Interview & Photos by Joe Foster

Intro Photo (above): Aaron Goulding


eter Mel born and raised in the coastal surf town of Santa Cruz. Peter is an endorsed Athlete and is currently commissioner for the WSL Big Wave Tour and broadcaster for the World Surf League Championship Tour.

RIS: What is it like having a son following in your footsteps? You must be very proud.


Pete: It’s really cool to share something that your so passionate about with your kid. We get to spend that time together doing what we love.


RIS: You commentary and nice button up shirts were some of our favorite things to watch on the WSL. Where in the heck do you come up with those well ironed beautiful shirts?


Pete: Quiksilver!!! haha. They’re my longtime sponsor and I still represent them today. I’m grateful for all their support.


RIS: We are running this shot of you destroying a small wave we’d assume by your standards. Do you still get fired up to surf even if the waves are only head high?


Pete: Yes…I love surfing any size waves. Just as long as they still push my big frame around!


RIS: The pecking order in Santa Cruz we here is pretty intense. How long did it take you to start getting waves at Steamers and who were some of the boys that helped you out there?


Pete: It takes a lot of time. In Santa Cruz there’s a ton of respect for all the elders. So you always give way to them. I got my waves, but it took till my twenties to start getting the best ones. I like that, it keeps an order in the lineup. It’s not as prevalent today. Kids have it way too easy!! Too many of the boys to list. My peers pushed me a ton. But as far as big waves. I looked to Richard Schmidt and Vince Collier as major influences.


RIS: Whats the heaviest situation you have ever been in surfing wise? Anything where you might of thought for a second, this could be the end? 


Pete: I’ve been in many close situations, but nothing where I thought it would end. I think that’s the key, always know there a way out and never give up.


RIS: Finally, we know you grew up listened to punk and hardcore music. What attracted you to that sound and what were some of the bands you enjoyed listening to?


Pete: I had a lot of friends that were in bands. The Santa Cruz punk scene was full on. Blást and Mock were the local bands. I also loved T.S.O.L., Descendants, Minor Threat and Black Flag.  Still listen to all these bands today.


RIS: Thanks for you time Pete, we wish you all the best and look forward to more of your awesome endeavors in 2018