Nole, tell us a little bit about this long distance paddle that you are partaking in.
Well we are paddling from Gaviota to the US/Mexico border. We are paddling on traditional paddleboards with a bunch of gear strapped to them, and an alaia surfboard on each one. We’ll be paddling down the coast, and camping at campgrounds along the way, or staying with friends between here and the US/Mexico border.
You say ‘we’, who are you paddling with? And how long will this take you?
My friend Chad Koenig is paddling with me. We are scheduled to leave Gaviota and travel through Santa Barbara head into Ventura. We are taking the schedule as we go. It depends on the surf, we are just going to see how it goes. We plan on surfing a lot along the way.
Exactly how far is it from Gaviota to the Mexican border?
It is about 300 miles or so. We are taking it day by day. We’ll probably put in about 20 miles a day.
What exactly is the cause or charity that you are raising awareness for? What is this all about?
It is called SaveNaples.org. There is this property just outside of Santa Barbara area along the Gaviota coast. A developer wants to build Malibu colony style McMansions on the property. There is a beautiful right point surf spot right there, and it is a gem to the local surf community and we are trying to prevent the expansion of the suburbs of Santa Barbara into his area.
This is quite an undertaking. A big paddle. Have you been doing some training?
Nothing of this magnitude…I’ve paddled across the Santa Barbara channel from Santa Cruz Island to the Santa Barbara harbor. Also from other islands to Carpentaria for some other fundraisers.
This paddle sounds a bit spooky, to be quite honest. What type of wild life to expect to encounter on your paddle?
Hopefully none that are hostile. We’ll see some dolphins and seals…we hope. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for sharks though.
What are some of the surf spots where you hope to get some waves.
Definitely hang at Rincon if there are waves, and Malibu is on top of the list. And of course I hope we hang at Trestles for a bit too.
How long have you known Chad, your paddling partner? This is long sojourn. Do you guys get along?
I hope not (laughs). We’ve done this type of paddle before and Chad lives with me at my house. So we’ve been shaping alaia surfboards together for the past six months, so he and I are sort of like cousins. If there is a conflict, we’ll know how to deal with it.
I imagine you guys might meet some nice ladies, you’ve got quite a pick up line for the cougars when you stop at Malibu, “Hey ladies, yeah, I’m paddling on my surfboard down to Mexico.”
Oh yeah, no doubt! (laughs) We are going to bring the party with us.
Well I hope to see you guys down in my neck of the woods in So Cal. At Cardiff Reef there are a few guys that rip on the alaias. A guy named Ryan Birch, and of course Machado is pretty damn good too.
Yeah…we are looking forward to spending time with people everywhere along the coast and we hope to meet and hang out with a bunch of surfers. If you see us make sure to say hello. And talk with us about our cause, SaveNaples.org.
Well, we here at SURFER plan on running into you at Lowers or wherever and best to of luck to you both!
Right on Scott, thanks for your support!