Sean Sullivan

April 30, 2015 4 min read


  • My wife and I are both US Navy veterans and now full time students living in San Diego. I'm in school to take my Airframes & Powerplant licence which allows me to be a mechanic on aircraft. I'm pretty much a college kid with a mortgage and a family at this point in my life. When I'm not surfing I enjoy turning wrenches on watercooled VW's or fooling around in the garden, playing Ultimate Frisbee and disc golf as well. I really take it day by day. I'm enjoying being a college student. I didn't get to do it in my 20s so I'm doing it in my 30s.



    Where did you grow up? Where are you currently living now?
    Hafa Adai! (hello in Chamarro) I was born on Guam when my father was stationed there in the US Navy. I don't remember any of it as I was too young when we left. Being a military brat, and an armed service veteran myself, we jumped around a lot. I've lived in Memphis, Fort Worth/Dallas, Jacksonville Fl, Pensacola Fl, Virginia Beach, and Brunswick Maine. I jumped on the chance to get stationed in San Diego, bought a house, and settled down in El Cajon, "The Box" in Spanish.

    What are your favourite local spots?
    My favorite spot here recently has been Tower 26 in Pacific Beach. I don't have decades of local wave knowledge, only a couple of years, so I've been studying one break and frequenting it. Studying how the sand forms waves of different angles and energies is fascinating. There's always something to learn from the ocean you just have to listen.

    Do you have any other favourite breaks?
    I also try to get to Windansea when I can. I headed there when I first started to surf not knowing how localized it is. It's a great break and there is a fantastic community that surfs it. I've learned more there by just sitting in the line up than any time riding a wave. Respect the locals. Other than that you can catch me anywhere between PB Pier and Tourmaline or somewhere down near Scripps. Now that it's getting time for summer I'll be hitting Marine St and Horseshoe up more often.

    What breaks are on your bucket list?
    Oh man, bucket list breaks? All the greatest breaks I have suredf have been great because of the people in and out the water. It's not so much the wave I want to experience but the people and communities that surround them. However, with that said. The Wedge is probably first on the list just because it can be realized. It is bodysurfing's Mecca. After that would probably be somewhere in Guam (that the motherland for me, my place of birth). Anywhere in Australia to be honest. I'd like to go back and surf a break in all the countries I visited in the military. Most notably Crete, The Maldives, and The Azores. Think I can catch a barrel in Iraq?

    Have you always bodysurfed? Do you ride other surf craft?
    My mom bought me a decent Moray Boogie for my 9th or 10th birthday that I enjoyed as a kid and until I moved out to California in 2010 I didn't surf at all. In summer 2012 I bought a cheap no stringer bodyboard and some DaFins. It's been all down slope from there. Although I have gravitated more towards body surfing in the past 10 months though.

    My daily driver is a JL Custom bodyboard, but I do have my eyes on a surf mat.

    How are bodysurfers viewed in your local line-up?
    There are not too many body surfers at my break, mostly hard boarders. Generally speaking, body surfers are given their due respect given they show that they are not a hazard to themselves or others in the line up. Usually when I ditch the body board and pick up the handplane other people will swim out near me and get some stoke. I do the same thing. If I see some other people whomping I'll toss the board on the beach. I think that's unique to our culture of surf. Where we will toss our crafts on the beach to go whomp with the crowd. What is a group of body surfers called anyways? There is a Murder of Crows, a Gaggle of Geese, an Amoeba of surfers? What I find really interesting about bodysurfing is the interaction in the line up. With other craft in the line up you can quickly move about and get to where you want; the line up is ambiguous. With bodysurfing, I've found, the line up is more coherent and grouped. Conversations are shared easier, people are closer, and are closer more often. It's a microcosm of our culture.

    What do you find cool and inspiring about bodysurfing?
    Nature inspires me. If it doesn't inspires you you're doing it wrong. A greater stewardship in regards to nature and the ocean is ever inspiring.

    What’s inspiring you in the water right now?
    Where do you hope to take your bodysurfing over the next year?
    In the next year I'd really like to get in better physical shape, eat better, and get more connected with the rhythm of the ocean. @Belly_Slater is working on some really progressive bodysurfing moves. 720 anyone? I'd like to thank Dave at Garage Handplanes for giving me the chance to be an ambassador. He has given me the opportunity to share my experiences in the water and I'm super stoked to see what and where we can take Garage in the next few years.