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Name: Marty Cowles

Lives: Ocean Beach

Surfing: Avalanche Jetty, Ocean Beach

“Go home, Barney,” Marty Cowles says is the worst insult he’s heard from locals. The most he’s been hassled is at Oceanside. “They get pissed off at you up there. Riding at the pier in Oceanside is pretty cutthroat.”

Since Marty came to San Diego from South Dakota five years ago, he’s been surfing. He moved here for the music scene; he’s keyboard player in a couple of on-again off-again bands.

Marty surfs Ocean Beach because everyone’s respectful. “As long as you stay out of people’s way, you know, if you’re in line, you can go for it. People will let you go. Nobody’s really competing for waves or showing off.”

After five years, Marty considers himself an accomplished surfer. The challenge of surfing and the mellow feeling after a session surfed well are why he keeps coming out. “Whether you’re getting good waves or not,” Marty says. “It’s still something to do that makes you feel good.…

“South Dakota, we have wakeboarding and…well, getting drunk. Surfing is a different feel. It’s more zen, but also a little more intense; you have to stay on your toes out there.”

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