Cale Moore (Surge)

UPDATED: Video added by Kellen Keene. Enjoy!

When we received a cd jam packed with quality goods from Cale Moore’s Nicaragua expedition last summer we realized that an interview was long overdue. Hell, to be honest, aside from the abundance of plaid attire, Budweiser tall cans, his red Nissan mainstay and The Pig, we didn’t even know much about this reserved north county dk freak ourselves until quite recently.

We went through our teeming photo archives to search out a single headshot when we first started to piece together this interview. Certainly there’d be a closely cropped shot of his mug to mix in with the action photos, right? Wrong. But that’s just Cale – hardly imposing out of the water: mild mannered, humble, softspoken, and too often going unnoticed. (Fittingly, every photo that we did find of him he was offcenter, out of focus, and cruising with an alcoholic sidekick in hand). Rest assured the same can’t be said for his riding in the water and that’s why we’re here. You just can’t sweep this much talent under the rug. Ladies and gents, the Cale Moore interview.

*     *     *     *     *

 

 

(Editor’s Note: This article also appears in Surge Magazine v1.0. Thanks to Josh Shelly and Alex Statom for editing some of the photos.)

Hailing from Los Osos, Cale was always on the other end of the SLO county bodyboarding spectrum. His cool, calm, and collected demeanor represented a stark contrast from the rather loud, obnoxious, and vulgar Pismo spongers to the south. An isolated bodyboarder living in a small, standup-dominated community, Cale not only acted differently, but also rode waves differently than his south county counterparts. To keep up with the fast and hollow reefs that abound in his neck of the woods and to evade the scrutiny of the hardened locals, Cale took notes from the areas’ fiberheads that he often shared the lineup with. Thus his dropknee approach evolved through the years into a case study on pure, down the line speed. The cruisy, lazy dk stance that overruns most friendly Cali beachies won’t fly here. Pumping down the line with a narrow stance and a poised forward lean, Cale has earned every inch of open face real estate that he’s carved up in his backyard.

Sightings of Cale were quite rare at first for us Pismo folk. A Toobs factory passing here. A random North County spot check there. Few words exchanged and even fewer waves shared. Eventually the random encounters became more frequent though as our collective local wave knowledge coalesced over time. As we became more dialed in on the areas’ waves, we found ourselves zeroing in on the same collection of boogie breaks. Soon the signature red Nissan became an all too familiar sight tucked off the side of Highway One. A few surfs was all it took for us to comprehend the talent that had been veiled beneath that thick Los Osos fog for so long. The kid was a natural and his rather concealed personality made him an all the more intriguing addition for our boisterous clan.

Extending an invite to Cale for a trip to Mainland Mexico in the summer of 2007 was the next logical step in the progression of our friendship. He eagerly signed himself up, although probably not fully aware of the extent of his actions. A whirlwind initiation ensued, culminating in a classic segment in Kellen and Zach’s flick The Dawn.

Now three years and numerous trips removed and Pismo has yet to rub off much on Cale. To this day he still often opts to patrol the coast solo in his new rig, staying clear of the more popular and accessible beaches in his domain and to the south. Media and exposure give him only mild amusement. The kid seems more content on exploring and experiencing the intricate local coastline than bagging clips and pics. This is why outside of the Central Coast, Cale still remains a bit of an enigma to the rest of the bodyboarding community. We figured we’d give the quiet kid from Los Osos his due, and educate outsiders on this gifted waverider.

 


Photo: Brett Roldan

 


Photo: Wes Broshears

 

Cale, let the readers familiarize themselves with you – age, residence, and how you started on the boog?

I’m 25 years old. I was born in Huntington Beach before moving to Los Osos when I was a baby. My Parents were your average southern California beach bums, so they naturally raised me and my 3 brothers at the beach. I got my first Toobs Bodyboard in 1988, when I was 4 and have been loving it ever since.

 


Photo: Kellen Keene

 


Photo: Nick Statom

 

How was it growing up in the small community of Los Osos? How strong was the standup influence and how did it affect your style of riding?

Growing up in Los Osos was probably the same as growing up in any small town; you had to make your own fun. Luckily for me there were a handful of surf spots a short distance away and I had an older brother to drive me to them.

The catch about the surf spots in my backyard was that they were dominated by stand-up surfers who had a hard time wrapping their mind around why anyone would want to ride a bodyboard. The only reason that I didn’t start riding a surfboard was because my older brother Ryan rode a bodyboard. Other than Ryan and Marcos from Toobs, there were very few bodyboarders that I consistently rode waves with. Because of this, I had no option other than watching how the local surfers rode waves, so I took from them what I could apply to dropknee.

 


Photo: Wes Broshears

 


Photo: Kellen Keene

 

Plain and simple you put some of the most miles on your rig of anyone that I know while searching out spots. This can bring about great rewards but even greater frustrations. Generally speaking what is it like living on the Central Coast as a bodyboarder and what are your favorite and least favorite times of the year along this length of coastline?

