Slydehandboards-rider-and-ambassador-program

WE SET THE FOUNDATION FOR A 5 PART INTERVIEW SERIES WITH SLYDE HANDBOARDS BODYSURFING CREW STRAIGHT OUT OF ORANGE COUNTY@OC_CREW

Welcome to part 5 of the Oc_Crew series, an all access pass to 18 year old bodysurfing grom Micheal Biggerstaff from Huntington Beach California.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?

I’ve lived in California all my life, was born way up North Paradise, California. Moved down here way back when I was still a baby. I've been in the water before I could even walk. Mom sandwiched me on a  boogie board,  we'd just come on low-tide days and just ride the whitewash. I couldn't even walk yet. So water's been part of my life, really, all of my life.

Tell me your brothers and sisters, you're living in what area? How has the ocean influenced you kind of through that? Your family is obviously a big part of your life.  

Yeah, I'm the oldest of three siblings. My younger brother is Dylan and then the youngest is my little sister, Rihanna. Me and Dylan are definitely the big ocean lovers. Really the ocean has just been a part of our everyday life the junior guard program, just coming here for sunsets, all kinds of birthday parties all throughout the years. Dylan's the one who really got me into bodysurfing too. Before that I was a sponger. I know I'm going to get all kinds of grief for that.

How did you meet the rest of the OC crew?

We met Auggie, who lives right next to us, Auggie Cunningham. We met him shortly after he moved to our neighborhood, seven years ago and we just found out that we had a common love for the ocean. We all went to the same spots. Met Joey, Joe Nickerson, he lives in Fountain Valley. We met him through swim team, swim meets from different aquatic clubs. We all just found this common love for the ocean. Then, Chapin Paige...We know Chapin  from the Junior Lifeguard Program here at the Huntington City Beach Lifeguard Association.

What's one of the funniest things that's happened to you recently in or out of the water?  Or the weirdest thing.

Probably weirdest, I'm gonna go with last time we were at our secret spot, this spot shall remain unnamed for as long as possible. And we all decided we were gonna go out there in Speedos and it was the middle of summer and it was packed. Yeah, it was fun. Tan lines are real.

What are some of your local watering holes, where you hang out to surf, where you hang out just to hang, where you eat, what other you know...

Definitely local surf spot really this entire stretch here just Huntington City Beach, Newport's always nice, the Wedge, obviously. Wedge is nice on those big days,  just being at The Wedge is nice if there's waves. Food, Wahoo's Fish Tacos in Costa Mesa it's definitely one of my personal favorites, Pokey Island on, what is that? Beach and…. yeah, Poke Island. That one is really good, just raw fish, sashimi-style food. Everybody's a fish lover here. Everybody loves the fish. Then, just to hang it really depends on who's hosting who. We'll all head over to someone's house tarp surfing, screw around, yeah.

What do you want to do when you grow up? I mean, you're growing up but...

Yeah, I'm currently working towards becoming a marine biologist. I would like to transfer from OCC to University of Hawaii or UC Santa Barbara and then when I do graduate working at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Who do you think your biggest supporter is and who is your biggest inspiration as far as water, but also just normal people?

Definitely some of my biggest inspirations would definitely be Mark Cunningham and Mike Stewart with the bodysurfing. Those were the guys that really took bodysurfing to kind of this international level sport. We still don't get the recognition as board surfing does, but they're the guys who really took it to public level where we were out there. Same with all the Wedge Crew guys... Mel Thoman, Chuck Olson, Sean Starky, Thomas Van Melum.

You're studying marine biology, but what are your other hobbies and your passions? Do you ever get creative or...

I would definitely call myself an artist. All forms of art. painting, drawing, sketching, Photoshop. Really just all disciplines I've dabbled in a little bit. Drawing more than the rest I would say. Definitely skateboarding, just casually I learned to skate at a very, very young age and it's been a continuing passion throughout my life.

Who or what  gets you out of the bed in the morning?

Well, these days finals week I'm getting myself out of bed because I've got to get stuff done. If I'm not up, Dylan's gonna wake me up with this look on his face like why they hell weren't you up before me?

