When and why did you initially get into surfing?
I first leaned to surf as a kid in California from my best friend’s dad who grew up here on Oahu. The joy of spending the morning with family topped off with a hard earned In N’ Out burger, fries, and shake are some of my best memories.
Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing? If so, when and why did you start back up?
After a couple of seasons, I ended up moving away for school. After college, military service kept me from surfing for about 20 years. The opportunity to be stationed out here in Hawaii has been the perfect chance to not only re-learn, but share with my family.
What is your favorite thing about surfing?
I love surfing as a family. With how busy the days can become, the positive impact of having time to spend with each of the kids out in the water is immeasurable. Not only are we learning more about surfing, we’re learning about ourselves and, hopefully, building character and re-enforcing values. When I’m on my own, I enjoy the challenge but also the time to reflect and simply be outside in nature with zero distractions; it’s wellness for the mind, body, and soul.
Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing? What is your favorite item on the menu?
Most of our time out in the water is the morning. It’s tough not swing by Ali’i Coffee for a Taro Ube for the kids and just about any of the espresso drinks for Candace or I. If we have more time or surfed into lunch time, we’re likely to end up at Waikiki Brewing, Kaka’ako, for brunch. The kids love the burgers or biscuits and gravy while Candace I enjoy a breakfast burrito and seasonal tap!
What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?
We enjoy being active. We spend a lot of time riding bikes and playing outside in general. We still try and get one trip a year to ski and snowboard as well. When not outside, cooking and reading occupy a good bit of our time.
What type of work do you do?
Candace and I are both in the Army.
Tell us about the board you recently purchased from us. What model and size is it, and how do you like its performance?
I spend most of my time on a 10’ CJ Nelson Neo Classic with a 10” FCS Pivot fin. In Thunderbolt Silver it’s super forgiving and paddles easy. The pin tail and hard edge rails make this rather large floaty log easy to turn, even when you’re closer to the middle. It’s nice to have more performance like features in this classic shape. As a first board to get back into surfing it was perfect. Although a touch big, on those small days I’m not missing much out there. Also, a side benefit is it’s great when “towing” my oldest part way out to the lineup!
My boys, both 8 years old and under, share time on a FireWire Dan Mann 5’6 Dominator II in a two plus one made up of a twin fin and trailer. This was the first step off of a foam top to dial down the volume so they could begin to work turns and feel the wave underneath them. The squash tail and foam under the chest make it easy for the kids to paddle and catch waves with a little push in assistance. The Helium 2 construction and Paulownia wood rails have been key in making it easy for them to carry and manipulate while being super durable for kids who can be hard on gear. Part of what I enjoy about the durability is the ability to teach them how to properly care for and respect their board with lower risk as they carry, wax, ride, clean, pack, and store it.
Candace has recently spent her time on an 8’ 3” CJ Nelson Parallax with a 9”
Flying Diamonds/CJ Nelson Involvement fin. This board is easy to paddle, fast immediately on takeoff, and the long board shape in a fun size is super maneuverable and, well, fun! The rails and displacement hull that tracks a good length of the board in Thunderbolt Red definitely makes this more performance oriented.
Lastly we recently grabbed a 7’0” CJ Nelson Outlier. I’ve only been out on it once, so more to come. What I can say is, the ability to demo from HSS is fantastic! After taking out the 8’0 Outlier, when I saw the 7’0 I knew I needed to pick it up. It’s definitely fun. I was shocked at how effortlessly it paddled into waves, it’s speed, agility, and ability to catch smaller waves easily. In Thunderbolt Red and the option of two plus one or riding single fin, I’m looking forward to finding different ways to enjoy it!
Do you have any additional comments?
We can’t thank the team at HSS enough for being helpful and just all around good people. Their patience to help us learn and grow has been awesome. They can’t help but extend stoke and aloha. Seemingly everyday in HSS is a good day! Mahalo!