Shayne McIntyre is a California surfer/producer currently living in Puerto Rico. His television show “On Surfari,” which airs on FuelTV and NatGeoAdventure, draws a devoted viewership. Shayne can surf just about any board he is given… and he does. We caught up with Shayne to learn more.
What was your life like growing up?
Pretty erratic—lots of moving: New York, Africa, Mauritius, Aspen and San Diego. Looking back, my parents accomplished some great things, but didn’t have much of a compass in life and created a seriously dysfunctional family setting. So when I was young, I turned to my dog and toys. When I turned 10, I turned to the sea. Like many who can’t find joy in other aspects of life, surfing and the beach became my world.
When did you get your first surfboard?
It was my dad’s old eight foot something Surfboards Hawaii that he had in the garage. It had a great airbrush of a peeling wave on the deck, but was pretty delaminated and yellow. I traded it towards a new G&S surfboard down in P.B., complete with the cool Damien Hardman “Gorilla Grip” traction pads on front and back. Wish I still had my dad’s board though, but it was symbolic in a way.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood up on a surfboard?
I don’t remember my first time standing, but I do remember my first wave I paddled into. It was at a reef called South Bird in La Jolla and I went over the falls, the leash wrapped around my neck and I hit my head on the board coming up for air. I went in after that. I didn’t want to quit; I just knew I had had enough for the day.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young boy?
My dad, Snake Eyes and Vince Neil.
Who or what inspires you?
My children, my wife, Jesus and various works of art. Some surfer artists that really inspire me are Peter Schroff, Wolfgang Bloch and Sandow Birk.
What does being a Puerto Rico/California surfer mean to you?
It can feel like you’re in limbo sometimes—not completely connected to either.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
To accept Jesus as my Savior and believe God created everything. Seeing my life through God’s perspective has kept me whole, shown me my purpose and given me direction.
What are you most proud of?
My son Banyan’s straight A’s in Kindergarten and that he’s fearless in the ocean. And just about anything my daughter Coral does. She’s beautiful and tough, just like her momma.
Of all the places you have travelled to, what place in particular stands out and why?
Russia. I’ve been there twice now and it’s not an easy trip, nor do the waves pump all the time, but I just love the “parallel universe” feel to the place. It’s by far the most bizarre destination I’ve ever surfed and travelled through.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
It’s weird because surfing is like the air I breathe, it’s so embedded in my Wife’s, Shannon, and my life that we don’t actually give it that much thought on a broad scale. The change is immeasurable; I have no idea how I would have turned out without surfing except that I would easily be a multi-millionaire. Rich, but couldn’t handle waist high body womp! What a tragedy!
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
Surfing, my family, close friends, helping others and most Will Ferrell movies.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
Too many to list, but all of us [surfers] shape the culture of surfing.
What is your current favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
A 5’6″ Rusty Quattro quad-fin. I’d say it’s a cross between a traditional twin keel fish and a modern shortboard. The board does what it’s told and that’s a rare board. Favorite surf spot is anywhere it’s on in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
What’s your favorite meal?
Lobster with refried beans and fresh tortillas… Puerto Nuevo style.
What are you currently listening to on your iPhone?
Pandora Radio. It’s an app that you set up with band or songs you like and it will play that as well as other bands that sound similar. Greatest thing since the invention of the wheel. My playlist on Pandora currently? Crystal Castles, Ladyhawke, Sigur Ros, Jane’s Addiction, salsa and Flock of Seagulls.
What are you most grateful for?
Christ dying on a cross. It’s a tough one to swallow, not believing that he is God or not, but that Salvation had to come in such a way for mankind. I would have done it differently, but I’m not God.
What’s next for Shayne McIntyre?
Work on my relationships with my wife, kids and people I work with, surf with, live next to. Cut down on my coffee intake, stretch more, figure out new ways to make money while keeping it fun and keep making TV shows that inspire, instill laughter and contemplation.