4: Robert August: Making The Movie “The Endless Summer”

In this episode Joe Walsh and Niki Hurren hang out with surf legend Robert August. Robert shares some great stories from his experiences starring in the movie The Endless Summer. He also gives advice to anyone looking to get out of their comfort zone: Get out there and see (and surf) the world.

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See you surfing, pura vida!
Joe Walsh

Witch’s Rock Surf Camp
https://witchsrocksurfcamp.com

Robert August Surfboards – Huntington Factory
https://robertaugust.com

Music
Artist: Dirty Heads
Song: Vacation

Audio transcription:

Joe Walsh:
Hey, hey. This is Joe Walsh from Tamarindo, Costa Rica, bringing you the Get Out and SURF podcast. This is episode number four. I’ve got Niki Hurren with me.
Niki Hurren:
How are you doing? Good to be here.
Joe Walsh:
Good to have you here. And special guest Robert August.
Robert August:
Good to be here and good to still be alive.
Joe Walsh:
All right then. This is probably our biggest podcast yet. Got Robert here on the show who is by far one of surfing’s, a legendary surfer, shaper, surf travelers and explorers. And it’s really that last part, the surf travel that gets me excited, Robert. Got so many questions to ask you about being in the surf classic, Endless Summer. But I think we should probably back up a little bit for those that maybe never met Robert, don’t know his backstory. Yeah, let’s start at the beginning. Robert where are you from?
Robert August:
I grew up in Seal Beach, California, but I went to high school in Huntington Beach. My father was a surfer way before he was-
Niki Hurren:
Yeah. My Dad Blackie. And, so I started surfing when I was like five on a little piece of wood. That’s all there was back then. We lived right on the beach, on Seal Beach and I surfed every day of my life.
Joe Walsh:
And when was this? He started surfing on that piece of wood.
Robert August:
Well, let me see. I was born in 1945, so that was in 1950 when I first started catching waves and standing up.
Joe Walsh:
And the lineup was not nearly as crowded as it is today in southern California.
Robert August:
There was very few surfers around. And our house on the beach there was kind of the center. My father mentored a lot of these guys that were growing up and surfing. So you know, Bruce Brown, John Severson, all these guys hung out at our house. So it was pretty, pretty exciting for me.
Joe Walsh:
That’s awesome. So you grew up literally beach front in Seal Beach?
Robert August:
Oh yeah.
Joe Walsh:
Wow, that’s amazing.
Niki Hurren:
Just to back up, why was, what was the nickname Blackie for your dad? Where did it come from?
Robert August:
Well during this period of time when there was you know, World War II and the draft was happening, my Dad, when he was young, him and a friend of is were riding bicycles and they got run over by a truck. And my dad’s friend got killed. And my dad’s leg got crushed. And back then, you know, the medical attention was not what it is today. And when they put him back together and everything, one leg was an inch and a half shorter than the other. So he got drafted to go into the military and got checked out. He was rejected because he had a limp, you know. So, but what they did do was they put him into Northrop Aircraft, which was in the Los Angeles area and they taught him how to be a welder.
Well, my dad just came off the beach where he was, you know, super tanned and dark and everybody else was white as a ghost. And somebody nicknamed him Blackie because he was almost black. He was so tanned and he went, “Great, I’ll take it. I love that. I love the nickname.” Because his name, which my grandmother got out of the obituary, was [Oral Walter 00:03:03]. You can imagine how he got teased in school. “Oral?” “Hey, I’ll take blackie.” Great. So he was professionally, everything that he did, car business in oil business, he was Blackie August. He liked it.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah. But that’s a real famous name and a surfing history as well. I remember hearing stories from you about, in your youth, your parents driving you down, take your family surf trips, down to Baja in an old motor home.
Robert August:
Oh yeah. Well, they took me first of all, his first big trip, he decided to go to Hawaii. And my mom and dad and I, and we had balsa boards by then with fiberglass.
