Indoek

Meet John and Rikki Balk, a couple of born and raised South Bay natives who call Manhattan Beach home with their two kids Koa and Ruby, and dog Hoale. Just a stone’s throw to the Pacific Ocean at El Porto, their two story townhouse sits up on the hill with a perfect view of the surf lineup and sunsets every evening over the water. Rikki has designed and decorated the beautiful surf-inspired house herself from top to bottom and her paintings even adorn the walls throughout. John is a local ripper who started Auctiv, an all natural sunscreen brand with his friends. A couple years ago, the Balk’s world was turned upside down when John was diagnosed with brain cancer. After undergoing brain surgery, he had a seizure that left half of his body paralyzed and since then he’s been on an intense road to recovery learning how to talk, read, walk, and eventually surf again. Hearing both John and Rikki talk in a positive tone about everything they’ve been through with two young kids at their side is nothing short of inspiring. Their story teaches us that every day is truly a gift and we must live each day like it is our last.

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On assignment in Morocco, Alex Wilson read an email from Scott Hulet about possibly joining the team at The Surfer’s Journal. Wilson booked a flight to California as fast as he possibly could to sit down with Hulet, the pen and paper left in Morocco. Two and a half years later, Wilson says it’s the best job he’s ever had. Wilson’s a writer of fiction and non-fiction, East-Coaster, literary nerd, and one of the most thoughtful, generous, and helpful editors that I have had the pleasure to work with. For a long time, Wilson worked at SURFER magazine as an editor before joining TSJ as their deputy editor. In between, he moved back East for his MFA at the New School in New York City. Then, he’d push back and forth from the east end of Long Island to the city, surfing here and there, wandering the city at night, and reading and writing like all hell. Now, he lives up in the hollows of Central California with his wife, daughter, and gang of animals. He’s currently churning out stories for TSJ, honing the work of others, working on a collection of short stories, and a novel. We don’t have enough real estate to list his accolades, but you can find his fiction in Story Quarterly, the Southwest Review, and the anthology, New Stories from the Southwest from the University of New Mexico; and look for his non-fiction in Byliner, Surfer, Surfing, TSJ, and the San Diego Union Tribune among others. Recently, Wilson received honorable mention from The Best American Travel Writing series.

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A rich tale of a young indigenous scientist’s struggle for truth between science and tradition as he enters an industry that many feel is threatening his homeland. His complex journey through the inner workings of GMO chemical companies and traditional Hawaiian elders reveals ancient values that can save our future.

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The day before this interview I told Julien we should make the three hour trip from New York City to Montauk to catch the tail end of a juicy swell. For one reason or another we didn’t, but when we arrived Tony made us pay. “Yesterday was unbelievable,” he said. “Seriously, as good as Ditch Plains gets.” Then he really cranked it up. “It was breaking from the trailer park all the way through the jetty, glassy, 10 people in the water, unreal. It was spectacular – it looked like somewhere else.” After recovering from a nauseating bout of envy, we settled in to ask Tony about his life as a pro longboarder and his enduring love for his home town, Montauk.

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“Woza” (“Come” in Zulu) tells the story of an African surfer who has been taken as a lover by the African water spirit Mami Wata. It features 22 year-old Transkei surfer, Avuyile Ndamase. Check out this rad new surf brand here:

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Directed by Keith Malloy, Fishpeople tells the stories of a unique cast of characters who have dedicated their lives to the sea. From surfers and spearfishers to a long-distance swimmer, a former coal miner and a group of at-risk kids on the streets of San Francisco, it’s a film about the transformative effects of time spent in the ocean – and leaving behind our limitations to find deeper meaning in the saltwater wilderness that lies just beyond the shore. Individuals featured in the film include Dave Rastovich (surfer), Matahi Drollet (surfer/fisherman), Lynne Cox (open-water swimmer), Ray Collins (photographer), Eddie Donnellan (youth worker) and Kimi Werner (spearfisher). Fishpeople will show in 13 US cities, premiering at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, Calif on April 13. The complete tour schedule can be found here. The film will be available to the general public starting July 2017 on iTunes and other VOD platforms.

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Janna Irons is like many in this series: an all-out creative. She came up through the magazine world and was born in Hanalei, Kauai—born to the venerated Irons family. Bruce and Andy Irons (1978-2010) are Janna’s cousins. She’s the former managing editor of SURFER magazine and the founder of the short lived but adored publication, Salted magazine. Since leaving SURFER three years ago, she’s worked for many magazines and creative agencies as a freelancer. And recently, she and her husband lived out of a van and worked remotely for a full year, replete of the quotidian rhythms. Now the two live in Eastern Washington where they’re restoring a 1909 craftsman bungalow. Irons still opined that Rincon was her favorite wave.

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Ty is truly an artist in every sense of the word. Whether it’s through his colorful, tropical themed paintings, t-shirt graphics, ceramics, or even local sign paintings done during his travels to remote parts of the world, Ty’s art is easily recognizable and he definitely has his own unique style. He recently worked with his father to design his St. Augustine, Florida, home, which is a perfect reflection of his character: traveled, eclectic, simple, mellow, and quirky.

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Jake and Meredith are what some might call a power couple in the film and production world. Jake is the director of photography at a little media company called Vice and Meredith is a writer and director. Both are from Florida originally, then moved to the Big Apple to follow their creative pursuits, and have now settled in Los Angeles where they found their dream home perched on the edge of Topanga Canyon State Park.

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Devon Howard’s presence in surfing is omnipresent and fortunately to its benefit. The second-generation San Diegan’s surfing, spurred by his mother, highlights some of the most balletic, graceful, and exacting approaches to riding a wave. Howard’s long arcs and beautiful s-turns can be seen in Thomas Campbell’s seminal films The Seedling and Sprout to classics like Single Fin Yellow and One California Day. On shore, Howard served as the editor of Longboard magazine and has become a regular contributor to The Surfer’s Journal. He still haunts the reefs near his home, and after years piecing together work to keep himself in the water, he owns and operates his boutique marketing agency, Blu Sky Collective, in San Diego. In 2014, his nimble footwork won him the Deus 9 Foot & Single competition in Indonesia, and he’ll be featured in Tin Ojeda’s forthcoming Free Jazz Vein this year. Howard’s deep well of personal history bound up in surf culture alongside his work and surfing are why we began this series, and it’s a boon to have his take included.

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Panthalassa joined Oceana and its team of marine biologists on its first North Sea expedition. They soon learned that the North Sea is no longer the paradise for whales, plankton and seabirds it used to be. “Into the North” is a visual ode to the North Sea, the men and women working under extreme conditions to study and protect our oceans, but most important, about the very cause that is turning this oasis into a desert: Overfishing.

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Matt Warshaw is the principal authority when it comes to the bits and bobs that make up the historical record of surfing. He is both the progenitor of The Encyclopedia of Surfing and an Encyclopedia of Surfing concurrently. Born in 1960, he is a former professional surfer, polished academic, and an accomplished, prolific, unyielding writer. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and magazines including Esquire, Outside, and The Surfer’s Journal. He is the former editor of Surfer magazine and a regular contributor to Beach Grit, Surfline, and Stab among countless others. He’s published over half-a-dozen books and serves as the surf consultant for the Oxford English Dictionary’s third edition as of last year. Warshaw was raised in Los Angeles where he came up in the milieu of Dog Town. Warshaw lays claim to one of the first surfboards built by Jeff Ho under the moniker Zephyr. After twenty years in San Francisco, Warshaw now lives in Seattle, Washington with his family.

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