Your life outside of surfing


Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2019
High Sierras, CA
Grew up in Dana Point and my wife is from HB.
If you grew up in Dana Point, you probably remember the old motel (can't remember the name) on PCH on the bluff heading towards South Laguna. I thought that was the coolest place ever. Definitely a hold over from 1930's California.


Sep 30, 2020
Los Angeles
Really cool to know where you all come from. Apart from being a scientist, I’ve been a competitive martial artist (teens-early 20s) and a life long rock climber. Nothing has steered my compass more than the ocean though. Being in my mid 30s now, and marrying my fiancé in the next year, we are very aware of making the right choices now to set us up in the future. We have a house that’s 30 minutes-1 hour away from the beach, but we have a house in the Bay Area. We both make decent incomes (decent, not amazing) but we are both still very much someone’s bitch in a corporate world. We both work 10-14 hour days. We would both like to be smart in investing our money so we can get out of the rat race at a decent age to enjoy our lives and raise our future kids. Still figuring out how to do that…


Active Member
Oct 27, 2019
Maryland, or By-the-Sea
There are a lot of tradeoffs and choices and values out there, but 10-14 hr. days are not sustainable. Sounds like most of my last years before retiring (I was in part motivated to maximize my retirement payout for an early retirement age). But, during that period my work took me to Hawaii four times, the N. Oregon coast surf 3 or so times and still managed some tropical trips twice a year for 1 to 2 weeks each. Definitely a stress releaser. Also managed to fit in several trips to the DelMarVa coast when the surf was singing. So... Shadownboxn7, don't overwork so hard just to die young! Lot's of choices out there.


Nov 30, 2020
Los Angeles
I teach music at a college in the LA area, direct the jazz and instrumental music programs there as well as doing a bunch of admin work. I’m on campus evenings two nights a week, and teach my other classes remotely so I have flexibility there. Also a professional musician doing live gigs and studio work. Live dates have been getting canceled recently, but they typically are night time so no conflict there. I do a lot of recording work from home. My wife works a 9-5 from home, so we’re often on dawn patrol together before her workday begins. If there’s a good swell weekdays, I’ll head out for a solo session before teaching/gigs/sessions.
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New Member
Aug 11, 2021
I'm ~200 miles from the Gulf, so a life outside of surfing means: most of life. And while 200 mi is a hop+skip+jump in Texas terms, it's still far enough that I miss many windows of good conditions (which might only last half a day or even a couple hours). A forecast of good conditions for one or two or three days and I'll try to make a trip out of it. I stay glued to Magic Seaweed and haha. But still plenty to do around here. Outdoor fun usually includes fishing the rivers and creeks of Central TX or pushing a skateboard around town. Work in food CPG allows (or allowed pre-pandemic) travel to places like Socal where surfing could be tucked into or around the work day. Would love to live an hour or less from a wavy coastline, but of course so much to consider and juggle as one daydreams in that direction.


Well-Known Member
Aug 30, 2020
Southern California
Commercial diver here, soon to be going into the military. Would love to be stationed back home in San Diego, but not getting my hopes up. Regardless though, I surf about 3-4 times a week and usually try to squeeze in two sessions on the weekends. Excited to start a new chapter in my life, even if it won’t involve surfing as much.

Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
USA New Jersey
I'm a 43 year old computer guy. Married, no children. I started working in NYC as a Flash programmer (remember Flash?) but soon found myself displaced into a Jersey Shore school district's IT department where I've now been for 20 years. When I came here, I accepted a 50% pay cut in exchange for a significant improvement of work/life balance. Much shorter commute (2 hrs down to 20 minutes), significantly more days off, and an overall tremendous increase in free time. My office is 15 minutes from the beach, so that offers me a ton of surfing opportunities in the way of pre-work dawn patrols and sometimes after work. I've got a few coworkers that surf, too. As IT guys, we hyper-analyzed everything -- even down to creating a spreadsheet of drive times and routes to take to work from various spots. We did it half for the fun of completely overengineering it, but also to really figure out how to maximize our water time. (For your information, we need to get out of the water no later than 7:22 AM and our drive route relies on a series of if-then conditions.)


Active Member
Apr 13, 2021
Appreciate everyone sharing, this was pretty interesting to read about what people do and how they manage surfing into their lives.

I think I was very fortunate that while I never got paid well until more recently, almost all my jobs paid me enough to buy some good used surfboards and the occasional new custom, but always gave me some degree of flexibility with time. And having grown up by the coast I was never much more than 15-20 minutes or so from waves. During my late teens/early adolescence, I did a lot of home theater or car audio/security work which meant I could take off early and catch waves when it was slow. And for the majority of my twenties, I was a security guard of some sort and always picked shifts that allowed me some time in the ocean before I had to work.

These days, I'm in mid thirties and manage corporate networks for a living. Even though I frequently went in to the office prior to the pandemic, it was expected that I should be able to perform my duties from anywhere I had internet access, so it was easy for me to come in late or take off early as long as I wasn't on call and the work I needed to complete was being done. When the pandemic started I was in a really tiny apartment, so I stayed with family in Oahu off and on for a while, just working, playing with the nephews and surfing. When I returned to the bay, I lucked out with the some pandemic specials and moved into a slightly roomier apartment that was much closer to the ocean. Now if the local sandbars are holding up, I'm lucky enough to sneak away on my lunch breaks and get a quick session in without needing to drive somewhere.

Ideally, I'd want to maintain this level of work/life balance and I have absolutely no desire to work a stressful job for more money or take on more hours so I can retire early. If I get the opportunity to work in another country that is surf friendly and affordable, I'd definitely hop on that. Otherwise, I'd weigh the option of keeping my job and moving to Oahu so I could be closer to family and better, albeit more crowded, waves.

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