We had the good fortune of connecting with Aleks Pevec and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aleks, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
If there is one thing that I took away from this past year it’s that we are all equally responsible for making sure that everyone feels like a human being. Yeah, I teach surfing. That isn’t necessarily going to change the world. But I do feel like this “fixing” starts with encouraging any person to believe that they can do anything. That there isn’t a barrier holding them back from succeeding and trying something new. When I started Lipsmack Surf, I wanted to create an inclusive environment out in the ocean where an LGBTQ couple, a person of color, or a child from a different socioeconomic background all could feel comfortable taking risks and riding waves. If I can build a community of surfers who look out at the water and feel like they belong, even for a moment, what better gift to give a person who might usually feel alone.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Although I’ve been a working actor on Broadway for the last decade, I currently live in Los Angeles, California. Outside of my professional career in stage, film, and television, my spiritual passion is spending time out on the ocean on my surfboard.
Surfing is my church. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve used surfing as a way to connect my body to nature and my soul to the world. Gliding across the belly of the ocean has always provided me with a deep sense of peace that I try to carry with me every moment of the day. Catching a twenty-second left revitalizes me. There is nothing like the feeling of holding nature’s hand, giving yourself over to the elements, and simultaneously moving as one.
I’ve struggled being an openly gay man out on the water. Whether people are okay with it or not, I always felt safer just keeping my identity private. A big reason for this is the fact that surfers sometimes give off the impression that they are part of an exclusive community. From the outside, it appears that only skilled experts belong on the board, and those who do not fit in due to factors as diverse as skill level, personality, gender, race, or sexual orientation should just watch from the sand. It scares me to have something that I love so much be ruined by a handful of people who brand any personal identity as wrong, or who impose a barrier to entry that turns interested surfers away before they even have the ability to give surfing a shot.
The idea for Lipsmack Surf was born because I was passionate about bringing diverse communities together on the water. I wanted to create a safe place in the ocean where everybody could be themselves; to celebrate who they are and where they come from. Whether you are gay, straight, trans, gender fluid, a-gender, bigender, intersex, or gender variant you should be able to enjoy your time riding the waves, regardless of how you identify. Race, ethnicity, gender, skill level – no matter your background or personality, the ocean and the waves are for everyone.
The ocean has always been where I’ve gone to find peace, harmony, clarity, and equilibrium. Paddling out at sunrise feeds my soul. Riding long waves provides inspiration and hope that stays with me long after I wash the saltwater away. Words cannot express how honored and humbled I am to share this passion with others during this extraordinary time.
Right now, we have over 200 people in our little surf community. The business has been growing primarily by word of mouth. I’m looking forward to what the summer season will bring, as more new surfers come out to try the waves and smack that lip.
On a more personal note to the reader. If you ever sat on a beach and wondered what it would be like to get on a board and catch a wave, it’s every bit as rewarding as it looks, and easier than you can imagine.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a pretty active guy who doesn’t sit still so the week would be filled with a balance of adventure and great food. I would probably start with a hike in Malibu in the early morning. Mishe Mokwa to Try-Peaks and Sandstone is a great easy hike in northern Malibu. The half way point lets you look out over the entire valley and on a clear day you can see the Channel Islands. Next we would stop at Malibu Winery for a little lunch or snack and then head towards the PCH. The beach at Malibu Colony is quiet and has a nice sandbar to swim around. Then head to Santa Monica for some burgers at Father’s Office on Montana and finish the night off with a pomegranate margarita at the Penthouse Bar at the Huntley Hotel.
Next day I would take them surfing with my surf company Lipsmack Surf. The waves and wind are always better in the morning so I would talk them into getting in the water before 11am. Maybe in the afternoon we would take the bikes and ride the boardwalk from Venice to Manhattan Beach Pier before grabbing some early dinner at Manhattan Post. Some cool stores in Manhattan Beach to checkout are Wrights and The Beehive.
Third day I would drive the gang up to Santa Barbara for some Bruch at San Ysidro Ranch then head to More Mesa Beach at the base of Hope Ranch. Id bring a cooler and some light snacks to enjoy the quiet beach until sunset. A great dinner option in Montecito is Bettina Pizzeria. The overall essence of the restaurant is a little snooty but the pizza is some of the best gourmet pizza I’ve ever tasted.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Dedicated to Danny Bennett of Grey Eyed Owl. “Timeless learning for a digital age”,
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