Surfing family – when surfers grow up

Some of you may have heard of the film Surfwise, a great surfing documentary which came out a few years ago. It follows the life story of one Doc Paskowitz, an American doctor who got sick of practicing medicine and decided to open a surf camp and be a professional surfer. He also created what is probably the world’s the most famous surfing family.

Although the story of the Paskowitz surfing family is a bit extreme, there is no reason why surfing shouldn’t be considered a family sport. Few would recommend going as far as Doc – keeping your kids out of school, travelling around the country in a van and constantly surfing – but going on a surfing family holiday now and then surely wouldn’t go amiss.

Neither would the original surfing family’s philanthropy, particularly Paskowitz’s organization Surfing 4 Peace, a group Doc founded with Kelly Slater and Arthur Rashkovan, a businessman active in Israel’s surf and skateboard scenes.

From the Surfer’s Path:

Surfing 4 Peace is an American-Israeli-Palestinian person-to-person initiative created to build communication and cross-border cooperation between the surfing communities of the Middle East and spread the stoke of surfing, starting with the Gaza Strip, Israel’s neighbor to the south.

One contemporary Australian surfing family – consisting of the five Coffey siblings – is profiled in a recent article. One of its members, 18-year-old pro surfer Ellie-Jean Coffey, just won the ASP Australian Pro Junior Series women’s division.

From the Brisbane Times:

Coffey should know. With her three photogenic younger sisters and brother, the five siblings are rapidly becoming something like the Kardashians of the Australian surfing scene.

They already have nearly 500,000 followers on social media, have fielded offers of a reality television show and have a six-year family sponsorship from Billabong that supports their nomadic lifestyle.

In a way the surfing world is one big family anyway – from the US to Australian to Gaza to Portugal and Bali. Part of growing up is recognizing what it means to be a part of a family, whether it’s your own, the greater surfing family or the entire family of humanity.

surfing family

The original surfing family. Pic: (Flickr CC)


This entry was posted in Weekly Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.