Might as well go back to the beginning, way back.
It was the last moment of my high school life and no, I didn’t get the girl. The school hosts a massive party in the school gym to prevent teenage drinking. The party began at 7pm, but when night became day, my story begins. I always do this in raffles: I look around and annoyingly convince everyone that I am the winner. The raffle’s third prize were gift certificates to Oscar’s Restaurant. Not me. The second prize, a TV, went to my friend Katie to take to college. As I looked down at my ticket I began to not care. I continued to gawk at my friends that I had the winning ticket. This time, for the first time, I was right.
In my hands I had a grey smallish sleeping bag-like thingy that contained a surfboard inside. Too tired, I was not very appreciative. I was bombarded with offers to sell and would have had it not been for Kevin Derikson telling me it was worth a lot more than one Benjamin. I actually thought he was lying. Looking back now this invaluable gift changed my life forever. The next three months I had choked on gallons of seawater being crushed by baby waves at La Jolla. The first time I had ventured alone I did not even have wax on. Yes, the surf gods were mighty embarrassed. My first real wave was a six second left 200 yards north of the pier on the last day before I headed to college.
By shear luck I ended up in Las Vegas a million miles away from the closest beach. The situation was Tattooine – crooks and outlaws reigned, and it was alway dry and boring. Having developed some engineering skills I proposed a project to bring surfing to this desert region. In 2012, my team won first place for the Ninth Island Wave Pool design.
The 9th Island Wave Pool removes the barriers of high-cost, long travel time and distance, and Great White Sharks. It facilitates the unforgettable joy of surfing for both the very young and the old that may not have the strength to swim into the roughest ocean conditions. Utilizing precision hydrofoils, rail acceleration, and unique geometric design of the retaining walls and floors the 9th Island Wave Pool aims to provide a two meter tall surfing wave that can vary in size and power. The circular Wave Pool is also designed for a minimal electrical energy requirement proving its sustainability and marketability to operating companies. The 9th Island Wave Pool: sustainable, commercially marketable, and entirely unforgettable.
Bold move to ask for $15 Million to morning viewers. Challenge accepted.
I would spend the next couple years pitching the idea to angel investors in Las Vegas. I may have gotten over my head, but overhead surf is the dream, right? Go big or go lay on the beach. Part of my networking would land me with a group I work with today, the Mountain West Tech Accelerator. Over there I continued to work with startups and angel investors basically selling ideas for money. It’s been a blast, but home is calling. I am passionate about surfing. So passionate I would spend the rest of my life finding a way to put a real wave in the desert. But the heart wants what the heart wants. If I can be in San Diego, work, and be able to surf, any company to me is a surf company.