Joe Walsh:
When was this exactly?
Robert August:
1953.
Joe Walsh:
Okay. So early ’50s.
Robert August:
[Herbie Altar 00:03:045] made the Board for my dad and [Greg Nole 00:03:47] made mine. You know, they were balsa wood and fiberglass. That was man, a big deal for the progress of surfboards back then.
Joe Walsh:
Wow. Yeah.
Robert August:
And so to get to Hawaii, there was no Los Angeles airport. We had to fly from Burbank to San Francisco, San Francisco to Honolulu on a propeller plane. Fifteen hours of freezing vibration. But hey, we stayed right on the beach at Waikiki. My Dad and I are out there catching waves. My mom’s in the outrigger canoe taking photos of us. So I was a pretty lucky kid.
Niki Hurren:
That’s amazing.
Robert August:
And then two years later, my dad decided to explore Mexico, Baja California. He bought a truck with a camper on it and bought a little aluminum boat with a motor, put that on top, our surfboards underneath the boat, and we crossed the border in Tijuana and got on these dirt roads and went all over Baja California.
Joe Walsh:
Looking for waves.
Robert August:
Looking for waves. And we’d find a spot. We’d find the beach camp out, go out and catch a fish. My Dad and I would surf. So we never saw another surfer anywhere down there. And as far as I know, we kind of explored the area.
Joe Walsh:
That’s absolutely amazing.
Niki Hurren:
So you were basically like brought up as a traveling surfer?
Robert August:
Oh yeah.
Niki Hurren:
Wow.
Robert August:
Yeah.
Joe Walsh:
Those are the stories that surf dreams are made of right there. Robert. That’s beautiful. So let’s talk about The Endless Summer because that’s like the ultimate surf trip and you went around the world. How were you even involved with the movie? How did that happen?
Robert August:
Well, my mom told me when I was like 11 or 12 years old, she said, “Robert, you surf as good or better than any of these older guys.” And I think it was repetition. I surfed every day. And Bruce Brown and two or three other guys started making surf movies that were basic 16-millimeter movies. And they would rent a high school auditorium up and down the California coast, put posters up on telephone poles and we’d see it that said, “Surf movie. Tuesday night. Newport Harbor High School.” We all went because that was the only information about our sport. It was so much fun. And Bruce Brown was one of those guys.
Well, I knew Bruce from when I was a little kid, him hanging around. And he made three or four surf movies before The Endless Summer. And I was in all of those movies. We drove to Florida because we heard there was some surfers there. We flew from Honolulu to Kauai to check it out. There was no surfers anywhere on the island of Kauai. He found a car to rent from some local person. It wasn’t a rent a car, but we had boards and rope to tie them on top. And it was me and [Rich Two 00:00:06:27] another Seal Beach kid, and he was real, he was a good surfer and athlete. Anyway, I was a pretty lucky kid and I was in his movies and other guys too would want to go make a movie. And I was, that’s how I did it.
Niki Hurren:
This was when you were in high school?
Robert August:
Oh yeah. And then when I was getting ready to graduate from Huntington Beach High School, I was a student body president. I was an A student. I never missed a day of school. My last three years. I was focused on a career in a university. And, so Bruce Brown calls me when I’m getting ready to graduate and says, “Hey Robert, I’ve got an amazing idea for my next movie and I want you to be a part of it.” And I went, “Okay. What?” He goes, “Okay, here’s the deal. It’s going to be you and another surfer. We’re going to travel the world for eight months. And my idea is if you spent your life crossing the equator, you could theoretically spend your whole lifetime in summer. And I’m going to name this film, The Endless Summer.” And I went, “Okay. Sounds interesting.”
And he’s got this map of the world on the wall and he’s showing me where we’re going to go. Well, air traffic was pretty limited back then. We knew there was surfers in Cape Town, South Africa, because they were sending some materials from southern California down there.
Joe Walsh:
Surfboard building materials?
