Remember the guy on the yellowish-orange board who appeared to be dropping down the face of the Weekly's aquamarine cover a few weeks ago (see right)? That was Clay Crandal. He's just 18 and not much frightens him. While most of us may entertain viewing building-sized waves from the safety of a boat an adequate distance away, Crandal likes to get on a surfboard, head right into the danger zone, and then proceed to propel himself over the edge. He does that for fun.
He also enters the occasional National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) contest; the past two he has entered, he's won.
It's clear the kid has a bit of talent on a surfboard. And yet, prior to our cover story (“Swell Guys,” Feb. 17, 2011) and an appearance in a stunning photo essay on Surfline.com, Crandal only had a few minor sponsorships. Now, he's the newest member of the Lost Enterprises surf team.
“I'm super-stoked,” says Crandal, a senior at Huntington Beach's Edison High School. As we speak on a Tuesday afternoon, he's checking out webcams to help to decide whether an afternoon session is in the cards. The wind has died down, but the waves were looking a bit messy earlier in the day.
With a big swell on the horizon, a trip back down to Todos Santos with his dad, Corky, and some friends may be happening, he says.
With his new sponsorship, he'll be doused in Lost clothing and given incentives when photos of him displaying the logo sticker, which will now adorn the nose of Crandal's boards, appear in specific publications.