Greg Norman Jr -- kiting, surfing, spearfishing, world travel
** Interview Episode 113 **
With a family name synonymous with the sport of golf, Greg Norman Jr has carved out an incredibly deep and well—rounded life in the ocean. From growing up in the waters of Florida to years on Maui Greg has developed love and skill for riding all types of boards on the water — from surfing, kiting, foiling, to wake boarding. Adding on to this a strong passion for the hunt, Greg pushes himself underwater with spearfishing both reefs and blue water, enjoying getting lost in the flow that being in the ocean provides to us all. Throughout, Greg has placed high emphasis on close connection to family and providing greater access to board sports for all with his Shark Cable Park. We started our conversation around the role that the ocean played in his recent engagement to his wife-to-be (it’s a rad story).
Check out the Shark Cable Park at www.sharkwakepark.com
Other pieces to our conversation:
- Growing up with his father introducing Greg to the ocean — surfing, diving
- Living on Maui and pursuing love for kiting — competing professionally in the early 2000’s
- Story of his first date spearfishing with his wife to be
- Discuss the ins and outs of foiling and how it changes our perspective on waves
- Kiting and wake boarding trip in Prince William Sound Alaska with hair raising exit by boat
- Wearing dry suits to wakeboard and forgetting to zipper
- Spearfishing in the Bahamas and team sport of hunting and landing cobia
- Wonder and beauty of interacting with sharks underwater
- Sense of flow in golf and sports in the ocean and challenge of changing your mindset to slow down and focus on the present
Shannon Quirk -- big wave world tour, empowering women in the water
Other pieces of our conversation with Shannon:
- Settling down on Oahu, life-giving nature of the ocean, surfing, and yoga
- Living in various places around the world including Maui, with big focus on Nazare, Portugal for 3 years
- Similarities of Portugal to Northern California — cold water, wetsuits and thick heavy waves
- Working for the Big Wave Tour and ‘family’ aspect of big wave surfers
- Knew as a youth that journalism was the path she wanted to pursue
- Focus on growing movement of women in big wave surfing and finding new ways to showcase women in the
- Starting live reporting for Surf Channel at Mavericks and refining her craft of reporting over the years
- Dynamics of big wave rescue, driving jet skis, and preparing to help yourself and others in big surf
- Spent years as a pro snowboarder and traveling the world to chase winters.
- Shannon talks about her quiver on the North Shore — big wave boards down to 6’5
- The importance of yoga in Shannon’s regular routine
Nik Strong-Cvetich -- Save The Waves Coalition, protecting surf ecosystems around the world
Nik Strong-Cevitch has travelled around the world setting up conservation and ecostourism projects in coastal communities. As a lifelong surfer NIk has been able to blend his love of surf with his professional abilities and now leads the Save The Waves Coalition to protect sensitive surf breaks the world over. With the audacious goal of protecting 1,000 waves, Nik is supported by a strong cast of characters around the world who contribute to the development of ‘world surf reserves’, help raise funds, and make sure Nik gets a wave or two at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch. On top of all of this, Nik is a humble father, husband, and member of the Santa Cruz ocean community ready to spread good vibes to those around him.
I highly encourage everyone listening to this who did, does, or will ride a wave at some point to check out SaveTheWaves.org and find ways that you can help Nik and team combat everything from water pollution to sea level rise and coastal development. When you think about how so much of our ocean culture revolves around waves, it starts to feel pretty important to be sure we preserve them for future generations. Thanks for doing that. thanks for listening, and thanks for sharing in ocean life of Nik Strong Cevitch.
Maria Fernanda -- big wave surf photography, fins and a camera
- Recent (November 2019) swell at Nazare
- Swimming and taking photos at legendary big wave breaks such as Jaws, Puerto Escondido, Pipeline, Todos Santos, Waimea Bay, Nazare.
- First photo shoots and heavy waves on Kuaui
- Mental and physical training for swimming in big waves
- Growing up in Mexico City and finding her strength in the ocean through weekend trips to the coast with family
- Having a mentor to teach her surf photography, starting with a disposable camera!
