I’m A Grom, and I’m Angry!!



I’m a grom and I’m angry. I’m sick and tired of the older boys dropping in on me and taking all my waves. I’m fed up with the titty twisters, dead legs, monkey bumps, and Mexican Hat Dances. I don’t like picking licorice out of my hair after being dumped headfirst into the trash can. Why do the older guys pat me down for lunch money every time I go to the beach to check the surf? I can feel my blood boil when they talk trash on my older sister and my mom. Maybe I should take some Ju Jitsu classes and learn how to wrap these bullies into a pretzel.

Too bad I’m just a little fella, and all I have are these wiry arms and chicken legs. I’m growing though, so they had better just watch out.   Man, sometimes it’s tough being a grom.I’m so angry.  Good thing I can go out surfing and get rid of some of this pent up aggression. All I have to do is paddle out and unleash my fury on some innocent, unsuspecting lip. It’s such a relief when I feel my fins blow out the back of the wave, my body tapping my minds inner anger to execute extreme acrobatics. As I pump down the line of this well-groomed launch ramp, all the noogies, wet willies, and “your momma” jokes act as fuel for my lethal lift- off.

When I stick my angst aided aerial, my angry quickly subsides. The feeling of stoke after pulling a big move is enough to cure any case of bad mojo. A couple tubes later I’m ready to come in a happy camper, completely calmed from a successful session of liquid therapy.  Like the icing on top, it turns out all the older guys were watching my session from the beach.  What better way to get my revenge than to put them to shame on my own terms.  The cherry on tops comes when I walk by the crew of ruffians and hear one of the boys address me.  “Sick wave little guy.  Not bad for a grom”.  I smile and walk by, and for once I don’t feel so angry.

Preview: Surfers’ Blood-By Patrick Trefz


Patrick Trefz’s new film, Surfers’ Blood, is a film about diverse individuals spanning across the globe who share a common thread. That thread is the saltwater that runs through their veins; a passion for sea that compels them to devote their lives to playing in the ocean. ‘Cause that’s what it is right? A gigantic playground where grown men and women can feel young and full of vigor and inspiration.

“That’s what this film is; stories from a diverse group of humans who all share this primordial connection with the ocean. From the history of old world Basque Coast oar fishermen to a Silicon Valley visionary’s unorthodox computer surf board shapes—they all live and breathe to be in the ocean, in whatever form that may call to them.  It’s about their almost genetic need to be around the sea. There are striking similarities between Isotonic Ocean Water and internal body fluids, so I thought the title SURFERS’ BLOOD to be apt title,” Trefz explains.

Now, Trefz has dropped a preview of Surfers’ Blood on Redbull TV. Click the link  below to check it out.

Surfers’ Blood a film by Patrick Trefz

Flashback Friday- How Three Hawaiian Princes Brought Surfing to Santa Cruz



Gaze out to sea along our beloved coastline on any given day and you’ll see scores of rubber-clad fun seekers sitting in dense packs, waiting patiently for signs of an approaching wave. Once the waves pour in, these wave riders employ a number of different crafts to catch and ride them.

Some ride short, pointy boards that allow them to carve and even launch above the breaking waves. Others use longer, round-nosed boards for a more relaxed ride, during which the surfer can coast and trim casually, at times dancing to the nose, hanging the toes and gliding along as poised and erect as a statue.

You may even see surfers riding prone on much smaller, rectangular boards, or stand-up surfers using wide paddles to propel their large crafts into the breakers.

These aquatic enthusiasts are a tough and dedicated breed of passionate athletes who willingly enter the frigid waters, even in the most treacherous of conditions, just to get their saltwater fix.

Plain and simple, Santa Cruzans are crazy for surfing. And why shouldn’t they be? After all, our town boasts a number of world-class breaks, beautiful beaches and a rich surfing history. Innovators such as wetsuit pioneer Jack O’Neill, world-renowned shapers like Bob Pearson of Pearson Arrow and modern day surf icons such as Pete Mel and Jason “Ratboy” Collins serve as examples of our community’s influence on the world of surf. In fact, Santa Cruz has had more of an impact on surfing history than most of us probably realize.


Santa Cruz, the TRUE “Surf City”, USA

Despite the area’s long-held reputation as one of the most popular surf mecca’s in the world, though, there’s a bit of history that has slipped through the cracks, until now.

The gumshoe efforts of two passionate local surf historians have revealed the story of the three Hawaiian princes. These princes were the first to surf in mainland America, and the first place they paddled in was Santa Cruz.

The culmination of 35 years of work, Santa Cruz’s Geoffrey Dunn and Kim Stoner have put together a clear, concise and historically supported account of the Hawaiian princes’ stay in Santa Cruz. It is hard evidence supporting a story printed in the local newspaper, the Santa Cruz Daily Surf, on Monday, July 20, 1885.

