MONTH OF THE WOLF: Where were you born?
DERRICK DISNEY: I was born in Cardiff.
MOTW: When did you start surfing and where?
DD: In Cardiff when I was super-grom, probably when I was like 7 or 8... something like that.
MOTW: How do you feel about Encinitas within in your own eyes?
DD: It's like the best and worst place ever. It's such a nice home base but you definitely want to get out sometimes. It feels a bit yupp'd out sometimes but over the years it's been getting more "Del Mar" like or "Huntington" like. Regardless it's super rad. Everyone that comes out of here that are all our age I think are all pretty like-minded.
MOTW: What was shortboarding like for you?
DD: Pretty cutthroat I guess. I was super into it as a sport. I had a full-on sports background growing up you know? Doing like fuckin' football, pretty much played every team sport and completely stopped for surfing. That was engrained in me, that whole sports mentality. All the friends were super into competition so I was super into it. It definitely got old as the years went on, it gets tiresome.
MOTW: If you could describe a session that stands out more than others as a grom, the first time you actually felt the feeling...
DD: Yeah! I think the first time I caught an open-faced wave out the back in Del Mar. Just like bomb-dropped the whole thing and was trippin' out. It was crazy.
MOTW: After shortboarding, what made you switch gears into riding different boards?
DD: Well, some of the friends like Burch have been shaping, it just seemed like a fun thing to do so I shaped this one single-fin and it changed my whole perspective on shit. Well, actually even before then I was doing contests and stuff and I took this road trip with my buddy down to Nicaragua and I remember being in Puerto... we went into dinner and there was that one movie playing with Luke Davis and Damien Hobgood. It was playing in the restaurant on mute or whatever. I remember just looking at it and Damien was signing autographs in his jerseys and stuff like that. I remember thinking like, 'holy shit this is gnarly' because that was what I was shooting for at the time. Just was so turned on off by it. Damien is the best human ever though.
MOTW: Do you think Burch has paved the way for maybe guys like yourself and others within this area?
DD: Oh yeah for sure. What he's doing I think is the most inspiring thing right now. He's riding his own boards, he's traveling, he's able to go and shape wherever he lands everyone's hooked on his stuff cuz it's that good. And he surfs that good. And yeah... even if he wasn't a pro surfer he'd be making enough money to travel and make boards.
MOTW: And what about shaping for you? What's going on currently?
DD: Trying to get better, be able to be comfortable on my shapes and whatever... waves around Cardiff.
MOTW: David Suhadolnik did an interview, you and him built The Bin? Talk about that...
DD: Yeah! Cool, so David was working a ranch-hand-maintenance job in Del Mar, this horse ranch. The owner of the land is super cool and surfs down here, they had these shipping containers full of junk and they were thinking of making a little shaping room out of it so they talked to me about it. They said if you want go ahead and convert it so David and I converted it into what it is now. It's right by the Polo Fields, no rent, and you can get in your own head you know?
MOTW: Yes! You need that creative outlet!
DD: Yeah! Like no one is comin' in being like "Oh it looks too thin" or whatever.
MOTW: Tell me about VISSLA, how did you get on and what is it that attracted you to the brand?
DD: Basically met this dude Corban who was the sales rep for Insight at the time, we became super good friends. After I put the shortboards away I was like, fuck it you know. Around that time I was getting more and more into building boards and working at a glass shop. Right during that time Corban became the team manager for VISSLA and since we were such good friends he brought me on board with him. As far as their objective I think it's something new & fresh, just an ALL SURF BRAND basically. Their focus is definitely surfing and not like a combination surf/skate/snowboard brand or whatever.
MOTW: Eating shit at Pipe? The clip we've all seen...
DD: (Laughs) I'm not experienced really, coming from here in that sort of thing. I was riding this old Xanadu shorty that I got when I was like 15. It was already too small. Yeah you know when your out there all these people are around and you can be like, 'well I'm gona sit in the fuckin' pit and try to get one or don't so I was like fuck it.' Ended up being between John and Jamie O and they let this thing go by which they probably knew something that I didn't but I turned and tried to scratch in and didn't really get into it and ate shit. Took off on the boil.
MOTW: You hit the bottom?
DD: Yeah, but it was flat. I hit it square on my back and got some minor cuts, nothing too bad. It was pretty scary, but my board wasn't broken or anything so when I came up was able to paddle and was like you can't fuckin' go in. Ended up getting one like two hours later. (Laughs).
DD: Well, we didn't ever really score. We got a couple really fun waves, this one beachbreak. It's close to NSW, just was cruisin with my buddy Bryce Young who's Nat's son so it was really cool just hangin' out. Having a host like that was super nice, especially never being there before. We were there for a month. It was cool cuz Burch was with us the whole time. A lot of goofin' off (Laughs).
DD: A lot of different stuff, the art side of things. I just watched that one movie The Grand Budapest Hotel. I don't know, tasteful shit. As far as surfing goes I'd say Ryan is a huge one and all the people that are doing it for fun you know?
DD: Surfing in general is super inspiring, different avenues of what people think good surfing is and it's all really good. I like to think of new ways to get creative.
DD: The funky-psych shit.
MOTW: What matters to you most?
DD: Staying True.
MOTW: Who do you love the most?
DD: My Whole Family.
MOTW: Advice for the next crop of young kids coming out of Encinitas?
DD: There's a lot of little baby groms, that one little grom Zach he's steez. Taylor's blowin' up, and Jake or whatever. There's a pretty solid crew coming out of here. It was kind of weird, it seemed like it skipped me and JD and like that era of groms and Burch and Snortum were winning all the contests and now it's Taylor leading the charge of his generation.