South Coast Team Rider: Trevor Nielsen

by Chad Wilson

As one of the more outspoken surfers in Ocean Beach, Trevor Nielsen brings a bit of color to the South Coast surf team. Born and raised in Point Loma, Trevor was destined to become the great surfer he is today. Excelling in both longboarding and shortboarding, not much can hold this kid back. After surfing with Trevor, I realized he has no fear of falling on any wave. Whether it is pumping six to eight foot Imperial Beach, or dredging sandspit barrels, he will go.

Contest wise, if Trevor can keep his cool, he could be a true contender on the Professional Longboard Association Tour.

Out of the water, Trevor spends most of his days either relaxing at South Coast Longboards, or out having a good time with his friends. So, next time you are in OB, stop into South Coast Longboards and meet the one we call T-Rex.

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Team Manager: Donn Clark

South Coast Team Manager Profile: Donn Clark
By Robb Bailey

Quick Facts
Grew up in: South Mission Beach
High School:
Mission Bay High
College: SDSU
Competitive Surfing Experience: Western Surfing Association (70’s), The Coalition of Surfing Clubs (current)
South Coast Team Manager: 3 years

The South Coast team riders are a group of local up and coming surfers who are sponsored by South Coast surf shops. Ranging in ages from eight to 25 years, the young wave sliders are being groomed not only to become great surfers, but a positive part of the surfing community as well. Their team manager, Don Clark, affectionately nicknamed “DC”, is a local soul rider who grew up surfing and living in South Mission Beach.

DC is a generally cheerful guy, with a soul patch and silver-streaked blonde hair. Although a self-admitted “old man”, his presence indicates that his attitude and outlook on life remains youthful. Now in his fifties, DC smiles a lot and seems to enjoy his work. Surprisingly, his competitive surfing experience from the seventies to present day has little to do with the way he manages the South Coast team.

“South Coast believes its surf team should be a little more home grown.”And home grown it is.DC’s team guidelines are centered more around life coaching than surf coaching, and he demands respect from all of the team riders in a unique way. He rips like he’s still in his twenties, remains a very humble person, and sets a great example. “I was never good enough to go to the pros,” DC is quick to explain as he summarizes his surfing career. But he also admits that his leadership role is validated by his surfing ability when the kids
see him in the water. “Once the kids saw me surfing, there was a sort of mutual respect.”

Team manager responsibilities such as acting as the liaison between the sponsors and riders, as well as coaching the riders through heats are all part of the job. DC’s other duties as manager include keeping the team in check, making sure their school grades are in line, and helping them keep an overall great attitude.
” [Sponsorship] companies want good kids to represent them. Some kids think surfing ability alone will
give them anything they want. I tell them, ‘Don’t get cocky. Be modest.’ You gotta work for it and be a good person to sponsors, and thank them every once in awhile.”

In an industry where kids who rip are becoming a dime a dozen, DC seems to have the right approach. He also encourages his riders to remember that they surf to have fun. South Coast team riders are not required to compete, and the team is more a family of kids than individuals surfing with free gear.

As the South Coast family grows and changes, it’s good to know that there will be a new group of young bucks out there continuing to surf and live life positively in our community. As DC continues his work, we get a more positive vibe, which the surfing world could use a little more of in this author’s opinion.

Rebecca Straka

Name: Rebecca Straka

Birthday: February 17, 1983
Born and raised in San Diego

Favorite day: The day my son, Riley was born – July 17, 2007 (see the photo!)

Favorite local spots: La Jolla, Cardiff, where ever it’s good. I’m tide savvy. -Travel destinations: Hawaii, Mexico, Australia (Noosa), up and down California.

Competions: “Guy Takayama Pro Noseriding Event 2006″ – 3rd place. “Malibu Surfing Association (MSA) Club Contest 2006″ – 5th place.

Favorite boards: Anything single fin, over 9 feet.

Sponsors: South Coast Surf Shop and anyone else who’s interested.

Favorite quote: “In Hawaii we greet friends, loved ones or strangers, with Aloha, which means with love. Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawaii renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship. Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha. You’ll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed. Aloha to you.” – Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

photos taken by

Chris Koerner

Chris Koerner

Age: 26
Hometown: Long Island, NY
Home break: Gilgo Beach
Lives in: NY
Years Surfing: 10
Years Surfing in San Diego: 3
Surf Stance: Goofy Foot
Favorite Wave: Rincon
Local break: Crystal Pier, La Jolla Shores
Favorite Mexican Food: Taco Surf, they hook it up!
Favorite at Taco Surf: Gotta go with the California Burrito?
Job: Manager at South Coast Windansea, Accessories Buyer
Marital Status: Single (laughs)
Shout Outs: To Mike Detemple in Florida for influencing me, to Bird for showing me the ropes at the shop and in the water when I got to San Diego. Also to my friends at Gilgo Beach: James Hilbert, who taught me how to do the helicopter.

