I hope this email finds you well and that you are surfing warmer waves than me. I arrived to Europe in what they are calling the coldest winter in 30 years, which for this California boy is not easy.
They had a hurricane (yes, a hurricane) in southern France the week I arrived, it killed a bunch of people and basically destroyed a few small towns on the coast.
The sea can be so devastating, it is amazing that the thing that give us all such joy as surfers in our lives has the power to also destroy life—maybe that's why we are so attracted to it, like walking the edge of life and death.
Wave Tribe has been trying to get into the European market for years, we had a few partners in the UK that just didn't work out. We had one shop make the biggest order ever in the history of Wave Tribe, we packed it up, arranged shipping, and then when we asked them to pay the bill they canceled the order, those are the things you learn in this business—people do not do what they say and an order isn't an order until you get the money.
Running a business is much like life in so many ways, you learn who is out to make money at any cost and you also learn that business is about relationship and without an honest and clear approach things tend to fall apart.
Last year I met this guy in southern France who said he was interested in partnering with Wave Tribe so I came down to check it out, this guy is the real deal, he is building a straw bail home and had one of those composting toilets (a bucket) where you take a dump and then shovel some sawdust onto it.
Yea, I tried it.
We have been rapping for the past few months and he says he wants to really get behind Wave Tribe and I was like, ok, I am coming over let's do this thing!
We are starting slow but we are starting and we are looking for other eco partners in the neighboring countries that want to get involved—especially Spain, Portugal, UK and Italy.
In fact in Spain we have been working with a great shop in the north called Kuntiqui, check them out if you are in that region. Kuntiqui: Eco Surf Shop In Spain I carved out six weeks of my life to come here and get this thing started, I've been freezing my cajones off while surfing small wind swell at -3, but you know, I am having a great time too and meeting some fantastic people.
Building a business is not easy, it takes lots of sacrifice and it doesn't happen without the help and stoke of other people.
You got to have fun along the way, if you aren't having fun at what you do then why do it—his life is so damn short. Here is my -3 report from the beach in southern France:
"I've spent most of my entire life surfing, the rest I've wasted." -Anonymous I really
Loved this Youtube Video, it shows you how small we are in comparison to what it out there in the universe:
If you are in southern France give me a shout out, I'll be looking for waves!