Since I first got my drivers license I had an obsession with finding good waves and an empty line-up. I would hear stories about perfect waves to the north but was never given directions. This led to trying to scour every inch of coastline from Ragged Point to my hometown in all types of conditions. It took a long time to figure out where the legitimate spots were. This stretch of coastline could be the most frustrating place in the world because even when the reports are good it will still spite you half the time. On the other hand, when everything comes together, the line-ups are empty and it all becomes worthwhile.

It seems that there are only a few months out of the year that produce good waves along the Central Coast. In the spring I’ll spend more time doing other hobbies away from the ocean, due to relentless onshore winds and upwelling that make bad waves extra cold and miserable. The summer brings fog that makes me lose my mind. In fall and winter I try to work less so I can be on it when it’s good. Being a bodyboarder along the Central Coast is great as long as you have other interests when the waves are bad.

 


Photo: Brett Roldan

 


Photo: Nick Statom

 

In the summer of 2007 you finally got a proper Pismo introduction down in mainland Mexico. Did it go as you might have expected or did your perception change regarding either Pismo or Mexico?

Before meeting up with that group in Mexico (for my first real surf trip), I already new that they were pretty much fearless in the water, so I had to prepare myself to step it up. What I didn’t know was what can happen when the waves are flat. They really opened my eyes as to what was possible on the dance floor and how much tequila could be consumed in a week. My perception changed on both Mexico and Pismo and it was a life changing trip.

 


Photo: Chris Burkard

 


Photo: Chris Burkard

 

You juggle jobs for the Morro Bay Harbor Patrol, as a Morro Bay lifeguard supervisor, and as a commercial fisherman. You ever see any crazy shit while on the job? How do you find the time to surf?

I really just can’t get enough of the ocean. As far as crazy shit I have seen a car crash and a boat crash on the same beach. My line of work has shown me how stupid some people can be. I’ve been commercial fishing with my dad since I can remember. Working in such an uncontrolled environment makes every trip seem crazy. I have seen many sea creatures.

Like many people with the surf bug, you know you need to have a flexible schedule to get the waves at their best. The only time I work full time is in the summer lifeguarding. Even then I try to have a backup just in case the waves are too good to miss. The reality of a full time job is getting closer and I’ll have to take what I can get for waves then, but that also means more money for planned surf trips.

 

Photo: Kellen Keene

 


Photo: Wes Broshears

 

How long were you in Nicaragua last summer and how did the waves there suit dropknee? Besides the waves, what was your favorite part about Nicaragua?

I was in Nicaragua for just over 2 weeks last fall. I was planning to go to Mexico but due to some issues renting a car I decided to try something new. I didn’t know much about Nicaragua at the time, only that you could post up in one place and have easy access to multiple waves. The waves were small most of the trip, but when the swell picked up it was a dropknee wonderland with perfectly groomed head high waves. You could walk one way and get bowly lefts or go the other and have a perfect right sandbar all to yourself.

Even though there were scorpions and wasps inhabiting my room and a random sketchy guy with a sawed off shotgun nearby, I really enjoyed how people lived there. The locals still used Ox driven carts and rode around on horses. It was kinda like the wild west. Even with the flat spells I thought it was paradise and will definitely go back one day.

 


Photos: Nick Statom

 


Photo: Wes Broshears

 

You have been sending us some sick photos lately both in front of and behind the lens. How did you become involved with photography and where do you plan to take it? What other non-surfing activities are you interested in?

I bought my first camera (a Canon Rebel XT) about 5 years ago because I thought it would be a good hobby and I always found myself in situations where I wish I had a camera. Since then I taught myself how to use my camera, figuring it out as I went. I bought a Buzztech water housing that I have been experimenting with and I am stoked on some off the pictures that I took. I recently started making frames out of plywood and am planning on making a collection of my best pictures so I can do an art show or something. Other than bodyboarding and shooting photos I also skateboard a lot in the spring and ride my longboard and hike in the summer.

 


Photo: Cody Ages

 


Photos: Steve Milner

 

Any future trips in the works? What are your plans for the next couple years?

With bad waves and cold water most of the year I am always planning on shedding my wetsuit and getting some warm water barrels. Kellen Keene and I have some plans in the works by the name of Project X, it involves purchased land in a foreign country and a real long drive in my old pick-up. I have also been building an 18′ Boston Whaler hull from the deck up so I’ll have a nice boat to get to all the places that are inaccessible from land. As far as the next few years go, I plan on kicking around on my boogie and living happily.

