Chris Del Moro is a California surfer / artist who recently starred in Thomas Campbell’s The Present riding an Alaia. Equally adept at riding all wave craft vehicles, he is also the owner of Collectic, a surf inspired clothing line. We caught up with Chris to get the lowdown.
What was life like growing up?
My childhood revolved around love, exploration, creative endeavors, family, fun and a early connection to the sea. I was raised in between my mom’s world in Los Angeles and Florence, Italy where my biological father is from. Being exposed to these two very different cultures from such a young age was a blessing I am just now fully understanding.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young man?
I have always admired my grandfather, Chester Wolfrum, and my grandmother, Luanne. My mom has been my rock. Marley played a large role in expanding my mind and Curren for his lines drawn in the sea. I have also always been attracted to naturally gifted beings that shine light upon our world.
When did you get your first surfboard?
I saved $75 from recycling cans one summer. Then I coaxed my cousin Mischa into taking me to the local surf shop and I bought a 6’0″ Stavros squash tail thruster,with pink lams and two purple gorilla grip deckpads—thick and sick. That afternoon, he took me out in overhead storm surf and I came close to drowning. I’ve been hooked ever since.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
Where did you interest in art come from?
Art has always been a natural expression. Since childhood, I vividly remember expressing myself through various forms of working with my hands—from finger painting sofas, drawing G.I Joe figures and eventually having my doodles turn into my work.
What is your process when creating your art?
I’ve always traveled with sketch books; it allows me to scribble down thoughts, images and various inspirations I experience. I’ll often reference my books and use many of the rough sketches as inspiration for various fine art pieces, clients or a great reason to get creative and unwind.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out? And why?
Liberia—so raw, powerful and unique to any place I’ve ever experienced. Really turned my world upside down. Never experienced such harsh living conditions. Made me realize how ridiculously blessed many of us are to live the lives we lead and that if the amazing people I met in those circumstances can have a smile on their faces day after day, I sure as hell need to monitor the so-called bummers of life.
What is it that makes you such a nice person? What code do you live by?
I’m only a product of the people and places I surround myself with. I’m blessed to have great friends, family and the opportunity to experience the power of nature on a regular basis.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
When you look at earth from afar, it’s a mere speck which in turn dwarfs continents and really helps remind me we, as humans, are nothing more than spiraling particles of sand floating around the great unknown.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
No. Everything has happened for a reason. Good, bad or cosmic, we learn from all our actions and hopefully are aware enough of the implications to make change or continue on blessed paths.
What are you most proud of?
Living the life I dreamt of as a child.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing is my daily dosage of nature; the sea cleanses me, gives me energy and always keeps me striving to reach a higher level in life. In so many ways, it has shown me the world, given me the substance to survive and is the “funnest” activity I’ve ever experienced.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
Nature, love, music, and food. Tapping into all four on a regular basis sends me into orbit.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
Anyone who is able to lead from their hearts instead of their minds. It’s such a pure way to slide waves. Seems to be the best way to find true, magnetic positive energy via wave riding.
What is in your current quiver? What is your favorite board? Your favorite surfspot?
I’m a board whore—love experiencing different elements of trim and slice and dicing. Currently, I’m hoarding alaias, traditional Bing longboards, single fins, quad shredlips, thrusters, keels, bonzers, big ass wooden boards, old pigs, carbon fiber rockets, asymetrical mind trips, knee boards and, oh yeah, love me a good boogie board now and again.
I surf a lot in North County San Diego and all around the world when I’m not home. Static sporadic.
What’s your favorite meal?
Quinoa with Earth Balance, avocado and herbal mare, side of tofu and veggie scramble and a massive shakra salad with water.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
Kings of Convenience is playing right now. Beirut just wrapped a set and Pandora has been set to Bjork, Thievery Corporation and a song called “Cosmic Lovers” has been inspiring me as of late. Besides that, I’m obsessed with my record player and my vinyl collection is getting out of control.
What causes/projects/organizations do you support?
I help run the Surfers for Cetaceans organization alongside a great group of ocean activists from around the world, helping to keep our sea clean, stop the Japanese dolphin hunts and hopefully sideline the continued hunt of whales in the Antarctica Whale Sanctuary (www.s4cglobal.org). Besides that, I support any other group helping to fight for the preservation of this amazing planet.
What’s next for Chris Del Moro?
Waiting for the tide to rise so I can shred—absolutely jonesing for the glide. Then I can feel normal again, get to some of the art jobs that I’m way behind on. Have some travel plans (Australia and South America), new boards to test, fresh air to breathe, people to meet and happiness to spread. If you read all this banter, I appreciate your time and wish you well on your path.