I started surfing at Tourmaline in 1995, and right from the start Ferdie was one of the dudes I looked up to. He has the most infectious laugh and such amazing style and grace in and out of the water. He is just one of those people you are always glad to see in the lot, and now there is going to be huge hole in my heart knowing that he won't be there regularly anymore.
I can't even say when was the first time I saw him surf, because he has a very calm, understated style that doesn't stand out at first glance. But the more I have watched him over the years, the more I have come to appreciate what an incredible surfer he really is. His sense of timing and judgement is as good as anyone I have ever seen, and that includes some of the top surfers in the Coalition contest circuit. In the thousands of waves I have seen him ride, I have never seen him look off balance even once. His understated footwork and sweeping cutbacks are things of beauty to the trained eye.
He is also legendary for some epically long sessions. Four or five hours is nothing to him. I bet he's done as many six hour plus sessions as anyone who has ever surfed the old Surfing Park. If I had nickle for every time I've heard him say "I think I'm gonna get one more", as if he were about to get out of the water, only to hear him say the same thing an hour later, and then another hour later, I would be a rich man!
One of my favorite Ferdie moments happened just a few months ago. Now if you know him, you know he's generally one of the chillest, most mellow dudes you've ever met. That is until you get on his bad side out in the water. One day we were out at Pumphouse and it was a really good clean fun day, not too crowded as Tourmo goes, but enough people to make you have to pick and choose your spots. There was this one dude out there surfing with a girl friend of his, and I guess he was trying to impress her with how many waves he could catch. He was dropping in people every chance he got, to the point where it was starting to get dangerous. Then he made the mistake of dropping in on Ferdie twice in a row.
After the second one, Ferdie paddled back out parallel right next to him and unleashed a verbal barrage that frankly stunned me. It was loud enough that it could probably be heard all the way from the lot. "You're a kook! What are you doing out here?!? Why don't you learn how to surf?!?" and so on... this went on for a good minute or so. The guy finally shrank away into the crowd, and I paddled over to Ferdie and said "Thank you brother! That guy deserved that!". We had a good laugh about it afterward, and when I told some other people about it their jaws dropped open. "Ferdie said what?!?". Haha!
It also goes without saying what a fantastic photographer he is. If he's ever taken your photo you can count on it being a keeper. Check out his website at https://www.ferdiemoralesphotography.com. You can use the link there to give him a follow on InstaGram.
The move came about because his beautiful wife Al took a new job there. So it's off to the islands where she is from, along with their adorable young boy Ikaika. I'm gonna miss you guys, but I will come visit as often as possible. And to the people of Honolulu, count yourselves lucky.
With much love and aloha,
p.s. - Click on "Activities" above if you want to leave a comment or post anything Ferdie related. Peace!
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