 

Photo: Nick Statom

 


Photos: Betsy Ball

 


Photos: Ryan Moore, Wes Broshears, Wes Broshears

 


Photos: Steve Moore

 


Photos: Wes Broshears

 


Photos: Aaron Jackson, Aaron Jackson, Nick Statom

 


Photos: Nick Statom

 

Rummy Nights, Groundhog Daze – Mexico 2009

The Wave by Louie Robles
Our first look at the ocean was almost hypnotic after our long travels. But that was nothing compared to what we were to wake up to the next day, “perfecto” DOH uncrowded vomiting monsters. I mean…the thickest chunkiest projectile vomits with literally not one person out. I think Wonka was the first one to get in the water. After watching him battle a furious current we knew where not to paddle out. Everyone was getting sick ones. Alex was just blasting through barrels like a camel, Wonka was dropping in to monsters like a pelican, baby seal was doing what baby seals do and suicide Joe, just…the name says it all.

dsc00986p1010171_lefttoobp1010190

The Crew by Joe Statom
Waiting in line at LAX, I’m starting to get amped for Mexico. Not only because of the swell forecast, but also because of the crew that we had assembled for the trip. I see three guys walk into the airport with huge, overstuffed board bags on their backs. Louie, Willie, and Frankie: DKers straight from the dropknee hotbed of Pismo Beach. Yes! The time is approaching! Me and the other two brothers Camel were also in on the action. Here’s a quick rundown of the crew:

Louie “Salt-tooth” Robles was ripping the first couple days of the trip until a set wave lipped him and a knee injury forced him into permanent cameraman duties. His habit of putting salt on everything he ate was very influential upon the whole group. I now have become addicted to salt-covered ice cubes.

Willie “Perfecto” Richerson’s fluent Spanish and apt use of the word “perfecto” whenever possible saved us many times from almost certain death. His early win streak in our nightly rummy games led to marked cards and extremely high tension. He also recently earned his second straight photo atop the rookiesusa home page which is no small feat.

Frank “Down Syndrome Stretchy Pants Elephant Seal Baby” Robles is quickly earning a reputation as the newest edition to the Pismo Dropknee Parthenon. Although his Spanish skills won’t be turning any heads, his bodyboarding skills will.

Alex “Robot-Foot” Statom’s feet began amassing duct tape, puss, and pepperonis at such an alarming rate that by the end of the trip, there were many who weren’t entirely sure if he was human or a cyborg sent from the future to kill us all. He also scored more barrels than anyone not named Harry Hop-Up Henderson.

Nick “College Kid” Statom had to fly in a couple days later than the rest of us after about a month of hanging with notorious Rookie James Murdock and doing research for Scripps in Hawaii. Even though he claimed to be rusty after his surf hiatus, it was clear that he was still at the top of his game.

colima-groupp1010185_crewnosigndsc00977

The Deck by Alex Statom

Upon exiting the airplane we were blasted with a wall of tropical heat and humidity that immediately put all sweat glands on overdrive. Luckily the acclimation only took a few hours and by the time we reached our final destination we had embraced the salt and grease that would steadily accumulate throughout the trip. Soon the filth was looked upon as a badge of honor. Showers were looked at in disdain, shaving was blasphemy, and putting on a new tee was cause for insult and mockery.

Our home base was all you could ask for on a Mexico trip. All frivolous luxuries were washed away and we were left with the bare essentials of surf travel. No TV, no fridge, 3 worn mattresses, and a sketchy shower/shitter combo were all just afterthoughts to the main attraction: a big second story deck with some old lawn furniture and the best view $40 dollars a night can buy. For the second consecutive trip we had scored the best room around with a 180 degree view of the offshore spitting peaks just a hundred yards away. After finishing a surf it was the perfect place to come in and claim your best barrels, describe your worst thrashings, cackle at each others blown waves, or heckle the Stepoff Stans outrunning barrels in the distance. And once the afternoon surf session and dinner scrappage were complete, the deck transformed into the home for our evening entertainment. Frank brought a mini speaker system for his iPod and it provided a classic rock soundtrack to our increasingly intense rummy games. Corona megas were slammed into our bellies and occasionally onto the ground. Tensions mounted as Willie’s win streak continued and his inflated ego chaffed at ol’ Lou’s hide. Luckily, confrontation was avoided as Willie hit a well-timed cold streak and his relentless heckling finally came to an end.

Sure the surf was insane, the adventures into town and up into the mountains were fun, and our big night out at Club Glass was literally a blur. But for me the deck was the essence of this trip. With your cards in one hand and your Mega in the other, spitting sunflower seeds on the ground while talking trash to the other shady characters around the table as perfect beachbreak tubes crashed in the dark just a stones throw away… you can’t ask for much more from a Mex trip.

p1010222p10101841p10101811

The Culture by Willie Richerson

The Drunken Troubadour
Everyone on the bus sat silent, waiting for him to get up or at least move. Louie, Frank and I wondered if the drunken old man had died as he fell into the aisle, his head contacting metal with a loud crack. He had sung a heartfelt song at our breakfast table just minutes before. We had tipped him enough to get a bottle of coke to accompany his tequila. Did we really hear his final song?