In the Daily Surf’s page two Beach Breeze column, the writer mentions — along with reports of a packed beach, ideal summer conditions and 30-40 swimmers “dashing and tossing and plunging through the breakers” — the three princes and their surfing exploits in front of a crowd of merry beachgoers at the San Lorenzo River mouth.

“Everyone knew about the Daily Surf mention in 1885,” Dunn said. “But no one knew the actual story.”


Geoffrey Dunn here at home in Santa Cruz

Dunn spent his childhood playing in the waters of the river mouth and has always felt a strong connection to the place. Like most of his peers who grew up on the Westside, Dunn spent a great deal of his time swimming and surfing. The river mouth was his favorite, and he and cousins would surf it on mats during the summer.

“The river mouth used to be an entirely different spot before the harbor was around,” Dunn said. “When big western swells came in during the summer, the wave could get really good and powerful. I’ve always been fascinated with the river mouth as a surf break and could imagine how good it used to get. Being familiar with the story of the princes’ surfing exploits there, I can understand why it caught their attention, as back then it would’ve resembled some of their home breaks on Oahu, such as Waikiki.”

Dunn’s personal connection to the river mouth and love for our city’s rich surfing history inspired his subsequent quest to unearth the details of the surfing princes once and for all. Dunn teamed with Stoner, his childhood friend and a devout advocate for the preservation of Santa Cruz’s surfing history who had similarly developed a fascination with the story of the princes, and began years of research.


The original boards on display in Santa Cruz

Rare documents and photographs were gathered from the Hawaiian Legacy Archive in Honolulu and the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. They also found previous mentions of the princes by former Sentinel historian Ernest Otto. In time, a clear picture of the princes’ visit to Santa Cruz, as well as the impact their “surfboard swimming” had on its residents, began to emerge.

As it turns out, the young princes had indeed spent time in Santa Cruz while attending St. Matthews Hall in San Mateo, a military school for boys. During their time off school, the princes, named David Kawananakoa, Edward Keliiahonui and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, had stayed with Antoinette Swan, a native of Oahu and an adopted member of the royal family.

Swan moved to Santa Cruz in the 1860s with her husband, Lyman. Her home served as a perfect summertime respite for the young men, who most likely were anxious to surf like they did back home on Oahu. It’s easy to see how inviting the waves peeling into the San Lorenzo river mouth on that hot and festive day in 1885 were for the young Hawaiians.

The report of the surfing exposition highlighted the amusement and joy that beachgoers experienced. Ten years later, another article mentions how local boys had taken to surfing the river mouth like the Hawaiian princes. This nugget of overlooked history shows how surfing caught on in Santa Cruz. The surfing spectacle must have had a profound effect on the generation of citizens who witnessed it, adding weight to our town’s claim to the title of the real “Surf City, USA.”


What “localism”?

Kristen Zambucka, an artist and writer from Honolulu who is friends with the descendants of the royal family, came up with the idea to create a plaque to display somewhere in Santa Cruz. After collaborating with Zambucka on the design of the plaque, Dunn got financial support from the royal descendants of the Kawananakoa and Marignoli families. Bronze artist Sean Monaghan and Tom Ralston of Tom Ralston Concrete helped design and build the base, and additional funding came from the Santa Cruz Woodies Club and Friends of Parks and Recreation.


The plaque. Surfing means so much to this town. Here we honor those who came first

For Dunn, the plaque is a perfect way to celebrate the legacy of those who first brought surfing to America.

“It’s gorgeous,” he said. “The city could’ve done something else, but they went out of their way to do something special and I couldn’t be any more pleased. Tom and Sean did a beautiful job on this and created what I think is the most spectacular framework for a monument in California. It’s a beautiful monument, and I’m proud to have played a part in this effort to uncover and pay tribute to a rich part of our community’s history.”



Heavy Water Tattoo…with Brayton Furlong

Mr. Furlong and his shop

Mr. Furlong at work

Death metal. Tortured demons. Heaving tubes. These are the kinds of things tattoo artist Brayton Furlong lives for. Growing up, Furlong had a knack for not only skillfully riding the bounty of surf in and around Santa Cruz’s East Side, but for art as well. Before long, Furlong had established himself as a reputable fine artist, specializing in glass blowing; travelling around the country displaying his wares and building a name for himself with his unique glass sculptures.   Nowadays, Furlong has switched from glass to the needle, committing himself to the life of a tattoo artist. Almost one year ago, Furlong accomplished his lifelong dream and opened his very own tattoo shop, Heavy Water Tattoo, on East Cliff Drive, a stone’s throw from the rippable waves of 26th avenue. I recently caught up with the focused young man to get the lowdown on his craft.

Ripping artist, ripping surfer

Ripping artist, ripping surfer

 How were you introduced to art?

The furthest back I remember was my second grade teacher at Live Oak Elementary, Bonnie Thurston. I know it sounds funny but she would give me these huge pieces of expensive art paper to practice on. I remember doing a Van Gough piece using pastels. She must have seen something in me so she set up a meeting with my parents back then– she thought they should push me to pursue art.

