Too Old To Die Young

Too Old To Die Young


Born and bred in surf city USA since 1967. Started surfing at the age of 9 years old and was  mainly a Bolsa Chica local.  I still remember the stoke I felt when I stood up on my first wave about 1976 on a baby blue 7’O Bruce Jones board.. It was the same year that Peter Townsend became the first IPS/ASP world surfing champion. M.R, Shawn Thompson, and Rabbit were my heroes at that time. I collected every surf magazine possible and when I look at those old mags today it’s like looking at a yearbook, so many amazing memories come flooding into my mind of epic days surfing and laughing with friends. I can still smell the wax on my board and the excitement of the surfing culture when looking at those mags.

It was also at 9 years old that I jumped into the Huntington Beach junior guard program. Amazing memories cooking on the sand in the HB sun, wearing beanies, eating strips at Zack’s on the Beach for lunch every day, and body surfing big south swells through the Pier. Spent 10 summers in the junior guard program which lead to becoming a lifeguard for another 7 summers.
In the early 80s I rode for infinity surfboards, peak wetsuits, and water rag clothing (I thought I was so cool). I remember walking into Infinity surfboards with this goofy portfolio of pictures and contest results and asking Gerry Maling if he would  sponsor me. He didn’t even open my portfolio, he threw it back at me across his desk and simply  asked me, “do you rip?” I said “I don’t know, let’s go surfing and find out”, so we went for a surf and I got sponsored that day.

It was also in the 80s that Bud Llamas was blowing minds on north side of the pier, and so much of my style came from watching Bud up close and personal and watching Occy videos every day.

Old Downtown HB was a pretty amazing place to grow up as a surf rat. Hanging out in Carl Hayward’s shop every day, going to the Golden bear, watching surf movies like “Free Ride” and  “Five Summer Stories” in the Surf Theater, and Playing arcade games at the arcade underneath maxwells on south side of the Pier.
In 1984 I became a Jesus freak and started Sharing my new faith on the pier every Saturday night, which later evolved into becoming a pastor and pastoring a church known as Calvary Chapel Beachside on Beach Boulevard in HB. It was such a trip and such a blessing doing out-reaches on the north side of the pier for years in the same town I grew up surfing in.
I got into Surf photography a few years back and strangely enough found the same level of stoke while shooting as I do surfing. The only problem is that whenever I’m shooting I wanna surf, and whenever I’m surfing I wanna shoot. Never the less, I’m so grateful and thankful for the friendships that have come through getting in the water with a camera, and all the amazing experiences that come with being creative as a cameraman.
I’m 53 years old now, TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG, so I will keep surfing, keep dropping in at the wedge, and keep shooting as long as I can. Surfing is truly the SPORTOFKINGS, and it really does keep you FOREVER YOUNG at heart. So enjoy the moments, stay humble, appreciate the little things in life, hold on to those you love, and do the right thing.

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    Ron Keenan: January 19, 2021

    Ferris, I mean Harris. You’re my hero!

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    Ron Keenan: January 19, 2021

    Ferris, I mean Harris. You’re my heroe!

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