Robert August:
Yeah. And they were trying to figure out how to make a board and how to catch a wave. Well, there was no flights. It went from New York down to Cape Town. The only way we could get there was to fly to Senegal, then to Ghana, to Nigeria, to Léopoldville, to Johannesburg, to get down to Cape Town. And all these other little flights were propeller planes. We had a jet that went across the ocean and then the jet went back. But the plane would land someplace and we’d be there a week or 10 days before it would leave to go to the next destination. So we’d do our best to communicate, try to find transportation, try to find a map, try to find a coastline to see what was there.
Joe Walsh:
Okay. Hold on. Back up, back up. So many questions here Robert.
Robert August:
Yeah.
Joe Walsh:
So there were, you took a transatlantic flight on a large Airbus or Boeing or large, you know, early version of what we’ve got today.
Robert August:
Oh, yeah.
Joe Walsh:
And then once you arrived in Senegal, you were taking one of these propeller planes. And they only went once a week? Or every 10 days they would arrive and they’d depart? That was the start of your trip?
Robert August:
Yup.
Joe Walsh:
After you were in Cape Town, where’d you guys go next?
Robert August:
Well, we also heard there was surfers in Durban, because they were getting some materials from southern California to make surfboards and learn how. And Bruce had some communication with these people to let them know we were coming and what our schedule was. Well, there was no flights from Cape Town to Durban. So we hooked up with this guy that would drive us. And he worked for the game reserve in the country and he was familiar with all the roads and everything and he had a pretty sturdy truck. So we left with him to drive all the way up to Durban, a long ways. And we had a map that showed some roads that went to the coastline, so we could check it out and see if there’s any waves. And in a lot of them were dead ends, you know. We’d drive five hours on a terrible road, get to the coastline. It would be a 50-foot cliff. Nothing to surf on. Turnaround. Drive all the way back.
So when we stumbled onto that Cape St. Francis wave by accident, we just saw a point on the map and there was a road going out in that area. So we went as far as we could and walked out to the ocean over all those sand dunes and stumbled onto that beautiful wave. So it was like a dream, you know. We were having fun meeting people and catching some waves and when we stumbled on to that beautiful wave, it was like I said, it was like a dream.
Joe Walsh:
This is a time where there’s no internet. No Google maps. You were just using nautical charts, basically following the weather patterns. You listen to what? A weather radio?
Robert August:
No. No radio. No communication. No telephones. Nothing on all these little trips.
Joe Walsh:
So you would just go to the coast and just hope there happened to be some swell and happened to be there at the right place, right time to get some waves?
Robert August:
Oh sure. Because nobody had ever explored any of these places to ride waves and go surfing.
Joe Walsh:
When Bruce was making the itinerary, was he planning the trip where he’d thought there’d be the most swell activity? For example, were you in South Africa in the summer months of the year to get all of the winter storms that we’re hitting the southern hemisphere?
Robert August:
There was no weather forecasting back then. No communication about swell direction or possibilities. Nothing. It was all exploration and by chance. Like I said, we went to so many places because we had to, the only way. We wanted to get to Australia, because we knew there were surfers there. But there was no flights across the Indian Ocean. We had to fly from Durban. We had to go up to Kenya, to Arabia, to Yemen, down to India to get across the ocean, to get to Australia.
Joe Walsh:
Incredible.
Robert August:
And we’d be in these places for a week or 10 days before the plane would leave, these little propeller flights. So we went where we had to go.
Joe Walsh:
Is it true that when you got to India that the government wouldn’t let you take any of your film gear, so you couldn’t do any shooting there?