Blowing glass

Blowing glass

You were a glass artist before tattoo, can you compare the two?

Yes I have been a glass artist going on 14 years now. I would say that the biggest parallel between tattooing and glassblowing is that they are both relatively underground art-forms and are pretty challenging mediums to work with. Being artistic is not enough, you have to have good hand eye coordination as well.

Some of Furlong's glass work

Some of Furlong’s glass work

How did you hone your artistic abilities early on?

I studied with a handful of respected glass artists early on- Loren Stump, Paul Stankard, Henry Halem, Gary Beechum. I went to Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina for several workshops. Then I started working professionally, selling my production work to over 60 accounts nationwide at its peak. Those were primarily craft galleries and gift-shops. Eventually I grew tired of production work and started making fine art sculpture, and that’s when my career really took off. I was able to start showing my work in high level Glass Galleries or (Sofa) Galleries. My work was also featured in several magazines. But to me, one of the biggest achievements was probably the first artist in residence in flameworked glass at Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle. That was a huge honor!


 When did you get into tattoo work? Anyone help you? How was the learning curve and what motivated you to keep practicing?

I got my first tattoo when I was 16 then a year later when I was 17 a friend of mine who was older and had done some prison time taught me to make a walkman motor, guitar string machine. Then I made a few machines myself and tattooed my leg with them. It was punk rock, I didn’t know anything about tattooing and didn’t care. Just wanted to tattoo myself whether it turned out good or bad or if got an infection– I didn’t care. I tattooed myself off and on since then but it wasn’t until years later that I got serious about tattooing.

I became more serious about tattooing when I had injured my knee surfing. I was out of the water for a couple years. I started tattooing myself a ton and that’s when I started wanting to pursue it professionally so I started seeking out an apprenticeship.

I got my first job tattooing as a full time artist in Morgan Hill at Inked Tattoo. I commuted every day and had to hustle being from Santa Cruz– no one knew me out there. I had to go out canvasing the malls and outlets handing out cards and trying to build some clientele, but it worked, and I became very busy at that shop. We also were doing conventions all the time. It was a great thing for my career and I am very grateful to Gus and Faith ( the owners) for that opportunity.

Gotta love Freddy!

Gotta love Freddy!

Describe what you were doing tattoo wise before you opened your shop?

I worked in a few different shops over a handful of years- it was really hard to find the right fit, and I worked in shops over the hill 3 times. Commuting and working over the hill was what I had to do to get my experience. I just wanted to be working in shops- not at home- so that’s what I did. I sacrificed a lot for many years and it was challenging to make it work. Many times I felt like it just wasn’t happening. But I was persistent and determined and just kept working on my skills and kept putting myself out there.


When did you decide to open your own shop? Tell me how all of that came together

Pretty much since I started tattooing seriously I had been thinking about it. I knew eventually I would. I had even been scouting locations for several years. I was keeping a close eye on a particular location and one day it was vacant, so I jumped on it. I had already told myself when that day came that I would jump on it. It had been 10 years since it was last vacant. I was working at the Black Pearl during that time and those guys were cool and it had been going well there but this was something I had already decided on long before. So I thanked Mike for having me there and he was cool about it! He understood that was the ultimate goal to have your own shop. There was no hard feelings and I still wish them the best over there!

This guy knows a thing or two about Heavy Water!

This guy knows a thing or two about Heavy Water!

Explain the name “Heavy Water” and what it means to you and your tattoo work-

I remember when I was younger watching a Josh Pomer Ruffo section and he was talking about Santa Cruz surfers being core getting up at 5am to surf 50 degree water. That always stuck with me. Our cold water here has a heavy feel to it. Especially when it’s super cold and the waves are big. Hence the name Heavy Water. But I’m also a big metal head so it has multiple meanings to me. I also just liked the sound of it. Nothing to0 flashy or anything– just a solid name that had meaning behind it.

Not a bad way to spend your day working!

Not a bad way to spend your day working!

How business been so far? Any really memorable pieces? What made them special?

My glass career gave me an education in small business, photography and art, so I brought what I learned from that into my tattoo career. I would not have been able to progress as rapidly without doing glass first.

Business has been great!   I am very grateful for every client that walks in my door. I tattoo just about every day and some days I do several. My favorite pieces are usually the big realistic ones that I’ve been doing. I don’t have a favorite but usually the newest one I’m working on is my favorite as I try to make each piece better than the last one I did.


Describe your tattoo style/influences

I have always been blown away by realistic and surrealistic tattoos—that’s what gets me the most excited. Nothing compares to it in my mind. That style also comes to me the most naturally, so that’s what I’m focusing on the most. However, I enjoy doing different styles and like to be well rounded. It also makes my days interesting to do a few different styles of tattoos in one day. I have many influences but a few of my favorite tattoo artists are Paul Booth, Bob Tyrrell and Carlos Torres.

