You simply KNOW it’s gonna be a good day when a client says, “We should shoot on the beach and have a surfboard in the shot, yes?”
Little did I know how much fun I was going to have earlier this month while in the mind-blowingly gorgeous city of Solana Beach, California. I was working on an upcoming cover story for Career College Central Magazine and our interviewee, Michael Clifford, lives just outside of San Diego. So off we went to visit him in his native environment.
An environment where I stood out like a sore thumb because I was not eating vegan, covered in sand or wearing a wet suit.
Solana Beach is a sleepy little surfing town nestled in between other little sleepy little surfing towns. Everyone moves at their own speed … which is somewhere between napping and serious R.E.M. It’s delightful and if I robbed banks for a living, I’d move there in a second.
Michael thought it would be keen to have a surfboard in the shot … but not just any surfboard … he wanted an Evolution surfboard. Fortunately, he’s good friends with blondiful, bronzed surfer-god & Evolution CEO Clark Riedel. In surfer world, he’s like the Dalai Lama of surfboards. Celebrities come from far and wide to ride the waves with Clark’s boards under the nimble feet. I had no idea what a big deal he was. Of course, I live in a land-locked state devoid of surf and/or celebs.
His mantra? “Surf for life.”
When Clark showed up, I figured the paparazzi would soon be in tow. Surfers gawked. They preened. A few tried to rappel down from the cliffs to get a better look. Oh sure, they tried to act cool and aloof, but were reduced to drooling when Clark broke out one of his impossible-to-find, if-you-have-to-ask-you-can’t-afford-it surfboards.
Mercifully, I had done enough homework to not feel like a moron around Clark. I mentioned breezily that my doppelganger Mick Mackie made the famous Mackie Surfboards in Australia. Color Clark unimpressed. You could tell he was being pleasant, but was trying to get me to wrap things up so he could dive head first in to the rolling ocean.
I’m constantly amazed at the people I get to meet at this job. And I’m even more amazed at how cool this gig is. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Well – check that. If the shoot involved a neon-infused Evolution board and a shirtless Mario Lopez … all bets are off after that offer.
In the meantime, hang loose, as they say, for the upcoming story … it’ll be coming out before the end of the year … say, around winter … when I’m desperate to be back in Solana Beach.