Robert August:
Oh yeah. They looked at these surfboards. They looked at these cameras. And back then, it’s still kind of sketchy. They’re real segregated. You know, they’ve got the caste system with the Untouchables that they treat like dirt. And they’ve got the wealthy people and this and that. And they just said, when they saw cameras, they said, “No, you have to have a special permit. You have to have someone with you the whole time that you’re filming anything to make sure you’re not filming any of this negative stuff, showing a bad light on our country.” And Bruce tried like crazy to say, “Well, we’re sorry about this and these, you know, this segregation thing you got going here. We just want to catch some waves and do some filming.” And they said, “No.” They confiscated the surfboards, the cameras and said, “We know your flight. When you leave in 10 days, you be here. We’ll put this stuff on your plane and goodbye.”
Joe Walsh:
So you basically sat out there for 10 days with no film gear, no surfboards.
Robert August:
Yep.
Joe Walsh:
Let me guess. The waves were good.
Robert August:
We made it to the coastline. We stayed in a little place. It was beautiful. Crystal clear water, like a sandy left point with three to five-foot waves, and no surfboards, no cameras, nothing. Oh my God. And we went out and we tried to body surf it, but the wave it was too fast to body surf. You couldn’t keep up with it. And Bruce said, “Hey, I don’t care what it takes. I’m going back to the airport. I will bribe somebody. I’ll get the stuff. We have to have it.”
Joe Walsh:
Definitely understand that.
Robert August:
He left and Mike and I were still sitting there in this little place by the beach. And he came back five days later and said, “Man, they started to arrest me for attempted bribery. And they said, ‘You’re going to jail.'” And he said, “I screamed and begged and pleaded and promised, you know, and they let me go and said, ‘Don’t you dare come back here until your plane’s ready to go.'” He made it back and told us about this horrible experience he had and we sat there for seven more days looking at these beautiful waves and no boards, no cameras, nothing. But it was really nice.
Niki Hurren:
So you just immersed yourself in the culture. Just like sat around. I mean obviously not a lot to do. Couldn’t even get no board rentals or anything like that. There was nothing there at all.
Joe Walsh:
Plenty to do. Just no surfing could be done.
Robert August:
Yeah. But they were English speaking. The people that settled that part of the world were English speaking and so we could communicate, you know, enough just to say we’re hungry and what do we do and does our money work here? Because every country had their own money. So you’d try to exchange for the last country’s money and it wasn’t easy to find a bank and to get some food. But hey, I’ll tell you that Bruce Brown guy was pretty innovative. We made it. We didn’t starve. And it was a pretty amazing trip.
Joe Walsh:
And you traveled for eight months?
Robert August:
Eight months. Yeah.
Joe Walsh:
Just the three of you? Just you, [Mike Hanson 00:00:14:49], and Bruce Brown.
Robert August:
That’s it. Nobody else.
Joe Walsh:
No, like assistant cameraman,, or key grips or drivers, or security or anything?
Robert August:
Heck, no. No.
Niki Hurren:
Well I think it was, that is so much of the movie’s success is it was just a group of friends, go on a big stuff trip. Like in so much different to how it is today, ’cause everything direct flights and you can get boards anywhere. And everything’s set up for that kind of set up for that type of tourism. But you guys literally were the first to kind of go on those type of adventures, ’cause that’s really what it was. And that’s what’s so much inspiring. And the beautiful thing about the movie.
Robert August:
Yeah.
Niki Hurren:
‘Cause it inspired me years later to go travel and have a look with my friends also. And so like I think that’s the greatest thing about the movie because it is literally just three guys, some camera equipment, some boards and like how you guys must have gotten with the boards in different conditions and you know, I mean it’s-
Joe Walsh:
‘Cause you just brought one board, right?
Robert August:
Oh yeah.
Joe Walsh:
Just one board.
Robert August:
Oh yeah. That was it.
Joe Walsh:
No board bags back then.
Robert August:
Oh, no.
Joe Walsh:
You just gave your surfboard to the airlines and just cross your fingers?
Robert August:
Well, the way the boards were built back then, because everybody thought the boards were expensive. They were about a hundred dollars for a new board. So the boards were, had real heavy foam. The foam was really dense and all boards were double glass, top and bottom with 10-ounce glass, which is really strong. And so it’s double-wrapped around the rails. On the rails of the boards was 40-ounces of fiberglass. You can hit them with a hammer. And we were gone for eight months. We surfed a lot of places that had rocks and stuff and no leashes. And when we got home the boards had some scratches and stuff, but they were fine.
