Board Meetings

Words by Ben Pryzby, photos by Ben Pryzby and Todd Westphal

We took a short trip up the coast from headquarters in San Diego a few months back. The goal was 3 fold. 1) Meet our new photographer friend Todd Westphal and spread the word of Viva 2) Check in with VIVA LA VACAY ambassador Ryder England before he took off to South America to bring drinking water to families in need for his project Buena Onda Aliviadores and 3) As always, score some waves. I had just gotten a new rig, a 1986 Dodge B150 named Ruby, and needed to break her in with an inaugural surf trip. So, we loaded up the camping gear and surfboards and headed north.

We made it to Todd's place in Venice, and shortly after our meeting had started, the inevitable happened. Someone asked the question, "Sooo, you want to surf?". It wouldn't make much sense if we said no, as if that would ever even happen, so we jumped back into Ruby with Todd in tow, and headed North to County Line Beach. We had already planned on meeting Ryder up there, so we shot him a text and said we'd be a bit early. 

Ben and his new van, Ruby. Photo by Todd Westphal

Ben and his new van, Ruby. Photo by Todd Westphal

Pulling the quiver down off of Ruby. Photo by Todd Westphal

Pulling the quiver down off of Ruby. Photo by Todd Westphal

Dylan waxing up a 6'4" Simmons

Dylan waxing up a 6'4" Simmons

Dylan, post surf cheesin'. Photo by Todd Westphal

Dylan, post surf cheesin'. Photo by Todd Westphal

Ryder in the spotlight. Photo by Todd Westphal

Ryder in the spotlight. Photo by Todd Westphal

The water was warm, and the swell was working. Everyone caught a few good ones, but sunset was coming and we needed to make camp. We packed up the boards and made some plans to take Todd down to Baja for his first time (story coming soon). Needless to say he was stoked.

Ryder had been telling us about this epic camping spot that he had found while working on a local beach house, and we were frothing to check it out. It wasn't far, but it was quite a climb. Had to be at least 500 ft vertical, which in two loaded down camper vans is...fun. The climb was well worth it though. For the next two nights we were rewarded with an epic view of the Pacific Ocean and the Ventura County coastline

Ruby and the moon

Ruby and the moon

Sunset traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway

Sunset traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway

Ryder was stoked to finally be able to make this lifelong dream come true

Ryder was stoked to finally be able to make this lifelong dream come true

While the view from our campsite at night was pretty rad, the daylight revealed some fun features that were hidden in the dark, like a natural miniramp! We shredded the dirt pipe for a bit, and then headed up the hill for some long and fast rides.

Dylan in the Monster Wave Tee

Dylan in the Monster Wave Tee

Ryder throwing some spray

Ryder throwing some spray

He's just so fast!!!

He's just so fast!!!

Long way down

Long way down

After the skate sesh, it was back down to sea level to pick up Ryder's Australian friend Jenna who he had just been filming a snowboarding movie with in Banff, Canada. She was in town on her way back to Oz, and wanted to kick it for a day. Jenna likes all board sports, so even though surfing wasn't in her repertoire, she happily threw on a wetsuit and paddled out into some chest-high set waves with us, straight out into the line-up. Crazy Aussies, we love em!

Jenna was stoked to get out in the water. Still cheesing well after we dried off.

Jenna was stoked to get out in the water. Still cheesing well after we dried off.

Kicking it van life style

Kicking it van life style

The trip was winding down to an end, and before we sent Ryder and Jenna off, we jumped into Ruby and recorded the latest episode of Modern Nomads, a podcast about like minded van-lifers where Dylan interviewed Ryder about his upcoming trip to South America.

You can read more about Ryder's awesome project, Buena Onda Aliviadore here and donate to bring clean drinking water to many in need families!