Cyrus Sutton Interview by John Cocozza

Cyrus Sutton Portrait by John Cocozza

by John Cocozza

So your first name is Cyrus.  Is there any relation to the first Persian King? lol.  Is there a story behind your name?

No, actually my parents just heard the name from some friends of theirs who were naming their newborn Cyrus. I think they were deciding between Cyrus and Owen.

You just got back from surfing Hurricane Bill?   What are some of your thoughts on surfing in the Northeast as in the waves, locals, and the general scene.

Incredible… Really genuine people, beautiful coastline and I lucked out with surf thanks to Bill.

Where did you grow up and what is your favorite memory about the area?

I grew up surfing in Seal Beach and my favorite memories are surfing all day during the Santa Ana winds. The waves would be pretty small but I remember just being entranced by the groomed faces and feathering lips. I’d surf alone, grab a burrito for lunch and paddle back out till dark praying the wind didn’t switch.

How old were you when you first started riding waves?  What did you start with? Longboards, Shortboards, or Bodysurfing?

I started around 12 years old, I was super into baseball and then my dad started taking me down to the trails south of San Onofre. He has this VW bus from the 70’s which he’s gutted and put a bed in the back. We’d drive from his house in Fullerton at 5:30 in the morning, get milk and donuts  and surf all day. We ‘d trade off riding his longboard . I still remember that like it was yesterday.

What was your first surfboard and who was your biggest influence while learning to surf and why?

My first surfboard was a custom Harbour 8’6” longboard. My family pooled their money together and I got it Christmas day. That was one of the best days of my life.

While growing up which Pro or Soul Surfer had the biggest influence on forming your style?  Who did you just watch and study and say, “ I am surf like that guy!”

Joel Tudor for sure. I was one of those kids who idolized that guy. I loved the way he did his own thing when everyone was riding the same boards. He was reinventing surfing adding his twist on age old lines and designs. I remember I went to radio shack and got this cord that allowed me to patch my cd walkman into my vhs deck. I’d then use an rca cable from my parent’s vhs tape deck to patch together the Joel Tudor sections from every surf video I could. The thing was like 80 minutes straight of him surfing with my own dubbed soundtrack. I watched that thing everyday like homework.

Tell us about your endeavors with Alaias.   How did this come about?

I saw a couple people riding them in youtube clips and thought they looked really fast and fun. My buddy, shaper Jake Moss made a couple from pine that worked okay. Then we pooled together some money and bought a big shipment of  paulownia wood from the East Coast and he shaped my first real board. I was hooked after the first session and have been shaping my own since.

Recently you were shooting at the La Jolla Reefs with Jack McCoy during the huge South Swell.   You were not riding a board but you were Hand-Planing.   (Tell us a little about how this was set up – size of waves, decision to hand-plane, if filming for new movie.)

That was the biggest day of that big south swell we had in July. This one reef in La Jolla was picking up more of the swell than anywhere else I’d checked and it was pretty round there. To be honest it was a little too sketchy for me to surf it and I’m not much of a bodyboarder so I grabbed my handplane because it had a good bowl on it and it looked perfect for bodysurfing.

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