Surf Buds – Mentors/Partners/Protégées

by Bruce "Snake" Gabrielson
December 2004

We all have surf friends that help provide that special "stoke" we get from surfing. These are our partners we surf with on a regular basis, hang around with in the shop or shaping room, and often involve in our outside social life as well. The long car rides to surf spots and the time between sets in the surf or rest periods on the beach provide ample opportunity to either gain from or give to our fellow surfers. The comments we receive after a great ride or a disastrous wipeout or the suggestion we give or get on how to do better all contribute to how we evolve as people and as surfers.

As I said, we give as much as we get from our surf buds. In the case of mentors, when you are younger, you listen to the stories and try to take comments in stride. These few words of wisdom not only help you understand the legacy of the past, but also sometimes influence how you view the world and your sport. In turn, you can pass along your perspective when you have the opportunity that may help influence your current surf buds as well as the new generation of surfers always waiting in the wings.

In my case, I came along during then end of surfing's Golden Age, and was influenced by both my early longboard surfing heroes and the tremendous changes that took place as the result of the emergence of the shortboard. Being continually exposed to many established and emerging super stars and talented kids that I had the pleasure to interact with on a regular basis had an impact on my view of surfing.

Now that I'm getting a "little" older, I've started to reflect more on those surf buds who have impacted my life over the years, not only as my mentor, regular surf partners, or protégées, but also as friends. Therefore, I would like to thank the following individuals who helped and influenced my surfing life. I've tried to put these in order from oldest to most recent, and have only included a scattering of surfers from the many school teams that I coached who I also spent a lot of time in the water with outside my regular coaching duties. Also, in some cases, I knew these surfers for a long time before I started surfing with them.

List of Bruce "Snake" Gabrielson's
Surfing Mentors - Partners - Protégées
1960s to Present

  • Chuck Linnen
  • John Geier
  • Raul Duarte
  • Dale Velzy
  • David Giltner
  • Brian Taylor
  • Gary Wurster
  • Chuck Ray
  • David Nuuhiwa
  • Bruce James
  • Greg Duzich
  • John Van Ornum
  • LaRoy Dennis
  • John Guild
  • Brad Bayless
  • David Van Druff
  • Gary Diss
  • Mary Setterhome
  • Jeff Smith
  • Rusty Johnson
  • Dana Krimbrow
  • Tim Whelan
  • Bernie Keach
  • Jack Sahakian
  • Tim Wirick
  • Lonnie Buhn
  • Greg Clemmons
  • Mike Downey
  • Greg Escalante
  • Vic Galich
  • David Hilts
  • Bob Bolin
  • Skip Savage
  • Jack Powell
  • Katie Coryell
  • Aaron Powell
  • Niel Carver
  • Jeff Marlow

I Continue to Give Back as a Mentor, Partner and Coach for Many Surfers