That's why you need little brothers, right?

Oh, yeah.

How do you think surfing has affected your other parts of your life growing up... good, bad?

Good, I think it's really just helped me to realize that staying fit and staying in shape doesn't have to be a chore like going to the gym. Especially all this open-ocean swimming and paddling. It's just all-around exercise and it's cardio, it's strength training. It's all wrapped into one package and it doesn't feel like a chore. It doesn't feel like hardcore exercise. You're loving it the whole time. You don't even notice.

Has it ever been a bad thing or you pretty much just love it?

Probably the one negative thing I could say is a lot of times I feel like it takes up a priority spot when I should be focusing on school or back when I was working. Do I go to work today or do I go surf when I really should've gone to work? I'm poor.

Where have you travelled and where do you want to travel?

Mostly I’ve  travelled up and down our Pacific Coast here. Biggest excursion aside from Hawaii would definitely be Chile back in 2013. That was a big trip. Probably one of the pivotal moments of my life just really getting to see for myself how much bigger the world is than just California. It's a whole other culture. English is no longer the main language. It was just nice.

What's special about your guys' crew and your guys' friendship that might be different? You guys seem pretty close and you come from pretty different areas even for Orange County at least. What makes it special? You guys are pretty bonded, right?

Oh, yeah definitely. I think it all just started with that common bond with Mamo Ocean. We all met each other either directly or we knew each other from different sports, from swimming. In the case of the Biggerstaff brothers and Auggie Cunningham literally living 30 yards across the street.

Really it just grew out of hang out more and more, learn your surf, realize we all were into alternate forms of surfing as well, bodysurfing, inflatables, all kinds of interesting stuff. It's just grown throughout the years. It's just common love of the ocean and then sharing that awesome wave, that awesome session together. Then, going beyond that, just even our daily life without surfing we're texting each other at 9, 10 at night still talking about a session sometimes. That's where it's grown just through years of a common love and common sessions.

Do you feel like you have their backs on and off the beach?

Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah. All these boys they're my brothers, man.

Yes, what do you think about the bodysurfing sport? Where is it going? How does it feel to be a younger generation bodysurfer? What are you gonna do to take this sport further?

It’s going. I'd love to take bodysurfing further. I feel like it's going in a really good direction with this new generation...us, guys younger than us, even slightly older than us. Eventually we're gonna take the place of all these older guys and while still  having that  mahalo and respect for bodysurfing as it stands today. .

Big shout-out to all those guys. I think we can come up and hopefully we can do something good, do the sport proud now that those guys they brought us up to a public level. Especially Mark Johnson putting together competitions. Budlight too putting together The World Bodysurfing Championship in Oceanside, just getting us out there on these bigger competitions, multi-day competitions. People can say  “oh it's not just a bunch of weird guys with fins out in the ocean.” This is actually a serious business. We take honest pride in our sport. I'd like to continue that.

Surfing has gained such crazy popularity, people like John John Florence being sponsered. Do you want to see bodysurfing have that same respect and sponsorship?

 Oh, I'd love to see that kinda respect for the bodysurfing community especially some of the crazier guys who've been doing it obviously longer than we have. They're just a whole other playing field. It's always cool to see guys like Fred Simpson, Mark Cunningham, Brian Keaulana with Fin Brands giving out the free Da Fins stuff to their boys. Viper Surfing Fins from Fred Simpson, Da FIn with Mark and Brian Keaulana , also some wetsuit companies. Even some smaller local guys like Sean Starky, his new shop, Seacraft Supply and Co just really supplying the alternate surfers. It's awesome to see that we're starting to gain that foothold of sponsorship in our specialty shops and businesses.

Best advice you've ever gotten?

Best advice I've ever gotten. To quote Auggie Cunningham after the worst wipe-out after my life "When the wave breaks here, don't be there or you're gonna get drilled."

Any parting words?

Stay stoked, stay classy, love Mama Ocean.

