The Rider Spotlight Series will be a running series of interviews and off the cuff chats with your favorite slyde riders. We find out all the juicy details; what they like to do when they are not bodysurfing and in the water, inspiration, favorite breaks and way more.
Today we get down and dirty with Newport Beach Local Max Ellerston @mvefromcp and the 1 of 3 crew of Dane Amacher @Dma_photography Clint @kua_the_lee_ee so without further procrastination. We introduce to you
Max: I grew up on the American River, so all my life. However, I always made it down to the ocean as much as possible and moved to Newport Beach two years ago.
Max: I grew up in Eldorado County, which is right outside of Sacramento in the foothills of Lake Tahoe. We grew up river-surfing, wake boarding, skating, snowboarding, anything fast enough to get hurt on or anything in the water.
Every chance I got I would come down here and visit family and friends in San Diego. I went to Hawaii a couple of times growing up and got really into body boarding, ever since I moved down here, I've been really big into body surfing because I moved right next to the Wedge and that is our little spot right there.
Max: Well, it's definitely not the place you want to go to learn, which is what I did. It's really awesome! It's a unique wedge break, as opposed to other wedges that exist in the world. There are a few in Santa Cruz and around the world, but the wedge is just so violent and steep, When a proper south swell comes rolling in, it can just get insane. The wedge and maybe Keikis Beach in Hawaii are two of the best shore breaks in the world in my experience.
I have not been everywhere but I've been to quite a few. I am only Just getting used to the wedge, it's unlike any other break out there, even the other steep breaks in Newport, like the Jetties are really steep and fast but the wedge just comes at you. If you've been out there you know or, if you've seen it when she is firing, you know it's unlike any other break around here.
Max: Whenever I'm not in the water I work, a lot and I'm finishing school. I am doing that in order to start my own business, eventually. I grew up around wineries and farms, so I want to get back to that, possibly invest in property and start farming, I would like to get a hotel and a restaurant and combine every aspect of service into one. I wanted to have a winery and a brewery. I want to build a life that you don't have to take a vacation from. Right now I manage a restaurant at a country club right now and I'm going to school to get my business management degree. That takes up a lot of my time. but, i always make time to surf in the morning.
Max: I did every adventure or action sport I could find from snowboarding to skating to long boarding and more. We have many hills up in Northern California, good hills! And we found ways to go down them as fast as we could. I have plenty of scars to prove it. I also played rugby, which was different. I was active. I was always outside climbing a tree or doing something.
Max: It's definitely got me back in shape. I was feeling lethargic when I moved down here because I wasn't working out that much and it whipped me right into shape.
You can't be out there and be in bad shape, you won't last, especially going to the Wedge every morning. Even when it's flat, I have also been working out more. Thinking about being in the water motivates me to work out harder. So, when a swell comes rolling in I am ready to jump right back out there.
Max: Definitely. Well it can be both a rush and relaxing, it just depends on the day. If you go out on a calm sunset session and it's medium size waves, you can relax and have a really fun time. If you go out on a heavy session, obviously it's an adrenaline rush. However, even on the big days there are those moments in between sets where you have serenity, It's really awesome. I'd say it is very meditative.
Max: With the popularity of Social media and the exposure that it's gotten through that. I just see body surfing getting bigger and bigger. There are a lot of alternative sports gaining huge popularity right now because people are being exposed to them through Social media like no other time in our history.
Max: The first athlete I looked up to, ironically, was Lance Armstrong. That was one of my early inspirations. I also read Michael Jordan book and that really got me going, his drive and his competitiveness. I have adopted that attitude for whatever I do. I try not to admit it, but I'm very competitive. If I go out in the water I can't help but try to look at the guy next to me and see a move they did and then think "I've got to do something better."
I think being competitive helps in many ways, it definitely drives me. Also, Andre Botha is the guy who got me into body boarding, just by watching his old clips. My sister's boyfriend, who is a really good body boarder, is also a big inspiration.
Max: The best advice I've ever gotten? I think it would have to be Albert Einstein, "I fear the day technology will surpass human interaction." I know that's a quote but I took that as advice.
and the worst has to be my friends calling me into a closeout set at wedge on a really big day. I usually end up regretting that but it's fun at the time.
Max: Closing words..... wisdom hmmm? I wish we had some waves. It's been dry for awhile but I know they're coming.
Max: Weirdest thing? It's not funny just weird? I got to serve a private lunch for Dr. Ben Carson. He just randomly showed up at our work and I had to do a security check with all his security. It was pretty intense. We had like 20 black limousines pull up into the country club and came in. I was like one of two people allowed in the room. That was somewhat odd but, it's Orange County; so you never know.