Slowly his legs stretched out and two men helped him to his feet. He mumbled something as thanks and immediately he began strumming his guitar and belting out the same song he had played for us earlier. A great recovery, but not a single person tipped him and he stumbled off the bus into the scorching mid-day sun.

The Biting Fish
The local bus station dumps you straight into the central market where you can get an epic meal for under two bucks, some sweet new clothes, or a big raw chunk of beef or pork, unrefrigerated.

One afternoon we took three separate buses, past the giant cement factory, to a natural spring called Los Amiales. The water was clean and clear, and felt great in the mid-afternoon heat. All of the sudden Alex let out a girly shriek when something began biting at his ankles. The round wounds from his fins looked like small pepperoni, an inviting snack for the small hungry fish.

Besides the surf, riding the public buses, windows wide open, catching glimpses of the simple lifestyle enjoyed by these smiling people, makes any trip to Mexico feel like a true vacation.

dsc01004

p1010188wounded

The Nightlife by Nick Statom
Well, there was the weekly Tuesday techno bizarro bonfire with the world’s best vegan ski teams getting extra enthused about their tow partners just a stones throw from our suite balcony. But we resisted the urge to partake despite persistent growls from the Gremlin. Instead we opted for plan B: surf our brains out all week while keeping it mellow during after hours in hopes of an XXL night on the town come Friday.

That’s not to say that the simple pleasuries of dinner at Tsunami followed by Corona Megas, fistfuls of sunflower seeds, and roust-fueled rummy games was a depriving affair in the interim. In fact, this option became a rather welcome routine throughout our stay and five simple ground rules became readily apparent after the first night: (1) DO NOT drop your Mega, (2) DO NOT leave an oversized discard pile for Willie to pick up, (3) Roust the fuck out of Willie if he picks up said pile, (4) Wear bug spray – lots of it, and (5) Keep the iPod jams rolling at all times. Such refreshingly simple forms of entertainment were not a bad way to break up the long, humid nights and relax while recounting another days’ pumping surf with five of your closest amigos.

When Friday did finally come we did not forget. Transportation plans to our nighttime destination of Glass were made days in advance. Megas and bottles of Jimador were purchased. Appropriate clothing for the club was tracked down. Local girls were enlisted. Pepperonis were concealed. We were ready, Freddy Got Fingered style.

The two hour transit huddled in the bed of Edgar’s truck wouldn’t kill our buzz. Neither would the tropical deluge that struck around the halfway point. Nope, a week’s worth of buildup and a potent Squirt/Jimador combo carried us onward, and carried us directly to the doorstep of Glass in a drenched, dazed Pismo heap.

Unfortunately the insides of Glass didn’t quite live up to our collective hype. There was no dancefloor, a crowd that was a little too posh for our filthy third world expectations, a cover and pricey bottle service. But we had turned that corner long ago and went right to work nonetheless.

Alex peaked way too early and we propped him up on various pieces of lounge furniture a la Weekend at Bernie’s to avoid getting 86’d. Joe didn’t need any propping to find himself double fisting local scenery with his suicidal tendencies. Louie wasted no time in establishing a pseudo dance floor within our own growing entourage with some spectacularly unexpected Grover City house party moves. Willie delighted and charmed the locals with his perfecto Spanish; Frank’s lack thereof made for some classic one liners. Frothing in unbeknown territory, the Pismo sum outweighed the individuals on hand as we fed off the distinct personalities of our posse and let loose until the wee hours.

outsuicide-joe
The Food by Frank Robles
The grub in Mexico was too legit to quit to say the least. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, tortas for lunch, then topping it off with chicken tacos for dinner I meeeean fuuuck it was heaven. There would be multiple smoothies taken down each day by the crew which now have taken a special place in my heart.

Fortunately no sorry soul was struck with the crypto creep on the trip, just some pretty heavy morning tequila shits after a couple long nights of getting weird. There was one particular night that the crew took a big roll of the dice by taking down some pretty sketchy tacos on the way back from Colima. I thought for sure one of us was going to be wounded in the morning after those tacos but our shit stayed solid. Mexico was insane so many memories and good times, I am sure we will all be going back soon for round two.

