There are plenty of guys who I admire for their passion for boardsports. So I thought I’d start with travelblogger Spencer who I ‘met’ on Twitter and who is struck by the board virus as well, just before his 30: it was on his ’30 by 30’list . And his new goal is to do snowboard and surf all in one day! Meet Spencer Spellman!
Hi Spence, when did you first start with boardsports?
Growing up in North Carolina, I spent my summers at the Outer Banks of North Carolina where I’d watch surfers showing such command with a surfboard, yet always dreamed of living in California and being a part of the surf culture. So when I moved out to California, that’s one of the first things I did, take surf lessons, which was followed by a surf camp in Spain on the Canary Islands. I grew up as an athlete, but that week of surfing was easily the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.
What do you like the most?
Board sports are just one of those things that zens me out more than anything else. It’s just me, my board, and mother nature. And because of the nature of board sports, no one wave or run down a mountain is the same.
How often do you do it and where?
Last year was really my first year as a “boarder”. I went both snowboarding and stand-up paddle boarding 5-10 times each last year and would love to double that this year, if not more. I’m incredibly fortunate in that I can be to the beach from my house in 30 minutes and to the slopes in a couple hours. My goal for this winter is to do snowboard and surf all in one day.
When did you have the feeling you were any good (enough)?
It took going out a few times. The thing with board sports is that they can have a little bit of a learning curve, but you can pick it up pretty quickly if you have a knack for it. And you kind of have to, otherwise you’ll get tired of falling onto the water, snow, or pavement.
Do you have a must have?
Without a shadow of a doubt, my GoPro. You never know when you’ll come upon an epic view, or better yet, see wildlife like a whale or a bear. I haven’t seen much wildlife snowboarding, but I have been fortunate to see a number of wildlife while stand-up paddle boarding that has included seals, sharks, and dolphins.
Do you have a wishlist?
Well I recently got one item off that wish list, which was the Neversummer Snowtrooper X, my first snowboard. I do, however, have an ever-grown SUP wishlist. I’ve come to love my Tower 6-inch thick board which has been a good beginner board, but want to work up to a surfer SUP board.
You started pretty late, do you wish you’ve started sooner?
Honestly, no. I think if I would’ve tried years ago, I may have been more prone to quickly give it up. I’m just in a position in life, and geographic location, where snowboarding and stand-up paddle boarding is more conducive to my life.
Love that quote! Could have been me saying that;-)
What would you tell your younger self about boardsports?
I think it would really be to just find the time to do it. I’m a believer that if we really want to do something, then we do it. Many boardsports can be tough because doing it isn’t quite as accessible as other sports unless you live on the beach, lake, or mountain. But that’s what is unique about board sports. The people who do them really have a passion for it.
What is your life motto
My life motto for a while now has been that one’s life is measured more in the intangible experiences they encounter than the tangible things one accumulates.
For the last few years Spencer is known in the travel community as The Traveling Philosopher, for a travel blog he ran for a few years, but he recently launched a new lifestyle website, Whiskey Tango Globetrot. Visit his blog, it’s awesome!
Thank you so much Spencer, you are a great first Boy on Board!