Joe Walsh:
What board are you riding? A 10-0?
Robert August:
10-4.
Joe Walsh:
A 10-4. Okay.
Robert August:
Yeah. Mike’s board was ten foot. That was normal.
Joe Walsh:
Sure. Couple of 10 foot like beefy long boards. No leashes. Paddling to some … I mean I watched the movie multiple times. Just spot where you’re paddling. The first wave, I think the first spot you get to in Senegal, you’ve got to paddle out to that outer reef.
Robert August:
Oh, an island.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah. It was just looked like like a 20, 30-minute paddle or something [inaudible 00:16:55].
Niki Hurren:
Oh, it was amazing. You know, we had this schedule. We got there. We found the beach. They put us in that giant hotel that had just been built by some French company. We were the first people to ever stay there.
Joe Walsh:
Cool.
Robert August:
There was nobody around. And so we’re going, “Okay, this is the way our trip is starting.” And we look out and we see this island, you know, like 100 yards, 200 yards off the beach. A beautiful wave on each end of the island. And we’re going, “Trips going pretty good so far. Look at this.” And it was nice and warm and comfortable water. And it was a great part of the movie. We got good waves right away.
Joe Walsh:
But then you also got to spots like in South Africa where the water was a obviously a lot colder and you didn’t wear a wet suit at any time in the movie, at any point were you wearing a wetsuit.
Robert August:
No. And that’s one of the question. People go, “Well, if it water was that freezing, why didn’t you bring wetsuits?” There were no wet suits then. The first people who tried to make wetsuits used this military rubber that the military was using for, you know, in the snow and stuff like that. And so people tried to put it together and where it, it would cut into your neck and you would bleed and under your arms was just unbelievable. It would just cut into your armpits and you’d bleed. So we chose to be cold and just try not to fall off, you know.
Niki Hurren:
And any type of bleeding in South African waters was probaby not a good thing to have.
Joe Walsh:
Definitely. So, okay. That brings up a good question. What was the scariest thing that happened during the filming of the movie? I mean, you were gone for eight months. Traveled the world. What’s the scariest thing that happened? What comes to mind?
Robert August:
Frightening. I mean, we didn’t have any big waves where we thought, you know, 25 foot to drown. We got some great waves all over periodically. But the one, when we got to Durban, after, you know, the long trip from Cape Town to Durban, we got there and they were learning how to surf and they were all excited to see us and learn. And so right in the city limits of Durban, the whole city is surrounded by steel netting to keep the great white sharks out. And it worked. You know, we were catching some waves there and it was okay. Wasn’t that great, but we’re meeting the people, and you know, communicating and they were curious about all kinds of questions about surfing.
And so they were talking about the steel netting to keep these great whites out and everything. And we went, “Wow. We’re glad it works, you know.” And they said, “Well, you know, there’s actually a place that we go surf outside of town where the waves can be a little better, you know. But it’s outside of the steel netting.” And we go, “Well, but you guys go there and surf?” And they went, “Oh, yeah. You know, sometimes it can be pretty good.” And we said, “Well, let’s go take a look.” So we got in the cars. We drove out there and we parked and there was a little sandy area that went down and the waves were a little better. It still wasn’t great. And so we said, “Sure.” We’re going to go out. And they were all sitting on the beach watching us and it was kinda embarrassing. Every time we’d catch a wave, they’d applaud and yell because they’d never seen such surfing before. There was no-
Joe Walsh:
Surfing was a new thing.
