Once again Santa Cruz has thrust itself into the limelight. The brainchild of Homer Henard developed out of his sheer interest to make surfing relevant again, bridge the gap between surfers and skaters all while promoting world peace. The white-hot YouTube video below (produced and directed by Chris Killen for Ruse Entertainment at press time was recorded at 1.5 million views) has taken the internet by storm, inspiring thousands of kids across the planet to Tarp Surf.
Homer Henard has roots, born and bred in Santa Cruz County this professional surfer was involved with the Air Brigade of the 90’s and a part of the big wave tow-in movement after 2000. Homer has donned many a surfing editorial in domestic and international magazines. The kid is legit, but something has always been a little different looking from his perspective. Homer likes to take it to the limit whether its grinching (a method by which you setup a tow wench on the beach and a line to the surf. Also called tow-ats) into beach breaks to boost huge airs or chasing down the biggest waves he can find (Homer and tow partner Matt Rockhold took 5th in Nelscott Reef Big Wave Tow In contest 2008).
It all started one day when I was driving past the Harbor, Homer was on his bike and I pulled over. “Yewww suppppper nizzle” (that’s Homernese for Hi) he then proceeds to download top secret ideas about Tarp Surfing; now at first as usual I figured Homer had been reading too many comic books again. This time was different, as he was describing Tarp Surfing with Nic Lamb and Omar Etcheverry (both world renowned Santa Cruz pro surfers) at his secret spot and talking of barrels as if he was actually scoring them for real. I was intrigued, and I was assured that he would show me what he was talking about.
Fast forward a week and I get sent a video clip with Homer, Nic and Omar whipping into these double overhead barrels. With the Tarp Wizard himself claiming Tarp Surfing championship titles, legacy photos of him pulling into Tarp Pits as a young kid it’s obvious that the creative juices are flowing on this one. As Homer has said and I quote “Tarp Surfing is so amazing it will turn a grown man into a grom and a grom into a grown man.” He then looks a little intent and he glares “I am stoked on the positive response from kids, parents and the community around the fact … that was me when I was younger making barrels out of blue blankets and I am stoked that I played a role to bring Tarp Surfing to the masses.”
While the fun and games are portrayed on TarpSurfing.com replete with Tarpology, the verbiage of Tarp Surfers and TarpVidz, online videos submitted or suggested from around the worldwide movement taking place on YouTube aka Tarp Surfing. The crew remains focused on raising money for three very worthy charities. “Its all about the kids, The Core and Grind Out Hunger are key charities that help support today’s youth …. believe it!” Homer quips, “The SPCA is important to us as well, our main dog tow in partner really felt strongly that we recognize the need for proper animal care and rescue…nizzletron”
Big media has been paying attention as well, upon approach to the 1 million views in just five days, multiple big players online have featured the YouTube sensation. Surfline.com, MSN.com, CNN.com iReport, and EBaumsworld.com drove mainstream viewers. MSNBC did a quick segment in their daily news show and FOX News L.A. aired a segment dedicated to the SC crew on The Good Day L.A. Morning Show and FOX L.A. Evening News. Pile on the numerous bloggers and action sports industry outlets one can realize how this has taken off so quickly all in just one week!
“When it is all said and done there are a million ideas in my head” Homer says with a crazy grin on his face …“sizzzzzle we are all just having fun and lets not take life too seriously”
As we wrap up the interview, Homer gets a phone call “Yeah Tarp Surfing International, what…yeah … yeah … we can shoot a commercial” He looks over at me and winks “Sure you want to send over a Bentley…..do this” he hangs up and remarks “The next big thing I am working on is Night Vision Contacts so I can surf the Harbor at night … yewwwwww” as he skates off I have to ask myself: Was he serious? Only time will tell.
Find Homer Henard and crew at TarpSurfing.com , become a fan of http://www.facebook.com/TarpSurfing or follow them on http://www.twitter.com/TarpSurfing
Photo Credit: Ryan Craig