Kevin Schulz is no stranger to the sport of surfing. This 22 year old is the next big thing and rides for one of the sport's largest surfboard companies, Rusty Surf.
Kevin comes from one of the best surf towns in the United States, San Clemente, California. Starting his surf career at the age of 15 it wasn’t long after he was taking it to a professional level. With the surf at his doorstep and a passion for the ocean he set on a path to follow his dreams! Last year Kevin nailed his biggest win to date taking first place in the 10 annual Rip Curl Pro local surf championship in Tofino, British Columbia.
Kevin gets to travel the world, surf the most beautiful beaches and live his life shredding through the ocean swells all whilst meeting some of the most interesting people this planet has to offer! You can understand our excitement when we had the opportunity to talk to Kevin and learn more about his journey on the road to “The Free Life”
When did you join Rusty Surf? Can you give us a bit of lead up to how you got signed?
I joined Rusty when I was about 15 years old. I was out surfing at one of the spots near my house and a former Rusty employee approached me and said I would be a good fit to the brand! I was over the moon as they were my first sponsor and equally as excited to be representing such a well renowned surf company. It has been about 7 years now and I am still working very closely with them and will hopefully have some big projects in the works!!
Can you tell us who or what got you started with surfing?My dad was the one who sparked my interest in surfing originally. I remember him being out in the water when I was very young and I knew that surfing was something I wanted to pursue. I was actually terrified of the ocean until I was about age 10, but as soon as my dad took me out in the water a few times I was hooked. I started competing at 13 and have kept at it since then!
What drives your desire to keep surfing?
I continue surfing because the sport is limitless and ever-changing. No day is ever the same and that’s what keeps me coming back. I enjoy the challenge of the irregular patterns. You can really carve your own niche in the surfing world as well… Everyone has a different style to call his or her own. Some days I go out with the intention of doing huge airs only and other days I just cruise and don’t worry about high performance. I suppose it is a sense of freedom that keeps me coming back.
Describe the feeling you get when you hit the water.Surfing isn’t only a sport I compete in, but also a way of getting away from it all. Whenever I get in the water, I feel like I can do whatever I want. I know whenever I get into the ocean I am going to have a good time. It is a limitless and ever-progressing sport. No two waves are ever the same. I love surfing and its unpredictability.
Can you tell us about the win in Tofino last year? That must have been so exciting for you.
My win at the Ripcurl Pro Tofino in 2016 was one of the best days of my life! It was my first time to the Canadian Pacific and I just felt so at home. The people up there are so friendly and hospitable and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I met up with Tofitian local pro and all around amazing human Peter Devries in the final. The whole final was a nail biter and I ended up winning by a slim margin. To win a contest surrounded by my best friends in that setting was an honour. I am actually headed back up that way for the same event in 2 weeks time to try and defend the title! Since that win in 2016, the contest happened again this year and I ended up placing 3rd and winning the expression session for the biggest air of the event! I plan on returning to Tofino this winter to surf when the waves are a bit better, albeit colder. Tofino holds a very special place in my heart and I always look forward to going back up North!
You’re from San Clemente, California but you always show mad love for Canada. What’s so rad about the North?
Canada holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. I have got some of the best waves of my life in Nova Scotia and had my biggest competition successes in Tofino, but the main reason I love it so much is that many of my best friends live up North! There really is nothing quite like surfing perfect empty waves with your best friends. I actually have considered purchasing some land up north at some point, finances permitting haha!
Can you elaborate on the Nova Scotia surf scene and where you see that headed? Why do you think it’s so under rated?
Nova Scotia is oozing potential, reasons being the wave quality and such a limited crowd. There are two pros at the moment from the area named Logan Landry and Nico Manos…both very close friends of mine and both surf exceptionally well. I think the reason it is so underrated is the weather! It is below freezing for much of the winter and that is something few have the nerve to tackle. That being said I really do think in the next 10 years there will be more surfers coming out of the northeast. Equipment has come a long way in the last 15-20 years which should encourage more people to jump in the ocean. The actual surf scene in Nova Scotia grows exponentially every year as more and more people begin to see the quality of the waves.
We are just as big of fan of mother nature as you are. What initiatives can we take to keep our oceans clean?
I think the biggest step we can all take is to clean up after yourself and be conscientious about what we are putting back into the environment! By doing so we can truly limit our footprint and leave the planet in a better state than before. A little bit of effort from everyone will go a long ways and I am a firm believer that as a collective group, we can change the world for the better.
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
I have always wanted to fly… I think I would be an Eagle. Is that too American of me?? I just feel like as an eagle you could regulate the skies and not have to be worried about being hunted or eaten by other animals.
That exact animal walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero and holding a surf board. What does he say and why is he here?
He’s here to give me eagle powers and fly us to Mexico to drink Pacificos on the beach obviously!