Name: Jamie Nelan
Lives In: P.B.
Surfing: P.B. Drive
Pre-Surf Music: Muse
Post-Surf Food: California burrito
“I lived in Australia in my junior year of college,” says Jamie, “and when I was there I traveled everywhere: Fiji, Indonesia, I stayed in Bali for a while.… We took about a 17-hour road trip from the north, Gold Coast, all the way down to Wollongong. Surfed a couple really good breaks, hung out in a camper for a couple days. It was a tight squeeze. We lived off peanut butter sandwiches for a while.”
Jamie, originally from Long Island, New York, moved to San Diego two months ago. ”There was still snow on the ground when I left and 20-degree air, and I was still in the water. You can’t have a busy life in Long Island and be a surfer; you have to watch the computer, you have to watch the storms.”
When he was nine, Jamie taught himself to surf. Among his learning experiences are a few close calls, including a nearly fatal drowning.
“I was on a vacation down in Costa Rica. I really thought I was going to drown. I had four set waves crash on my head — it’s like a bus or an Olympic-size swimming pool landing on you. It was heavy. It didn’t let me up and my surfboard was acting like an anchor instead of a flotation device. My leash was pulling me toward the bottom under these 12-foot waves. I came up sucking in foam…it wasn’t too pretty.”