Local's only! Furlong reaps the rewards

Local’s only! Furlong reaps the rewards

How nice is it to be working so close to a killer area for surfing?

Having grown up surfing First peak every day along with Santa Moe’s and Windnsea and all these waves around here I feel lucky to be able to have my shop so close. It enables me the ability to take surf breaks between appointments which keeps me sane! It’s important for me to enjoy my days, and not be a slave to my job. That’s why people become artists right?! I figure I’ll work till I die, and I’ll spend most of those days alive working so I better love what I do. Or else I would be miserable. Money is nice but it’s not everything. Being happy and fulfilled is way more important to me than a bunch of zeros at the end of my paycheck.

 Plans for the future?

My plan for now is to just keep my head down and to keep doing what I’ve been doing, because that’s what has been working for me so far! I also want to keep pushing myself as an artist and to never stop learning. The learning never stops I will always be a student.

Walk The Line…with James Manss

If you can't take the heat...get outta the kitchen! Manssy center

If you can’t take the heat…get outta the kitchen! Manssy center

If you’ve been surfing in and around Pleasure Point for the past 20 years, you are probably very familiar with the site of 30 year old James Manss attacking the surf with his compact and powerful style. What you might not know about the humble regular footer is that he’s an awesome cook to boot. I caught up with Mannsy recently to discuss his culinary curiosity and passion for makin’ something a dish that leaves you smiling and satisfied. Here’s what he had to say…

Power Player

Power Player

I’ll always remember being a grom at your house and your mom was always baking or cooking something—would you say she’s your primary influence?

That’s where I got it from for sure. I’d say I really started getting serious about in in High School, or thereabouts. I started by watching her and learning technique—from preparation to cooking—she lit the flame. After High School, I went to work tile with my dad, but once the economy crashed I thought about going to culinary school. So I went to Cabrillo for a few semesters. The lady there, one of the teachers, she was the head chef at the Chaminade, and she offered me a job– so I worked there for about a year. That’s where I met Pete, who’s my sous chef now at Solaire at the Paradox Hotel. He kinda took me under his wing.   He became like a coach to me—ya know? But in the beginning it was my mom who got me into it. She went to culinary school in Monterey and work in the Pebble Beach area, then places locally like Michaels on Main and Gayles Bakery. So she had a lot of knowledge and really got me psyched on pursuing it as a career.

Manssy, close to home.

Manssy, close to home….Framegrab-Skimshady

You grew up around so much cooking, did you try to get in the mix as a youngster?

I’d bake with her a little bit, and yeah she’d always show me her recipes, like the stuff she learned from her mom. I would watch her and learn from her. She basically tried to show me everything she could—she could see that I was interested.

Bali Style, whole fish

Bali Style, whole fish

Describe the environment working on “The Line”

It’s intense, it can be really stressful but at the same time it’s a full adrenaline rush—you get psyched! I’m just really stoked on making people happy, making good food, and sending out something that people will enjoy. My focus is just putting my all into any food I make, and hoping that the customers enjoy it. The environment is hectic but rad. It’s not like “Hell’s Kitchen”, where the head Chefs are screaming at you. There’s a little bit of yelling but it’s mainly positive, like “C’mon, hustle up! Let’s get this goin!”…just keeping everyone in that productive mode. But yeah, it can be gnarly, I’ve definitely burned myself a lot (points out a number of healthy looking scars on his arms and hands). It gets hot, sweaty…sometimes like 100 degrees, it’s gnarly. It’s fun though, I really enjoy it. I actually look forward to going to work, which sounds weird (laughs).

NY Steak, grilled asparagus, roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fingerling potatoes, Mushrooms, and Veal stock reduction

Bronzino, grilled artichoke blossoms, blistered tomato, salsifly, and citrus mousseline

Is there any ways to compare surfing with cooking?

I guess with surfing, you get to create your line on the wave. It’s an open canvas. Same with cooking. I really like creating new plates, using local and organic ingredients– good quality meats and poultry—all natural and fresh, and seeing what I can come up with. They are both really fun too, they make me happy…but I don’t get paid to surf (laughs)!

Did I mention he likes to get tubed? Framegrab: SkimShady

Did I mention he likes to get tubed? Framegrab: SkimShady

What was the hardest part of the learning curve?

The hardest things are speed and timing. I still have trouble with my speed on the line. You gotta hustle. When you have a big ticket you have to plan everything out perfect. You have the grill station, and then there’s the saute in the middle, and then the garmage, which is like salads and desserts. So your first course will be a salad and an appetizer. That goes up, but they have to go up together at the same time. But then you could have ten tickets at one time so really gotta shake a leg. Then the second course will come up, which might be salmon or roasted chicken or steak—all those items on the ticket have to go up at the same time, so timing is vital. The whole table needs to get there food at the same time– it’s tough.