South Coast Windansea’s Best Kept Secret: Chris Koerner

by Robb Bailey

Chris Koerner looks like the average California kid. His walk is more of a stride than a mission to get somewhere. He has a laid-back stroll that most surfers walk with when the waves aren’t going off. He rides his 70’s retro skateboard to work from his nearby house in PB. His hands are tan, his hair is in place but uncombed, and he smiles often.

Then he talks.

Save this one very important detail, and any San Diego local would swear Chris grew up down the street from him. Long Island must have the most recognizable dialect on the planet, and Chris has not shaken this part of his hometown at all.

Not that he has to?the amateur longboarder has more than proven himself in the water. With wins at the 2006 T-Street event of the Christian Surf Series and at the 2006 Bunger Annual Surf Classic in Gilgo Beach, New York, Chris’ results speak for themselves.

“Back home I shortboarded for a couple of years, but then my friend Mike Detemple let me try his longboard one day while we were surfing. He got me into it. I kind of did it backwards (when I learned), shortboarded at first, then got into longboarding.”

And he’s been longboarding ever since. In 2006 Chris ranked 9th of 72 in the ASP Pro-Longboard Series. Currently he’s ranked 7th in the NSSA tour and plans on revisiting the ASP again this year.

Despite his impressive results in competitive surfing, Chris shows an extremely mature attitude towards the sport. His style clearly mirrors his respect for surfing history and lifestyle. When he talks about the lineup, he talks about respecting shortboarders. “I hate it when longboarders just sit outside and pick off all the good waves. It gives us a bad name. Everybody should be respectful in the water.”

Why does he prefer longboarding over shortboarding? It’s because of the noseriding. “With longboarding, you can do just as much stuff?but add noseriding. You can performance ride like on a shortboard or go classic. You have more versatility.”

Versatility is what won Chris the Tony Mezzadri Tricks on a Log contest in 2006. With a bag of tricks that includes a fin-first take-off and “the helicopter”, Chris takes advantage of the variety his longboard offers. Right now he’s riding South Coast’s CR-3 model (9″x 2.7″x 22″) with a thruster type 2 + 1 fin set-up. He uses an FCS 5-1/2″ center fin to compliment its rounded pintail for maximum performance. Soon he’ll be adding a South Coast retro 9’6″ to his quiver with a 10″ glass-on fin for a more classic ride. He’s asking for an extra-heavy glass job and expects the log to weigh around 40 pounds.

Home proved to be good for learning to surf, but Chris admits the west coast is definitely more his speed. “I love California, it’s so much more consistent here. And here there’s more surf culture, you can click with people better.”

Shop owner Eric “Bird” Huffman took Chris under his wing when he started at the shop two years ago. “Bird showed me the ropes–taught me what spots are good when there’s waves. He also helped me with board selection, he showed me some styles I didn’t know about; and that’s helped me deal with customers’ (needs) better.”

Chris is now a manager at the Windansea location and has no plans to leave soon, save a few yearly trips home. He heads east twice a year for some good home cooking and an August hurricane swell or two.

Although he hasn’t forgotten his roots, Chris seems to be in his element here in San Diego. He has become a local hero to several of South Coast’s shop employees. “Surfers should give longboarding a chance, it’s a lot more fun than it looks! It’s also not as easy to longboard on big waves. If you see someone throw around a nine foot board in overhead surf, people (in the lineup) should respect that. But I think shortboarders should longboard sometimes, they can keep progressing and fine-tune (their surfing).”

When asked if there’s anything else Chris wanted everyone to know about his surfing, what came was a smile and a laugh followed by a thoughtful pause. Then Chris summed up what he’s all about with a final comment in regards to longboarding:

“Remember your roots, that’s where surfing came from!”

Chris Koerner

Zack Clark


Born: 9/11/96
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 155
Stance: Reg
Favorite Wave: Malibu, Scorp and a sick point down south
Favorite board: Anything shaped by Larry Ricci
Best Surf Trip: Bali
Hobbies: Fishing, Piano, Running
Goals: Take a little time off from competitive surfing and free surf with my friends. More trips to mi casa in San Jose del Cabo.


2011 La Jolla Shores Menehune
4th 13-15 Boys Long Board
2010-2011 Scholastic Surf Series
1st in all 5 events, San Diego County Boys Long Board Season Champion
2010-2011 Scholastic Surf Series Event #4
1st Boys Short Board
2010 Malibu Classic
1st 15-18 Junior Men Long Board (age 13)
2010 SCSA Gromfest
2nd 13 & under Boys Short Board
2009-2010 NSSA
Season end was 15th out of 64 competitors’, Made Nationals
2009-2010 NSSA #9
2009-2010 NSSA #8
2009-2010 NSSA #7
2009-2010 NSSA #6
2009-2010 NSSA #5
2009-2010 NSSA #4
2009-2010 NSSA #3
2009-2010 NSSA #2
2009-2010 NSSA #1