We were supposed to be in Bali for a honeymoon surf trip but volcanoes on Lombok shut down the airport and the airline said it could be weeks before they could get us there. We had been living out of a tiny vehicle for a few weeks camping in New Zealand running whitewater SUP, surfing, and hiking completely unaware of our travel tribulations that lay ahead. Auckland airport mistakenly sent us on to Brisbane, Australia for our connecting flight and when we arrived we discovered the volcano situation. Unable to pass Australian customs without a pre-arranged visa we were stuck in the terminal unsure of what was to come. Finally an airline manager got us through customs and gave us a list of tropical destinations they could send us to – most of which out of our budget – or they said we could get on one of their daily non-stop flights to L.A.
We ended up choosing California and bought a used Mazda MPV minivan we named Mazdonna to live out of for the next 6 weeks to tour the coast and drive across the country. Minivan life is awesome. In our van we had two inflatable SUP’s, two short boards, two Kialoa Hulu Carbon paddles, two Kialoa Insanity Swifts for whitewater, and an 8’6 SUP surf board along with all of our whitewater gear, clothes, food, etc. We were able to stack everything on one side of the vehicle and sleep on the other without having to take anything out of Mazdonna making us incognito anywhere we went. We headed north almost to Oregon on one of the most scenic coasts we have ever seen. Blown away by the Redwood forests we spent over a week near Avenue of the Giants where we did an amazing paddle down the Eel River while the King Salmon were running and we also explored some of the nearby Lost Coast.
After a cold front moved through we steadily headed south towards warmer weather. A marvelous swell came through while we were coming through San Fran and we were blessed to catch a sunset in Half Moon Bay while Mavericks was going off to watch several brave souls accomplish incredible feats. While were not ready for Mavericks we caught some amazing surf almost every day. We took a few days passing through Big Sur, visited some family outside of San Luis Obispo, and then hit the highlight of our surfing at County Line in Malibu with our friend Todd Caranto, the owner of Pau Hana Surf Supply Co. Todd brought photographer and filmmaker Jake Albrecht to test out his brand new drone and we SUP surfed all day until our legs were shaking then ate some world class seafood right across the street at the famous Neptune’s Net. After the fish and chips filled our bellies we caught a few more rides as the sun was setting. The result of that day was an incredible little drone video that was featured in SUP the Mag and Stand-Up Journal.
Kevin and Christian are two athletes that love to travel. Follow their adventures as they explore the diverse places and activities they encounter around Western New York and beyond.