Best Ever Interview with Luke Egan

luke.jpg

Everyone knows Orange County is full of legends in the surf world. So when we heard that former ASP Top 16 Australian power surfer Luke Egan moved to San Clemente to run a new company with Bruce Beach called Depactus, we were frothing. To share the local lineup with a legend like Luke is an honor. When thinking of Luke, we can't help but think back to some of his career highlights in the world of surfing, like the time he beat Kelly Slater in the 1997 Quiksilver G-Land Pro.

G+J Editor Skip Snead caught up with Luke to get the lowdown on his life these days and here's what he had to say….

Ghetto Juice: You're living out in San Clemente now … what brought you out here?
Luke Egan: Yeah, moved out here to partner up with Bruce Beach to start up a new company called Depactus. We're gonna open up all over the world, but in the beginning it's a lot smarter to start up here in California. There are a lot of talented people here to start up the brand, from designers to art direction and creative direction to everything. And the market's a lot bigger here than in Australia, so yeah, moved out here to open up the international headquarters here in San Clemente.

G+J: Let's go back a bit … how tough was it to transition from life on the ASP World Tour to a normal career?
L+E: I always had other stuff going other than the tour. I had some property developing, and I owned Electric Sunglass business in Australia while I was on tour. It was never easy, but I transitioned okay. I knew the pro surfer life wasn't going to last forever, so I started working on stuff pretty early and tried to adapt to make it a smooth transition. But probably one of the hardest things for any professional athlete to do is to finish up their career and retire and go on to their next life. It's pretty nuts.

G+J: What was it like being a kid? What are some moments from your childhood that stick out in your mind these days?
L+E: For me, as a kid, going to Bali with my family from when I was about 12 years old. We'd take the family holiday there every year, just going there and surfing perfect waves. As a kid that was my highlight. And then early competition was fun as well.

G+J: What was life like on the old Australian junior circuit before this kid Kelly Slater showed up in your world?
L+E: Life as a kid surfing competition in Australia was great. Some of the first highlights of my competitive career were competing in all the Pro Juniors in Australia, like Narrabeen. And then Kelly showed up and made the sport amazing. I'm just so grateful to have been on the tour in the same generation he was. I think he made everyone surf better, just his talent and his inspiration and competitiveness through the years of being on the tour. I think we all have added about 10% to our performance than we would've had without him.

G+J: Seems like back in the 90s when you were on tour, that that was the dream tour. How much has it changed since you were on tour?
L+E: To me, the first four or five years of the Dream Tour, when we first transitioned, when we had G-Land, Tahiti, Fiji, Reunion Island, they were the golden years for me. I just thought that everyone was inspired and we seemed to get perfect waves everywhere. And they still do. The Dream Tour is still alive, but just being a pioneer of the Dream Tour of chasing quality waves… Thanks to guys like Barton Lynch and Damien Hardman who were sitting on the ASP board representing the surfers, those are the guys who stomped their feet up and down and said, "We want to surf perfect waves." They were the pioneers of what it is today. They were the surfers who actually started the turn around, so I think we owe it all to surfers like that.

G+J: What was it like being on tour with guys like Dooma and BL?
L+E: Yeah, it was great. Especially Damien. He took me under his wing at a very young age and I used to travel with him and stay at his house. He used to look after me. So to have a world champ take you under his wing and take care of you was pretty special. And the same with Barton. I loved those years when I was a grommet and they were the older guys, it was amazing.

G+J: What would you say were your best years on tour?
L+E: The best years for me were when guys like Sunny and Andy were on tour and at their best. Those years were the best. And Kelly was right there, too. Those years were pretty special. There weren't as many aerials going down but the boards were designed for more carving back then, not so much for above-the-lip surfing, and I'm not saying that's bad. It's great. But when boards were leaning toward big carves and power turns I just loved watching that style of surfing. It's hard for these guys to emulate that on boards that are built for above-the-lip. I'm not saying it's better than what I'm seeing today because these guys are taking the sport to another level, but personally, I just really enjoyed those years.

G+J: How flattering is it for you to be known as one of the great power surfers of our sport?
L+E: The thing that I'm really stoked about is that I'm known for surfing and winning in quality waves, that was kind of my thing. If the swell came up and the forecast was good, I was in there. I would much rather be known as the guy who in those swells was the threat. Just being a good surfer in good waves meant everything to me.

G+J: So have you been getting some good surf since living here in San Clemente?
L+E: Yeah down here at Lowers as much as I can, and some of the beachbreaks. It's good. I started Depactus for the lifestyle. I love the surf industry and it's given me everything. If I can work within the surf industry and go surfing with my friends and other like-minded individuals, I'm the happiest guy on Earth.

G+J: Amazing. So did you ever imagine when you were a kid that you'd have such longevity in the world of surfing?
L+E: Well, as a kid you start small, and when you get older and your thoughts shrink, you actually become a kid again, because I'm still a grommet in the water. I'm as passionate now, maybe even more so than when I was on tour, and just staying in the surf, and trying to surf at the highest level I can at this age keeps me alive and keeps my life on a level playing field.

