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Here’s the Wild Idea

Pete’s Wild Idea: To surf on the Big Wave World Tour, and create a life and career around surfing.

You may have seen today’s guest gliding down a giant wave at Mavericks, or heard his voice behind the microphone as the commentator for the World Surf League. The long-time Quiksilver athlete, WSL commentator, owner of his family surf shop in Santa Cruz, husband and dad, Peter “Pete” Mel has a lot of roles he balances. We talk about how the man with one of the longest and most robust surfing careers does it all. We also chat about the complexities of big wave surfing, how he conquers fear, his sobriety, parenting advice, his take on failure, why he’s so into Eckhart Tolle, and so much more.

Presented by REI

Listen to this Episode if

  • You’ve ever wondered how people surf six-story tall waves.
  • You want to ask better questions.
  • You love surfing.
  • You are on a journey to find a better work-life balance.

Key Takeaways

  • 1:45 – Why Pete loves big waves.
  • 4:30 – Pete explains how detailed and complex big wave surfing is.
  • 5:55 – How Pete prepares to surf big waves.
  • 7:45 – How he approaches fear.
  • 9:20 – Pete uses his experience with big wave surfing to apply lessons of balance to his life.
  • 10:25 – How he decides what opportunities to pursue and what his current jobs are.
  • 14:10 – His decision to compete on the World Surf League’s Big Wave World tour.
  • 16:00 – Peter’s interviewing tips.
  • 21:15 – What his take is on the growth of surfing as a sport.
  • 23:20 – Peter’s advice for making a career out of your passion.
  • 24:35 – How Pete’s wife has been a huge supporter.
  • 27:00 – Peter’s take on failure.
  • 29:50 – His advice for parents (especially in raising kids that are passionate about sports).
  • 30:50 – Why Pete took a social media hiatus.
  • 32:10 – Who’s coming to Pete’s party.
  • 33:10 – Where Pete would live if not in Santa Cruz. 
  • 35:40 – His routine involves syncing himself with the earth.
  • 36:55 – Pete’s advice to live more wildly.

Awesome books Peter recommends gifting

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle


Freeline Surf Shop
Mavericks contest
The World Surf League
Watch Peter interview Mick Fanning after his shark attack in South Africa
Justin’s Peanut Butter
Chasing Mavericks film

Connect with Peter




Wild Ideas Worth Living on Facebook
Wild Ideas Worth Living on Instagram
Wild Ideas Worth Living on Twitter