Surfing the Night, Lighting Up the Waves


– When I’m night surfing the first thing I really realize is how alone you are, and how quiet everything is. It’s the most free, spiritual
thing you could think of. But, once when you get
a wave it’s incredible just to see the colors come
off the waves off the board. Every time I look down
when I’m night surfing and I see that lit up board
I go, my dad created this. This is me and my dad. (calm music) My name is Sean Johnson. I’m a surfer and a surf coach
out of L.A. and I started surfing because of my dad. My dad would take me out, he’d be surfing and I’d be boogie boarding
in the white water. One day he’s like, “Do you want to jump on?” And I’m like, “Yeah, let’s go.” Threw me on the nose of his
surfboard and caught some waves and I was like, “Dad, I want to do this.” So we’d be leaving the
beach and all of a sudden he’d be like, “Hey, look at
that board in the trash can.” And I’d be like, “Yeah, look at
that board in the trash can.” And he goes “No, that’s your new board.” – I would get boards out
of the trash at Malibu. Bring him home, strip all
the fiberglass off of them. Get in there, reshape the whole board the way I thought Sean
would like to ride it. He would get out there and
test my prototypes and say, “You know, I really don’t like this one “or this one’s great.” Kind of sucks for me that
I don’t surf anymore. But at the same time when
I’m shaping these boards, I feel like I’m surfing. – [Sean] He does it all by hand. And that’s the part that makes
me enjoy surfing them so much cause I know how much
love and how much heart is put into these boards. (dramatic music) – [Roy] In L.A. the
surfing is really crowded, and I always thought that it
would be great to surf at night, but it’s kind of scary
out there at the night. I figured why not put some LEDs in a board to where you can just get out there and surf as long as you
want without the crowds. – As far as I know, my dad is the only one making LED surfboards
in the United States. Maybe once a month when
there’s a full moon we go night surfing. We cruise down to the beach, and it’s just like old
times when we’d go surfing but now we’re sharing that night time and he gets to enjoy me
surfing something he created. And I get to enjoy
riding something he made. Game time, boys. – [Roy] The best thing
about night surfing is you get out there, it’s quiet,
and it’s kind of mysterious. – [Sean] My biggest fear is maybe falling, knocking my head and getting knocked out and no one being able to find me. So the cool part with having
those LED light boards attached to you, you kind of
always be found or spotted. (slow music) I think people are absolutely amazed when they see the light
boards at night time. What are these flying light things in the ocean right now? I feel like I’m an alien freakin’ flying on a huge space ship. – [Roy] Well surfing’s really
a bond between Sean and I. I mean, you know, it’s just so much fun watching him out there surf. You know, now that I can’t be out there with him surfing, to see
him out there in the water, tearing these boards up, you know, it makes you feel really really proud. – [Sean] If I couldn’t
surf, let alone surf on my dad’s surfboards, I
don’t know what I would do. It reminds me of why I fell
in love with surfing so much.

Antonio Breitenberg

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