A lot of people laugh at the thought of surfing the Carolinas, and disregard the Southeast as a viable place to catch a respectable wave. It’s true, there's nothing here that compares to Mavericks, or the North Shore of Oahu, but there is a community of local surfers along the southeastern coast that is proud of our choppy, unpredictable portion of the Atlantic Ocean, and love surfing for what it is: catching waves.
Slow Wide Turns is a group of like minded surfers, and all-round good guys, that have managed to properly display Carolina Surf Culture through art, photography, and most importantly: surfing. RootsRated was lucky enough to sit down with Scott Anderson of Slow Wide Turns.
RootsRated: How did you become a surfer? Where was your first wave?
Anderson: I spent the first seven years of my life living on the Chesapeake Bay where my dad first taught me how to surf, which basically consisted of him paddling out for me and pushing me into the waves. Learning to surf as a kid is easy because any board is 3 times your size, but starting young gave me a foundation for a sport I could indulge in forever.
RootsRated: What has been your most memorable surf trip?
Anderson: My favorite surf trip was with my dad and brother last summer early in May to Ormond Beach, FL. The guy who owned the Salty Dog Surf shop told us there hadn't been good waves in months, but the day after we arrived surf swells were 6-8 feet. Having not paddled out in months, I got thrown around by the waves like a detached buoy, but by the end of the week I was getting the best rides of my life. Surfing is such a unique sport because no two waves are ever the same and the ocean is such a mystery. My dad always reminds my brother and me that it never cares if you’re tired and will continue to pound you into the ground if you let it. The ocean is perpetually changing. Not knowing what you’re getting when you paddle out is the challenge and uniqueness of the sport.
RootsRated: What is your take on the surfing culture of the Carolinas? How does Slow Wide Turns capture that vibe?
Anderson: The Carolina surf culture is unique to other regions of the country. We’ve fallen in love with the Carolinas because of the diversity of seasons. Most years bring a balanced summer, fall, winter and spring. It attracts people who enjoy all of these. The surf culture is ever changing, just like the waves. We were originally determined to be a surf lifestyle brand, but as it evolved, we wanted to incorporate art and music into part of what we do. Our muse was our friend Matt Butler who died of Lupus about a year and a half ago. Matt, a true Renaissance man, was a musician among many other things. If you met him once, you were friends for life. Slow Wide Turns is really about inspiring people to do what they love, not to be cliché. Surfing is what we love most, but art and music is a great avenue for reaching many different audiences of people that see life the way we do.