* * * * * * * Mas Fotos * * * * * * *

img_4750

Brett Roldan (Crysis)

>>>Brett Youtube Edit (11.3 mb)<<<

*************************************************************************

r1.jpgToday is the second day of the new year and winter is making no secret of its arrival upon the Central Coast. The rain continues to pile up on the deck outside as the wind exhales another blow on the front window of Brett Roldan’s current residence up in Pismo Heights. Looking over at Brett, his face reveals no sign of relief. “That means luggage deliveries are gonna be off the hook,” he sighs. “Rain means delays, delays mean bags.” Although he’s due back for his second shift at Pismo Fish and Chips in only an hour, Brett’s already stressing on his second job, delivering luggage for the airport. “Ahhh, the life of a bodyboarder,” he quips after some pause. Contrary to his body language though, I get the sense that Brett really doesn’t mind this life. And although a new year has begun, Roldan appears content with living his life on the Central Coast as he has for the past 27 years.

r2.jpgBrett Daniel Roldan was born the youngest of four brothers who all spent time in the waters surrounding Pismo. As a grom Brett took on his first job as a floor wiper at the Cal Poly women’s volleyball games. Not before long he had saved up enough cash for his first Aleeda wetsuit. His first real board followed shortly thereafter. “My first boogie was the Mach 7-7 with the handle on the nose. Just a lot easier to hold on to and kinda cruise. I think [local legend] Heath Erikson is still riding those,” Brett laughs.

r4.jpgBrett grew up surfing the pier at a time when Pismo was not so friendly. The “JG’ers,” an older misfit crew of strung-out resin heads under the influence of shaper Jerry Grantham, ruled the Pismo scene during this time. Under this rather hostile environment a talented outcrop of bodyboarders emerged, especially dropkneers. In pursuit of respect and a spot in the lineup alongside the locals, the bar was raised amongst Pismo spongers. Brett recalls the influence of local talent vividly, especially the dominance of local pro Simon Mason. “There was a lot of old school dkers,” boasts Roldan, his tone revealing pride in his Pismo roots. “Simon though was just always guhhhh,” utters Brett as he flicks his hand in a tail-like motion for emphasis. “Not so much Roach style, but just carves, huge carves.” And then when his older brother Greg transitioned to the knee, Brett followed suit and began carving out a style of his own. Roldan remembers the conversion being addictive, claiming dropknee made him more conscious of the actual “feel” of the wave. His youthful eagerness to perfect the subtle intricacies of this new stance in front of his own heroes made Pismo an ideal arena for crafting his natural abilities. It was not long before Brett’s surfing was creating a statement of its own, attracting the eyes of fellow bodyboarders and local companies alike.

r7.jpgIn the meantime Brett’s current sponsor Toobs Bodyboards was busy establishing themselves locally in the town of Morro Bay. Brett’s relationship with Toobs started long before his sponsorship though, in the form of a purchase off of local bodyboarders Ammon and Aaron Walters. The hot-pink- and sea-foam-green-railed, yellow-decked, sticker-plastered, and hot-pink-bottomed board still resides in his brother’s garage to this day. After that little number it was pretty much Toobs there on out, scrapping 40 inch original Roach boards off of the side from then-employee Brian Peterson until he gained full sponsorship. His board size may have changed since those early days, but his lasting relationship with Toobs and owner Buzz hasn’t skipped a beat over all this time, a true rarity in this industry. During our conversation I get the sense that Brett has remained loyal for so long because he and Toobs possess the same family-like presence, mellow vibe, and dedication to the sport. “Toobs is pretty much the roots,” says Brett. “You get all these branches off of Toobs that are associated with Toobs and the Central Coast. It’s pretty trippy.” Tracing these branches of past employees and riders through to the present uncovers many examples of how the Toobs approach has been paying off over the years. There is no doubt that Brett wants to be a part of their rich history and has shown through his riding that he will continue to be a local icon for the company in the future.

r5.jpgBrett’s immediate future appears to be fairly consistent with years past: saving cash for summer trips, entering the occasional contest, and making the most of what California has to offer as far as bodyboarding is concerned. “It’s weird to think that in Australia and Hawaii the scene is completely different than the West Coast. Even the East Coast is different from the West Coast. It’s just like the West Coast kind of hurts.”

r3.jpgDespite the reality of West Coast bodyboarding, Brett remains fairly positive and humble about his own situation. “Coming around here I have a lot of support,” says Brett. “I try to help them out as much as they help me. You know [Esteem owner] Randall’s good at that as well as Toobs. I’ve been fortunate, blessed to travel a lot. For bodyboarding not a lot of people get to travel a lot.” After listing off all the exotic locations he’s been able to travel to, he shakes his head. “I look at people stuck in Central Cal and it’s just shit.” Traveling is obviously Brett’s true passion as it offers an escape from the daily grind of the real world and allows him to come into contact with new people, cultures, and waves. Currently he’s got a late season Hawaii mission on the backburner. These trips fuel his two job fix and keep him sane when the waves aren’t up to par back home.

