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Posted by Rick Civelli | 09.28.2010 | Employment

WB Surf Camp Instructor of the Week for September 26th: Assistant Director Hunter Hay

One of our newest additions to our stellar Surf Camp Team this summer was UNCW Graduate and veteran WB Lifeguard, Hunter Hay. Hunter served as Assistant Director this past year and contributed, not only his environmental education skills, but also his valuable life saving skills. Hunter is a true waterman and even led in the training of our team in ocean rescue. We are proud have him as part of our Surf Camp family and wish him well in his reef studies in Fiji for the next 6 months, although he’ll more likely be studying the wave mechanics over the reefs!

1. What drew you to a position at Surf Camp? Being active in the water and interacting with new people is way more fun than sitting in a lifeguard stand by yourself all day.

2. Who is your favorite surfer and why? I don’t know…I don’t think that I have one.  I have a poster of Gerry Lopez from the 70’s though on my wall that I like a lot.

3. When did you start surfing and where? I started surfing in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina when I was 10…I think.

4. What is your favorite surf break? There are so many great waves back home on the right swell conditions.  I’ve surfed all over the world and I don’t think that I’ve ever had more fun than I have while exploring the barrier islands of central North Carolina.

5. What inspired you to start surfing? When I was a little rascal running around with a sponge I noticed that all the guys on surfboards always got the good waves.  So mom, being the good California girl that she is, rented a surfboard.  Almost 16 years later and I’m still trying to figure out how to keep surfing as much as possible.

6. Where was your most memorable session? I’ll never tell!  It was in North Carolina though.  Four friends and I jumped in the boat and went exploring to find a wave that didn’t have a bunch of people on it.  We ended up finding an overhead left peeling for over 100 yards through emerald green water.  Almonds for all, and no one else around for miles and miles!  We surfed all the way till the evening, right through one of the most beautiful sunsets that I’ve ever seen.  My arms were so fried I could hardly climb back into the boat.

7. What is the worst wipeout you’ve ever had? I’d have to say one day in Fiji in 2004.  I was surfing a spot called Frigates, which is big left reef break there.  It was a few feet over head with the swell pushing in really hard with the rising tide.  The reef shelf on the inside was completely dry and sitting a couple feet above the waterline.  As I was starting my bottom turn I got just a little too close to the lip, it blew my board out from under me and started steamrolling straight at the reef.  It was dragging me for what seemed like forever underwater, I couldn’t believe that my lease hadn’t snapped.  Finally the wave let go of me, but there was still so much water pushing around behind it that I was still being held under.  I could feel my leash still pulled tight and started climbing it, hand over hand to get to the surface.  I was pretty glad when I got to the top and realized that was the last wave of the set.

8. What are some of your interests outside of surfing? I just love the outdoors in general.  It doesn’t matter if it’s diving, camping, mountain biking, or climbing.  I’m as happy hiking chutes in the mountains to go snowboard as I am surfing.  There are so many amazing natural areas in our world.  You’ve got to get out there and go exploring.  Related to that, I’m really interested in studying and protecting the environment.  The root causes of all our environmental challenges and troubles are people and the way we live, so we’re going to have to be the solution.  I love encouraging people to just go adventuring outdoors.  When you experience first hand how amazing the world around us is, it makes it that much more important to you, and thus makes you that much more likely to do something to benefit the planet.

9. What is your favorite movie? I’m not sure that I have one, but the only movie that I own is 180 South and it’s amazing.  It’ll make you want to quit your job, sell everything that you own and go climb a mountain or explore an uncharted coastline.

10. What is your favorite music? Music that has something important to say.  Music that’s as moving in 30 years as it was when it was written.

11. What is your favorite food? The Shrimp Maki’ Rito at Flaming Amy’s and mom’s crab dip.

12. Where do you see yourself in five years? I don’t have a clue where I’ll be in five days, ha five years?  Who knows?  I’d vote for Australia or South Africa though.  Africa would be amazing.

13. In your eyes, the three things you value most are: Family, Friends, A healthy environment