One of the best surfers to hail from Santa Cruz, California, Adam Replogle is a surfing legend and a class act. Charging cold winter swells in heavy surf, Replogle works his magic on a short board, translating progressive carving to the massive faces of challenging waves such as Mavericks. Winner of the 2002 Cold Water Classic held at Steamer Lane and the 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow-In Classic.
Now a stay-at-home father, Replogle has gone under the radar… until today. The Santa Cruz champion surfer is this week’s legendary guest on Off The Lip Radio Show, local radio station KSCO 1080 and streaming live here on TheSurfChannel.com.
Call in with questions for Adam Replogle from Santa Cruz on Tuesday, June 10th from 7-8 PM PST and watch live from the studio right here on TheSurfChannel.com!
Call in to ask questions from 7-8 PM PST, Tuesday nights: 1-831-479-1080
Written by Neil Pearlberg for the Santa Cruz Sentinel
Adam Replogle, whose rich passion for the sport moves like an ocean current through his veins, was one of the last professional surfers from Santa Cruz to compete for an ASP world title. However, he doesn’t miss competing.
“Yes, I enjoyed getting a good result, because it was a testament to all the hard work that I put in. However, competition to me was just an ego-based happiness, and I simply didn’t enjoy it,” Replogle said. “I constantly fought my nerves. I loathed the performance anxiety. Heck, even sitting here today, watching the 2012 Coldwater, I have anxiety for those in the water,” he said. Anxiety did not get in the way of his reputation.
“Unquestionably, Adam is one of the nicest professional surfers to come out of Santa Cruz,” said Pat O’Neill, CEO of the O’Neill company. Replogle retired in 1999, but came back to compete in the Coldwater Classic in 2001. “When he was riding for O’Neill, he was a true ambassador for our company and the sport of surfing,” O’Neill said. “And as far as I am concerned, he retired way too early.”
Replogle got his start in pro surfing the same way many of Santa Cruz’s last generation of surfers did, including the county’s only other ASP World Title contender, Chris Gallagher. Replogle, Gallagher, Josh Loya, Josh Mulcoy, Anthony Ruffo, Jason Collins and Peter Mel were all influenced by an earlier generation of local surfers in Richard Schmidt, Vince Collier and Marcel Soros. They survived as a pack, traveling up and down the western states on Mel’s Chevron gas card.
“We always had a full tank of gas, and a never-ending supply of Doritos and donuts,” chuckled Replogle. In 1989, Replogle, then 18, and his friends competed in one of the first Coldwater Classics. When one of their posse, Mulcoy, made it to the final, most decided right there and then that they could take on the world. All except for Replogle.
“As much work as I did on my form and technique, I just didn’t feel any competitive drive within me,” Replogle said. Replogle found comfort in his social network of surfers. Among them, he could freely surf any wave, locally or on some remote foreign land. They recognized his talent, pushed him, criticized him and drove him all the way to the Coldwater Classic winner’s podium in 2002.
“We called him the ‘Rodent’ because he looked like the little furry creature out in the water, but we all knew he was special, one of the best to have ever come out of Santa Cruz,” said Ruffo, the 2001 Coldwater Classic winner. In spite of his success on the pro circuit, Replogle readily admits that competition was never something that he savored. So, he gave it up for something he relishes much more: fatherhood.
Replogle is now into the eighth year of his second career as a father. While his wife Jenae travels over the hill daily to her job at Facebook, he works as a stay-a-home dad taking care of his girls. Sweet music to dad’s ears is when after school Mackenzie and Preslley, now 8 and 6, respectively, will say, “Hey dad, let’s go surf!” It is during these father-daughter surf sessions that Replogle sees that surfing has come full circle for him. They head down to Capitola to surf the very wave he first rode with his mentor Matt Lancing, at the tender age of 9. Replogle points out that today’s kids are now influenced by a combination of not only surfing, but snowboarding, skateboarding and acrobatics. These land-based sports are being tested to extreme levels and it is bringing the crowds back to the watch the sport.
The crowds at the Coldwater Classic is a scene he believes is similar to how surfing was in the early 1980s, when hundreds of thousands would attend the OP Pro in Huntington Beach. But there was more to the competition being held at the Lane than just crowd pleasing.
“It is not easy for a kid to surf the Lane. The water is cold, it is rocky, the wave can rid you of any confidence that you may have stored away. And to any surfer, professional or otherwise, surfing with a lack of confidence is extremely difficult.” Replogle said. He added that when the young surfers see even 11-time world champion Kelly Slater struggling, “they will realize that even he is human, and will go on to inspire them to keep working on their own game.”
In addition to Dad duties, Replogle occasionally fills in as a contest commentator. He has earned the respect of one of surfing’s biggest names, Brad Gerlach, who served as one of the announcers for this year’s Coldwater. Gerlach recalled surfing some epic sessions with Replogle, especially in Lincoln City, Ore. — home of Nelscott Reef, the Mavericks of the north.
“We used to battle for waves out in the lineup, now we both get to sit back with a microphone and broadcast them to everyone, watching the live feed of a surf event,” Gerlach said. “Neither job is easy.” But, he said, Replogle brings the same qualities to the mic as he did to the lineup. “Adam is a natural on a microphone,” Gerlach said. “He is sharp, passionate. The way he transmits his passion succinctly to his listener makes you feel like you are on the board with the surfer.” One man believes he knows the secret to Replogle’s success.
“Adam is the bloodhound of surfing,” said good friend Shane Skelton, marketing manager for O’Neill. “The man can sniff out the best waves better than anyone. He has a nose for the surf.”
Off the Lip Radio Show features legendary surfers and skateboarders in their Santa Cruz, California studio. You can listen in on 1080AM radio in the Bay Area every Tuesday evening starting from 7PM PST. Now, you can watch the YouTube Live stream from inside the studio right here on TheSurfChannel.com!