Name: Michael Woodbury
Lives in: Chula Vista
Occupation: Video-game designer
Post-Surf Food: Spicy bean burrito
Girls in the Water: “No…I mean, yes.”
Michael tends to avoid the beaches in the summertime.
“I don’t mind tourism — it obviously keeps the city alive — but I get so tired of wanting to go to my regular spot [Imperial Beach] and having nowhere to park or surf because there are tons of people.…
“It seems like tourists are less respectful of our beaches because they don’t live here, so they have no reason to care what kind of condition they leave it in. I try to volunteer with beach cleanups as often as I can to help counteract the impact.”
He did notice a slight improvement this summer with the beach alcohol ban.
“When people drink, they are more likely to do or say stupid things. They start fights over nothing. And when you’re a surfer, it’s just you and the waves; you don’t want everyone else’s bad day to affect you, but it’s hard not to let it, especially when you add booze to the mix.”
Apart from drunken fights, Michael has seen some other interesting things on the beach.
“Last summer, I saw a homeless guy pick up a dead jellyfish and put it on his head. I have no idea why he did this, but it was really disgusting. He just slopped it on his head and went tearing off down the beach. I didn’t know if he was hurt; maybe he was just doing it as a dare or something.…
“Another odd thing was having a huge plastic dinosaur float up to me when I was in the lineup. I noticed this green thing bobbing in the water, and when I grabbed it I saw that it was a three-foot-long brontosaurus. I carried it back to the sand and left it there; I hope someone found it.”
Michael has sustained only one major injury while surfing.
“When I first started surfing, I wasn’t really careful with my board. I was out at I.B., just paddling out for the first time, and I lost control of my board. It came up and hit me in the nose and broke it. I think that’s why I have such a big nose now.”