Cheeseburger with turkey prosciutto, Bacon, Bacon Marbella, Mushrooms, Jalapenos, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Onions

Cheeseburger with turkey prosciutto, Bacon, Bacon Marbella, Mushrooms, Jalapenos, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Onions

Is there any particular meat, or ingredient that you like working with more?

The cuisine that we do is called “New American”, basically like California Cuisine—lots of local and fresh products. It’s also got a little Asian flare to it, French and English as well—we’ve got quite a mixture of everything. Another thing I love to do is gardening. Growing fruit and veggies, so I can cook the freshest dish possible. There’s nothing like a fresh heirloom tomato picked off the vine that you grew from start to finish.

NY Steak, grilled asparagus, roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fingerling potatoes, Mushrooms, and Veal stock reduction

NY Steak, grilled asparagus, roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fingerling potatoes, Mushrooms, and Veal stock reduction

What’s the signature “Manssy Dish”

I used to do a Thai Green Curry Chicken that my girlfriend’s mom and my own mom loves as well. My mom’s actually the one who taught me it. I think it’s the dish I’ve done the most for that reason (laughs) for them you know. Roasted chicken thighs, with rice and veggies…it’s pretty damn good. I also like doing the salmon dishes, or a really good ribeye or New York steak.

Verlasso Salmon, forged chanterelles, celeriac puree, mache, and chive oil

Verlasso Salmon, forged chanterelles, celeriac puree, mache, and chive oil

Do you find yourself consistently challenged with cooking?

It all just takes practice, like anything you do. The more you do it the better you get. With cooking you use all your senses- your smell, your taste. With sauces or soups in particular, you gotta taste everything before we send it out. You take a spoonful of chowder, taste it, then it’s like “oh this needs a little bit of salt”. Usually when I cook salmon, I touch it. Same with steak, it’s all by touch—you can tell how well done it is. Also just by looking at it. When a steak gets to medium rare, the juices will start coming out. When you see those juices you know it’s going right past rare to medium rare. Just like with surfing, you have to be aware all the time—is this going to be a good wave? Naw it’s got a little mush on it, I gotta wait a little longer. Cooking is just the same.

Poached Salmon

Poached Salmon

What’s your ultimate goal with your cooking? Would you ever want to open your own restaurant?

My goal is to work in a really nice restaurant first then yeah it would be rad to open my own small restaurant or have a catering business. Do my own thing eventually, but for now just learn as much as I can. Every day I go into work I learn something different, it’s pretty bitchin’.

Any last words?

I want to thank executive chef Ross McKee and sous chef Pete Martinez for their guidance, and my mom and girlfriend for all their support.



H’Dez, in White

Pikachu, aka Nic H’Dez, is on a tear right now. The lanky regularfoot scored the last cover of Santa Cruz Waves, had a two page spread/profile in Surfing Magazine, and just made his first WQS final in Argentina of all places. This is part of a reoccurring series, “The Grind”, where I follow Nic’s year chasing qualifying points in a bid to build his seed, and eventually, join his mentor Nat Young on the elite World Surf League tour. Here’s what he had to say about his trip…



What was the name of the comp, and where was it held?

It was called the Ripcurl Argentina Pro and it was held at Mar Del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

How many points were on offer and how many did you make? Will that help you get into more events?

It was WQS 1500, so the winner got 1500pts, and I got 1125pts for runner-up. It will definitely help when they re-seed the ratings halfway through the year

Making it count in the small stuff

Making it count in the small stuff

How was the surf down there? How did you put it together during the small waves? Strategy, mojo, or both?

The surf was pretty bad, everyday was kind of the same. 1-3ft brown water, mushy, yet kinda closed out lefts at this beach break with a right-hander that would come up on the inside.

I went into every heat just telling myself that everyone had to deal with the same conditions and I personally thought who ever got on the two best waves of the heat was gonna make it, so that’s what i focused on doing.

Argentina is known for having some of the hottest females on Earth. Poor lil Pikachu!!

Argentina is known for having some of the hottest females on Earth. Poor lil Pikachu!!

How is Argentina? Food? People? Chicks?

Argentina is pretty sick, I’m sure there was much radder spots there than where I was, so I wish I got to sample more of the good surf.  The Argentinian BBQ steak was bomb digitty. People were super friendly but there weren’t that many women around. Probably because it was cold as fuck where the comp was! Maybe even colder than home!

Is there potential for good surf down there?

I see potential for surf down there for sure, and I’ve heard of some sick point breaks north of where I was. I’d be psyched to score ‘em someday f’sure.


Who were you travelling with and how was their support helpful with your result?

I was just traveling with my mom, her support is always the best support I could ever ask for, she always dials everything in so I just have to surf, she’s the best!


Where’s the next stop? Any secret moves or magic boards you’re working on beforehand?

The next stop is QS 3000 at San Martinique in the Caribbean, so that should be an interesting one with some more points on offer! (side note: The runner-up finish I just got is equivalent to a 5th place in this next one). Got a magic 5’10.5″ Channel Islands Fred Whip right now too that I’m pretty hyped on!


