A student at UNCW, Nick Hunckler came on board as an instructor with WB Surf Camp last summer. He was one of our clients’ most well liked Day Camp and Private Lesson instructors and always received glowing reviews. He’s always stoked, always wanting to learn, and loves sharing what he learns. If he’s not out surfing, he’s watching surf videos, shaping his own board, or just walking around being stoked.
1. What drew you to a position at WB Surf Camp? I love surfing more than anything in the world, and I sincerely enjoy sharing the love of surfing. I have taught several close friends of mine how to surf, and that is what ultimately made me decide to look for a job as a surf instructor. As soon as I heard about WB Surf Camp, I wrote up a resume and applied. I was offered a job at another surf school as well, but after doing some research I decided WB Surf Camp was where I wanted to be, and it was definitely the right choice. It’s like being part of one big family.
2. Who is your favorite surfer and why? I’ve watched all of the “Drive Thru” videos, and that was enough for me to claim Donavon Frankenreiter as my favorite surfer. Not only is he an amazing surfer, but he is also a great role model. The way he talks about surfing, and the way his positive attitude towards life comes through in his surfing is beautiful.
3. When did you start surfing and where? I bought my first surfboard in 2007. It was a 6’ shortboard, and I had no idea what I was doing. I paddled out for a couple hours in choppy knee-high waves, and didn’t catch a single wave. I thought it just wasn’t for me and let the board sit in my room for a while until I sold it. In 2009 I got a job as a lifeguard at Carolina Beach, and that’s when I really began surfing. I stood up on my first wave in July of 2009, and I was hooked.
4. What is your favorite surf break? Since I’ve only been surfing for three years, I haven’t had a chance to travel. I’ve surfed many local breaks including Masonboro, which is really fun when the waves are pumping with a northwest wind, but most of the time I like to surf south of Crystal Pier. I am currently planning a surf trip to Barbados for Christmas break with a few friends, and I absolutely cannot wait! Some day I hope to surf Chicama, Peru. It’s a point break that breaks left, and on a good day, it can break for hundreds of yards.
5. What inspired you to start surfing? I’ve loved boardsports my whole life. I got my first skateboard when I was 7, and really got into skateboarding when I was about 12. I used to do tricks down stairs and grind handrails. I also used to go snowboarding a couple times every winter. I was on the swim team every summer for about 10 years as well as my high school swim team. When I got to college I quit skateboarding because I rolled my ankle one too many times. Since I didn’t skateboard anymore, there was an empty space there that needed to be filled with another boardsport. In 2009 I got a job as a lifeguard at Carolina Beach and noticed that everyone around me surfed. Even guys that were 70 years old were paddling out and catching tons of waves. I decided it was time for me to learn, so I took out a 10’ longboard and tried it out. My experience as a competitive swimmer really helped with my paddling, and my experience as a skater gave me the balance I needed to stay on the board. I stood up on my first wave in June of 2009, and was hooked. I surfed before and after work every day, even when the waves were barely rideable. I caught my first head-high wave on a 7’6” funboard two months after I learned how to surf and cruised in all the way down the face of the wave. I just remember that being the most amazing feeling in the world, and it turned my love for surfing into a permanent addiction.
6. Where was your most memorable session? My most memorable session was at Holden Beach during Hurricane Earl last year. The wind was offshore, and there were 8-10 foot barrels everywhere you looked. I’m goofy-footed and there were plenty of waves breaking left, so it was amazing. I only caught a few waves that day because I was stuck using a much smaller board than I was used to, but the waves I caught were unforgettable!
7. What is the worst wipeout you’ve ever had? The same day I was surfing Hurricane Earl in Holden Beach, I wiped out pretty bad on one of the set waves. When the set rolled in, I let the first wave go and waited for the second wave of the set. I thought I was positioned right, but I was a little far in front of the wave when I started paddling and ended up taking off late. I was thrown in front of the wave and was tossed around like a ragdoll for what seemed like minutes, when it was really only about 10 or 15 seconds. I swallowed a little bit of water, but didn’t really get hurt. It was just crazy feeling, falling that far from the top of the wave. It was actually pretty fun.
8. What are some of your interests outside of surfing? Besides surfing, I also enjoy shaping surfboards (I’ve shaped and glassed one board, but plan to build more), photography, swimming, fishing, and hanging out with my family and friends.
9. What is your favorite movie? I love watching anything that can make me laugh. Billy Madison is my all time favorite movie. I can quote just about every line, which is why all of my friends refuse to watch it with me.
10. What is your favorite music? My favorite band is The Avett Brothers. I have seen them live 10 times, and plan to see them again soon. I have also been listening to a lot of Ryan Adams lately too. I also like John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Jack Johnson, Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse, and Donavon Frankenreiter, just to name a few.
11. What is your favorite food? Thanksgiving leftovers are the best. I like to take everything on my plate, including the greenbean casserole, mash it together, and stuff myself until I can’t move.
12. Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years I see myself working for a public relations firm (hopefully in California). I will be graduating next year from UNC Wilmington with a degree in communication studies, so hopefully I will be able to find a decent paying job somewhere with good waves. As long as I can support myself and still have fun on the side, I will be happy.
13. In your eyes, the three things you value most are: I value spending time with family and friends, my education, and being happy more than anything.
- My family and friends have always been there for me and I couldn’t imagine not having them.
- My education is extremely important to me because of all the opportunities it will open up for me in the near future, and in the long run.
- Being happy is my main goal. Even if I happened to end up homeless someday, I would just hope I could still find joy in life because a positive attitude can take you a long way.