• About: Mick Rodgers

    Born and raised in Southern California, Mick Rogers has been surfing since he was a kid. With his father well-versed on '60s-era surfing, it’s only natural that the sun-surf lifestyle would become Mick’s calling. Today, not only does he ride a single-fin longboard (setting him apart from many of his fellow surfers), Mick also spends a lot of his time in his "home away from home" conversion van (equipped with everything but the kitchen sink) while traversing the California landscape. Read on to learn more about the SoCal native and to see Mick's personal beach essential picks.
    Photos by Nick LaVecchia

    Can you tell us a little more about yourself? 
    I grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles, in a city called Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes is an interesting place, known for its wealthy residents and lavish estates that litter its pristine coastline. I was raised with the mentality that money isn't everything and that real joy comes from experiences, not what one owns. I was fortunate enough growing up to try everything: my parents were extremely active so we played sports, skated, and went surfing. My brother and myself were never forced to do anything, it was more about what we enjoyed and really that's how it should be. I feel that it's something that has stuck with me since day one...do what you love.

    You got into surfing through your dad. Can you tell us more about him?
    My dad grew up in Palos Verdes and has always had a love for the ocean and the pleasures it can bring. Surfing has always been a family thing for me. My dad would wake us up early, load up a military-grade duffel bag full of wetsuits and a range of beach necessities, and off we'd go. Some of my earliest memories were laying on the nose of my dad's longboard while he maneuvered us from the waves to the shore. This was before I could swim, so I definitely had trust in my pops from day one. He always had an appreciation for the past—mostly the 50s/60s—so the equipment I grew up surfing were 60s-influenced longboards. So naturally I followed suit.

    For a surf trip, can you tell us a bunch of things you always make sure to take with you?
    Honestly there are only a few things you really need for a good surf trip: a couple of your closest friends, some boards, and ideally a densely-populated surf break...and beers never hurt.

    Can you talk to us about your van? And your previous truck that you owned?
    My van is my humble abode: it's cozy and has everything I need. Vans are perfect because you can pack them to the brim with whatever you want, lock up it all up, and be on your way. I grew up always driving trucks, and although you can pile them high with gear, you always have to be wary that someone could reach right in and snag your stuff. My last vehicle was a 1966 Chevy C10 pickup. It had been a dream car of mine for quite some time and was definitely fun while it lasted. The thing about old cars is, they're old and they have a tendency to break, haha. Mine was pretty solid, but for practicality and as a daily driver, the van has suited my lifestyle much better. I do miss the Blue Beast a bit, but my new White Stallion is taking the cake.  

    What are your favorite aspects of half living life on the road and traveling?
    Traveling is great because you get you experience other ways of living. I've been lucky enough to see Mexico, England, France, Japan, and Australia—all of which are amazing in their own right. It's cool to be able to take a timeout from your day-to-day life to see what other folks are doing in different parts of the world. It also gives you an appreciation for what you have, because I think sometimes people become jaded for how lucky they are to live in Southern California. For me it's the best place in the world. And although there are many incredible places to live, this is the spot for me.  

    What are your favorite places you've been for surfing?
    I've enjoyed sampling waves all over the world, but for me some of my most enjoyable surfs have been good ole San O days. San Onofre on a good clean swell during a hot summer day—in my opinion—can't be beat. Something about a full beach day there on the right day is just pure magic. My vote for sure.

    Can you explain the differences between longboarding and shortboarding? What makes each one different, and why did you choose longboarding?
    Longboarding and shortboarding will always be a topic of debate. Shortboards are designed for waves of the larger variety while longboards are the opposite. Shortboards are meant to go fast and perform critical maneuvers, while longboards are more about the glide and finesse. Personally, I've always enjoyed the glide of a traditionally-inspired longboard and the art of noseriding; something that can never be mastered, but always enjoyed.

    What is the surf scene like where you're from?
    I grew up in an area where there was a definite surfing hierarchy and the locals demanded respect. If it wasn't given, then you weren't going to get any waves—or worse, you'd end up with some repercussions. But that's how it should be to some degree. Just because you decide you're going to be a surfer one day and you buy all the gear doesn't mean you're a surfer, and it doesn't mean you deserve any waves. Surfing is something that takes a lifetime to understand, and there are rules. You've got to understand the rules before you can play. 

    What is it about surfing do you think that makes people so drawn to it?
    Surfing is cool, and people want to be cool, so for many that is why they want to do it. When it comes down to it, surfing is just really really fun and it's hard to stop once you start getting it. People get hooked and are addicted for life.

    Can you describe your perfect day for us?
    Wake up with a coffee, gather the troops, find some fun/empty waves, and continue to surf and hang until the sun goes down. Pretty simple, but perfect to me.

    What does the rest of 2015 look like for you?
    This year I'm looking to do a bit more traveling up the California coast. Having the van now allows me to post up pretty much wherever I please, so I'm looking forward to bit more adventuring in that sense. I have some new videos in the works, so I'm looking forward to wrapping up some of those and delving into some new ones. And then just surf as much as possible and enjoy the moment.

    You work with Bing, what's it like helping to shape the way they design and make their boards?
    Its been really cool to be a part of Bing and a privilege to be a part of their legacy. Bing has its roots in the area I grew up—we had their vintage boards hanging from our walls my whole life growing up. So being able to have some input in the current shapes of today is pretty surreal. I was lucky enough to be granted the opportunity to have my own signature model with Bing now, so we continue to tweak designs in search of the perfect board. Pretty darn lucky, I can't complain.  

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