Come On and Take a Free RIde

Come On and Take a Free Ride

 When I first met Noah “Waggy” Wegrich, he was a tiny little tadpole with a bald head ruling the inside bowl at Manresa.  Nowadays, he’s sporting a magnificent mane and is turning heads with his stylish and progressive surfing.  He’s super fun to surf with and is humble and respectful to boot.  His energy and humor is infectious, so I decided to divulge a recent discussion we had….

Hurry up and come in from getting tubed Noah...

Hurry up and come in from getting tubed Noah…

What makes Waggy wag his tail?
Ice cream, girls and tubes
I can see it now

I can see it now

If you were to star alongside one actor in a movie who would it be, what kind of movie, and how would it end?
It would be Will Farrell and it would end with us being best buddies and building a tree fort and getting crossbows and Hustler magazines!
Would you rather do three kickflips on one wave or 10 chop hops?
Three kickflips FOSHO everyone can do chop hops nobody can do a kickflip though….
Locks of Love

Locks of Love

Your mane is rather luxurious. I bet all the chicks dig it. Any hair care tips or favorite products?
Hahahaha I don’t know if chicks like it…. I hope they do (laughs). Most people think my hair is a wig and ask to touch it. It’s kind of weird
I'm waiting for you Noah...

I’m waiting for you Noah…

 If you had a gun to your head which would you choose….go left at Mav’s on a 35 footer or go left into the cliff at the Slot at the Lane on a 4 footer?
Left at Mavericks for sure! Better chance of getting tubed!
The resemblance is uncanny

The resemblance is uncanny

Beavis or Butthead.  And why?
This ones difficult (sigh)…I’ve always liked Butthead more– but I have blonde curly hair so I’m kind of automatically Beavis, I also get really excited about things like Beavis does hahaha so I guess my hair and attitude are Beavis– but my heart is all Butthead!


Everyone’s got a secret talent.  I can wiggle my ears and talk like Pee Wee Herman and Kermit the Frog.  What’s yours?
My secret talents….. Awwww I’m not sure I have any maybe kissing heard I’m a good kisser (laughs)
Waggy get's me amped, personally photo-Joe Foster

Waggy get’s me amped, personally photo-Joe Foster

Who’s your favorite person to watch surf in person and why?
Ohhhh this ones tough Id probably say anyone who’s going for it! Like if your going fast and doing anything radical it’s going to get me fired up to try something crazy. Ya dig?
Waggy, weightless

Waggy, weightless

If you could name your style of surfing what would it be?  Mine’s Brokeback Bucking Bronco.
Hahahaha that’s a intense name, but solid. My style’s name would be Butterfly Euphoria.


logoPatrick Eichstaedt, aka “Tupat”, is an accomplished videographer and photographer, having worked for …Lost on countless projects over the past two decades.  His hilarious cameos on flicks such as “The Decline” and “5’5”, 19”and ¼” “are the stuff of legend.  Nowadays, senor Tupat is still shooting photos, but has set his sights on the culinary world, with his Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce.  I recently caught up with the Floridian to get the lowdown on his new gig.

Tupat and Uncle Mike Ho

Tupat and Uncle Mike Ho

Most of the world knows you from your appearances and efforts in filming …Lost movies such as The Decline…  what have you been up to since your stint as a filmer for …Lost?  How long were you filming them for?  Is filming and photography still a passion you’d like to pursue?  Who are your favorite surfers to shoot?

Since the pre marriage days and younger years with Lost I have always continued to shoot both video and photography when the waves are up or my select travels. I started filming for Lost in 95, but actually we were filming stuff that Mike Reola ended up using after we met in Waikiki in 94 or 95, that’s a longtime ago to remember exactly. I still am very passionate about my filming and photography. I have my own wedding business, we offer Cinematography and Photography. I also shoot a bunch of other cool things as well. My favorite surfers to shoot are my son Ethan, Hopper, Gorkin, Noah Beschen and all the kids at Shea Lopez’s surf camp, it’s six weeks of pure stoke!

In simple terms, what is a “grueler”?   Who are your favorite grueler’s and why?

A grueler is someone that will do what is needed to make things happen with respect and honor to others. All the while having a stoked and blessed life doing what you love and loving what you do!

Some of my favorite gruelers are my brother Hopper, Mason Ho and CheeseBurger, Gorkin, Ryan Simmons, Casey Collins among others that are all over the world finding their path and trying to make a difference.


You’ve released your own Poke Sauce, called Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce?  Where’d you get the inspiration?  I know fishing is huge in Florida where you hail from, but did spending long stints in Hawaii influence your new passion?