THANKS Micheal FOR YOUR KILLER INSIGHTS!
SEE WHAT SLYDE HANDBOARDS Michael IS RIDING HERE

July 15, 2016

OC Crew Series: Michael Biggerstaff of Huntington Beach

Slydehandboards-rider-and-ambassador-program

WE SET THE FOUNDATION FOR A 5 PART INTERVIEW SERIES WITH SLYDE HANDBOARDS BODYSURFING CREW STRAIGHT OUT OF ORANGE COUNTY@OC_CREW

Welcome to part 5 of the Oc_Crew series, an all access pass to 18 year old bodysurfing grom Micheal Biggerstaff from Huntington Beach California.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?

I’ve lived in California all my life, was born way up North Paradise, California. Moved down here way back when I was still a baby. I've been in the water before I could even walk. Mom sandwiched me on a  boogie board,  we'd just come on low-tide days and just ride the whitewash. I couldn't even walk yet. So water's been part of my life, really, all of my life.

Tell me your brothers and sisters, you're living in what area? How has the ocean influenced you kind of through that? Your family is obviously a big part of your life.  

Yeah, I'm the oldest of three siblings. My younger brother is Dylan and then the youngest is my little sister, Rihanna. Me and Dylan are definitely the big ocean lovers. Really the ocean has just been a part of our everyday life the junior guard program, just coming here for sunsets, all kinds of birthday parties all throughout the years. Dylan's the one who really got me into bodysurfing too. Before that I was a sponger. I know I'm going to get all kinds of grief for that.

How did you meet the rest of the OC crew?

We met Auggie, who lives right next to us, Auggie Cunningham. We met him shortly after he moved to our neighborhood, seven years ago and we just found out that we had a common love for the ocean. We all went to the same spots. Met Joey, Joe Nickerson, he lives in Fountain Valley. We met him through swim team, swim meets from different aquatic clubs. We all just found this common love for the ocean. Then, Chapin Paige...We know Chapin  from the Junior Lifeguard Program here at the Huntington City Beach Lifeguard Association.

What's one of the funniest things that's happened to you recently in or out of the water?  Or the weirdest thing.

Probably weirdest, I'm gonna go with last time we were at our secret spot, this spot shall remain unnamed for as long as possible. And we all decided we were gonna go out there in Speedos and it was the middle of summer and it was packed. Yeah, it was fun. Tan lines are real.

What are some of your local watering holes, where you hang out to surf, where you hang out just to hang, where you eat, what other you know...

Definitely local surf spot really this entire stretch here just Huntington City Beach, Newport's always nice, the Wedge, obviously. Wedge is nice on those big days,  just being at The Wedge is nice if there's waves. Food, Wahoo's Fish Tacos in Costa Mesa it's definitely one of my personal favorites, Pokey Island on, what is that? Beach and…. yeah, Poke Island. That one is really good, just raw fish, sashimi-style food. Everybody's a fish lover here. Everybody loves the fish. Then, just to hang it really depends on who's hosting who. We'll all head over to someone's house tarp surfing, screw around, yeah.

What do you want to do when you grow up? I mean, you're growing up but...

Yeah, I'm currently working towards becoming a marine biologist. I would like to transfer from OCC to University of Hawaii or UC Santa Barbara and then when I do graduate working at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Who do you think your biggest supporter is and who is your biggest inspiration as far as water, but also just normal people?

Definitely some of my biggest inspirations would definitely be Mark Cunningham and Mike Stewart with the bodysurfing. Those were the guys that really took bodysurfing to kind of this international level sport. We still don't get the recognition as board surfing does, but they're the guys who really took it to public level where we were out there. Same with all the Wedge Crew guys... Mel Thoman, Chuck Olson, Sean Starky, Thomas Van Melum.

You're studying marine biology, but what are your other hobbies and your passions? Do you ever get creative or...

I would definitely call myself an artist. All forms of art. painting, drawing, sketching, Photoshop. Really just all disciplines I've dabbled in a little bit. Drawing more than the rest I would say. Definitely skateboarding, just casually I learned to skate at a very, very young age and it's been a continuing passion throughout my life.

Who or what  gets you out of the bed in the morning?

Well, these days finals week I'm getting myself out of bed because I've got to get stuff done. If I'm not up, Dylan's gonna wake me up with this look on his face like why they hell weren't you up before me?

