I MET SURFER DAN ON THE DONUT RIDE. after he’d ripped my legs off on every climb in Palos Verdes.  I didn’t know his moniker was Surfer Dan at the time, he was just Dan and he looked like he surfed.  But on STRAVA, he shows up as ”   … surfer”.

Later in the summer of ’15, Dan came down for the unOFFICIAL TMWC.  And, he’s joined us unofficially every year since.

Along the way, I figured out what he does for a living – he’s an extremely modest, world-class surfboard shaper.


Awesome because Trevor (my oldest) wasn’t riding bikes and kept inviting me to surf nasty shorebreak waves with him… I needed a new, high-performance surfboard.

At the ’17 TMWC I asked Dan if he’d make me a board.  We chatted about the magical properties the board would need to get The Old Diesel surfing like a punk.

What an easy conversation: we’re friends + he’s at the top of his profession + I have a real need.

And, that’s how you get paid to ride.

You get to know people.

Decide you like and trust them.

Pick them to help you get what you want.

Dan never asked me if I wanted a board.  He could have easily, but it would have been weird if it was on that first Donut Ride.

Part of me wishes he’d asked me if I needed a new board, because I did.

(my new board is perfectly magical – Thanks DAN!)