Yeah I’m really excited about my sauce endeavor, it’s all started to fit nicely as of late. I’ve always been a foodie since I was a grom. My mom was a flight attendant so we were well cultured with food growing up and always trying different sauces with dinners and such. Once I started to go to Hawaii around 16 my taste buds for their cuisine gave me a whole new flavor. It was later years that I would come home from Hawaii and make Sashimi and Poke for family and friends. This would propel my early thoughts to one day bottle my own flavors. On July 9, 2014 the first Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce bottle came off the line in Winter Springs Florida. Our growth currently is expanding and all of our customers are so involved with their creations. It’s truly a unique sauce that can bring people together and enjoy a fun filled lifestyle.

Like Try?

Like Try?

What makes a good Poke Sauce?  How long did you experiment with flavor combinations until you found that right taste?

In my opinion a good Poke sauce is one that all elements agree with your palate. I had been experimenting with these combination of flavors since I was young, and then changed things numerous times because I would find other ingredients that would fit. Our current sauce took 13 months of R&D to perfect the flavors we were trying to achieve.



What would you suggest using your Hawaiian Poke Sauce on?

Our sauce has been tested and proven on many items and is currently in print on 11 different menus and a restaurant chain with 6 stores. The flavors are great on Sushi, Tuna, Seafood, Meats, Chicken, Pork, Poultry, Vegetables, Dips and Sauce mixtures. It’s very gratifying to see the hard work paying off with happy customers.

Any big plans for expansion, or are you happy with your current creation?

That’s a great question, yes we are going to expand with other flavors and also hope to brand others that would be interested. The possibilities are endless.

Tupat's support team

Tupat’s support team

You’ve always been known for always keeping it real.  What is your thoughts about the current state of professional surfing, and surfing culture in general?

The “Surf Industry” – To get right to the point, It’s Cut-Throat. Bottom line is the “Big Fish” eat good and the minnows barely survive. But besides all that stuff, surfing will always be from the soul and for the soul with a ton of stoke in between. My favorite surfers right now are Noah Beschen, Mason Ho and Kelly still keeps me glued to the screen. JJF is in another league that will evolve as Slater did–that will give all us fans something to look forward to. As for the surfing culture, that is growing rapidly.  All types of humanity are embracing this awesome thing called surfing.

Where can we find Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce?

Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce is in many locations in New Smyrna Beach, Central Florida, Naples and Melbourne Beach. We are currently finalizing broker deals and gaining traction each day with social media, print ads and word of mouth. It’s just a matter of time before the sauce goes completely global. We have our Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce name on 11 menus currently. This is a really cool marketing tool for us and we could not be any happier.

Tupat flaring

Tupat flaring

Any shout outs?

I would like to shout out to my wife Yoseline and son Ethan for putting up with me and all the support, I love you guys! I would also like to thank my parents for always supporting Hopper and I. Thanks to my business partner Trey Peterson and his family for friendship and support. All of the Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce family and friends, Many Thank you’s! Thank you to all of my Hawaiian friends! I would like to thank the Lopez and Beschen family for their genuine friendship. All of our business owners that believe in our product, Thank you! Here’s to a Flavorful future! Thanks to ALL!



Gorky mowing foam

Gorky mowing foam

Aaron Cormican, aka Gorkin, has always been one of those raw motherfuckers who I just love to watch surf. No airdrops at Mav’s or Backdoor behemoths, just straight up astounding aerial acrobatics combined with a smooth style and flow… I’ll take it. I was introduced to a young Gorkin through …Lost advertisements and videos, where his party animal, bong ripping, Tony Hawk playing persona was something I, a fledgling young runt could identify with. At the time, this portrayal of a young surf rat beating the world to the chase with his famous, “Gorkin Flip”, was bad ass.

Gorkin kept his act up racking up contest win after contest win with his small wave mastery, and had a solid presence in the mainstream surf media. When I met Aaron in 2013, he had nestled himself into a comfortable hidey hole somewhere in Costa Rica, surfing his brains out and living “Pura Vida”. He’s one of those cats you see in the mags and figure would be a egocentric douche, but our conversations were refreshing, and I could see that I had met a much more matured Gorkin, someone who had lost a lot but was still finding ways to stay stoked- in this case surfing all day in perfect, rampy, Central American surf.

After returning home to Florida, he began toying around with the idea of shaping surfboards. When you’ve made a living surfing your whole life, it’s natural to gravitate towards another profession that can keep you immersed in what you love to do. And he’s done just that, using trial and error to begin learning the ropes. I caught up with the high flying Floridian to get some insight into his newfound passion.

Q I met you a few years ago in Costa Rica, and it seemed like you had moved on to a new chapter in your life. It must be hard going from a top tier pro surfer to a talented yet undervalued surfer, in a world where all the money has been siphoned to the top, mainly world tour surfers. Yet, you seemed content, surfing your brains out in the tropics, living the “Pura Vida” lifestyle to the fullest. Was this a difficult process for you? How do you feel about the current state of “pro surfing”? Which leads me to my next question…..

