This is a catch all for anything in my heart besides fashion, culture, light, sound, house or home. At the very precise center is this thing that holds me captive all of the time. I’m either thinking about it because I’m doing it, because I wish I were doing it, or because I’m watching the real guys do it. It, the thief of my soul, is surf.
Now, let me be clear. I get to surf only enough to almost be considered a kook. I have my own board, but I don’t live in reasonable proximity to surf every week. I know a lot…like I’m not a goofy (I’m a regular), I know how to pop up, I have my own rash guards and block of Sticky Bumps, I know in rough weather it can be VERY hard just getting to the outside, and I’ve mastered strapping my board to my car. I stood up on my first surfboard at 15 at one of the best surf breaks in the U.S. (Huntington Beach), I’ve surfed in Costa Rica, and I have a solid break in the state in which I live (Folly Beach, SC) along with a great team of guys who coach me – they’ve also become great friends. I’m inspired all of the time by the baddest ass surfers out there (e.g., Greg Long, John John Florence, Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, and Gabriel Medina to name a few), and the ones who got in the game late and are just happy for the chance to surf for their own edification. One in particular, Peter Heller, wrote the book Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life and Catching the Perfect Wave, and he inspires me to keep searching and to keep trying. Throughout his book, Heller captures the Heart and Soul of what it is about surfing that holds so many of us in a magical, melancholy trance.
Does surfing inspire my style? Yes, just as much as my favorite music. It feeds my affair with the sun, and I’m happiest when my skin is salt-stained from floating on a board. It drove me until I gave up my sassy Mini Coopers in exchange for a turbo sport wagon so I could haul my board. Music synonymous with surf culture, like Jack Johnson, is also right up there with all of the other music I love. Surfing inspired my first tattoo, the Thai symbol for passion, which I courageously got at a little tattoo joint in Costa Rica. And certainly part of what I adore about the 70s is the look and timeless style of the hip, California girl, like Ali McGraw yesterday or Jennifer Aniston today.
Heart & Soul is a place where you can see me pour out heart and soul for this thing I want to be, as I share moments of successful surfing glory, and through stories of when I place my feet on hallowed surfing ground around the world. My bucket list shimmers before me like the water under my flying board.