Q and A with local legend Adam Replogle
SCW: Name? Age? Hometown?
AR: Adam Justin Replogle, age 40, born in Santa Clara and grew up in Capitola.
SCW: When did you first start getting into surfing and the ocean?
AR: Well, I did the Jr. Lifeguard program at a young age which sparked an interest in the ocean as well as got me feeling comfortable in the waves. The Jr. Lifeguard program kind of started it all…
SCW: So are your kids in the Jr. Lifeguard programs as well?
AR: Ya my daughter is enrolled and I think it’s a fantastic way for kids to be introduced to the beach and ocean experience.
SCW: When did the “surf bug” kick in?
AR: I was about 9 and some of the other local kids like Matt Lancing were already starting to get the hang of it and that really made me want to surf like them… I’d watch these guys go up and down on waves and really ride them and I wanted to be apart of that.
SCW: How about the competitions? Around what age did you start competing?
AR: Around age eleven I started doing all the WSA’s as a menehune and continued into the boys and juniors divisions. I was starting to travel up and down the state and compete in all the invitationals and state championships and eventually moved onto the regional pro contests. At that time the Bud Tour was a great way to gain points as well as travel money to get us on our way to other global stops on tour. Unlike today the Bud Tour in California was actually a highly regarded tour and you’d see a lot of the international guys coming to compete here.
SCW: So you and Chris Gallagher have been the only Santa Cruz surfers to have ever made the WCT… That’s an amazing feat, how did you guys pull it off?
AR: Well, the Bud Tour really helped set us on a good path and gave us good seeds going into these international contests. Not to mention the economy was in better shape and our dollar was way stronger. So when you traveled to places like Brazil and even Europe you didn’t go broke. If you’d tried to make some of these travels today and your not extremely well funded your going to run dry if you don’t make some substantial prize money.
SCW: With the amount of amazing talent in this area what are your thoughts on why there haven’t been any Nor Cal surfers to make the WCT since you and Gally?
AR: My opinion would be that Santa Cruz is a really nice place to live and when you get into traveling you realize how good we have it here. It’s inevitable that you’re going get home sick, your going to lose a lot, your going to have to surf crummy waves… These things start to break you down. Where as the guys coming from impoverished countries don’t really have much to loose but everything to gain. They are literally surfing to put food on the table for their families. The guys from other countries like Brazil for instance really band together and travel in groups that have a good support system. Americans are individualistic for the most part and don’t do well in bigger groups. Your lucky if you can get 3 or 4 Americans that can travel a whole international tour without ripping each others heads off…
SCW: So you and Gally were travel partners and going for the big leagues of the top 44… When did you guys qualify?
AR: Wow I personally competed on the WQS for 7 years straight and in 1997 on the 8th year I finally make it. I was super lucky to have the support from O’Neill at the time that allowed me to continue to travel and compete for that amount of time. Man, guys today might only get a one or two year crack at it and if they aren’t on the bubble or made it on the CT they’re gone. It is really a challenge and if any of these young guys like Nic Hdez or Nat or whomever need any help or travel tips I’m always open to share cause I know how tough it can be.
SCW: That’s quite some time to be on the road battling it out… Did you ever want to just throw in the towel and call it quits?
AR: Ya of course but when I saw Gally qualify that really inspired me and made me try that much harder. I also snuck into a WCT event because someone had just retired and got to get a taste of it. First heat was against Kelly Slater with the man on man format and killer waves and I was like “I got to get here!” It was pretty funny after the heat I was chatting with Martin Potter after the event and Gally was already friends with all the big dogs and Martin was calling me “the rookie”… He said I went right on two lefts and to take off those ugly booties on my feet… haha.
SCW: So we have some hope with Nat Young cracking the ranks and making it on tour… Think he’ll be the 3rd ever to make the World Championship Tour?
AR: Nat is definitely the most competitive I’ve seen come out of the area in a long time. He knows how to compete and has been surfing around the world with some of the best, which will also help improve his surfing. The kid also surfs a really long time and that dedication will help tremendously. He will need a good support system via sponsors and traveling crew and if he doesn’t get burnt out I can see him making it in the next 2 or 3 years.
SCW: That will be an amazing day for both Nat as well as the community.
SCW: You’ll often times be seen riding unorthodox looking equipment from little biscuits to a old 7ft Hawaiian gun in 3 foot surf… Is this how you stay inspired on a daily basis?
AR: Well after competitive surfing for such a long time tow-in surfing gave me a new sort of thrill and excitement. It was a totally new feeling and it felt more like snowboarding than surfing. Different boards are always fun because it adds a little challenge to the session where you’ll have learn to really use the rail of the board again and focus on your fundementals. Also my daughter inspires me a ton and when she says “daddy let’s go surfing!” I drop everything and am like “sure thing sweetie! Let’s go!”
SCW: What are a few of your most memorable accomplishments?
AR: Hmm, I won the Cold Water Classic one year but one that really stands out is a 5th at Jay Bay in perfect surf against the best in the world at that time. Also the three wins in a row up at Nelscott Reef were pretty special. I’d say the accomplishment of having a beautiful family might top them all though…
SCW: Man that’s insane! Truly versatile surfer as well as an awesome family man!
SCW: Thanks you so much for your time Adam!
AR: Thank you!