r6.jpgAs we wrap things up I glance over at Roldan who is casually finishing up his 24 ounces of Bud Light before I glance back out the window overlooking an overcast downtown Pismo. The thought of work right now in these conditions doesn’t offer up much solace, but I keep thinking back to our conversation nonetheless. The ability to travel, two flexible and decent jobs, and supportive sponsors – maybe this life as a bodyboarder isn’t so bad after all. As if on cue, Brett then has me examine the mysterious red spots on his arm that appeared after the double shift he pulled at work the day before. Another bout of wind shakes the front window and the pitter-patter of rain on the deck becomes automated once again after having trailed off during our conversation. I can’t help but begin to think in horror about all of the restless valley people that are surely lining up for their bread bowls in the pouring rain down on the main drag in Pismo. “It’s madness,” says Roldan as he buttons up his signature off-color polo shirt for work. “I wish boogieboarding was just one job, shit.” Shit is right I realize, as I snap out of my half-drunken stupor, slightly enchanted by some kind of romanticized picture of boogieboarding there for a sec. For Californians, pro bodyboarding sure ain’t no Easy Street. In fact, it resembles something a little more along the lines of that drab little intersection of Cypress Street and Stimson Avenue in downtown Pismo that Roldan has come to know all too well.

Willie Richerson

>>> Willie Edit (11.3 mb) <<<

Willie’s already clocking 30-something but you wouldn’t know it, not with his diminutive stature, foul-mouthed vocabulary, underage hookups, and quick steez on the knees. From the nimble ride behind hits I’ve witnessed at ankle high Pismo to the arms-out swooping floats on northern territory beasts, Willie’s riding is actually aging quite nicely. Certainly its not the weekend party binges that are making things better – Modello tall cans, signature wolf snarls, weekend jaw instrumentation, and Humboldt roots forestry notwithstanding. Could it be living with Grandma that has refreshed his psyche? It couldn’t be the half-thumb, could it? Maybe some karma from a few of those rescued plover eggs? Or some hidden secret in that Branch Mill drinking water? Either way Willie has found it and his engine ain’t stopping anytime soon.

**************************************************************************

Willie you’re like 30 going on 17. Do you have a secret fountain of youth?
Being single keeps me pretending that I am still young. Trying to focus my energy into the moment and not dwelling on the future or past helps me to smile. Also I love the ocean for so many reasons, even just the act of riding a wave. So I ride waves quite a bit just to get out there. Having at least three solid sessions a week on average for twenty years keeps me out there whenever there is swell.

How has your background in gymnastics affected your surfing style? Do the two sports compare at all?
I began gymnastics the same year that I started to boogie so the two definitely influenced each other. In both sports awareness in the air, seeing where and how to land for example, is critical. And learning to time a bottom turn to hit a section is similar to timing your hurdle onto the spring board over the vault. Gymnastics definitely helped my progression in bodyboarding, even just from a physical standpoint. When I was 12 I could bench press twice my weight, which was still only 180 pounds. And of course the flexibility was super helpful. I quit gymnastics pretty much to surf more when I was sixteen and later I coached a few years during college. So I haven’t been doing it for a while and my lower back is sort of beat down from not stretching as much as I used to. Stretching seems to be a key to staying healthy and strong for me anyhow. My dk style is sort of affected by gymnastics you can see it by my arms always being outstretched for balance as I hit the lip and look for the landing.

OK you’ve lived in socal, cencal, and norcal. Let’s end the debate right now on which has the best waves, women, and weed.
Norcal for the weed, socal for the women, and cencal for the waves, biatch.

Do you think having a half thumb has helped or hurt your surfing career?
Only the tip got chopped off when I was 7, so not at all. Well maybe my left hand has slipped on more gnarly duck dives from it, now you have me thinking about it. I think my third leg has influenced my surfing more then my half thumb.

From Park Manager to Nature Guide you have been employed in some pretty eco-friendly positions. What can we do as bodyboarders to help the cause and educate others?
Setting a good example when we travel, camp, backpack, hike, and drive to these surf spots that we love is a great place to start. Learn the natural history for the area you ride waves in and appreciate those subtle changes we get to observe by paddling out at the same spots week after week, year after year. Kelp is way cooler out at the reefs and lineup now that I know a bit about it. Disrespecting the groms when they are fucking shit up is a role I have found myself in few times. I found where someone had started a bonfire right in a big lupin bush, just needless destruction of habitat and it was at my favorite beach that we hike into and camp at all the time. I knew it was some of the younger boogies from Pismo so I found out which ones it was and talked to them about it. Another time they left a bunch of bottles and cans out there so I packed them back and had the talk. We can all encourage each other to take care of these spots. Thanks goodness there are quite a few places where me and my buddies are the only ones on the trail out to the spot. So if we work together we can keep these mysto spots mysto and at places like Pismo we can keep the water at least clean enough to ride waves in!

