Name Chad :
Occupation: Law student at the University of San Diego
Where: Ocean Beach Pier
I found Chad surfing with his seven-foot Catch Surf Odysea in support for the “Paddle for Clean Water.”
“I ride this board when the waves are smaller (two feet),” he said. “It’s floaty so it’s easy to catch waves but it’s soft [in case] you are with a lot of people and you lose your board; it doesn’t tend to hurt you or anybody else.”
There were “almost a hundred others” surfing this morning to support the cause.
“Any sort of problems that are going on in the natural environment like pollution, runoff, industrial chemicals …. you (the surfer) are the first one that gets it.”
In the 20 years that he’s been surfing, he sees a lot of cigarette butts in the ocean and picks up when he can. “There’s bars and restaurants [around here] and cigarette butts stay around forever.”
He’s caught a “ten-footer at Sunset Cliffs” and his biggest wipeout was in Coronado.
“[One day] last year, Coronado was like Tahiti and Hawaii,” he said. "Anybody who surfs out here knows that Coronado has no surf."
But this day was totally different and “The waves were coming through fast, big and heavy.”
Chad found a good size wave then dropped in, but it closed out, and he bailed.
”There were five waves in the horizon and they were breaking right on my head.” The first wave snapped his Firewire surfboard in half, then it held him down. When he came back up, the next wave sucked him down again.
“It’s like going over a waterfall underwater, and then when I got up for air, another wave broke on my head. It felt like hours but it was a few seconds.”