Surfing Baja can be like a dream, especially if you’re a local and know your way around the top secret spots. The older local surfers often tell the tales of their most cherished spots and the best rides of their lives. So when you’re visiting such locations on a good swell and drive up in a “gringo” camper, it’s usually cause for some ranting and trash-talking towards people who invade their home breaks.
This was not the case when we met Brian and Odin Moore, a stoked and respect-deserving father and son duo who are not only friendly, but also generous and helpful. You know, the usual stuff, such as shoveling out sand-stuck cars, or treating you with some protein-charged tacos after a session.
They have been roaming the Baja coastline for a few years now, and their insight and knowledge of such secret and pristine locations is even greater than some southern-baja-know-all snobs. Originally from Oregon, they spend half of the year cruising, camping and surfing south of the border. And you’ll never guess the reason.
His dad mentioned after an interview that the one thing that really works for Odin to do his school work. He wants to allow him to surf as much as he wants, but only after he has completed a certain amount of reading, writing, drawing, or studying. Not only does he do it pretty much on his own, but he actually enjoys, and looks forward to it.
Being a child of split-up parents, Odin couldn’t ask for more advantages to grow up as a grom who moves back and forth between legendary Cerritos beach–where he spends time with mom–and further up into the wilder north with his dad. This whole school scenario costs the Moore family about five grand every year. Because of their lifestyle, they’re rent and utility bill-free.
This kid is stoked beyond measure. His vocabulary is quite impressive, and he recently charged a 6-8 foot barreling swell with our crew. He knows that for all the time he spends in the books (or “beach-schooling,” as the family calls it), he’ll be repaid with time in the water, which will prepare him for his future endeavors in the pro surfing world.
The following interview with Odin was conducted while inside his half year van-home after a morning session and just before his “beach-schooling” session.
David Flores: What was it like to grow up surfing un-crowded spots all over Baja ?
Odin Moore: It was nice, there are good places to begin surfing, because there is nobody out there to take your waves.
DF: Many groms and young aspiring athletes are doing home-schooling, but in your case its more like “beach schooling”… Tell us a bit more about your education. What is your favourite thing to study ?
OM: Knowing how the body works and reading about health is what I like the most.
Brian Moore (grabbing books off a pile): What are your favorite books, Odin?
OM: My favorite books are Robinson Crusoe, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but Wonder by R.J. Palacio is definitely my favorite book. Right now I’m reading Mathilda…(pauses) Have you read Tarzan? It’s a gnarly book. Yeah, he grew up on the jungle, but he still learned to write by himself studying the books he found.
DF: So basically, anybody can learn pretty much anything without going to a traditional schooling system?
DF: What do you think about traditional schools?
OM: Do you mean public schools ? I’ve gone to public schools, and I’m way ahead of all the other kids, and then I get to skate after school, for like four hours, or until it gets dark.
DF: What is your motivation to get up early in the morning and surf ?
OM: I don’t know, I just get up at 7:30 every day and go surfing,. It’s just natural. People get surprised that I’m out there by myself, but then they see me surf and they’re like, “whoa, that kid rips.”
DF: So what are your dreams for the future, with regards to surfing and competing?
OM: I want to join the World Tour and shape boards.
DF: What are your top five favorite waves?
OM: I’ve gone to Costa Rica, I’ve surfed in California and Oregon, but my favorite spots are here in Baja. I don’t want to give the names away, though, because then it will get crowded!
DF: What has been your scariest moment out surfing?
OM: When I got a three-wave hold down. It was huge, I remember there were some locals out there, it was like 8-9 feet.
DF: What is an ideal wave for you ?
OM: A hollow, barreling wave that peels perfectly.
DF: Some people believe that waves are the pulse of the planet, what do you think about that ?
OM: It’s just the energy of the planet. It gets transferred through the wind to water, then into the reefs and stuff, and you get to ride it.
DF: What are we here for ? What is your take on the meaning of life ?
OM: I don’t know, to enjoy it? just being happy.
And with that, our conversation ended. Odin asked me if we could paddle out for an afternoon session, but not before he sat down to study the geography section of a huge encyclopedia, with the vast Pacific Ocean in front of him.