Michael Janzen
  • Michael Janzen
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Name: Michael Janzen

Surfing: Tourmaline

Lives: Mission Valley

Miss work for surfing? “No. Get up earlier and do both.”

A few months ago, surfers congregated at Tourmaline Surf Park in Pacific Beach. The mayor and two city council members gathered with the surfers. They regarded a new brick-and-granite installation, a memorial etched with a longboard surfer on a slow, steady wave. Beneath the engraved photo, the inscription reads, “Surf well, share aloha, share waves without judgment.”

Michael prepares his longboard for a ride and sets it in the bed of his pickup. Holding the rails of the truck, he kicks one foot back, grabs it, and stretches his leg. He repeats to stretch the other leg.

“Winter surfing’s better,” he says. “The waves are better; it’s just colder.” To keep from stiffening up in the frigid water, Michael advises, “Surf as much as possible; the more waves you catch, the warmer you stay….

“See that rock out there? That’s called Grimace.” He points to a crag protruding from beneath the white foam close to the beach. “There was a guy in a boat — a 30- or 40-footer — as close as Grimace, and he was trying to surf,” he says incredulously.

Michael says he’s sacrificed a lot for surfing. “I tore my meniscus and had knee surgery. Thirteen days after surgery, I stood up on my first wave. Same day I got my stitches out.”

The sky is cloudy but not threatening rain. Michael pulls his board from his truck and passes the memorial on his way to the water to share the gentle waves.

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