Welcome back to Hang 10 with Birdie, where we catch up friends Birdwell has made along the way, in and out of the water. Today we’re linking up with Firewire CEO, industry vet, and former competitive surfer Mark Price. A native of Durban, South Africa, where his professional career began, Mark moved to California after the ASP 80/81 World Tour and joined Gotcha Sportswear when they were just a tiny startup. He worked with apparel giants Ripcurl and Reef Footwear and even ran his own surf apparel company for 8 years before taking the helm at Firewire, an innovative board maker celebrated for their commitment to eco-friendly surfboard manufacturing and known for radical designs by a formidable team of progressive shapers. Even with a full plate, Mark lives for the waves and still shreds — these days on his Tomo Vader.
1) Which three people, living or historical, would you invite to dinner? Why?
- Joseph Campbell – his perspectives on the interplay between spirituality, religion and myth are riveting. I bet he was an incredible storyteller.
- Hunter Thompson: a little crazy is never a bad thing.
- Sam Harris: his command of the English language is awesome, never mind his intellect – I could listen to him ruminate on any topic for hours and you can too if you tune into his podcast ‘Waking up with Sam Harris’.
2) Best compliment you ever received?
- At a previous business, our 85-year-old landlord, who actually fought in Korea, said he’d share a foxhole with me.
3) What posters did you have on your walls when you were growing up?
- Shaun and MR at Off the wall, Reno at Waimea, and Yamaha Enduros.
4) Is there a day in your life that you’d like to live over again?
- A magic day surfing Tavarua rights with friends.
5) What’s in your car trunk right now?
- 504 Tomo Vader, board shorts, a rash guard, and a box of assorted surf accessories. (I have a hatch back)
6) Any pre-surf rituals you MUST do?
- Stretch and then stretch some more.
7) Coolest animal you’ve bumped into out in the water?
- Sea otter at J-bay catching fish.
8) Favorite appliance or tool?
- Sennheiser Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones – sometimes you have to keep the world at bay.
9) SurfNyl or SurfStretch?
- SurfNyl, one of the last vestiges of true retro surf tradition.
10) Best memory in Birdwells?
- First surf a few weeks ago after not wearing a pair in over 40 years. I felt connected to generations of surfers who came before me.