SHOE OF CHOICE
THE WHOLE STORY
Where are you from / What's your story?
I was born in New York, but moved around a lot because my dad was in the Air Force. He loved to surf when he was younger and I was always hearing tales of big waves in Hawaii. We got landlocked in suburbia when he was stationed in Sacramento, CA. and I started to rebel a lot in the typical teenage way. Trying to get my life on track, I ran away to Hawaii. I had this idea that the ocean would guide me back to my true self or something like that — and you know, in a way I was right. My folks convinced me to come home after a few weeks in Hawaii, but my life has largely revolved around the sea since then. Now I feel ridiculously lucky to live with my wife and two sons on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. Hopefully our boys won’t runaway because there’s nowhere better.
What do you do?
Since graduate school life has been trying to write about those ineffable experiences we have in the water and trying to figure this life stuff out. What are we doing here? How can we live beautifully and honestly? How can we be here on this planet with seven billion people and not screw things up too much? These are the questions that drive me. And whether I’m working on a book, an article, a song, a film, or a poem, I’m a writer. I craft words for a living. I love language.
Favorite place to travel to?
Home. I still can’t find a road trip better than north on Highway One.
How have you impacted the community/environment or thoughts on how to?
Writing and surfing are pretty selfish pursuits. I have a long way to go in giving back. But I try to make each of my projects give back in some way. One year, I gave all my profits from Saltwater Buddha to the non-profit Surf for Life. With that money, we were able to take a crew of friends down to El Salvador to build the first floor of El Cuco’s first high school. The kids were so, so fired up. It was probably the the best surf trip of my life. Right now I’m trying to use my new kids book, Turtles Don’t Surf, to help create a turtle sanctuary in the same town. The sanctuary pays local egg poachers — many of whom have no other option to feed their families — to save the eggs rather than sell them for food.
What are your plans in the next couple years/ near future?
I just want to be a good dad, but professionally, I’m stoked to be working on a project about farming. I think if we’re going to survive together on this planet, we’re going to all need to learn to grow things again.
For more info check out Jaimal’s website www.jaimalyogis.com