to Coeur d’Alene,  Idaho. When Mt St Helens blew, we moved back to San Diego.

He started what would become Destination Surf. At first we distributed all sorts of Surf products; Sticky bumps, Aloha racks, etc. As our brand became more popular we started dropping all other products, and focused more on the Destination brand. Our big thing is travel bags. We made our first bag in 1980. Now we have traction, leashes and packs coming soon.

You have a really great team of Destination riders…spent any time out in the water with them?
I’ve surfed with most of them, with the exception of Jamie Sterling. He rides way too big of waves for me. I’ve been to Fiji with Aamion Goodwin, and the Malloys. It’s always great to see thosee guys surf. They have so much wave knowledge and ability.

Destination recently relocated to Oceanside, Ca. How’s the new home treating you?
Its good. Close to the Harbor for morning sessions. It’s also down in the board building area of Oceanside…so there’s lots of likeminded people.


Outside Destination, you’re also Patagonia’s West Coast Surf representative. How did you get involved with Patagonia?
During the economic down turn in 2008 I was thinking of adding some products to distribute at Destination surf. About the same time Devon Howard, then Manager of the Cardiff Patagonia store…asked if I knew anyone who could rep Patagonia to the surf shop.I jumped at the chance. It’s been an amazing ride!

What’s on the menu for 2013?
For Patagonia, we have all new suits coming in July. New stretch wool, and completely sealed suits. They are insane!! Patagonia also has some new Eco Materials coming out. Stay tuned!

Destination has a new line up of traction pads. I’m also working on a new double short board bag. Travel has changed. Smaller boards and less boards. We need a new bag.

Connect:
Destination Surf – Facebook
Destination Stuff – Stoke Harvester
Patagonia Wetsuits – Stoke Harvester

Interviews, Surf, Surf Interviews

Keith Malloy: Patagonia, Fatherhood & Torpedo People

February 8, 2013

Keith was pushed into his first wave when he was four years old. He went pro in his teens. By twenty-five, he’d circled the world ten times. With such experience, it comes as no surprise that he’s an artisan of all forms of wave riding. Recently, I was lucky enough to connect with Keith (Thanks Aaron.) Hes described as a man of few words Heres 538.

A few years back I saw a shot of you surfing off the Washington coast. How was it?
We really had an amazing trip to the northwest. I think we got really lucky with the weather and waves. I don’t want to name any spots, but there are some great lefts up there. Both my wife and I are goofy foot, so we were taking advantage of being front-side. Walking throughout the crazy old growth forests with bald eagles soaring overhead was so cool. I really enjoy the northwest, it’s pretty magical. I hope I go back some day soon and surf it again.

Patagonia wetsuits have become pretty damn popular up here in the Pacific Northwest. You, Dan and Chris are all ambassadors. What initially got you guys involved with Patagonia?
We started with Patagonia about 10 years ago. We really resonated with the company’s core values and philosophy. I also grew up in Ventura, CA where Patagonia is based. I ended up surfing and becoming friends with Yvon and Fletcher. Eventually our friendship turned into a partnership, and I’ve been working with them ever since. It’s been great to work on the wetsuit designs and see them just get better and better. We definitely build suits for the colder regions… it’s great to hear that people in your area wear them, and like them.


Chris Burkard Photography

Can you please tell me the story behind this shot?
We traveled to Norway to surf. We ended up surfing an overhead left point break near the cabin we were staying at. Fortunately for me we had the wood burning hot tub on the deck. So, ?after surfing frigid water in the snow, you could find me chilling and drinking beers in the hot tub. I’ll be honest, I was a bit giddy as it all seemed surreal.

Is it true in 2021 Patagonia will be introducing an R5 wetsuit for the Great Lakes surfers, and that for extra warmth they will be cross-stitching hair from your beard in with the merino wool?
Hahahaha. I hope not.

You and your wife had a baby a few years back. How has fatherhood shaped your creative endeavors?
My family and I are basically a team, my wife helps me with everything I do. ?We finished ?the bodysurf movie Come Hell or High Water over the time our child was being born, it was crazy! We just finished a book about the movie. It’s called Plight of the Torpedo People. ?Believe me, it is a juggling act with a kid! ?Not sure how we got it all done!

What are some of your passions outside the water?
I also like hunting, fishing and riding horses. ?We have a big population of wild invasive pigs in our area and I like hunting them with a bow. My Dad has a small cattle ranch and I help him out a bit. My biggest commitment is my two year old daughter and wife, but luckily they like the beach and ranch life too.