- Perspective on the mainland Mexico big wave surf scene, and global big wave surf communit
Scott Kennedy -- jack of many trades in the ocean
- Fishing for yellowfiin tuna on the Pacific Dawn charter boar
- Scott’s 16ft Radoncraft skiff (boat) he spent over 600 hours on — adventure, fishing, more
- Learning his way in the ocean around La Jolla, CA — trial by fire
- Hand-shaping over 60 surfboards to continually experiment with different styles of craft to ride waves on
- Anticipation and excitement for his growing family and what it means to get his kids in the water
- Recent surf trip to the Maldives
Zeb Walsh -- prone paddling Bass Straight, winning Molokai 2 Oahu, big wave rescue training
James Casey - winning Molokai 2 Oahu, foiling, coaching, surfing
In episode 97, we hear the stories of professional athlete and man of the water, James Casey, who takes us down his path from a young grom taking his beatings in Hawaiian surf to the dominant standup paddle boarder he is today, winning the infamous Molokai 2 Oahu paddle race on his SUP in 2019. James’s stories and perspectives on his love for coaching and foiling, traveling the world, running camps in Thailand and the Maldives, and commitment to family are fun and inspirational. I was lucky enough to have time with James before he took off from his home in Sydney to fly out for the Red Bull Heavy Water event in San Francisco.
Highlights of our conversation:
- M20 win in 2019, top 5 finishes years leading up in the standup paddleboard division
- Working for months to perfect his SUP race boards for M2O with Sunova Surfboards
- Great perspective on top competitors that James battles in paddle contests, including Connor Baxter, Michael Booth, Travis Grant
- James has caught the foiling bug in a big way and is running foil training camps in Thailand
- Growing up splitting time near Sydney and Maui — right near world class downwind Maliko Run
- How James’s father inflluenced him in the water and set him up for today’s success (best of wishes go out to James’s dad battling health issues!!!)
- Coaching others, how that started, where that is today, and how James loves doing it
- Casey. — the family business James operates with mom and sister at www.caseyaus.com
Kevin Dunn — sunscreen pioneer, surfer, environmentalist
In episode 95 I speak with Kevin Dunn, founder and operator of BurnOut Suncare, one of the first environmentally-friendly and health conscious sunscreens to hit the market almost 20 years ago. Kevin takes us through his days of living and surfing on Maui, traveling and surfing Indonesia, to his kitchen where he made his first batch of sunscreen. We hear of Kevin’s focus to make a sunscreen that lasted in the water while being healthy for both people and the planet, the challenges he faced early on with bringing this, then niche, product to market, and the amazing reaction to his sunscreen that the market has had since. Kevin shares his knowledge of the chemicals and ingredients used in sunscreens, their effects on people and corals, and gives us a great overview of what ‘reef safe’ really means. We talk global warming, ocean acidification, and the effects that sunscreen chemicals have on corals with mention of some of the responses that places like Palau and Hawaii have taken to help protect their coral reefs from these chemicals. Kevin also shares his philosophy of Burnout Suncare and his drive to minimize every aspect of their environmental impact.
To get 50% off your order of Burnout Suncare products, go to their website at www.burnoutsun.com and enter the code ‘ThisOceanLife50’. My family and I use Burnout exclusively and absolutely love it — check it out!
Cooper Family -- Sailing the South Pacific (Pt 2)
In episode 93 we check in with Brian and Robyn Cooper, a family from Santa Cruz, CA who, with their 2 daughters, left it all behind 9 months prior to live a dream of sailing in the South Pacific. Brian and Robyn describe their first few months of learning their sailboat Renegade, the ins and outs of sailing among the islands and reefs of Fiji, and developing confidence in their sailing capabilities. The Coopers share perspective on traveling in the outer Fijian Islands, surfing incredible waves, diving, fishing, boat-schooling the kids, and spending time in many local villages where they’ve learned and embraced the Fijian culture. We hear of how the family is adapting to life afloat and how their daughters, ages 9 and 12, are growing and changing as result of spending tons of time in the ocean and interacting with the Fijian culture. Brian and Robyn talk about the next major part of their trip which takes them over a 10-day passage to New Zealand then over to Indonesia and other epic parts of the South Pacific.