New book ‘Surf Shacks’ looks inside the unique homes of surfers

Surfers can be an eclectic bunch. At its core, surfing means many different things to different people. However, a simple love for the ocean is typically the common theme.

But an ongoing passion project has found that surfers are a lot more alike than we may think. Indie surf/art media venture Indoek has been providing the digital (and even print) world within the surf space a much needed breath of fresh air for the better part of a decade.

They have become a place for collaboration among some of the brightest thinkers in the surf world.

None of their offerings speak louder than their “Surf Shacks” series. In it, Indoek founder Matt Titone gives readers an intimate look into notable surfers’ abodes.

“Surf Shacks” the book. Photo: Copyright Gestalten 2017

Started back in 2013, it is a wider-reaching project than just the surf world. And it has recently been put into book form.

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“Surf Shacks” the book, is a collection of these insightful and inspiring pieces, with the commonalities of surfing and a love for the ocean at the forefront.

Damion Fuller’s quiver is unmatched. Photo: Zak Bush from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

GrindTV caught up with Titone to discuss the book, the ongoing project and some of the coolest things he’s seen during the process.

Where’d the idea for the project originate?

We are always trying to come up with content ideas that relate to creative surf culture — the inspiring stuff that happens out of the water, but somehow also relates to surfing. As creative professionals, we want to celebrate our peers: designers, directors, photographers, illustrators, architects, artists, writers, etc. who happen to surf as well.

Tyler Warren has a pretty wonderful quiver himself. Photo: Matt Titone from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

Anyway, the idea for “Surf Shacks” came about from our love of coastal architecture and interior design. We were just curious where a lot creative surfers whom we admire call home, so we decided to document them.

When did you officially start the project?

We posted the first one on Indoek back in June of 2013. It featured the Venice Beach home of Mark Weismayr and Eileen Peters.

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How do you select a surf shack to feature?

We are usually referred to people by either trusted friends or other folks we shoot for the series. The criteria is pretty loose, but they have to 1. be a surfer, 2. have a creative profession, or 3. have a really interesting home or living situation.

Ronnie Silva and Staley Prom in their Topagna, California home. Photo: Matt Titone from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

Have you discovered any commonalities in how surfers live?

Absolutely. Besides the fact that everyone lives on a coast by the beach, reclaimed wood is a common building material in a lot of surfers’ homes, no matter where they happen to be in the world.

That said, I think that the beauty of the series is actually the diversity of the homes and living situations featured. There are folks who live very simply, some who have nicer homes and are more well off, some rent, some own and some live in vans down by a river. The common thread is a passion for living a creative lifestyle and, of course, surfing.

An indoor hammock in Ty Williams’s St. Augustine, Florida abode. Photo: Kelsey Heinze from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

What’s the rarest surfboard you’ve seen?

Randy Hild has an old Hawaiian wood board shaped by Greg Noll that was given to him as gift from “Da Bull” himself. That one was pretty beautiful and definitely a rare and priceless surfing relic.

Mason St. Peter’s DIY surf shack in Topanga, California. Photo: Matt Titone from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

Who has the best view of the ocean?

Trevor Gordon — he lives on his boat in Santa Barbara and sees the ocean from every view in his home.

Hard to beat the ocean view Trevor Gordon has from his sailboat. Photo: Trevor Gordon from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

Who has the most mobile shack?

There are quite a few vans featured in the series: Cyrus Sutton, Dylan Graves, Dylan Gordon, Gabe Sullivan, Justin Quintal, Janna Irons and Johnny Stifter to name a few. Then there is Ryan Lovelace who lives in a full on converted school bus. It’s hard to say which one is the most mobile, but I do think Janna and Johnny have covered the most ground in their Sprinter van.

Ryan Lovelace’s bus might be the ultimate mobile surf abode. Photo: Will Adler from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

Who is living in the most peaceful location?

There are so many nice secluded locations from the sleepy beach towns of Maine to the hills of Topanga Canyon to the woods of Chiba in Japan. I would have to say Dean Petty’s place up in Nova Scotia is probably the most peaceful one in my mind. It’s perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean with a great wave right out front and no one around.

Jake Burghart’s jacuzzi is pretty amazing, too. Photo: Read McKendree from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

Any particular surfers’ homes you’d like to include in the future?

I’ve been trying to link up with Dion Agius for a while, hopefully we make his happen soon. Barry McGee, Ozzie Wright, Herbie Fletcher, Julian Schnabel and Thomas Campbell would be rad. The list just goes on and on.

Sean Spellman relaxing with some guitar in his Westerly, Rhode Island home. Photo: Read McKendree from Surf Shacks, Copyright Gestalten 2017

Check out more of the Surf Shacks series from Indoek and grab a copy of the book from Gestalten.