Who are your influences both in and out of the water?
Roach of course is the biggest influence on every dk rider since Enough Said came out. And getting to live in Encinitas for six months when I was 18 was critical, the eight years before that I really was shitty at dropknee. But there I got to ride Reef and Parking Lots and Palis every time there were waves, and during that time it was a hot bed of really good dk talent led by Paul. That really influenced me and my riding style. Before Roach it was Simon Mason, Jeremy Haughey, Heath Erickson, guys who were right at the beginning of the bodyboard movement and dk style in Pismo. Delmore really inspired me early on to keep trying dropknee. Him and Roldan were the prodigy kids always taking it to the next level. Delmore is the man to ride with, he’ll be in overhead surf with no leash and sit for like a half hour outside to wait for the perfect peak, take off and do critical turns so effortlessly like he and his board are pretty connected. He will ride the same board for as long as he can, shit five years I think he’s got on this one that a dog bit a hole in the rail of. No leash just ruling good surf every wave and one of his rails has a big hole in it. That pushes me to surf better. Out of the water I would have to say my biggest influence is eight pound ten ounce baby jesus.

You lived in Ecuador for some time and are now in route to Central America. What’s the draw of these Latin countries for you?
Well as I was finishing up classes at Humboldt six years ago I started to know that I wanted to travel after I finished. South America just sounded good to me really, I was drawn there. I mean I had some Spanish in high school and college and I grew up on a vegetable farm so Spanish was easier for me. Plus I wanted to get kind of far from the US because I was forgetting the cool things about this place and always focusing on the ways that our culture was headed in a different direction than I wanted. I needed to get a more global and less US perspective. So I committed to this nature reserve to work on some education and outreach projects for six months and ended up spending a full year with a month down into Peru by bus. It was a solid trip. Next I am going to Central America to try and get to know that region. My Spanish is rusty so I am a bit nervous, but I bail in a week for forty five days and I just picked up a new boogie today, so I am super amped.

You’ve been around Pismo forever. What was it like growing up as a grom here during the Stoker generation?
It was epic really, we had a solid boogie crew and just had fun between sessions. And Pismo was great because we had that older generation I mentioned earlier to show us that we could just keep riding our boogies until we are like forty and shit. Hopefully I can keep up the charge even longer, ride dk out at a local reef when I am sixty! Funny shit.

Recently you went for the all-out anal cleansing fasting experience. How did that go over?
I’m not sure where you got the anal from but it did cleanse my colon and lower intestine which is near the anal region. I tried to go ten days but only made it to the fifth day. It was just The Master Cleanse, its not really that gnarly. But on the fifth night I drank some alcohol, after no food other then a maple syrup lemony water mix all the time. I was kind of curious how drunk I would get so I took two shots of vodka, and felt fine. But then I got tempted later after two girls came over and wanted to party. The next morning I was barely hanging on, and at 10am I drank some o.j. and ate some home fries. Those potatoes were seriously the best tasting thing I have ever had. I am going to make it the full ten days next time, more resolve and less temptation next time.

Any last words and/or shout outs?
Toobs is the shit, they have been making solid boogies for like thirty years now. Sandy, Roy and Frank are going to get it one of these days for stealing food from me and Murdock. I was once a grommet too you know and was dealt blows when I went out of line. Just a fair warning. To Grodzen for teaching Roldan the mini-shaka, it makes peoples lives better.

Brett Roldan (A-Frame)

(Editor’s Note: This article also appears in A-Frame Magazine v1.2)

>>> Brett Youtube Edit (11.3 mb) <<<

070614-tree.jpg

Raffi calls him Red Dog. Stoker calls him mini-Roach. My aunt calls him a young Bruce Springsteen. While there may be some ambiguity over his namesake, there are no doubts about Brett Roldan’s riding ability. At 26 years of age, Roldan has been in the game for quite some time. With numerous professional dropknee contest victories, a past signature board model, and a travel log that includes Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia, Tahiti, and Mexico, you may start to wonder why you haven’t heard more from the DK freak. Most likely this derives from Brett’s upbringing on the Central Coast, a far cry from the industry spotlight of Southern California.

While remaining in this often-overlooked region may have cost him some coverage or notoriety abroad, his commitment to the Pismo area and its surroundings has earned him the respect of local old school enthusiasts and grommets alike. More than a decade ago Brett was playing that very same role of stoked grom, emulating his dropknee idols down at the Pismo Pier. Since then the tables have turned, and Roldan’s full throttle tail throwing approach seems to be making quite an impression of its own. Despite this fact, old Red Dog remains content with Pismo and its mellow vibe, drinking tall cans, working the local fish joint, and killing it down at the pier on a daily basis.

*************************************************************************

What was it like dking Pismo back in the day as a grom with guys like Simon Mason, Heath Erikson, and Darren Delmore lighting it up in front of you?
Amping of course. I’d be out there all day on weekends and would get to see those guys just killing it.


How has Pismo changed since those days?

Let’s see…the waves have gotten worse, there’s a lot of dude bros out there who think they are the next Kelly Slater. There’s a solid grom crew, both stand ups and boogies. A lot of them are progressing fast and starting to shred. There use to be this crew of stand ups we called JGer’s. They rode for this guy Jerry Grantham, a shaper from Pismo, who looked straight from the stone age like Fred Flinstone. These guys were freaking gnarly, but controlled the donkey level to a minimum. They pretty much would beat anyone up, except Mr. Taloa. Ha ha ha. The only thing not to change are all the raised trucks and chowder in bread bowls.

