Surf's up for the soul
By Misty Volaski
Brent Flaaten's life was changed
when, at 15, he walked into a surf shop and discovered a world
he didn't know existed.
"That was something I wanted to be a part of," he said
- and he's been surfing ever since, in contests as well as for
The 36-year-old Meiners Oaks man has surfed all over the world
- up and down the California coast and nearly all the islands
of Hawaii. He's also planning a trip to Indonesia sometime in
After graduating from high school, Flaaten lived out the dream
of many surfers - he moved to the quiet Hawaiian island of Kauai.
After a while, he said, he got a house with some friends on Maui.
"I was surfing all over the islands," Brent said.
And he's not the anverage surf bum - every time he's on board,
he says, "I give 110 percent. I don't care, even if it's
a half a foot."
When he was 22, Flaaten came back to California and got married
and had son Chance, now 13. After getting married, Brent took
a few years off surfing and settled into family life. However,
on a trip to Santa Cruz he was "forced" into the water
by a few friends and got the bug again.
"That was all it took," he said.
A surf fanatic, Brent even named his children after surfing greats.
Nine-month-old son Taj was named after Taj Burrow, an Autralian
surfer, while Chance got his middle name from surfing great Tom
"I didn't get away with a first name that time," laughed
His greatest joy in life, he said, is watching son Chance ride
"One of the greatest days of my life was when Chance was
four-and-a-half and he got up on a board," said Flaaten.
"This is the first year we really surfed together and I
didn't have to push him into the waves," he continued. "We
were surfing the other day and he did an off-the-lip. I was like,
These days, Flaaten is still surfing in competitions, especially
those put on by the Ventura County Surfing Association. He surfs
a Point Blank surfboard, part of the Patagonia company. He's
also sponsored by companies such as Red Bull, Famous Surf Wax
and Area 31 Clothing.
You can find Brent on any given day, riding the waves at Faria
Beach, which is where Patagonia first spotted him. This weekend
will find him at the Mandalay Bay NSSA surf contest.
For Flaaten, it's not so much about the contests as it is about
what he gets out of being one with the waves.
"Surfing is such a deep, spiritual thing," he enthused.
The Ojai Valley News
to the news
FLAATEN pulls off a complicated trick near the Ventura Pier earlier