I was born on March 15th 1969 in Laguna Beach, California. I grew up in Newport Beach. From the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, two distinct lines of Southern California beach culture held me in their sway: The “classic” waterman ethos of my Dad’s generation – the surfer/sailor/craftsmen of the 1940s and 50s, men like Mickey Munoz, Pat Curren, Buzzy Trent, and Peter Cole, whom my Dad knew from lifeguarding with the L.A. County Guards at Zuma and surfing a bit down at Malibu; and the “progressive,” high performance surfing that came out of Australia and Hawaii embodied by surfers like Rabbit, Shaun Tomson, Dane Kealoha, MR, and Cheyne Horan.
I began shaping boards in Santa Cruz while in college there, starting off in 1995 working on low-rocker three-fin boards with wider outlines in response to the overly thin boards of that era. I also shaped a lot of single fins, experimenting with plan shapes to find the most high-performance aspects of the design. After earning an M.A. in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University in 2001 (I graduated with a B.A. in Creative Writing from UCSC in ’97), I came on board as Associate Editor at The Surfer’s Journal.
While working at The Journal (2004-2008), I built an 18-foot Shetland Isle beach boat in my San Clemente garage. I also became aware of Bob Simmons’ designs from Richard Kenvin in La Jolla, and the Surfing Heritage Museum across the street from TSJ, and began experimenting with keel fin shapes. In 2009, I embarked on a three-month, single- handed surfing expedition down the Pacific coast of Baja, powered by sail and oars aboard the boat I built and named Cormorant. I wrote about this journey in my book, Voyage of the Cormorant (Patagonia Books, 2012).
I now live in Carpinteria, California, with my wife, Natasha, daughter, Josephine, and son, Miles. I shape surfboards, write magazine pieces, and am at work on Spirit Level – the 27-foot sailboat I’ve designed for coastal cruising.