A Nah it was fairly easy I guess ‘cause I had been going there for so many years prior. Also, I had friends all over the country to hang with down there so that helped too. As far as caring about being “pro”, yeah I still wanted to be, but I needed Costa at that time in my life! I had gone through a divorce that took a while to finalize and then lost everything- from my car to my house, which I worked so hard for. That’s why I said “Fuck it”, I’ll go hang out in Costa with my buddy Kenny G and score sick waves every day!
The current state of pro surfing…. hmmmmmm? Shit, all I think about now is making boards to be honest. I love watching it though, especially JJ Florence-he’s a beast! I am pretty much outta the loop after almost two years in Costa haha. Now I gotta catch up on who all the groms who’re ripping.

Flyin' High

Flyin’ High

Q You began shaping recently under the “Gorkin Surfboards” moniker. Can you detail just what inspired you to get into the shaping bay? At what point did you realize that this would be your new focus?

A Well my dad has been most his life. He started in the 70’s and still does. Well not as much now due to health stuff, but he’s a big motivator. Last year was I just kinda jumped in and really started to try and learn it. I did 3 boards prior, through a 10 year period haha, but yah last year I purchased my first blanks to shape other people on October 1, 2013.

Q How does it feel to go from a profession which can be very self-absorbing, into another in which you are actually creating boards and memories for others? How has the local community responded to your shapes? How does it feel to see someone do the turn or air of their lives on one of your shapes?

A It’s weird I feel like I’m doing something I should be doing. I actually used to talk to Sabo (Sabian DeSpenza) about boards when we were living at same zone in Costa. That was a big motivator. You know the response has been good but there’s always the haters who think I’m just using my name. Thing is, I respect the craft and am hand shaping along with using the computer.
When somebody does something rad on a board I created for them or just sends a text that they love their board, I feel like I won a contest. It’s that tingly feeling that makes me get all giddy and laugh out loud like a kid, its rad!

Q Who do you look to for inspiration in your shapes? What current models or experimentation have you been working on? What’s the theory behind your shaping style?

A I look at all kinds of shapers; from the most well-known all the way down to some guys I’ve never even heard of and only have like 300 Instagram followers but their boards look amazing! Ryan Burch is rad as far as a name drop- he’s outside the box. I want to be like that and I feel that experimentation is what will keep board building evolving. My style is to just listen to the customer and do my best to build them the board that allows them to surf the way they like. To be honest, think my style is far from established and I’ve gotta a while I get to that point. I’m way inside on shore break riding the whitewater hahahaha.

The "Fiddler"

The “Fiddler”

Q You are a world class surfer without a huge company backing you…is this frustrating? Or do you look back and think, “Man, I had a pretty good run!”? However, you’re riding for the Mad Huey’s now- that must be pretty cool to be able to align yourself with a brand like there’s. How did that come about and how do you feel you fit in with their brand?

A I mean it is but I’m trying to build my own business so I can be my own sponsor for a trip. Yeah, a lil income from a company would be great, but fuck it hard work is nothing new to me and I’ll continue push myself to try to get what I want.
As far as the Hueys go, I call that me just supporting the boys ‘cause I love the whole fishin’, surfin’, don’t gives two shits and have fun attitude! I met the Hazza brothers when I went to Oz cause I was lucky enough to be hanging with the Coolie crew on the Gold Coast. I actually caught a huge flathead fish when they took me one night and it tripped them out seein’ the American wanker catching this big ol’ flatty!

Q I know Costa has been a Honey Pot for you in recent years, any plans on dipping into any new uncharted waters? Or are you happy being home in Florida for the time being?

A Right now it’s all about transition. Turning n’ learning how to be a boss. So Florida is gonna be my stomping grounds and home always. Plus my family is here so I wanna be here.

6'0" "Rattler"

6’0″ “Rattler”

Q Last but not least, what’s your thoughts on the current state of professional surfing? What gets you fired up, and what pisses you off? Hipsters? Jocks?

A Right now I think the Internet is a great thing and a bad thing. Cause content gets water whipped on sites, and seeing some really shitty edits pisses me off. But the benefit is people around the world getting to see what each other is doing which pushes the level. Now we have a Brazilian world champ, which is unreal.
What pisses me off is when I get pissed about shit I shouldn’t! That my goal… to not get pissed and carry that positivity into making good boards that will hopefully one day be great boards.

Q Any shout outs you’d like to throw out there?
A Yeah, my friends and family for always supporting me and backing me even though it can be hard as hell to do at times. BIG thanks to The New Board Konnexion aka NBK, Bill Mcgill , Jesse Fernandez , AJW surfboards, Mayhem , Shane Smith, Perkins and Jessu, Wes, Collin , and all the supporters on Instagram and Facebook. I wanna thank the people who have gotten boards, like my Grom riders Chase Modelski, Matty Zaccaria, Ava Mcgowen, Jared Petraca, and Aiden Collins. I’m sure I’ve left out tons of people, but you know you are!
Oh yah follow me @therealgorkin, and to order a board contact me at gorkinsurfboards@gmail.com

Doin what he does best

Doin what he does best



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