Thursday, December 31, 2009

Johnny Rice Potawatomi

Johnny Rice is a member of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi.  He is now 63 years old but he has made his living by shaping surfboards in his backyard on weekends.  His favorite saying is:  "Surfing is good for you in four ways; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually."  he lives in Santa Cruz and lives to surf.

His life as a surfer means following the Earths rhythms of the tide and not the regular 9 to 5 job.  Johnny makes his own schedule according to the tides.

Johnny has turned away business more than one time, the number one reason?  Arrogance, it doesn't hurt that Johnny is world famous when it comes to making surf boards and has a waiting line at all times.

Johnny is so famous and well liked when it comes to get a perfect surf board that he does not need to advertise, surfers know Johnny.

Johnny tells of his first time surfing way back in 1949.  He was at Cowell's Beach.  His first board was 14 feet long and weighted 125 pounds, Johnny weighted 98 pounds but that did not stop Johnny, he has been surfing ever since.

Johnny spent six years as a pipe carrier and sun dancer and loves teaching others his talents and passions.  Johnny says, "I love my family and friends, I love my job, I love surfing and life is good."  What an interesting mix, Native American and surfing, why not?

(Click on the title of this story for the entire story)

Johnny Rice surf shop link

Johnny making a board