Photo

Pushing Pine

South African chargers Frank Solomon and Josh Redman fund their Northern California winter by slinging Christmas trees

| posted on December 17, 2013

For the last two years, South African hellmen Frank Solomon and Josh Redman have spent the first part of the winter together in San Francisco, surfing Mavericks and bigger-than-big Ocean Beach. Though they’re two of the best big-wave surfers on the planet (Solomon finished 10th in the Big Wave World Tour last year), Solomon and Redman suffer from the disastrous exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the South African Rand. To help stretch their sponsorship money, they earn their room and board by spending a few weeks selling Christmas trees at a lot owned by a local surfer. They work and surf in shifts: one guy hauls trees out to the curb and lashes ‘em to the roofs of customer’s cars, the other jogs across the highway to indulge in some freezing sandbar bombs. When Mavericks wakes, their chainsaws go silent. By the end of December, when the Triple Crown madness has largely left the North Shore, Solomon and Redman will trade their hooded 4/3s for trunks and jet over to Oahu. The heavywater charger’s job never ends.

  • Grant Twig Baker

    True core surfers!!

  • Frank James Solomon

    Thanks Twigg Appreciate it bru.

  • chris

    God bless ‘em.

  • wyatt

    Excerpts from the Surfer pitch meeting…

    EDITOR: Justin, you got anything?

    JUSTIN: I sure do. There are two surfers who make a living selling trees.

    EDITOR: Now that’s a scoop. Have it on my desk my noon tomorrow.

  • nontransplants

    Great Frank and Josh taking work from the people in need in SF. And believe me there are plenty. Bad exchange rate? Yeah, but you got money for airfare and to travel to the islands every year. GAG! Please don’t patronize us. Where’s the INS. Whose got the green card. So when the waves are good the chainsaws drop. Please leave and don’t come back. The City is too full of local sellouts. The power squadron wouldn’t stand for this BS.

    • Dougiwe

      Let me translate: Blah blah blah Frank and Josh are personally responsible for unemployed locals blah blah blah I’m a hater dbag blah blah blah I capitalized ‘The City’ so you know I’m local

    • Chaps

      Dry your eyes you ball bag, its work that most of you wouldnt do anyway!!!

    • adam

      This pathetic comment is exactly why 3/4 of the world hates Americans… Go Fuck urself nontransplants!!!!! like these 2fellas are seriously taking work from guys desperately lookin for work??? If theres a will theres a way!!! good on u boys! Im an american laborer who has been able to work in plenty of countrys an never heard people bitch as much as Americans bitch… U choose ur own path… an these boys are choosin to spend the winter near Mavs… better they sell trees than drugs…

    • mathew

      and you have two hands, a computer, and a shit ton of jealousy. the fact that your alias is “nontransplants” is indicative that you’re probably just another donkey that moved to the sunset yourself. there is no money for sponsored surfers in the surf industry and these guys aren’t getting shit for cash. get off your high horse, get over yourself, quit displacing your personal frustrations on others that are ACTUALLY working word, and go to work yourself. kook.

    • O’side

      @nontransplant: you are very sad,small minded person.

    • Bruno Nascimento

      Kook

    • Warren

      They’re not working for cash, they’re helping out a buddy in exchange for crashing on his sofa and not having to pay ridiculous money in rent or hotel fees. If you were a real local you would know that Mountain Mama’s hardly operates on a profit and gives most of it to the SPCA.

      • k

        ha! Thats wat they want you to think. Those people are pulling a large profit.

  • BackByPopularDemand

    Decapitating pine trees so we can watch them die in our living rooms! What a wonderful way to make money to stay in THE CITY. Right up there with working for Larry Ellison or GOOGLE. Can we please not let these guys have one more minute of fame?

    • Dale

      Can we please donkey-punch you for finding something to hate about two people who do what they can to keep their passion going? Better yet, die so that we can count one less person who is shares the same gene pool with irate mom-bloggers who hate on mothers who are motivated to “tighten” it up after going through childbirth or choose to breastfeed. Where do you people come from? Ah! Uranus.

  • Biff

    This is exciting! I once made salads and lived at my parents house so I could go on a surf trip. Feature me!

  • Phillip Carlisle

    In 92 it was roofing & surfing for us on Kauai. No mention of the hell raising on the “city” nightlife? Maybe the haters would be bash the SA boys for stealing all the ladies. Rock on sons. Phil. Umghlanga Rox.

  • DD

    Yea Frank and Josh!! You guys are legends, Keep up the good work and hard charging ways, You guys show respect and are friends with everyone, Congrats for doing whatever it takes to keep following your dreams~ Remember these two legends!

  • Gregson

    These guys are working to travel and get waves. Creative and pulling their own. By the way, those trees are grown on a farm to harvest. Welcome bros

  • Gregson

    These guys are working to get to the waves. They are pulling their own. By the way, those trees are grown on a farm to harvest. Welcome

  • Jo

    can’t believe the bitches whining. good for those 2 surfers, finding ways to make it through and keep traveling and surfing. i myself commit to a few months of intense work nonstop to then spend months traveling. this is their story, good for them.

  • Dug

    Wow, plenty of vitriolic comments. Who knew people could get so angry about surfing and christmas trees.

  • Lyn

    Good for the guys, they pull their own weight, that’s the kind of newcomers we like. That’s what this country offers anyone who goes for it. Critics might be a little envious?

  • Ryan

    Shameless self promotion XD –>
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9b98UcLHyI – check it out, it’s got fucking hot
    chicks, surfing, skating, kitesurfing, BMX and more! WHAT FUCKING ELSE COULD
    YOU WANT IN A VIDEO? =D

    Make sure to check it out bro’s! You won’t regret it!

  • Tiger

    My friend bought a christmas tree from them a few weeks ago! They were super chill guys!