Image: Luke still knows how to lay it on a heavy rail. Photo by @gregsworld


Posted by: Ghetto JuiceGhetto Juice at: 03 Nov 2014 19:25




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Everyone knows Orange County is full of legends in the surf world. So when we heard that former ASP Top 16 Australian power surfer Luke Egan moved to San Clemente to run a new company with Bruce Beach called Depactus, we were frothing. To share the local lineup with a legend like Luke is an honor. When thinking of Luke, we can't help but think back to some of his career highlights in the world of surfing, like the time he beat Kelly Slater in the 1997 Quiksilver G-Land Pro.

G+J Editor Skip Snead caught up with Luke to get the lowdown on his life these days and here's what he had to say….

Ghetto Juice: You're living out in San Clemente now … what brought you out here?
Luke Egan: Yeah, moved out here to partner up with Bruce Beach to start up a new company called Depactus. We're gonna open up all over the world, but in the beginning it's a lot smarter to start up here in California. There are a lot of talented people here to start up the brand, from designers to art direction and creative direction to everything. And the market's a lot bigger here than in Australia, so yeah, moved out here to open up the international headquarters here in San Clemente.

G+J: Let's go back a bit … how tough was it to transition from life on the ASP World Tour to a normal career?
L+E: I always had other stuff going other than the tour. I had some property developing, and I owned Electric Sunglass business in Australia while I was on tour. It was never easy, but I transitioned okay. I knew the pro surfer life wasn't going to last forever, so I started working on stuff pretty early and tried to adapt to make it a smooth transition. But probably one of the hardest things for any professional athlete to do is to finish up their career and retire and go on to their next life. It's pretty nuts.

G+J: What was it like being a kid? What are some moments from your childhood that stick out in your mind these days?
L+E: For me, as a kid, going to Bali with my family from when I was about 12 years old. We'd take the family holiday there every year, just going there and surfing perfect waves. As a kid that was my highlight. And then early competition was fun as well.

G+J: What was life like on the old Australian junior circuit before this kid Kelly Slater showed up in your world?
L+E: Life as a kid surfing competition in Australia was great. Some of the first highlights of my competitive career were competing in all the Pro Juniors in Australia, like Narrabeen. And then Kelly showed up and made the sport amazing. I'm just so grateful to have been on the tour in the same generation he was. I think he made everyone surf better, just his talent and his inspiration and competitiveness through the years of being on the tour. I think we all have added about 10% to our performance than we would've had without him.

G+J: Seems like back in the 90s when you were on tour, that that was the dream tour. How much has it changed since you were on tour?
L+E: To me, the first four or five years of the Dream Tour, when we first transitioned, when we had G-Land, Tahiti, Fiji, Reunion Island, they were the golden years for me. I just thought that everyone was inspired and we seemed to get perfect waves everywhere. And they still do. The Dream Tour is still alive, but just being a pioneer of the Dream Tour of chasing quality waves… Thanks to guys like Barton Lynch and Damien Hardman who were sitting on the ASP board representing the surfers, those are the guys who stomped their feet up and down and said, "We want to surf perfect waves." They were the pioneers of what it is today. They were the surfers who actually started the turn around, so I think we owe it all to surfers like that.

G+J: What was it like being on tour with guys like Dooma and BL?
L+E: Yeah, it was great. Especially Damien. He took me under his wing at a very young age and I used to travel with him and stay at his house. He used to look after me. So to have a world champ take you under his wing and take care of you was pretty special. And the same with Barton. I loved those years when I was a grommet and they were the older guys, it was amazing.

G+J: What would you say were your best years on tour?
L+E: The best years for me were when guys like Sunny and Andy were on tour and at their best. Those years were the best. And Kelly was right there, too. Those years were pretty special. There weren't as many aerials going down but the boards were designed for more carving back then, not so much for above-the-lip surfing, and I'm not saying that's bad. It's great. But when boards were leaning toward big carves and power turns I just loved watching that style of surfing. It's hard for these guys to emulate that on boards that are built for above-the-lip. I'm not saying it's better than what I'm seeing today because these guys are taking the sport to another level, but personally, I just really enjoyed those years.

G+J: How flattering is it for you to be known as one of the great power surfers of our sport?
L+E: The thing that I'm really stoked about is that I'm known for surfing and winning in quality waves, that was kind of my thing. If the swell came up and the forecast was good, I was in there. I would much rather be known as the guy who in those swells was the threat. Just being a good surfer in good waves meant everything to me.

G+J: So have you been getting some good surf since living here in San Clemente?
L+E: Yeah down here at Lowers as much as I can, and some of the beachbreaks. It's good. I started Depactus for the lifestyle. I love the surf industry and it's given me everything. If I can work within the surf industry and go surfing with my friends and other like-minded individuals, I'm the happiest guy on Earth.

G+J: Amazing. So did you ever imagine when you were a kid that you'd have such longevity in the world of surfing?
L+E: Well, as a kid you start small, and when you get older and your thoughts shrink, you actually become a kid again, because I'm still a grommet in the water. I'm as passionate now, maybe even more so than when I was on tour, and just staying in the surf, and trying to surf at the highest level I can at this age keeps me alive and keeps my life on a level playing field.

Image: Luke still knows how to lay it on a heavy rail. Photo by @gregsworld

Image luke.jpg