Kenneth Mockett is a California surfer who created the unique surf shop Icons of Surf. Based in San Clemente, the store recreates the vibe of surf shops from back in the day. We spoke with Ken to learn more about his life and his inspiration.
What was it like growing up in California?
California was an awesome place to grow up. I grew up in the South Bay (Hermosa Beach). I wasn’t into organized sports, but I loved the beach and I found surfing at an early age.
When did you get your first surfboard?
10 years old.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
It was so exciting and I was so scared. It was 4 feet and I was on a 10′ Jacob pig and 10 years old. I was hooked the first time I surfed.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young man?
Barry Kanaiaupuni (BK) was my idol…
Of all the interesting places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out? And why?
Japan and Hawaii, I love to visit Japan, surf and meet new friends. I love to surf Kauai. It is my favorite island in Hawaii.
Explain how the idea for your surf shop “Icons of Surf” came about
I worked in surf shops as teenager in the 1970’s. Surfing and surf shops have a special place in my heart. I was sad that I could not find a surf shop near my home San Clemente that gave me this feeling. I decided to create my own shop that cared about the surfer and about the quality of handmade surfboards.
How do you go about choosing the shapers and designers you feature in the store?
We have many brands of surfboards in our shop. They must all be of high quality. Basically, our customers decide which brands remain in the store.
Who/what inspires you?
Every surfer that is a part of the past, present, and future inspires me. Surfing inspires me and my heritage inspires me. Thank you to all surfers that came before me. You’ve created Icons of Surf.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
I learned that all people have beauty to share. And that cultural diversity creates oneness for all of mankind.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
I know this sounds simple, but our past creates all that we are today. I have no regrets. Everything is perfect as it should be for my growth.
What are you most proud of?
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing has given me an experience to stay young and has given me balance in my life.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
Love, passion and knowing I make a difference.
Who are some of the individuals you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
I feel that each and every person who contributes to surfing in their own way. This changes the path of surfing.
What is in your current quiver? What is your favorite board?
Wow! I have a big quiver:
1) Bing Diablo 9’5 Intrigue
2) Bing 6’6 Lotus
3) Chocolate Fish 5’9 quad
4) Chocolate Fish 5’8 twin
5) Wegener Asymetric tail 2 +1
6) Boss 5’10 Piglizard
7) Eric Christenson 7’0 custom single fin fish
8) Chris Christenson 11′ quad glider
9) Chris Christenson 5’9 fish quad
10) Jeff McCallum Mini Simmons
What’s your favorite meal?
It would have to be a rack of lamb, cheese, pâté’ and wine.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
My Ipod is currently empty?
What causes/projects/organizations do you support?
Many. I believe that all of mankind should give back to people less fortunate. I believe we all can make a huge difference with little effort.
What are you most grateful for?
I am grateful for my health and young spirit.
What’s next for Ken Mockett?
Only tomorrow knows, but the surfing world will always know where I am.
Learn more about Icons of Surf here.