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In my younger years, school wasn’t my thing. Surfing was.

This will be my career. This will be my life.

Sean Hogan (36) surfs Outlet, Coronado.
Sean Hogan (36) surfs Outlet, Coronado.

Local?

I am from Encinitas, and I work in Coronado as a lifeguard.

How long have you been surfing?

30 years. My whole family surfs—my dad, my uncle, my cousins, my brother. I started when I was 6 in the whitewash standing up on my boogie board and then graduated to a surfboard. One day it just clicked. I started paddling out and catching waves. Little kids are easy to teach because they are sponges.

Favorite beach to surf?

Swamis. It’s probably the best right point in San Diego. I surf Coronado because I work here. If the waves look even remotely fun and I have the chance to, I’ll get in.

Have you had any cool wildlife encounters?

Oh, yeah, I see sharks all the time. There are a lot of great white sharks out here, juveniles. We (Coronado Beach Lifeguards) assist Cal State Long Beach in tagging them. It’s interesting because there is all this mystique and lore about those animals. Once you finally get to see one, it’s like running across a grizzly bear in the woods. You’re shocked and amazed, and also scared at the same time.

Have you had to rescue many surfers out here?

Yeah, on the bigger days. People go out who aren’t really experienced in large surf. The surf doesn’t get large all that often [in Coronado]so when the opportunity arises, everyone wants to go out and see if they can handle it. Even people who have 4-5 years of surfing under their belts will go out there on a big day and can’t handle it. On those days, [the lifeguards], will sit out there on jet skis just for safety.

Did you become a lifeguard so that you could surf more?

I mean, yeah. I would be on the beach anyway so being a lifeguard was a natural progression. I did the junior lifeguard program as a kid. It’s such a great thing for kids in terms of ocean awareness. It’s important to learn how the ocean operates. Some people are deathly terrified of the ocean. It is dangerous. Once you get the hang of it and the rhythm, it really becomes a place of enjoyment as opposed to a place of fear.

Do you think you’ll continue lifeguarding for the rest of your life?

Yeah, this will be my career. This will be my life. I never went to college. It’s never too late to get a degree and I am working on that, but in my younger years, school wasn’t my thing. Surfing was.

How often do you surf?

I try to surf three times a week, conditions providing. If the surf is good, I go every day. It’s unpredictable. The ocean is always changing. Surfing can be frustrating when the conditions aren’t ideal. It’s not all glitz and glam. It can ruin your day sometime.

Do you ever compete?

In my younger years I did but the kids these days have a new bag of tricks, and they are getting better all the time.

What advice would you give new surfers?

Be kind. Be cool.

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Sean Hogan (36) surfs Outlet, Coronado.
Sean Hogan (36) surfs Outlet, Coronado.

Local?

I am from Encinitas, and I work in Coronado as a lifeguard.

How long have you been surfing?

30 years. My whole family surfs—my dad, my uncle, my cousins, my brother. I started when I was 6 in the whitewash standing up on my boogie board and then graduated to a surfboard. One day it just clicked. I started paddling out and catching waves. Little kids are easy to teach because they are sponges.

Favorite beach to surf?

Swamis. It’s probably the best right point in San Diego. I surf Coronado because I work here. If the waves look even remotely fun and I have the chance to, I’ll get in.

Have you had any cool wildlife encounters?

Oh, yeah, I see sharks all the time. There are a lot of great white sharks out here, juveniles. We (Coronado Beach Lifeguards) assist Cal State Long Beach in tagging them. It’s interesting because there is all this mystique and lore about those animals. Once you finally get to see one, it’s like running across a grizzly bear in the woods. You’re shocked and amazed, and also scared at the same time.

Have you had to rescue many surfers out here?

Yeah, on the bigger days. People go out who aren’t really experienced in large surf. The surf doesn’t get large all that often [in Coronado]so when the opportunity arises, everyone wants to go out and see if they can handle it. Even people who have 4-5 years of surfing under their belts will go out there on a big day and can’t handle it. On those days, [the lifeguards], will sit out there on jet skis just for safety.

Did you become a lifeguard so that you could surf more?

I mean, yeah. I would be on the beach anyway so being a lifeguard was a natural progression. I did the junior lifeguard program as a kid. It’s such a great thing for kids in terms of ocean awareness. It’s important to learn how the ocean operates. Some people are deathly terrified of the ocean. It is dangerous. Once you get the hang of it and the rhythm, it really becomes a place of enjoyment as opposed to a place of fear.

Do you think you’ll continue lifeguarding for the rest of your life?

Yeah, this will be my career. This will be my life. I never went to college. It’s never too late to get a degree and I am working on that, but in my younger years, school wasn’t my thing. Surfing was.

How often do you surf?

I try to surf three times a week, conditions providing. If the surf is good, I go every day. It’s unpredictable. The ocean is always changing. Surfing can be frustrating when the conditions aren’t ideal. It’s not all glitz and glam. It can ruin your day sometime.

Do you ever compete?

In my younger years I did but the kids these days have a new bag of tricks, and they are getting better all the time.

What advice would you give new surfers?

Be kind. Be cool.

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