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Why I podcast

May 23 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

I podcast to share the gold.

A few days ago I had breakfast with Julia Chunn. She was born and raised in San Diego, became smitten with the ocean while perched on the front of her dad's longboard as a kid, came up through the ranks of the San Diego chapter, went on to lead the San Diego chapter and is now moving to Australia to take the top slot at Surfrider Australia. Her story is a pretty cool to me.

After I met with Julia I popped over to Swami's and met with Pierce Flynn. Pierce was one of our maverick Executive Directors. He was the visionary and executor behind getting us onto MTV, Baywatch and the insane MOM albums. His story is worth hearing... especially in his own voice with his own tone, lexicon and stoke. In my opinion, his story is quite valuable. It is gold.

The truth is, Surfrider is a collection of these kinds of stories.

These stories matter.

The lives behind them matter.

In many ways Surfrider's relevancy, success and influence is nothing more than the massive aggregate work that is... our collective story. That means something to me. In fact it means the world to me. What is more meaningful than the stories people tell about their loves and how their lives are shaped to understand and protect those things?

Surfrider Foundation isn't about a staff person, a board member, any one person or me... Surfrider is about our collective story.

We are among the world's largest grassroots entities in existence... and the essence of grassroots is... individual's actions and their stories. I hear these stories frequently. When I started here I found myself leaving a meeting and actually feeling guilty about being the only one to hear the story... that's when I started podcasting.

For the past two years I've released these stories, two per month. They are unedited, uncut, one-take recordings. I could have written them up and popped them onto a blog or into Making Waves but there is something about listening in to someone's story and hearing it delivered in their voice, with their inflection, etc. So I record them on my iPod and transfer them to our website, this blog and Apple's iTunes.

At 50,000 feet, these podcasts are a canvas. A canvas painted with stories. I'd argue the canvas is painted with gold. You see the diversity of people involved in our movement. You see joy, work, struggle, love, encouragement, mettle, fear, camaraderie and many other things. It's a very... very cool canvas.

The people I speak with may not be names you have heard of and that is intentional. These are real people, they don't have publicists and they aren't spinning for TV sound bytes... they have authentic, real life stories which almost always are a reflection of volunteer work they have done on our behalf.

I find these stories to be the backbone of this movement.

I find the people telling the stories to be more valuable than gold.

I hope you do as well.

Subscribe to the twice-a-month podcasts via itunes here.


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People/stories captured on podcasts;
  • Paul Jenkin, one man dedicates his life to taking down a 200 foot dam
  • Sergio Mello, visionary Brazilian mixing samba bands and beach cleanups
  • Randy Hild, the brain behind perhaps the most joyful brand out there... Roxy
  • Peter Cole, Surfrider's Yoda... activism on the North Shore since before you were born
  • Wyland, have paintbrush will travel... 'er... connect with culture
  • Jock Sutherland, North Shore pioneer and surfs better than most people... switchfoot
  • Simon Luneau, Surfrider hq intern via France... representing the expanding intern-nation
  • Terry Gibson, Florida maven waxes on about the past and future of the sunshine state
  • Brian Ostrow, one person gets his entire cul-de-sac to sign up as members
  • Marco Gonzalez, San Diego powerhouse lawyer and a pretty darn good surfer
  • Dr. Rick Wilson, Surfrider staffer behind the State of the Beach and Coastal A- Z
  • Ed Schlegel, The man that took a surfboard with a zillion signatures to the Governator
  • Adrian Nelson, Canadian powerhouse behind the growing muscle in Vancouver
  • Chris Tola, The long and winding Australian road to becoming Aussie Board Chair
  • June Vanderstar, Activism in Canada... June connects with the ocean wherever she is
  • Alberto Figari, a rising, focused voice focused on preserving Peru's coasts
  • Mara Dias, our resident water quality expert... at home in the House and Senate
  • TJ Marshall, Miami's secret weapon against overzealous development
  • Erika D'Avanzo, Regional Manager in Florida... as effective as effective gets
  • Mark Babski, the muscle, the glue and the visionary behind our tech to date
  • Paul Naude, Billabong's President talks story and shares this roots
  • Shaun Tomson, the most eloquent (and active) surfer in history
  • Glenn Hening, one of our founders describes the inception and projection
  • Randy Rarrick, Mr. Triple Crown's overview of the North Shore and... more

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