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