Check Outs – Austin Smith-Ford

Age: 16

Height: 5’6″

Weight: 145 lbs.

Hometown: Eastside, Santa Cruz, California

Sponsors: Billabong, Santa Cruz Surfboards, Poorboy

Austin Smith-Ford knows the dark side of flash photography. Stuck well after dark on a broken-down ski and drifting aimlessly in shark-infested waters, it was Smith-Ford’s duty to try and free a rope stuck in the prop of the ski. “It was pretty gnarly. We were floating around way out there, and it was pitch black, trying to get the rope untangled-and it’s like the sharkiest place in the world,” recalls Austin.

While not bobbing around like an oversized lure, Smith-Ford can be found ripping apart the Eastside of Santa Cruz, where he counts Adam Repogle as a positive influence. “He helped me get some sponsors and takes me surfing because I don’t have a license. He’s a sick surfer, too,” says Austin of his role model. “There’re a lot of people to look up to up here and a lot of people to not look up to,” adds Austin of some of the unsavory characters around Santa Cruz “I just try and learn from the good guys”-words of wisdom from a young Eastsider.-Justin Cotà‡