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November Member of the Month: Dr. Erin Gilbert

Surfer Spotlight: Dr. Erin Gilbert

Dr. Erin Gilbert Surfer of the month

When and why did you initially get into surfing?

I started surfing 2 years ago on my 48th birthday. Although my family grew up surfing here in Hawaii I was a bicoastal kid—California and Hawaii. My best friend took me out for the first time and I was hooked.

A week later I was introduced to Fred Hemmings, and we’ve become best friends. Fred has so much history to share and I love learning everything he teaches me, ranging from his role in establishing major surfing competitions like the Pipeline Masters, the pro circuit in general, and his adventures with Duke Kahanamoku.

Dr. Erin Gilbert as November member of the month

Everything I know about the origin of waves, swells and the features of specific breaks I’ve learned from him. It’s a blast showing him my new boards and hearing his feedback, especially about my new Thunderbolt Seaside and Beyond quad, and my Duke Aipa Genome prototype.

Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing? If so, when and why did you start back up? 

I split my time between New York City and Honolulu.

Although it’s not my fave, when I’m in NYC I surf in The Rockaways. My water time in NYC is understandably less intense than it is here, so I’d consider that a break from my gung-ho 4 hour days when my schedule permits here.

Dr. Gilbert member of the month

When I’m in NYC I’m always dying to get back to my home break (Kewalos). Given that Started surfing so late in life, I always dive back in intensely when I return to Hawaii. I love it, and in fact, despite being older, I hold myself to high standards and work really hard (while having a ton of fun, of course).

What is your favorite thing about surfing? 

The relationship with the water. The calm. The contrasting intensity. That peaceful feeling.

All is well in my world after a good session. And of course the experience of being humbled when I get worked! In my opinion surfing provides major life lessons in all areas.

Erin Gilbert Surfing



It teaches patience, how to connect with your body and an appreciation for something far bigger than yourself. Finally, the community is one of the things appreciate the most.

Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing? 

Junpuu Ramen, hands down. Carbs and salt, baby! My classic (3 times a week) is; Garlic Miso Ramen with spinach and 2 orders of gyoza. Highly recommend this spot.  

What other hobbies do you have besides surfing? 

I dance tango, study languages (Turkish being my latest), cook (Korean Vegan is my current obsession with a little classic French cuisine thrown in there). I’ve also gotten into free diving and hanging with the tiger sharks on the North Shore. I recently had the opportunity to connect with the founders of The Mega Lab on the Big Island (Dr. John Burns and Dr. Cliff Kapono). They’re fantastic geek out peeps for me, and I love checking out the amazing work they’re doing studying coral and marine ecosystems.



What type of work do you do? 

I’m a physician (dermatologist) and a science geek. I travel and speak at national and international meetings. I’m also a consultant and spokesperson for L’Oreal and L’Oreal Paris. I’m hoping to connect my passion for skin and skin health (specifically skin cancer prevention and realistic lifestyle models for watermen and women).

Dr. Erin Gilbert works as a physician

I’m stoked about the idea of possibly sharing my knowledge and practical experience with the surfing community in general. I’d love to team up with the WSL/teams to create preventative models as well as management techniques for up and coming surfers as well as our well-established pros since they are role models for so many of us who love surfing.

Tell us about the board you recently purchased from us. What model and size is it, and how do you like its performance? 

I’m super stoked about the 7’4” Thunderbolt Seaside and Beyond Quad I just bought from you guys. Got it in the mustard (latte) color, and didn’t want to wax it and ride it since it’s so gorgeous.

Dr. Erin Gilbert on her seaside and beyond surfboard

I gave in of course and took it out the same day. Wall decor boards are fun but pretty useless! The 7’4” Thunderbolt Seaside and Beyond Quad (in that gorgeous latte color).

She’s a thing of beauty! Rides like a dream on a wide range of wave sizes.

Do you have any additional comments? 

I want to give props to Hawaiian South Shore and their team. I always find exactly what I need at the store and even more!

The staff is super helpful, and they show tremendous Aloha and are extremely knowledgeable.

I always wear a Sharkbanz and started buying them for friends of mine at Hawaiian South Shore since they work.

I can’t have my buddies who surf on the West Side going out without that Peace of Mind.

I’ve also been majorly digging John John Florence’s VEIA line. His leashes are DOPE! Due to the construction and materials of the ankle bit they feel like you’re not wearing anything at all. I also just got the Florence Marine hooded windbreaker. Test drove it yesterday now that the water’s getting a little cooler. Excellent freedom of movement, and just the right amount of warmth for the fall. Far less bulky than a wetsuit zip top, and I feel that it reduces drag. Great for those evening sessions especially.