At the Crest 6

We caught up with some of our community’s surfing talents on their love for the sport and all things La Jolla!


Derek Dunfee

How did your love for surfing begin?

At Windansea beach and La Jolla shores! I’m super lucky I grew up in La Jolla with parents that loved the beach. 


Your all-time favorite memory/achievement?

During the winter of 2008/2009, I caught the biggest and best wave of my life at the surf spot Mavericks off San Francisco. I won the Billabong XXL biggest paddle in wave award, it was the biggest wave paddled-in that year worldwide (The wave measured around 50 feet). I picked up some big sponsors and the award allowed me to have a successful professional surfing career. The biggest achievement for me was overcoming a bad broken leg that happened five months before I caught that award-winning big wave. I overcame that injury and came back stronger.


Favorite surfing spots?

Windansea, Mavericks, Peahi+Honolua Bay, Puerto Escondido


Favorite boards?

San Diego surfboard shaper Stu Kensen has been my shaper for most of my life. He has shaped me over 50 custom surfboards ranging from small wave fish to big 10 ft. boards for the biggest waves in the world. More recently, I’ve been riding an 8’0 single fin and a 10’2 big wave board made for Mavericks.


New local talent you have your sights on?

 A few of the more ‘grown’ upcoming guys are Skip McCullough, Lucas Dirkse and Jake Halstead – they are the best guys who are making big efforts to make a career out of professional surfing. Younger than those guys are Tiare Thompson, Jacob Kelly, Mick Davey, lil squirrel and Malik, Burkley Eggers.


What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Printing my fourth big wave photography magazine/book. I’ll be releasing that May 2018. I’ve already traveled to Puerto Escondido in Mexico, Northern California and Maui for it. I want to get over to Portugal and check out the big wave surf spot Nazare. I’m going to have two big photo shows, one in California and one in New York.

Debbie Beacham

How did your love for surfing begin?

My first wave was all it took for me to know that I was going to love the sport of surfing. It was a combination of being in the ocean, the thrill of actually standing up and riding waves, the camaraderie of the lifestyle and friends, and the traveling to find great waves around the world.

Your all-time favorite memory/achievement?

The Women’s World Champion Title in 1982 was a milestone for me in surfing. Traveling on the World Tour during surfing’s formative professional era was amazing. We paved the way when surfing was innocent and adventurous. We would surf really large Hawaiian surf and then jump on a plane and surf in places that were barely ride-able or had typhoon surf. I loved helping to grow the competitive side of surfing into what it is today.

Favorite surfing spots?

The pocket beaches and reefs near Windansea. South of the border to southern Baja – A remote little town named San Juanico and its famous point break, Scorpion Bay, is my all time favorite place to surf. I also lived many winter seasons on the North Shore of Oahu and loved surfing Sunset Beach.

Favorite boards?

I’m riding boards in the 5’7” – 6’ range. Depending on the surf spot, I’ll switch it up and I might ride a longer board when the waves are small. My favorite right now is a Firewire Nano 5’7”

Hangouts you frequent locally?

I love Duke’s for a casual atmosphere for going out and also El Pescador Fish Market.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Getting out there and living life! So much to do and experience. Travel, surf and keeping things simple. I also am looking forward to two of my kids graduating from college in June!

John Haffey

How did your love for surfing begin?

My parents had us on the beach with boogie boards at a young age but at the age of 6, they saw that I was really into it and sent me to Imperial Beach Camp Surf. That point was a big transition. They saw that love and passion.

Your all-time favorite memory/achievement?

Going to Camp Surf and having all the 60s and 70s boards for us to use – I remember taking off on that first wave on a 10’5″ 60s board and I was hooked. It was super cool being with all the counselors and other kids having bonfires on the beach, cookouts and camping. Two of my counselors, Greg and Craig, we became so close, they met my parents and would take me surfing around San Diego, snow skiing, skateboarding, surfing.

Favorite surfing spots?

La Jolla Reefs and Hawaii/Australia

Favorite boards?

Single Fins are the fastest boards, 60s and 70s old school boards. I ride for Joel Tudor’s company and I have a few models with him that I designed.

New local talent you have your sights on?

Nate Strom on Tudor’s team.

Your current interests, surfing and outside?

I’m involved with Urban Surf for Kids, which introduces foster kids to surfing and the St. Germain’s Charity for abused and neglected children.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Love and prosperity for everyone. We should all do good things: love, acceptance, no judgement. Everything in life is a choice.

Chloe Buckley

When did your love for surfing begin?

It started young with a love for the beach and waves. Body surfing turns to boogie boarding, turns to surfing, turns to my favorite thing: sharing it with my brother and spending time with my father.

Your all-time favorite memory/achievement?

The first time I competed at Margaret River in Australia because of the raw power and beauty. It’s also a little bit shark-y!

Favorite surfing spot?

Western Australia is definitely one of my favorite places in the world. Baja California is my favorite place to surf.

Favorite boards?

I ride a Shortboard and a fish. My favorite is my 5’2″ Rainbow Quad, a model based on the speed dialer, a board that Rich Pavelli used to shape.

New local talent you have your sights on?

Rylan Rubens, I’ve seen him out here and Tiare Thompson, she’s coming up strong and I have faith that she will be on the tour

Your current interests, surfing and otherwise?

Surfing is definitely number one but I like to paint and draw, and travel.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

I would love to go to New Zealand for a work exchange as a lifeguard. Another year, more surfing.