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It’s hard for me to leave Imperial Beach

There were three dolphins behind us, and two on each side of us.

42-year-old Joey Bradley has been surfing for thirty five years. - Image by Siobhan Braun
42-year-old Joey Bradley has been surfing for thirty five years.

When did you begin surfing?

I started when I was around six or seven. My childhood memories of surfing were either between the jetties or down at the end of Seacoast. I have lived in Imperial Beach my whole life except for three years when I was deployed to the middle east, when I moved to North Dakota for a year, and Northern California for a year.

Do you remember the moment when surfing clicked for you?

No, it was natural. I was always with a bunch of my friends. The ocean was our playground. We went out there swimming and boogie boarding. In elementary school, we borrowed our teacher’s surf boards.

Have you competed in any surf contests?

I did one when I was a teenager and one when I was 39. It isn’t worth it. It’s too stressful.

Where is your favorite surf spot?

I have been all over the world. I like surfing in Costa Rica. I love surfing right here because it is convenient. It takes me two minutes to get ready. I am pretty lazy. It’s hard for me to leave Imperial Beach unless I’m going on vacation. Why would I? I am paying a buttload to live right here.

What do you love the most about surfing?

I like the exercise and I like being in the water. It’s where I socialize with all my friends. I go out every day.

Do you have a favorite surf moment?

Ten years ago, I was with a bunch of my friends at the south end of [Imperial Beach], at Seacoast. Four of us were trying to paddle for the same wave. There were three dolphins behind us, and two on each side of us jumping out of the wave.

What is your biggest surfing pet peeve?

There are a handful of guys out there that are way too aggressive. They surf like they have something to prove to people. They want to catch every single wave. They are never out there with a smile, and they are always arguing with people.

Any surf related Injuries?

I had a board hit me in the forehead. You can see the scar still. I didn’t get stitches. I went home and put superglue and tape on it and went back out. I got hooked in the arm by a fisherman about a month ago. I got three hooks on one wave. They had their lines cast way too far out and I got clotheslined by one. That happens a lot.

How many surf boards do you have?

I have about 15 boards. I have a board for every type of wave. Today the waves are small and mushy, and this is my fish. It works good for small mushy waves. My favorite boards are probably the ones I’ve made. When my daughter was a baby, I made boards for her when she was learning. I probably made 10 or 12, but I got rid of all of them but three. I gave them all to friends.

Do you ever get sick from the runoff?

I can’t say for sure if I have gotten sick from the water. Even when the signs are out, I still go out unless it’s really, really, stinky. Sometimes I get ear infections, so I wear plugs. I don’t think that’s from water quality. I’ve gotten diarrhea but I can’t tell if that’s from the water or from what I ate. Subway goes right through me. I eat it way too much because it’s right there.

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42-year-old Joey Bradley has been surfing for thirty five years. - Image by Siobhan Braun
42-year-old Joey Bradley has been surfing for thirty five years.

When did you begin surfing?

I started when I was around six or seven. My childhood memories of surfing were either between the jetties or down at the end of Seacoast. I have lived in Imperial Beach my whole life except for three years when I was deployed to the middle east, when I moved to North Dakota for a year, and Northern California for a year.

Do you remember the moment when surfing clicked for you?

No, it was natural. I was always with a bunch of my friends. The ocean was our playground. We went out there swimming and boogie boarding. In elementary school, we borrowed our teacher’s surf boards.

Have you competed in any surf contests?

I did one when I was a teenager and one when I was 39. It isn’t worth it. It’s too stressful.

Where is your favorite surf spot?

I have been all over the world. I like surfing in Costa Rica. I love surfing right here because it is convenient. It takes me two minutes to get ready. I am pretty lazy. It’s hard for me to leave Imperial Beach unless I’m going on vacation. Why would I? I am paying a buttload to live right here.

What do you love the most about surfing?

I like the exercise and I like being in the water. It’s where I socialize with all my friends. I go out every day.

Do you have a favorite surf moment?

Ten years ago, I was with a bunch of my friends at the south end of [Imperial Beach], at Seacoast. Four of us were trying to paddle for the same wave. There were three dolphins behind us, and two on each side of us jumping out of the wave.

What is your biggest surfing pet peeve?

There are a handful of guys out there that are way too aggressive. They surf like they have something to prove to people. They want to catch every single wave. They are never out there with a smile, and they are always arguing with people.

Any surf related Injuries?

I had a board hit me in the forehead. You can see the scar still. I didn’t get stitches. I went home and put superglue and tape on it and went back out. I got hooked in the arm by a fisherman about a month ago. I got three hooks on one wave. They had their lines cast way too far out and I got clotheslined by one. That happens a lot.

How many surf boards do you have?

I have about 15 boards. I have a board for every type of wave. Today the waves are small and mushy, and this is my fish. It works good for small mushy waves. My favorite boards are probably the ones I’ve made. When my daughter was a baby, I made boards for her when she was learning. I probably made 10 or 12, but I got rid of all of them but three. I gave them all to friends.

Do you ever get sick from the runoff?

I can’t say for sure if I have gotten sick from the water. Even when the signs are out, I still go out unless it’s really, really, stinky. Sometimes I get ear infections, so I wear plugs. I don’t think that’s from water quality. I’ve gotten diarrhea but I can’t tell if that’s from the water or from what I ate. Subway goes right through me. I eat it way too much because it’s right there.

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