It was an incredible experience and surfing captured my imagination from that moment forward. Over the years, I have gotten ill so many times surfing that there have been many occasions I didn’t go surfing for fear of coming down with another infection. And then, one day surfing a remote reef pass in Fiji, I was exposed to waste from a huge boat that had dumped its dangerous contents in the channel. I became extremely ill and came down with a rare enterovirus, which affects me to this day. These experiences—and wanting my kids to be able to enjoy the beach and oceans the way I have—drive my desire to be an active member of the Surfrider Foundation.
Michael Marckx is the president of SPY Optic (Orange 21). Prior to joining SPY, Michael was the vice president of marketing at Globe International. Prior to Globe, Marckx was the vice president of marketing and advertising with Ocean Pacific (Op) and Seven2. Marckx was also vice president of marketing and entertainment with the Broadband Interactive Group (BIG), where he worked on Bluetorch TV -- which produced unique daily action sports television programming, live events, home videos, online and interactive television entertainment for the youth culture. Previously, Marckx had a long tenure with Primedia as a publisher, among other titles, for The Surfing Group. A former amateur world champion and US National team member, Marckx has enjoyed being an athlete in several sports. He served on the Surfrider Board of Directors from 2000 to 2005 and has come back on in 2008 to serve another term. Still an avid surfer and musician, Marckx lives in Leucadia, CA with his wife and two children, who love the ocean as much as he does.