When you say America’s inability to deal with sex will lead to the downfall of modern civilization, you are bound to raise a few eyebrows. You might be crazy. You might be accurate. More likely, you are probably Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz.
Doc Paskowitz has made a reputation for himself as one of surfing’s most outspoken thinkers – a modern frontiersman, if you will. Packing his nine children into a camper and educating them through surfing, health, travel, and family, Doc has pursued his ideals to the furthest extent, regardless of their accordance (or lack thereof) with the norm. His prerogative to act boldly on his beliefs attracted enough attention to warrant a feature length film, entitled, Surwise, but surprisingly, Doc wanted nothing to do with it.
After watching the film, which holds no punches about his beliefs or the reality of his children’s upbringing, we caught up with Doc to find out more. And we got much more than we bargained for.
How did you decide to make a movie about your family or was that even your decision?
Well, to tell you the truth, I didn’t want anything to do with the movie. In fact, I was so pissed about it that I still haven’t even seen it, and I will never see it. I don’t want a movie about me – I mean I’m Hawaiian.
The idea of being Hawaiian reminds me of when this interviewer asked Makua Rothman why was he so hesitant to talk to people and be interviewed. He said because he was “Hawaiian.” He said that being Hawaiian made him very low key and unlike anything other people made him out to be when he was interviewed. It was wonderful the humble way he put it. And you know, I grew up and lived my whole life in Hawaii, and I have learned that Hawaiian style of just saying “It is US – not me.” So when this guy asked to make a movie about me I said, “Buzz off.”
But then my son Jonathan and wife Juliet said, “Please do this.” Jonathan said “This my chance to get into the movie racket” and my wife said, “This is my chance to have a chronicle about my family.” But once I got on it then it was go for broke. There was nothing in it that I wouldn’t do. For instance, he asked, “How do you exercise?” and so I got myself stark naked and got on my exercise bicycle. I hear that’s in the movie.
Where do you think the Paskowitz family would be without surfing?
There is a Jewish saying that applies to the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, and it goes like this “As Israel has kept the Sabbath so the Sabbath has kept Israel.” And our family motto was “As the Paskowitz’s has kept surfing so surfing has kept the Paskowitz’s.
What if you grew up in the Midwest?
Well, I would be a completely different person. There would be no Dorian Paskowitz. The Dorian Paskowitz that you are taking your time to talk with would not exist if I grew up in the Mid-West. I would be a farmer. I would have tried to stay physically active but it would have to be with something completely different.
What would the one message you would like people to have after observing your family and the decisions you have made?
That love really makes the world go round, but sex makes love go round. That would be my mark on the movie.
Sex was such a primordial part of our lives. As the years went by, I began to analyze sex and I wrote a book about it. It is 500 pages and no one has ever read it. It is a very, very pornographic, x-rated piece of work. The title is How To Choose A Mistress. The reason that I haven’t ever let anyone read it is because when you do read it is very racy. I wanted so much, as a surfing doctor, to speak to my surfing audience as well as the audience of the film about the book that I wrote, which was the basis of the film.
Not many people know that my book “Surfing and Health” is the basis of the film. I wanted it to have its play because the book can save lives.
I think it is interesting how your kids and family have decided to pursue careers in the entertainment industry. What are your thoughts on that?
Well, I never sent my kids to school so they are not going to be able to argue a case in court or do a surgery or sit down as an architect and design a building. They have to choose a profession where personality the profession.
I always tell my wife that we have nine only children. They grew up to be personalities. In many ways, the entertainment business is like a magnet that draws such people like that. In the early days of the movies, the days of Clark Gable and Bill Holden, these guys really were what they portrayed themselves to be in the movies. They really were real personalities. Like Clark Gable, he was the King of Hollywood. When war broke out, he became a bomber pilot. My children grew up all together in the water without a formal education in an atmosphere of love and companionship. Because of this, their personalities grew very strong. And so now each one has followed his own persona and I’m all for it. I think it is easy to be a doctor. There are a hell of a lot more doctors than there are guys riding big Pipeline.