In Hawaii, we worked with the most beautiful woods – mango, cherry and the various forms of maple. The more I learned about timber, the more I fell in love with it. I will never know everything about wood, and I think that’s the greatest thing about it. Life is always exciting when you’re learning.
I lived between Hawaii and South Africa for 12 years, chasing big waves – so I experienced 24 winters in a row.
Like everything in life, my experience with surfing has been a progression and a metamorphosis. When I was younger I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep getting better. It’s incredible to be older now and just to experience the energy of the sea. It’s become really therapeutic for me.
I’ve had lots of scary moments surfing, that’s the nature of big waves. I’m from the era prior to flotation, so if things went wrong, there was a good chance of dying. You had to make sure you were really fit and could hold your breath, or it could get scary.
But I never let that stop me. I’ve surfed lots of the world’s greatest waves over many many years. I’ve surfed Maverick in San Francisco, Todos Santos in Mexico, Jaws in Maui, and of course, Dungeons and Sunset back home.
Carpenter & Big Wave Surfer