inside ride

Inside the Ride | Chris Hamm

Age: 32
Hometown: San Clemente, CA

Chris Hamm is his hometown's biggest fan. "San Clemente is the best," he says. "It's got the best surf, the best weather, the best people. I want to make sure it's a good place for a long time." Spoken like a true politician, which, by the way, Hamm is. The firefighter felt passionate enough about this surf village an hour south of Los Angeles that he ran for mayor and won, in 2012. "I don't ever want to leave," he said. Hard to blame him: Judging by his ride, San Clemente is in good hands. –Joe Carberry

1. Hobie SUP Raw Custom. It's 7'4" x 25" x 3.5" with a thruster setup, Futures fin boxes, epoxy/carbon mesh construction. Stringer-less. I use it around here as most of the breaks aren't critical and you can use a little more paddle power. It performs like a shortboard. You can generate speed, come off bottom and crack the lip like it's a foot-and-a-half shorter.

2. Hobie Hybrid Carbon Paddle. I'm not super into paddles so I use what Hobie's got. It's light, durable and the handle that Hobie makes is really comfortable.

3. Reclining Backpack Chair. They don't manufacture these anymore. I'm doing my best to bring them back. It doubles as a table. It goes everywhere with me. There's nothing like a nice nap after a long surf session before you paddle back out.

4. Secret Stash Box. It has a cast-iron grill in it, cooking utensils, epoxy, tools, and a tow strap. It lives under a deck I made that covers the bed of the truck. I got the whole setup from Lowe's for 200 bucks. It's three-quarters inch plywood covered by indoor/outdoor carpet and double-thick padding. I can put boards underneath and sleep on top.

5. Hobie Dos Huevos. It means double egg and it's a super-fun all-around board, perfect for mushy waves. It's really buoyant and has a tail that's wide with tons of volume. It forces you to really engage the rail.

6. Gallon Jug. Before I surf I fill it up with hot water, put it on my dash and it absorbs heat because I painted it black. I have a hot shower when I'm done.

7. Fender Bass. I'm learning how to play bass. When the surf is really bad, I have a mini-amp hookup with headphones so I can sit down on the beach and jam out.

8. Hanging Rack. I hang all my suits. Underneath I have a wet drawer where I also keep wax and extra fin keys. I put wetsuits in there on the way home.

9. 2009 F150 4-Wheel Drive. I love this truck: it's got a 6.5-foot bed and a quad cab. That specific year, the quadcab was six inches longer than standard. Great for road trips.