You have been a fixture at Toobs since what, ’75? When did you actually hop on board with Buzz and how is your relationship with them?
’75 huh? Too bad the boogie wasn’t created until ’79. I think it was when I was like 19, back in ’98. Everyone up at Toobs are all time. Buzz, Susan, Pat, Mike, and Marcos are all wonderful individuals. Those guys are like family, I get along with them well.


What’s Marcos over at Toobs like? What’s he got you riding now?

Marcos is classic. He gets a nice afro going from time to time. Right now he’s got me riding a boogie board, a little something sick. Every board I get is complete sickness, unless it’s one of those toboggan boards.


You’ve been on a zillion trips. Tell us why you are such a travel fiend and what you get out of traveling.
It’s nice to get away. Being a boogie boarder, i have to have a job to support myself. So it’s always good to get away from where I work. I’ve gotten a lot out of traveling. You meet so many new friends, you get to see parts of the world people only get see on T.V. It’s hands on education. Plus the waves you get to experience are outrageous.


If you had a dream trip, where would it be and who would be involved?

You know any trip is a dream trip, unless it’s to the valley or somewhere far from the ocean. It would have to consist of good waves, good friends, solid buzz on and no FR’s or FS’s.


Where did you get the nickname Red Dog?

Ahhh yes, good ol’ Red Dog. It was one year when Ruben and I were in Hawaii staying with Will George. Raffi happened to be over the same time and was crashing at Will’s as well. My first day over I got completely fried by the sun. My whole front and back were red. With a tight budget one must learn to scrap and buy what’s cheapest and well, Red Dog 40 ouncers were the cheapest beer at the time so I got a couple. Sure enough Raffi and Will were capping on me all night and decided that I looked like the Red Dog on the front label. I think Will and Raffi split a Seagrams fuzzy navel 4 pack that night.

I’ve always been interested in your family dynamics. You were raised Mormon but still your favorite verb is ‘fisting’. What happened along the way?

Uhhh… you know. Everyone goes through life changing experiences. Uhhhhahahaha… fisting, that’s funny.

While people have come and gone from the Central Coast for different reasons, you have remained. What has made you stay in Pismo all this time and do you see yourself ever leaving?
I don’t know, it’s home. Going on trips make it a little easier to cope with the everyday life in Pismo. When there is waves, there are some sick spots. You just have to be down for a little mission and be on it. I don’t know, couldn’t tell you if I would ever leave or not.

I don’t think people understand Pismo Fish and Chips and its connection to bodyboarding. Give us a rundown of your current employer and what goes down between bowls of chowder.
I couldn’t tell you how many boogies have worked there, like Stoker and pretty much the whole Rookies crew. Right now there’s a few groms bussing tables. It’s a pretty intense work environment. Between some of the employee’s and the customers it attracts, there’s really never a dull moment.

Before and during PFC you had a laundry list of odd jobs. What were a few of these jobs and how hard is it to mix surfing, work, and a social life into your schedule?
Let’s see. I worked at Vons as the Liquor Manager by morning. Helped my buddy, Get Your Grill On Briggs, at Baja Fresh by day. Then I waited tables at Pismo Fish & Chips by night. Sometimes I got an hour between Baja and PF&C and could squeeze in a 40 minute session. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not, just go swim or paddle around. Socially there’s usually nothing going on anyway. I have a lot of friends in the area so we usually run some Mentone ball or go surf. Now my days are little more simple. I deliver luggage every Tuesday morning from 8-3 for my buddy Tony, and I still wait tables at PF&C.


What’s your agenda for the next year? Any traveling or contests planned?

I’ll probably try to hit up Puerto for that La Punta contest in September or
October, if they have it. Possible Hawaii in February and next late spring in
Australia. I’ll try to do some more of the BIA’s. We’ll see where that takes me and go from there.

Few people know about your skills on the belly. Fill us in on the art of the jammer that you have been perfecting.
I’ve recently been turned onto the Jam by Dk shredder, DHubb. It’s impossible to perfect, there is so many variations.

People always debate about the state of dropknee and where it is heading. What’s your take on this issue?
There’s always going to be someone better, no matter the sport. I don’t know where Dk is headed. Hopefully it progresses, whatever. I’m sure somewhere out there is the next Robo Roach or something.

Are there any local or worldwide dropkneers that we should look out for in the future?
There’s a few groms around these parts, still learning the ropes, but catching on quick.

Do you have any last words or shout outs?
Thanks to all my friends everywhere for good times, the Toobs Crew, my family, Esteem Crew, A-frame, 805bbr.com, and the Rookies Crew. Stan definitely gets a shout out.