Surfing All 50 States

Two Australians, Jonathan Durrant and Stefan Hunt, are on a mission to surf in all 50 American states. This includes the Midwest, where they'll find "waves" in irrigation ditches, snow, and even in a potato field. Durrant talks with Alex Chadwick about their adventures so far.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

The surf is up for Stefan Hunt and Jonathan Durrant, even if there are no waves. These are two Australians on a mission to surf in all 50 American states. Easy enough in California and Florida, but in the Midwest it means hanging ten in some pretty unusual ways. They are today, in Minnesota, where they plan to surf the Water Park of America, in Bloomington. Joining us by phone is Jonathan. Welcome to the show, Jonathan, and why are you setting out to surf 50 American states? Didn't you bother to look at a map before you tried this?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JONATHAN DURRANT (Australian Surfer): You know, it was just a crazy idea we came up with. We thought we'd really like to try and do something in every state, and one of our friends said well, you guys are surfers, why don't you try and surf in every state? We said the same thing that everyone says to us now. You know, you can't surf in every state. He said, well improvise a bit, and you know, you don't always have to be in a wave. There's windsurfing and crowd-surfing and, you know, lots of different types of surfing. As long as we're standing on a surfboard, we're counting that as surfing.

CHADWICK: So that's it, you want to be standing on a surfboard, it doesn't really matter what's underneath it.

Tell us about Idaho.

Mr. DURRANT: OK. We went potato-surfing in Idaho. We had a potato conveyor belt, and we put our surfboards on top of the potatoes running up the conveyor belt and stood up surfing up that. And then they took us behind a tractor with a water-ski rope tied to the board and through the potato fields. And then they took us to a big sugar-beet pile, where we - about 15-foot high - climbed up this big pile of beets, and we surfed down that, so...

CHADWICK: You surfed a pile of sugar beets?

Mr. DURRANT: Yup, yup, and I think I came off second-best, actually. It ended up getting quite fast and, at the end, the board stopped and I kept going onto the hard ground. So I got a few scratches, but it's all part of it.

CHADWICK: Tell me, how many surfboards have you gone through? If you're surfing potato fields, I would think you'd need a new board every week.

Mr. DURRANT: Yeah, we have about five surfboards with us and two body-boards, and we've got a big foam board - and we just used that one where - for the ones where it's going to get trashed - and that is really looking second best at the moment.

CHADWICK: Tens of thousands of DAY TO DAY listeners at this very moment are saying to themselves, hey, how could I get on that? Now, you guys have found a sponsor, it's the company Hurley - they make surfing clothes and some gear and things. They provided you with a vehicle.

Mr. DURRANT: Yup. It's a 1987 GMC ice-cream truck.

CHADWICK: And ice-cream truck.

Mr. DURRANT: Sure is. It's four ton, looks like an armored vehicle. It's all black, with Hurley written all over it and a bunch of our other sponsors. Yeah, it's got ice-cream music. It's got 32 different ice-cream tracks that you can play outside. So we love to use that music, and we sometimes get kids running up to the car and end up being a bit disappointed when we don't have ice creams, we only have surfboards.

CHADWICK: Is there any state you're thinking ahead to, or you're just wondering how in the heck are we going to surf there? I mean, is there a problem American state. I don't know if there could be, after Idaho, but...

Mr. DURRANT: Yeah. No, most of the Midwest and the states we've done were the ones where we just had no clue what we were doing. But we really like to just show up in the state and talk to some locals and try to find a way that we can surf on something that's sort of representative of the state. And we're just heading to the Great Lakes, so - where they get some really great waves throughout the Great Lakes - so we're hoping to get some real waves again in the next couple weeks.

CHADWICK: Jonno(ph) Durrant from Australia. He and his friend, Stefan Hunt, planning to surf all 50 states. Jonno, good luck to you.

Mr. DURRANT: Thanks so much, Alex.

CHADWICK: And in addition to potato surfboards, Jonno also has a Web site. You can find it at our site, npr.org.

(Soundbite of song, "Surfin' U.S.A.")

THE BEACH BOYS (vocal group): (Singing) Pacific Palisades.

Inside, outside, U.S.A.

(Unintelligible) Redondo Beach, L.A.

Inside, outside, U.S.A.

All over La Jolla and Waimea Bay.

Inside, outside, U.S.A.

Everybody's gone surfin', surfin' U.S.A...

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.