Robert August:
There was no movies to watch. They were trying to just figure it out. So we were having fun and you know, we could hear all this commotion on the beach. And we look up there and they’re standing up pointing in one direction and yelling loud. And we sat up on our boards as best as we could and looked north. And we saw two fins, one like three feet tall out of the water and one like two feet tall out of the water coming in our direction. They were huge, huge, great white sharks. And it was easy to see what it was, ’cause he had told us we were outside of the steel. And man, I never paddled so fast in my life. We just smoked it in, ran up this beach in the sand. And we saw these two giant sharks swim right through where we were sitting. They weren’t like charging around feeding. They were just going.
Joe Walsh:
Checking you guys out.
Robert August:
But, man oh man. They were really huge. And so they went on by and the guys, “Go, well, they’re gone. Are you going to go back out?” “Are you out of your mind? The waves are definitely not that good.”
Joe Walsh:
Okay. So that definitely wins as the scariest surf trip story right there. That would be, or at least it’s up there. That would be a pretty scary experience. So I could see how that would top your list.
Robert August:
Oh yeah.
Joe Walsh:
So after you shot the movie and you came back to California, how’d you feel? What did that, would did being in that movie, the making of it, the releasing of it, how did that impact your life? But what was the biggest takeaways you took from it? And what was your greatest memories from the whole experience?
Robert August:
Well, the memory was just this whole eight-month experience. There was so many parts of it that were amazing and like I said, eight months of travel. But as soon as I got back, I enrolled in school at Long Beach State College, because I wanted to continue the educational process. So I’m sitting through these classes. And you know, they got me on the track team, because when I was in high school, I was a league champion in pole vaulting. You know, there was no surfing when I was in school. We did all the other sports.
Joe Walsh:
I had no idea you were a pole vaulter.
Robert August:
Oh yeah.
Niki Hurren:
I guessed he was a pole vaulter for sure.
Joe Walsh:
You knew that? How would you-
Robert August:
But it was fun, man.
Joe Walsh:
It looks tough.
Robert August:
The pole vaulting was amazing. I loved the challenge of it. But anyway, so I am in college and I’m sitting there and my mind is wandering around about the whole world and the way all of these people lived. you know, they’re trying to hustle me into a fraternity and teach me how to drink beer and I’m going, “Yeah, whatever.” And I was just not that enthralled with the education on that level. It was kind of repetition and stuff that I already knew. I was just kind of wandering around. And by then, you know, a year and a half or two years later, the movie was showing everywhere.
And then it became blown up into 35-millimeter and it was showing in every theater in America. And everybody was seeing the movie. And all of a sudden it was a big deal. And so I just, I just realized that, you know, I had aspirations of being a dentist or being in the medical profession. And then my mind started wandering around about surfing and meeting people and what I had just experienced. And even before the end of the summer, what I experienced in surfing. And I just came to conclusion, “Man, I’m a surfer.”
So I give a phone call to Jacobs, Hap Jacobs, the guy who made my boards that I rode. Nobody was getting paid, but I get a free board and he’d buy me a ticket to go to Hawaii in the wintertime and ride the big way. So that was about it. But anyway, I said, “Hey, you know, can I get a job in the surf thing, doing something, you know?” And he said, “Really? Heck, yeah you can.” And he had a huge retail store in Hermosa Beach, California. And he said, “God, would you just work here in the retail, you know. And say hi to people and sell stuff?” And I went, “Sure. Sounds great.”
So I had to drive to Hermosa from Seal Beach every day, but it was a 45-minute drive. And hey, I didn’t have to be at work until 10 in the morning. So I’d surf every day before work, drive up there. And boy did I love it. People, it’s still the way it is today at your surf camp. People are so happy to get a board and go right away and check the tides. And that’s what I dealt with everyday was all these happy people. They’re getting a board or they’re going on a trip or they’re, you know-
Joe Walsh:
It’s awesome. It never gets old.
Robert August:
No. And I just went, “Oh my God. I love this.” And I never looked back. I never went back to school. And then behind this great retail store, there was two shaping rooms and there was two guys back there shaping surfboards, Jacob’s surfboards. And I was periodically looking back there and watching. And in my little brain back then, I just went, “Oh my gosh. I have to do that. This is so creative. Look at these guys walking back and forth and shaping.” And I just, my little brain focused on it. And I was a salesman for a year or so. But watching and watching and watching.
