This is not a story of addiction and redemption.
This is a story of one of Santa Cruz’s most influential personalities, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, and the impact he, and his generation – Barney, Ratboy, and before them, the “Godfather” Vince Collier – left on the Santa Cruz community.
If you grew up in the 90s and noughties, you likely had an image of Flea pushing his board over the ledge at Mavericks, or punting with leopard spotted hair off a ramp at Steamer Lane pinned to your bedroom wall.
He and his crew helped define what it meant to be a well-rounded surfer.
It’s the playful waves at the Hook and Pleasure Point, the high-performance Mecca of The Lane, death pits at Mavs, various not-to-be-named slabs, beachies and wedges outside of town, and open exposure to swell, that have sharpened the teeth of Santa Cruz’s finest.
But as Flea gravely reminiscences on the 90s and early 2000s in Santa Cruz, it was “scary times.” Santa Cruz remains one of the more localized “Surf Cities” in California. Although, today, you’re more likely to get ice plants thrown at you from Westside’s cliffs than jumped by several crazy-eyed rippers who’d rather kick your head in than share a lineup.
Read the rest of the story on the O’Neil Website or watch the video below.