Mr. Sunset and co-founder of Quiksilver USA Jeff Hakman talks about dressing in drag to avoid Vietnam, earning and losing a small fortune, conquering a 30 year substance addiction, and positioning himself to surf into 100 years of age. Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Episode 31: Jeff Hakman, Surfing Legend and Founder of Quiksilver USA & Europe
The Oceanriders Podcast
For a podcaster making podcasts about careers in and around surfing, my encounter with Jeff Hakman is practically like finding the holy grail. I must admit I was pretty intimidated by meeting the man behind the biggest surfing brand in the world and I felt very honored and privileged to have a chat with him.From his home in Hawaii, Jeff accepted to get up at the crack of dawn for our conversation and the result is a wonderful immersion into his action-packed life story. Now in his early seventies, Jeff greeted me over Skype with his twinkling blue eyes, generous smile, clean shave and elegant black t-shirt. In fact, he was just about to set off for some surfing and managed to fit in a bit of time for me.Jeff and I have delve into a few of his life stories that are filled with incredible surfing feats, friends and business achievements.Surprisingly enough, if it weren’t for his dad Jeff could have given up surfing entirely at a very young age when he was growing up in California. His dad kept on insisting. He made him a smaller, lighter board and finally talked him into going again on a sunny fall morning, and, that day the conditions were just perfect.Jeff shares what it felt to become the youngest person to win the Duke Kahanamoku contest in 1965, how this lead to tootling around the world winning even more contests and becoming world champion several times.I guess you could say that what changed the course of Jeff’s life was to negotiate the Quiksilver license for the USA and Europe and become the first surf millionnaires in history. Jeff shares the extraordinary story of how he got the license : and it doesn’t involve signing contracts!Of course, in an hour, we didn’t get a chance to go over all of Jeff’s life, but we definitely did dig into how it all began, what Quiksilver was like in the mid seventies and eighties, overcoming the challenges of growing Quiksilver Europe (which, by the way, was probably the biggest challenge for Jeff and his partners), and we even get a sneak peek into how Quiksilver signed up Kelly Slater.Obviously Jeff’s life isn’t all a bed of roses. He’s had some demons too, but the sheer thrill of riding a wave, support from his family and friends, eventually encouraged him to adopt a healthier lifestyle and his smile, acuteness and mindset are here to prove it.“Ok,here’s the deal. I’ll cut to the chase here. The best thing I’ve ever done in my life is surf 10 foot 12 foot waves at Hanalei Bay or Sunset or whatever. But the thrill of surfing a really good strong wave and pulling off the bottom and pulling up into all that sucking water is, for me, the best thing you can do. And I want to continue to do that.” — Jeff HakmanWe talk about Jeff’s latest project : Surf Till 100, an initiative that he’s started with his best mates Felipe Pomar and Tom Woods (listen to my episode with Felipe Pomar here) to keep surfing until 100 years of age. Jeff looks perfectly prepared to tackle another 30 years of surfing and he shares his longevity secrets on the show.With Quiksilver’s 50th anniversary in the news right now, this conversation is a little bonus about a celebration of life, the ocean and very savvy business moves. I think anybody listening will find something to take from this episode.To connect with Jeff, you can follow him on Instagram @jeff_hakman which is a fascinating walk down memory lane with snapshots of Jeff’s amazing life.You can find out more about Jeff’s latest endeavour : Surf Till 100 on http://surftill100.com and sign up for the next retreat in May 2020.LinksSurf Till 100 : http://surftill100.comGerry Lopez, Lighting Bolt : https://www.lightningbolt-usa.com/en/go/heritageHang Ten : https://hangten.com/pages/hang-ten-historyGolden Breed : https://goldenbreed.com.au/Inner Balance : heart app https://www.heartmath.com/Quiksilver : www.quiksilver.com Related episodesFelipe PomarTom Wegener Share the Love : Support The Oceanriders PodcastThe Oceanriders Podcast is a passion project and, if you like it, you can support it in a number of ways:Number one: share your love for this podcast on iTunes by giving it a few stars, or a review. Better still, subscribe. Anything in this direction increases my ranking and lets more people hear about my fascinating guests and how they are busting the surfing stereotypeNumber 2: comment, and join the conversation on social media. You will find links to my social media accounts on theoceanriderspodcast.com. Alternatively you can connect with me on Instagram @theoceanriderspodcast , on Facebook @theoceanriderspodcast or on Twitter @ImiPodcastNumber 3: join me for an episode or sponsor my podcast! Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a quick bio and I’ll take care of the rest.
The Surfer's Journal Biographies : Jeff Hakman and Larry Bertlemann - trailer
TheSurfNetwork.com - Free Sessions
Each era of surfing finds its quintessential expression in the special talents of rare individuals. Jeff Hakman and Larry Bertlemann were two of the most distinctive and brilliant surfers of their times. Although they could scarcely be more different, they shared common struggles. They were the defining poles of shorthboard revolution in Hawaii. Hakman reigned as the standard of excellence from his astonishing 1965 victory (age 17) at the first Duke Kahanamoku Invitational until he drifted out of the limelight in the mid-1970s. As a boy, he faced a man's challenges: as a man his challenges were even greater. Hakman is surfing's ultimate survivor. Larry Bertlemann, a Duke winner in 1974, seeded a new school of surfing and brought low-rotation skateboard maneuvers to the waves. His belief that anything is possible helped redefine surfing performance while inspiring the paradigm-busting pool riders of Southern California's Dogtown skate scene. Two surfers, two lives, two fates in this volume of The Surfer's Journal Biographies.