Joe Walsh:
Gravitated towards shaping man.
Robert August:
Man, oh man. I never looked back. And still to this day I don’t make the same thing all day long. It’s not repetition. I make a skinny board for a kid. I make a great big one for some guy who weighs 280 pounds and I just love it. It’s still fun for me.
Joe Walsh:
That’s awesome. So you took this amazing trip for eight months. That petty much sealed the deal for you. You realize you just want to be a surfer. Just want-
Robert August:
Oh yeah.
Joe Walsh:
Just want to work in a surf shop. You just want to surf every day. You want to make surfboards.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah. Changed my life. And then, you know, 25 years later, Hollywood decided to make The Endless Summer II.
Joe Walsh:
That went well.
Niki Hurren:
And you know, we all ended up in Costa Rica. That’s how I came here.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah. I watched that movie when I was a senior in high school. That’s what got me to come to Costa Rica in the first place, was watching you and a [Wing Nut 00:26:18] and Pat O’connell surfing Witches Rock. I said, “Wow.” I had never been to Costa Rica. I came here for a month and a half because of that movie. And yeah, it has some great waves out there. And so you didn’t, you didn’t let us down. There were some great, great surfing in Costa Rica and I came down here and it’s exactly how it is.
Niki Hurren:
That’s exactly how I got down here. I took a three-month trip down here. Took my first trip by myself. Saw Endless Summer with all my mates who were sitting in one of our hives is watching it while trying to learn to surf on the east coast of England where the wives suck. But you know, watching movies like that Endless Summer, Endless Summer II. I was like, “Wow, that place looks amazing.” Same thing. Completely changed my life and you know. Traveled before that, but like because of those movies, wanted to want to come down. And that’s now long time ago now. But it must’ve been quite a big decision for you to decide that you wanted to go in it, to be a surfer, in the surfing industry. Because back then I imagine like saying that you’re going to be a surfer, it wasn’t really looked upon-
Robert August:
There was no rewards. There was no sponsorships. Anything, you know. It was just fun.
Niki Hurren:
And just did it for the love.
Robert August:
We just did it cause it was fun and we liked it. And you know, in the meantime get a job so you could go surfing.
Joe Walsh:
So for anybody that’s listening to the podcast that’s considering maybe a big life change, they found surfing, they love surfing, maybe they’ve been doing it a long time and they want to take a big surf trip like, like you did, maybe not eight months around the world, but maybe just for a week … But they still have these concerns and these worries. But at the same time they could have this great experiences if they went out and saw more of the world. What’s what’s your advice to someone who’s maybe on the fence and a little scared about getting out there?
Robert August:
Well, I’d say go. If you even have an idea or a basic desire, do it, you know. Whether it’s surfing or golfing or something, get out of town. Get out of your rut and open your eyes and see what happens. See the people you meet and different weather patterns. And when you get home, boy, oh boy, you’ve really opened up your brain to a different part of life in the world. Just go. And if surfing’s a good part of it, that’s pretty darn good ’cause you’re going to get great exercise. You’re going to learn a lot about the weather in different countries. And it’s a great motivation to get you to get out of your normal pattern and do something.
Niki Hurren:
You’re living down here in Tamarindo in Costa Rica and you’re the Ambassador of Surfing at Witches Rock Surf Camp. You know, and you’re still shaping. So how, what’s the best way to kind of like get in contact with you if people want a new board or, you know, want to see you shape?
Robert August:
Well, I’m at the surf camp almost every day. You know, there’s different things that we do. We do the movie. I do a lecture about the history of surfing. You know, people will run into me and say, “What time tomorrow are you going to be by, you know? And uh, can I talk to you about a board?” Or, “Hey, have you ever been up and seen the volcano? You know, we were thinking about going up there.” And so I just, as best as I can go, “Hey, go up to the front desk. They’ll point you anywhere you want to go.” It’s great. And so I interact with all kinds of people around the surf camp and around town. You’ll see people at the grocery store and you know, it’s just great.
