My guest today as a young adult was one of the best young surfers in the world.
He had world at his fingertips, he was going to be one of the great competitive surfers, with sponsorships, prize money, and all that stuff coming his way.
And at a relatively young age, he stepped away from the competitive surfing scene.
He describes how he kept seeing how the act of surfing which is simple, wonderful, & therapeutic, was being complicated with money, fame, & competition.
So he forged a different path and became one of the first really well known ‘free surfers’, which he describes as being ‘let out of a box’, as he was able to try different boards, go to unusual places, and be creative.
Isn't that such a synonym for our current world? Isn't that a great example of an activity that started as a creative and free spirited endeavour, but then fell victim to commercialisation and standardisation.
Then as a free-surfer he travelled all around the world and saw first-hand the environmental changes and destruction, year on year, from human activity.
Motivated to do something, he started his own not-for-profit called ‘Surfers for Cetaceans’ focussed on conservation of whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals.
His environmental activism grew. He was involved multiple movies including 'The Cove', and he did a series of awareness raising adventures all around the world.
Now, all of that stuff alone would be more than enough for us to hold a powerful and meaningful conversation.
But the thing about this guest is that through all of that, just like he broke out of the commercialised surfing box, he seems to also have broken out of human-centred world that we put ourselves in.
He lives at the whim of the weather, the seasons, and nature.
In this conversation he shares his perspective that because we’re all focussed on human activity all the time, we’re missing so much else which is going on around us.
He shares some incredible stories and experiences he’s had with creatures in the ocean; stories that will blow your mind hearing them.
He is now a global surfing ambassador for Patagonia, public speaker (if the surf’s no good), and runs his own podcast with his partner Lauren called the Waterpeople Podcast (which I highly recommend)
Please enjoy this conversation with none other than, Dave Rastovich.