Viginia Tour Day Five: C.T. Taylor Interview

[IMAGE 1]Well, so much for that swell. Saturday’s surf was about knee high on the inside where most everyone was surfing. There were a few waves on the outside at low tide, but the inside was pretty much the call. The Brazilians have been going nuts in it too. Gavin Beschen tried the random outsiders, but wasn’t successful. He paddled in and got a 9.25 thanks to a couple of turns with an air to top it off.

In the last two heats, Danny Nichols and C.T. Taylor paddled out there and it paid off. While the Brazilians went nuts in the small shorebreak, both C.T. and Danny barely got three wedgers on the outside with some solid turns to seal the deal.

[IMAGE 2]You gotta love C.T. Taylor. Originally from Florida, C.T. now lives in San Diego and works on muscle cars on the side. Oh, and he bloody rips. I pulled him aside for the quick interview you can see at the end.

The junior heats were messy. The afternoon high tide gave anyone watching the heats an up close and personal view. Paulo Moura, as usual, was ripping. He’s gonna be a contender some day for sure. Fred Pattachia had a shocker when his buddy Jason Shibata and Hawaiian Wiki Villa took him out.

As for the night life, “what happens on the road, stays on the road.” There’s definitely too much fun going on here. People like to get very loose here, however, for as much fun as they’re having, there’s just as many cops. It’s not uncommon to see some ladies doing unlady-like things in the bars then walk outside and see a ton of cops standing there. I read in the paper the other day how a bartender in a V.B. bar was singing the “Thong Song” and some ladies went along with it in ways they shouldn’t have. A cop who happened to see this not only ticketed the women, but the bartender as well for encouraging it. Strange, very strange.

As for Sunday, we woke up, walked on the beach, and saw absolutely nothing for waves. Seriously, it was so flat, there was no way I saw a wave come close to breaking. We were convinced the contest would be cancelled but it didn’t and the groveling went on. For the mens side, the Brazilians, as expected, took home the bacon. World traveler Marco Polo took the win and $6,000. Second was Brazilian Wilson Nora with Australian Samba Mann in third and South African and Panasonic Tour winner Simon Nicholson in fourth.

Fast surfing David Weare of South Africa took the Junior final with Hawaiians Dustin Barca in second and Wiki Villa in third, and Huntington’s Brandon Tipton in fourth. Mike Todd took the Junior tour final series title.

Thanks to everyone including Kevin Upton, the people at Bluetorch, Desi, and Matt Coleman for an incredible trip. -AC

[IMAGE 3] A.C.:You’re originally from Florida, right?
C.T.: Yeah.

Where at?
Satellite Beach.

And now you live in San Diego?
Yep, in Pacific Beach.

How long have you been in San Diego?
About seven years.

So you’re used to it now?
Oh yeah.

Was it tough acclimating from the different coasts?
No, because I was doing all the amateur contests and was having to go there for the US Championships, NSSA Nationals, and spending summers out there. I made some good friends and was used to surfing there. I really wanted to move there, so right after high school I went for it and moved to San Diego.

How long have you been competing on the WQS?
Since I was seventeen, but I’ve never done the whole ‘QS tour around the world. I’ve tried to do contests that I wanted to do, and make the best of photo trips. It’s paid off.

When the waves get really small like this, you’re used to it?
I’m used to it. I’m not a fly weight guy. I weigh almost 180. Definitely growing up in Florida I’m used to it.

Do you think that it hurts you sometimes, considering that a lot of contest will have small waves? You’re a lot bigger than most of the competitors.
Definitely. The other day some friends and I thougght we could have a contest with weight classes: light weigh, welter weight, and heavy weight. That would be a pretty cool idea. Sometimes it’s to you’re advantage and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes light guys don’t do well in heavier waves, or certain kind of conditions. You just have to go out there, surf your best, and hope for the best.

Do you train a lot?
Sometimes. I’ll drop down and do some push-ups. I mainly just stretch. I don’t exactly train because I’m too busy. I’m married, I have a four month old son, I’ve been trying to shape surfboards, I work at a racecar shop, and then I surf as much as I can. Then with traveling, I don’t go to the gym or do anything like that.

You work at a racecar shop. What kind of cars do you work on?
Drag cars and street rods. American muscle cars.

Like old cars? 50s and 60s?
Yeah, exactly.

Do you have one yourself?
Yeah I do.

What do you have?
I have a ’72 Chevy Vega Wagon. It has a V-8 in it.

Do you race down the street?
Sometimes. It’s kind of dangerous to street race. Actually, no one ever pulls up next to me knows that my car would be fast. I’ve raced it at Carlsbad raceway a couple times. It’s not as fast as I want it to be.

If one of those punk ass Honda’s pulls up next to you, what are you going to do? Are you going to punk it?
Yeah, but those guys hardly ever notice that my car can go fast because it’s kind of a rare car.

‘Cause it doesn’t have the stickers all over it?
Yeah. It doesn’t have the bumble bee tuna pipe on the back that sounds like their cars. It’s good fun, I’m a mechanical person, and it’s one of my other loves besides surfing. I’m blessed to be able to work at a racecar shop. My friend owns it and it’s a really good time.

Well good luck with the rest of the contest. Is this the farthest you’ve gone so far this year?
This year it is. The first quarterfinals that I ever made was when I was eighteen at Virginia Beach, so I’m pretty stoked. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a result. It’s been kind of a dry season so I’m amped.

Cool. Well you’re surfing really good.Thanks.