Joe Walsh:
Well it’s awesome. Robert, I really want to thank you for being on the podcast and I want you to know that I speak for a lot of people when I say you’re a true inspiration for anyone who’s a surfer that has this dream of exploring, seeing new spots. I mean, I feel like the world’s a lot smaller and there’s surfers everywhere these days. But then again, I’ve been taking a lot of trips and found some amazing waves with no one or hardly anyone, places where you wouldn’t even think would be breaking. And a lot of that comes down to having watched your movie and being inspired to go out and live my own endless summer. So it makes me feel very grateful. Very lucky. So I’m lucky to, I’m happy to-
Niki Hurren:
It’s just amazing
Robert August:
He’s going to go on a surf trip.
Niki Hurren:
We should just go back for himself.
Joe Walsh:
Actually, my wife curses your name because I just blame you for every surf trip I go on. Say, “Well, you know, just blame Robert because he’s the one that showed me it was such a good idea to go.”
Robert August:
OKay. I’ve got an idea for your surf trip. Thinking back to The Endless Summer, we talked about India, the problem we had there with the surfboards and everything. I’m sure, you know, 55 years later, they’re probably more agreeable. But I have never heard of anybody surfing anywhere on that whole coastline. It’s west facing. It’s beautiful, tropical, crystal clear water. And the coastline was beautiful. There’s got to be 25 spots to surf. It’s really a long coastline. And I’ve mentioned that to a few people and they kind of cringe and go, “Ooo, India. I don’t know anybody that’s ever been there to surf.” Well, I don’t think anybody’s ever really given it a shot. I’m sure now it’s pretty civilized and you could probably find, you know, easily a place to eat.
Joe Walsh:
Sure.
Robert August:
Surf.
Joe Walsh:
I mean-
Robert August:
And, that place where we went, I told you it was a beautiful sandy left point. It was great waves.
Joe Walsh:
So, okay. I think that means a future podcast episode from somewhere in India with Robert August.
Robert August:
Somebody’s got to go there and check it out, man.
Niki Hurren:
There you go. You’re still planning surf trips even now, you know what I mean? Still trying to get out there to where there’s nobody and where there’s potential that there’s some really great waves and uncrowded.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah.
Niki Hurren:
You’ve still got the wonder lust.
Joe Walsh:
Right. Robert, thanks for being on the show.
Robert August:
It’s been fun.
Joe Walsh:
Thank you for listening to the Get Out and SURF podcast. I’m Joe Walsh coming to from Tamarindo, Costa Rica. This podcast is brought to you by Witches Rock Surf Camp, located right on the beach in Tamarindo. You’re going to love it. For more information, go to witchesrocksurfcamp.com.
Thank you to Robert August for being on the show. Robert is definitely an inspiration to anyone that loves to travel and surf. You can find them hanging out at Witches Rock Surf Camp pretty much daily. And if you’re in the US or Canada and want to pickup a Robert August surfboard, check him out at robertaugust.com.
Subscribe to the podcast. You can do that on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, and more. Rate and review the show. You can give me five stars. You can give me one star. Obviously five stars is better, but whatever you want, just give me a review and tell me what you like and like about the show so I can improve. Because my goal is to provide you with better and better content, make it worthwhile for you to listen to the show. Ultimately inspire you to get out there and surf this beautiful world of ours. If you do like the show, do me a favor and share it with your friends. Let everyone know about it because this thing’s going to grow baby, and you’re going to be part of it cause you started listening from the beginning. So thank you. You can email the podcast at getoutandsurfcr@gmail.com. We release a new podcast every Friday. Make sure you’re subscribed and you’re good to go.
All right then I guess that’s about it.

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