Surf Story Project: More than a Book – it’s history

Aaron Chang signing his page of SURF STORY

Aaron Chang, signing his page in Surf Story

Robb Havassy just made history in the surf world, but most people won’t realize it for at least 20 years.

That’s how historical events usually go – first there’s conception, then benign interest, then slowly people begin to see the vision, then 20 years goes by before everyone agrees that it was an important shift.

Two years ago, when Robb asked Drew to write a story for this project, we weren’t sure how serious he was.  So many people say that they are going to publish a book, yet they quit once they find out how difficult it is.

But “difficult” doesn’t stop Robb Havassy. Despite roadblocks and challenges, The Surf Story Project was born and has become a truly inspiring work of collaborative art.

Greg Escalante and Drew Brophy
Greg Escalante and Drew Brophy


Robb first described it as a book of personal stories told by professional surfers, artists and writers that have been ingrained in the surf culture.

But The Surf Story Project has evolved into a magical collaboration of talented minds and creative energy of 88 famous surfers, artists and writers from all over the world.

Included in the list of 88 are professional surfers Gerry Lopez, Rob Machado, Daizy Shane and Rochelle Ballard, 7-time published author Drew Kampion, iconic artists John Severson, Bill Ogden, Jim Evans and Phil Roberts, younger artists Jay Alders and Patrick Parker, art collector and Juxtapoz Magazine executive Greg Escalante, and photographer’s such as the much loved Aaron Chang.

(To see the complete list of 88 contributors, click here.)

The first time a book of this nature has ever been accomplished, it was quite a feat to gather that many gifted people and connect them together in one place.


Robb Havassy wasn’t scared to take a huge, expensive risk that very few people would take. We are grateful to him for seeing his vision through, and for including Drew in this impressive list of personalities.

The significance of the Surf Story Project became clear to at the book signing party at Hurley Headquarters in Costa Mesa, where hundreds of people gathered to celebrate.

As I watched the artists and writers shake each other’s hands, genuinely eager to meet each other and sign each other’s books, they seemed connected, as if a new tribe has been formed through the making of the Surf Story Project.

The walls of the venue were emblazoned with surf art of many of the contributors. Works by Jay Alders, Heather Ritts, Charlie Clingman and Bill Ogden hung as a monument to this great project.

I don’t know if Robb Havassy intended this to be, but I believe that The Surf Story Project will become a future historical reference of what is happening here and now, during the early millennium, in the culture of surf.

At the signing dozens of books were sold and signed (they retail for $275.00.) The vibe was high energy, excitement, even exhilaration. You could say this is one project that has found huge success right at the starting line.




At first Drew wasn’t sure of what story he wanted to share. He leaned towards stories that depict the happiness and joy that surfing has brought to his life. But he decided to write about something deeper, a memory that affected him greatly.

Having just returned from a trip to South Africa, Drew had quite a few adventures to write about. One was the extreme high of having surfed some of the best waves in the world on a five star vacation. The other was depression from witnessing the atrocities of sick, homeless little boys living in the streets. Some as young as 5, the same age as our son at the time.

Drew decided to tell a contrasting tale of both the exhilaration of surfing J Bay and staying in a house on the cliffs, and the sadness he felt for the boys that ran after him on the beach, begging for food.

If you buy the book, you can find Drew’s surf stories and artwork beginning at page 204.


The book is 444 pages, and is a full color beauty that weighs 9 pounds! It’s impressive in both size and depth.

There are only 1,000 copies of the Collectible edition in print. Well over half have sold already. (Our own copy is #414 out of 1,000.)

If you are interested in buying one, I recommend you do it soon. You can get it here on our website, and we’ll be sure to have it signed by Robb Havassy and Drew Brophy and a few other Southern California contributors as well.

Robb Havassey has inspired me greatly with this project, both from the view of “getting things done” to the importance of having an artistic vision and seeing it through.

What we can learn from Robb is that if you have a vision, no matter how big or difficult it seems, it’s worth the sweat and tears in the end. You may just make a little history.

To find out more about Robb Havassy’s SURF STORY PROJECT, go to

About Maria Brophy

During the last decade, acting as agent and brand manager, Maria has successfully built Drew Brophy’s lifestyle artist brand through licensing and special projects.

Maria writes a blog that helps other creative people to design the life of their dreams, too. Hop on over to Maria's blog at