Michael Brown Parlor started surfing in 1976 when he bought his first board in Beaufort, South Carolina.
“I would have started surfing sooner, but blacks were not allowed to use the public beaches in South Carolina when I was a young child.” During his college years, Michael was an early NSSA member at the College of Charleston, South Carolina when the organization first began.
Introducing the “Walking Talking Surfing Encyclopedia”… AKA Michael Brown Parlor, an avid surfer now based in California and one of female surfing’s biggest fans.
After covering various ASP events in SoCal, it was impossible for The Surf Channel not to notice Michael on the shore, in the front row, mechanically calculating athlete stats and cracking jokes with all the ladies on the beach. Besides being a huge fan and a hilarious companion while down on the sand, we wanted to know how else Michael is connected within the surf industry.
An advocate for female athletes, he has served as a mentor for many of the young World Tour hopefuls and he is one of the most knowledgeable surf enthusiasts we’ve come across, with quite an amazing story to tell.
Growing up in the deep South, Michael witnessed many tough struggles throughout the Civil Rights Movement. These experiences have influenced the way that he mentors hundreds of military and law enforcement personnel, as well as surfers.
After univeristy, Michael went on to serve in both the enlisted and officer ranks of the US Military, coordinating training related to nuclear, biological, chemical, mountain and desert warfare, self-defense tactics, various infantry weapon systems, water safety coordinator, drug/alcohol abuse counseling and counter-terrorism for active duty. Later, Michael moved on to serve in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1984 – 2008.
Michael has also been a surfing commentator for local news sources, a coach and adviser for several young surfers, and updates several online surfing voices. Whether you need a good laugh, athletic coach or a Walking, Talking, Surfing Encyclopedia, you can find Michael at all of the Southern California surfing events along the coastline. Guaranteed he has one of the strongest Fantasy Surfer teams, and could tell you every wave score caught by the human eye.
He is, after all, the Walking, Talking, Surfing Encyclopedia.