Name: Brian Solis
Surfing: Imperial Beach
Occupation: Graphic designer
Pre-Surf Music: Hawaiian reggae
Favorite Surf Movie: North Shore
Brian Solis is teaching his five-year-old daughter Lilo how to surf.
“I take her out and surf tandem with her,” says Brian. “It’s very scary as a parent because you don’t want your child to get hurt. I’m getting her confident in the water and she swims great in a pool, so I think in maybe two or three years she will be good enough to go by herself. She loves it and was really sad that she didn’t get to surf with me when I traveled to Hawaii [last] summer.”
During that trip, Brian encountered a Portuguese man o’ war.
“My cousin and I were surfing…and he pointed out this huge shape in the water, about the size of a shoebox. I looked and saw that it was a baby Portuguese man o’ war. We immediately took off about five yards south to avoid it. They are very dangerous because they wrap around you and keep stinging — not like a regular jellyfish that will just sting you once and move on.”
Brian was stung last summer while surfing in Imperial Beach.
“There was this weird swell from Australia, and it brought all of these strange white jellyfish that looked like grocery bags. I was in the line-up, and I felt this burning on my leg; I knew that I had been stung. My cousin refused to pee on it [a fabled jellyfish-sting remedy], so I had to go into the lifeguard station.”
In addition to stand-up surfing, Brian is an accomplished bodyboarder.
“An old man once told me, ‘A wave is a canvas. Decide what you want to paint with.’… I’ve noticed that there are other surfers that will say hi to me when I show up with my board but will ignore me if I’m bodyboarding. It’s so disrespectful!”