Surfer of the Month – July 2010

August 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Surfer of the Month

Tim Malins

by Jackie Richardson; Photos by Joey Wilson

This column is becoming easier as time goes on because the people I ask to be Surfer of the Month write better than me.  The Surfer of the Month is Tim Malins.  Tim owns High Tide Surf Shop along with his family here on Tybee Island.  The store has almost anything you want from clothing, skateboards, surf boards, and stand up paddle boards.  Tim has been very generous to the surf community here at Tybee Island by supporting many local causes.  I think you will find yet another of our Tybee Island surfers has had a very interesting life up to this point.

1)  Where were you born? I was born in Folkstone, England, not far from the beach on the English Channel. You can see France from there on a good clear day.
2)  Where did you grow up and where have you lived? I grew up in Palos Verdes, CA then later Seattle, WA in my teenage years. I had to relearn surfing after living in the Pacific NW, there wasn’t much of a surf scene then, but now surfing is huge there.
3)  When did you start surfing?  What age? I started surfing at 10 years old in CA. I had a paper route and managed to save up enough to buy a board from my neighbors across the street. It was different times then and the crew of kids in my area would spend every summer day at the local beach that was referred to as “rat beach”, surfing and goofing off. Kids now are sent to camps and daycare etc. We were just sent to the beach. It’s too bad little kids can’t really do that now, especially in LA. Once I felt the rush of a board planing on the water, I was hooked. Later we moved to a different part of town and I befriended a kid down the street whose step-dad made ski films. They seemed to always have all kinds of crazy sports equipment around including surfboards & skateboards, so we always had something to ride and that’s when my interest in surfing and skating really took off. It’s kind of funny. I didn’t figure out until much later that my friend’s dad was Warren Miller, the famous action sports filmmaker.
4)  How long have you lived at Tybee? I’ve lived on Tybee off and on 20+ years, I’ve moved and returned, that sort of thing.
5)  Where is your most favorite place to surf? My all time favorite surf spot is Campus Point on Isla Vista Santa Barbara, CA.  I worked for a while in nearby Goleta and could hit this spot at lunch hour when it was firing. I could even check the spot from the roof of the building where I worked. I grew to really love it. Everyone talks about Rincon as the great Santa Barbara surf break, however I prefer Campus Point. I think it’s a more interesting wave, much less crowded, and it breaks more often.
6)  Where have you surfed? I’ve surfed in California, Hawaii, Washington, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and the East Coast from Virginia Beach to South Florida. I really want to surf in Europe sometime.
7)  When did you get into other types of surfing i.e.: wind, paddle, etc.? In 1999, I caught a quick glimpse of Laird Hamilton in a video surfing behind a kite. It was just a flash second or two, but it was enough to make me go “whoa!” I immediately started calling around to find one because I thought it had great potential for tow surfing. The equipment was terrible then and even the manufactures weren’t sure how it all worked. It took me nearly a year and a lot of walking back up Butler Ave to figure out how to go upwind. I stuck with it while my friends and family thought I was crazy, they were probably right because I could have easily killed myself figuring it out. Things are much easier now, the kites are safer and friendlier to use.  Standup paddling I got into about 3 yrs ago. I thought it was a great way to surf with more power when there’s no wind. I found the idea of having to balance and use a paddle challenging, and it’s a great way to stay fit. I’ve never been technically a very good small wave surfer at all, so I’ve always sought out other ways to make it interesting and up the wave count. I’ll always love and respect pure surfing, but other surfing disciplines have forced me to learn a lot of things such as riding switch-foot. Anyway you are having fun making a board plane-up on the water is a good thing to me.
8)  What is your favorite board to surf? I’m not sentimental or nostalgic about surfboards like most surfers are, so my favorite board is the one I find unusual or challenging at the moment. A few weeks ago I was really into the 6’0” Webber Mini-fish, right now I’m obsessed with the Naish 7’9” SUP. It’s a very odd looking board that is going to change the way people think about standup paddle surfing. Next week it may be my foilboard or something else.  While I fully admire the focus of surfers that classify themselves as strictly a “shortboarder” or a “longboarder”, I prefer to ride everything. My heroes are the watermen like Robby Naish, Dave Kalama, and Pete Cabrinha, guys that are proficient at a lot of things.
9)  What is special about surfing at Tybee? Of course, I like surfing with friends, but a side of me likes doing a session alone. For me, there’s something really cool about getting a good ride, and nobody saw it and you don’t talk about it. Tybee is one of the few places you can catch a good solo session. 20+ knots of wind and shoulder-high waves at the north jetty all to myself makes Timmy a very happy boy. Forget about that ever happening in Southern California. Tybee has a lot more potential than what the outside surf community believes.
10) Who do you like to surf with at Tybee? Jere Wilson and Phillip George are always fun to see out. They are good at doing what I’m not, which is riding small boards on small waves, and doing something amazing with it.  Mack Kitchens is one of my favorite friends to kitesurf with, meaning riding waves with a proper surfboard and a kite. We’ve been riding some of the outside sandbars and catching waves that have been neglected on Tybee. Mack is also the one that calls me at 7:00am on a freezing cold winter morning telling me the waves are up and the wind is blowing. It’s ridiculously fun and we’re both mystified that more surfers haven’t got into it. I standup paddle with Stephen Palmer a lot; he’s never conventionally surfed, but got into surfing through standup, which I find interesting. I love how Atsushi Yamada infects the whole lineup with his smile and aloha spirit, and it’s fun to test out some of my very limited Japanese vocabulary with him.  Occasionally I catch a nice session at the north jetty and the only guys out are Jason Buelterman and Jim Stevens, it’s always a pleasure. You have to know when to hit that spot and they seem to be among the few who are wise to it.
11) Best surf trip? Hands down, my favorite surf trip was with a couple of old high school friends to an Indian reservation on the Washington coast called La Push. We camped out for two days and caught some nice glassy un-crowded surf. The spot was later made famous by the Twilight movies, but we went there years ago before it was well known. It’s the polar opposite of surfing on Tybee with cold water and huge trees, rocks, and cliffs. I love that place and hope to visit again.

Personally, after trying to get on a surfboard, note the operative word “trying,” I realize this is hard to do; or I may just be past my prime to do it.  But I will keep trying because, after writing a few years about surfing, it would be nice to realize the love of surfing.


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6 Responses to “Surfer of the Month – July 2010”
  1. Joey Wilson says:

    Great article Jackie!! Tim is an amazing asset to our little surf community – we are lucky to have him here!!

  2. Sammy says:

    Thanks for finally talking about > Surfer of the Month – July
    2010 – The Tybee Times < Liked it!

  3. Editor says:

    Hi Sammy,

    Thank you, but actually, Jackie Richardson wrote a monthly column for The Tybee Times in 2009 and 2010 – the latter year’s articles are posted on this website.
    Check them out.


  4. It’s going to be end of mine day, however before ending I am reading this great piece of writing to improve my knowledge.

  5. Greetings from California! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I enjoy the info you provide here and can’t wait to
    take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!

  6. Editor says:

    Thanks for visiting! 🙂

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