When Mike Holley pulled up for his first interview with the Surf Camp staff, his lifted maroon colored van with wood panel interior, a bed, storage bins, multiple Yakima racks, bike racks, pulling a thirty something foot sailboat told me this guy was a keeper. Mike is a well traveled wealth of knowledge with a clear focus and well met goals. With his ever present smile, sense of humor, and love of riddles and adventure Mike left the high country of Boone and App State to spend his summer at the beach. As Assistant Director to our Teen Overnight and Day Camps, he excelled and exceeded all expectations and brought a great energy and dynamic to the WB Surf Camp team. We were sad to seem him go at the end of the season, but look forward to seeing him again soon.
1. What drew you to a position at WB Surf Camp? This position is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the surfing community in a way that allows for personal growth as well the growth of others. A surf instructor is someone who not only teaches the best sport in the world, but teaches life lessons through giving clients a new perspective on the world in which they live and thrive.
2. Who is your favorite surfer and why? My favorite surfer is the surfer who paddles out in defiance of all the elements that strive against him/her. He/she who paddles out in the face of fear, humility, unknowingness is something to be admired. My favorite surfers are those who surf because something deep down and intrinsic tells them to surf, those surfers who are called to the sea and heed its call in defiance of all obstacles and in return gain the greatest pleasure.
3. When did you start surfing and where? The first time I surfed was ten years ago at the OBX. I paddled out on a rented long board all by myself and surfed my brains out all day long till my arms could not function anymore, ever since that day I have been hooked!
4. What is your favorite surf break? It is difficult to determine a favorite break because each wave has qualities that make it so admirable. As of now my two favorite breaks are Lawrence town Point in Nova Scotia, because of its solitude, wonderful natural backdrop (camper friendly), consistent cobble stone right peelers and its ability to bring together the small community of surfers in the area. Secondly my other break would have to be La Bocana in El Salvador, plain and simply because it is one of the most gnarly left hander’s I have ever surfed. It being a local’s only spot forced me to immerse myself into the community enough to the point where I was able to paddle out with my newfound friends and enjoy the wonders of this wave.
5. What inspired you to start surfing? How could one not be inspired by the sea and the chance to connect with it on such a fundamental level?
6. Where was your most memorable session? That’s a tricky question, for me every session is a memorable as the last. The wave, the conditions, the company all come together to make every moment you’re out in the water something worth remembering.
7. What is the worst wipeout you’ve ever had? Surfing at La Sunzal in El Salvador I got caught on the inside and snapped my leash and had to swim in while being pounded by some pretty gnarly sets. Quite a humbling experience.
8. What are some of your interests outside of surfing? I love to rock climb, cross country ski, tightrope walk, sail, paint, play croquet and camp!
9. What is your favorite movie? The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (However my favorite is the Fellowship of the Ring)
10. What is your favorite music? I enjoy all music, but I love Radiohead!
11. What is your favorite food? Fish and Potatoes
12. Where do you see yourself in five years? Running my own Outdoor Adventure Company/Hostel/Fun exciting emporium/Sustainable Educational Center!
13. In your eyes, the three things you value most are: Truth, Friendship and Happiness.