Underground: Chip Spencer

The Underground section of this magazine is usually reserved for guys we haven’t seen in a while or guys who don’t get the respect they deserve. For this issue, we decided to take a new angle and cover a surfer you’ve definitely never heard of. His name’s Chip Spencer, and he was raised in the whomping shorebreak on the east side of Catalina Island-you know, the little tourist island off Southern California.

For an unsponsored surfer, this 22 year old rips. TransWorld SURF wants to be the first to showcase this talented yet unknown surfer.-C.C.

[IMAGE 1]Why do you and your parents live here? My dad’s a fisherman and a diver. He’s lived on Catalina for like 30 years now, and I moved here from my mom’s house in ’89 when I was five. It’s mellow most of the time, but it gets crazy when tourist season comes around.

How’d you get so good surfing Catalina shorebreak?
I usually have to go to some of the secret spots I have, but sometimes when the tides are right, it’s on. But that’s just our little secret.

What are some of the names of the spots?
Great Whites, the Isthmus Shitbird Cove or I.S.C., Wrap Arounds, Death Pits, Numero Unos, and a few you can’t know about.

Are there any other locals we should check out?
There’re a few guys who aren’t sponsored but should be, like Martin Curtin. He’s this crazy boatman, but he rips-he’s like the king of Catalina. His crew’s pretty much the heavy locals-Paul Roserfeld, Eric Caddik, and Jason Pettrie.

Is it hard to keep a tourist girlfriend when they come and go so often?
The tourist girls come by the boatload-literally. There’re lots of college girls and chicks with their families. You’ve got to watch out for the dads, though-they can get pretty angry when they catch you “fishing” with their daughters.

[IMAGE 2]Have you ever surfed any of the mainland breaks?
A few times. My friend Martin took me to Encinitas once to see his cousin Brendan. I surfed Lowers for my first time. It was crowded, but I got a few good waves. It reminds me of this break called Shelfs. It’s a secret spot near San Clemente Island.

Do you want to be sponsored?
Yeah, but by a boat company.

What do you do when you’re bored?
Jump off rocks, talk to chicks, fish, drink, smoke, hunt wild pigs, party at the isthmus, cruise around with Martin in his tugboat.

Do you ever look at the mainland and wonder what it’s like to live there?
I could care less. I’m all about Catalina.

How sharky is Catalina?

Do you have any scams you work on the tourists?
No, but Martin likes to make the tourist women throw up with his mixed drinks.

CALLOUTS”You’ve got to watch out for the dads, though-they can get pretty angry when they catch you “fishing” with their daughters.”

“I’m all about Catalina.”