FROM FL TO HAWAII WITH SCHUYLER ALLEN
Written By: David Pritzker
It all started with a trip over to Sarasota, FL, earlier this past spring when the waves went flat on the east coast. What a nice run of waves in Volusia and Brevard we had! But it had to end… and I couldn’t stand the thought of the Summer doldrums setting in. So, I ventured over to the Gulf to get the best of the rare swell and an opportunity to surf the west coast of FL and see surf with some old friends. It was refreshing to surf on the “left” coast. Everyone had such great vibes and stoke. Even though it was only 2-4-foot semi-choppy conditions, everyone was grateful to have waves.
During my trip, I met up and surfed with Schuyler Allen, whom was home visiting family from living in Hawaii. Being a Florida native myself, never yet venturing to Hawaii I was curious to know more about him and what it’s like living the Hawaiian surfer life, compared to the surfer lifestyle here in Florida.
Schuyler has been making some waves this winter on the North Shore of Oahu, figuratively, and literally. The past few years the Pipe swells have taken witness to this guy snagging some of the deepest tubes, and heaviest rides on some of the most massive days of the year!
With a few epic winter seasons under his belt, Schulyer has cataloged a few surf clips of his own; Residency was recently featured on Surfline.
SLM: Schuyler, How long have you been surfing?
Since I was about 12. I Skateboarded and stuff like that before, but kind of got a late start to the whole surfing thing..
SLM: What made you decide to start surfing from skating?
I remember watching some of my friend’s older brothers and them being psyched on it. Skating and surfing go hand and hand. I remember being into skim boarding at the time too and it just kind of grew from that.
SLM: Being from the Gulf, how did you go surfing so much?
We just made the most of what we had. Our parents would drive us over to the east coast whenever we could convince them to, then once we had our licenses we were skipping school and driving over there every chance we got.
SLM: Now what’s your plan for your surfing career?
Traveling to new destinations, surfing new waves, and hopefully inspiring others along the way.
SLM: Do you get nervous in the lineup? What’s your limit?
I’m more comfortable in the water then on land and I enjoy pushing my limits. Sometimes I will get that nervous feeling before paddling out on a big day, or the night before a big swell, but once I’m in the water all of that goes away and I just try to focus on that moment.
SLM: What kind of equipment are you riding out there?
Mostly Lost Surfboards by Matt Biolis, and a couple hand shapes by John Gentile. We have a shaping room at our house now so we are always working on something. I get more inspired by my boards than anything. A good board can give you a ton of confidence and having the right equipment for the right waves is key. You go through a lot of boards in Hawaii and it’s fun to experiment with new shapes.
SLM: Any Florida like fish boards in your quiver?
I actually have been riding this little Lost 5’5 x 19 1/4 Round Nose Fish. I can ride it in all kinds of conditions and just switch up the fin set up depending what the waves are doing. I brought it with me here to the Gulf and have been riding it as a twin and it goes insane! I rode it as a quad a lot this winter in Hawaii and loved it in hollow waves as well.
SLM: Tell us more about your Surfline Video “Residency” you made that’s floating around on the internet? How did you put that one together?
“Residency” was just a project I put together from some clips I got this winter in Hawaii. Filmed mostly by Jacob Laham and Sam Moody, (who are also from the East Coast). It’s funny how East Coasters come together wherever we go.
SLM: Who inspires you the most?
The Lopez brothers were always a big influence on me being from the Gulf. Now days, just watching my friends and peers push themselves inspires me a lot.
SLM: Awesome. Where are you off to next?
Heading to California this week before I go back to Hawaii, then who knows!?
SLM: So what are some of your favorite breaks in Hawaii, and favorite breaks in Fl?
Besides all of the best waves in Hawaii like Pipe, Backdoor, and Rocky Point… there’s a few hidden gems but I’m not dropping any hints.
In FL, New Smyrna Beach is always a favorite and when I’m back home on the Gulf it’s just about hunting for the best sandbars.
SLM: Schuyler, I’ve always been curious, what are some differences in surfing culture in both FL and Hawaii?
Hawaii is the birth place of surfing and surfers from Florida have been traveling to Hawaii for ages. Guys like Jeff Crawford, Matt Kechele, Kelly Slater, Pete Mendia, The Hobgoods, The Lopez’s all paved the way for us Floridians.
SLM: That and the fact the waves are better in Hawaii and much more consistent, right?
SLM: What do you listen to before a surf?
Punk Rock or some Trap! I love all different genres of music but those get me the most amped to surf!
SLM: What’s after surfing?
Hopefully surfing till the day I die. I’d like to help kids from the Gulf and the East coast take that next step in their surfing.
SLM: So you plan on giving back?
Ya I’d like to do something for the place thats helped me get to where I am today.
SLM: That’s epic Schuyler! Keep setting a good example and pushing the bar for us Florida folk over there on the big islands. And thank you for taking the time to let us in on what’s on your mind!
Yeah man of course, thank you for having me!