It’s been two years since the release of Come Hell or High Water. Any great adventures in 2012? What’s on the menu for 2013?
I traveled quite a bit after the movie, Kamchaka Russia was an insane trip. Like no place i have ever been. We were surfing in the midst of volcanoes, bears and salmon. The beach breaks were hollow with crystal clear water. The water temp was below 50. We found some amazing river mouth, but unfortunately the swell never got very big.

It was a pretty hardcore trip, we camped for 14 days and no showers. We were sleeping in tents and in between camps we were driving a 6 wheel army vehicle. The highlight of my trip was catching salmon on the fly rod.

2013, hmm, not sure, usually don’t plan things farther than a week in advance! I just got back from a trip to Barbados, we timed it with swell and got amazing waves. Not sure creatively whats next, but I have a few ideas.


Tim Davis

You can pick up your own copies of Come Hell or High Water, and Plight of the Torpedo People, on the official site.

Check out our review of Come Hell or High Water, here. We also sell the DVD in our shop.

Retro Stoke Harvester

Keith Malloy: Patagonia R4 Wetsuits

September 28, 2012


Surf Ambassador Keith Malloy, talks about is experience wearing the Patagonia R4 wetsuit. Malloy takes on the three-dog night waters of Norway, with neoprene & merino wool.

“With the technology of these wetsuits, surf destinations that have never been surfed before are actually a possibility. I think that is where surf exploration is headed.”

Interviews, Surf, Surf Interviews

Ten Piggies Over: Alex Swanson

September 26, 2012

Alex Swanson is a Newport Beach native, talented photographer, and slave to the wave. If you spend anytime reading online surf porn, than you most likely frequent his blog; Ten Piggies Over. Even if you haven’t been to TPO, you’ve probably still seen his photography. His subjects include John Wesley, Ryan Lovelace, Erin Ashley…and many other talented individuals ingrained in California’s surf community. When Alex isn’t behind the lens, he’s in front of it…and most likely in the water.

How long have you been surfing?
I started surfing when I was 12 years old, with my Dad taking us all down to San O, Bolsa Chica, and Newport Point. We used to pile in his ‘86 Saab hatchback and we would ride these big old, tri-fins; Russell and Line Up boards.

What sparked your interest in photography?
I found a Canon Élan 7e hiding in one of our closets, borrowed (permanently) two of my Dad’s lenses, and just started shooting my friends a ton. I was initially drawn to the side of surfing that wasn’t published in magazines and seen in well-known surf movies.

What are you shooting with?
I currently shoot with a Canon t2i, GoPro Hero2, a Fujifilm Polaroid, and my girlfriend’s old Pentax, and occasionally the Élan 7e. I only own three lenses that I switch intermittently… a 50 mm f 1.8, 28-135 mm, and a 75- 300 mm.

You often post photos of shaper John Wesley…How did you guys come to know each other?
We met in the water at Churches a few years ago, and ran into each other on and off. Right before last summer, when John was starting on his own shapes, we just started shooting a ton and getting all weird together… and it’s been happily ever after since then.

What’s your favorite watercraft these days?
A 6’2” Fish… Single concave, double concave, single bottom, triple concave, stinger channels, to a displacement hull, to a deep vee at the tail. And a 7’5” JW Spacepin  that has pretty much been my primary board for the past year.

Via your blog, I’ve admired your travel over the last year. What’s your next destination?
Yeah, Erica and I decided get out of the country (for the first time) right after graduation, and settled on backpacking trip through the Mediterranean coast of Spain, France, and Italy. We’re hoping our next trip is more of a surf-oriented one, maybe a tropical destination. But for this year, it’ll probably be more local/camping surf trips along the beautiful California coast.

Spent any time surfing in the Pacific Northwest?
I’ve really been limited to the amount of places I surfed to just Southern California, from San Diego up to Santa Barbara, but would really like to get up to some colder water in the near future. I’m really inspired by looking at the Patagonia surf trips up North.

Between Greg, Worm, Wesley and Lovelace…who would you pick to join the X-men, and what power would they have?
I would pick Worm, because she has the appropriate wetsuit… And her power would be to be able to believe that it’s not butter.

What’s on the menu for 2012?
Besides spending the majority of my time with the new love of my life, a yellow lab named Adho… Short for “adho mukha svanasana”. This is a big transition year for me, and everything is up in the air. But I’ll be pursuing a couple of my career goals and hopefully still have the time to shoot and surf!

I’m hoping to get Alex’s brother Greg, up on the site within the next few weeks. He shares similar passions, along with with the Swanson Smile.

Connect:
Ten Piggies Over
All She Wants is Diamonds – John Wesley’s blog

Photos:
1. ?
2. Alex Swanson
3. Greg Swanson
4. Erica Burtrum
5. Alex Swanson