In-depth conversations with the most compelling people in surfing.
New episodes released every Sunday.
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Keala Kennelly grew up on Kauai in a geodesic dome built by her parents and began surfing at the age of five, a contemporary of the Irons brothers. Through the 1990s and early aughts, she was consistently ranked top ten on the World Tour and was the first woman to tow Teahupoo. She has since pursued successful careers in both acting and music. Kennelly’s life has been also defined by her pushing both physical and social limitations, from her fighting for women’s representation in heavy surf to her coming out during a time when that meant detrimental ramifications to her surfing career. In this episode, Kennelly talks with show host Jamie Brisick about being an early advocate for the LGBTQ+ surfing community, what it meant to be one of the few women in the lineup, how the attitudes have changed, losing her sponsors, giving up her spot on tour to work as an actress for David Milch, fighting for equal pay, and her invite to the Eddie, and her DJ career.
His father an olympic diver from Hungary, his mother a professional water skier, Brad Gerlach drew inspiration and drive from his parents’ athletic accomplishments and competitive mentality. He gripped professional surfing by the horns in 1985, when, as a rookie on the tour, he took out the tour’s major players to emerge victorious at that year’s Stubby’s Pro. Victories continued to color Gerlach’s early career, culminating in his finishing second in the world in 1991. He eventually grew disillusioned with competitive surfing and focused his efforts on big-wave surfing and chasing swells around the globe, where he saw more fruitful possibilities for personal growth, self-expression, and freedom. He’s also worked as an actor, teacher, founder, and coach. In this episode, Gerlach sits down with show host Jamie Brisick to talk about the road to realizing one’s dreams, unlocking potential, his proudest year, Wave Ki and his fitness philosophy, and fame.
Surfer, artist, and filmmaker Thomas Campbell’s unique perspective was informed by upbringing in Dana Point, California, his background as a skateboarder, and his experience serving as editor of Skateboarder magazine in the 1990s. His films The Seedling (1999), Sprout (2004), and The Present (2009), which function loosely as a trilogy, aestheticize surfing on the basis of its inherent capacity for playfulness, beauty, and style, standing in contrast to a society increasingly dominated by industry and consumption. Today, Campbell continues to work as a practicing filmmaker, artist, and producer, and is currently preparing for an upcoming solo exhibition at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. In this episode, Campbell sits down with show host Jamie Brisick to talk about the divergent cultural possibilities between surfing and skating, the importance of having a strong work ethic, being driven by curiosity, the surfing industrial complex, and finding creativity in quietude.
One of the shortboard revolution’s seminal figures and a Pipeline pioneer, Jock Sutherland hails from a family of watermen: His mother swam the northern coast of the island of Molokai, a journey which she later detailed in her 1978 book, Paddling My Own. His father, a World War II navy officer, was a seasoned kayaker, fisherman, and surfer. Sutherland and his family moved to Hawaii from Long Beach, California in 1952, where he learned to surf on one of his father’s old planks. He began riding for Greg Noll as a teenager, and went on to place second at both the 1965 Makaha International Junior Surfing Championships and the Ocean Beach World Contest in 1966. In 1967, he won the Duke Invitational. In 1969, he won Surfer magazine’s Surfer of the Year award. In 1970, he left surfing to join the US Army at the height of Vietnam. At 74, surfing remains an integral part of Sutherland’s day to day life. In this episode of Soundings, Sutherland sits down with show host Jamie Brisick to talk about turning points in surfing’s evolution, living with Jeff Hakman in Maui, the psychedelic resurgence, why he enlisted in the Army, being incarcerated for drug smuggling, myth-busting, and Waimea’s mechanics.
Michael Scott Moore
Journalist and author Michael Scott Moore’s interest in piracy emerged from research conducted for his first novel, 2010’s Sweetness and Blood, which traces the history and spread of surfing from pre-colonial Hawaii to the rest of the world. His interest in the issue spiked when a trial of ten Somali pirates began in Germany in 2010—the first time in 400 years that pirates had appeared in a European court. As the trial ran on, Moore became set on researching piracy outside the confines of a western judicial system, leading him to travel to Somalia in 2011, funded by a crisis reporting grant provided by the Pulitzer Foundation. In January of 2012, he was taken hostage by a local pirate group in Galkayo, and remained captive for more than two years. In this episode, Moore talks with show host Jamie Brisick about the devolution of hope into fatalism, the importance of remembering trauma, stoicism, his memoir The Desert and the Sea (2018), and learning to live with what you have.