That's why you need little brothers, right?

Oh, yeah.

How do you think surfing has affected your other parts of your life growing up... good, bad?

Good, I think it's really just helped me to realize that staying fit and staying in shape doesn't have to be a chore like going to the gym. Especially all this open-ocean swimming and paddling. It's just all-around exercise and it's cardio, it's strength training. It's all wrapped into one package and it doesn't feel like a chore. It doesn't feel like hardcore exercise. You're loving it the whole time. You don't even notice.

Has it ever been a bad thing or you pretty much just love it?

Probably the one negative thing I could say is a lot of times I feel like it takes up a priority spot when I should be focusing on school or back when I was working. Do I go to work today or do I go surf when I really should've gone to work? I'm poor.

Where have you travelled and where do you want to travel?

Mostly I’ve  travelled up and down our Pacific Coast here. Biggest excursion aside from Hawaii would definitely be Chile back in 2013. That was a big trip. Probably one of the pivotal moments of my life just really getting to see for myself how much bigger the world is than just California. It's a whole other culture. English is no longer the main language. It was just nice.

What's special about your guys' crew and your guys' friendship that might be different? You guys seem pretty close and you come from pretty different areas even for Orange County at least. What makes it special? You guys are pretty bonded, right?

Oh, yeah definitely. I think it all just started with that common bond with Mamo Ocean. We all met each other either directly or we knew each other from different sports, from swimming. In the case of the Biggerstaff brothers and Auggie Cunningham literally living 30 yards across the street.

Really it just grew out of hang out more and more, learn your surf, realize we all were into alternate forms of surfing as well, bodysurfing, inflatables, all kinds of interesting stuff. It's just grown throughout the years. It's just common love of the ocean and then sharing that awesome wave, that awesome session together. Then, going beyond that, just even our daily life without surfing we're texting each other at 9, 10 at night still talking about a session sometimes. That's where it's grown just through years of a common love and common sessions.

Do you feel like you have their backs on and off the beach?

Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah. All these boys they're my brothers, man.

Yes, what do you think about the bodysurfing sport? Where is it going? How does it feel to be a younger generation bodysurfer? What are you gonna do to take this sport further?

It’s going. I'd love to take bodysurfing further. I feel like it's going in a really good direction with this new generation...us, guys younger than us, even slightly older than us. Eventually we're gonna take the place of all these older guys and while still  having that  mahalo and respect for bodysurfing as it stands today. .

Big shout-out to all those guys. I think we can come up and hopefully we can do something good, do the sport proud now that those guys they brought us up to a public level. Especially Mark Johnson putting together competitions. Budlight too putting together The World Bodysurfing Championship in Oceanside, just getting us out there on these bigger competitions, multi-day competitions. People can say  “oh it's not just a bunch of weird guys with fins out in the ocean.” This is actually a serious business. We take honest pride in our sport. I'd like to continue that.

Surfing has gained such crazy popularity, people like John John Florence being sponsered. Do you want to see bodysurfing have that same respect and sponsorship?

 Oh, I'd love to see that kinda respect for the bodysurfing community especially some of the crazier guys who've been doing it obviously longer than we have. They're just a whole other playing field. It's always cool to see guys like Fred Simpson, Mark Cunningham, Brian Keaulana with Fin Brands giving out the free Da Fins stuff to their boys. Viper Surfing Fins from Fred Simpson, Da FIn with Mark and Brian Keaulana , also some wetsuit companies. Even some smaller local guys like Sean Starky, his new shop, Seacraft Supply and Co just really supplying the alternate surfers. It's awesome to see that we're starting to gain that foothold of sponsorship in our specialty shops and businesses.

Best advice you've ever gotten?

Best advice I've ever gotten. To quote Auggie Cunningham after the worst wipe-out after my life "When the wave breaks here, don't be there or you're gonna get drilled."

Any parting words?

Stay stoked, stay classy, love Mama Ocean.

THANKS Micheal FOR YOUR KILLER INSIGHTS!
SEE WHAT SLYDE HANDBOARDS Michael IS RIDING HERE

Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Author

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.




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