Strider Wasilewski

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Strider Wasilewski, by Danny Zapalac

Strider Wasilewski was a small kid living fast on the streets of Dog Town in the 1980s. Dad was gone and mom raised him and his brother on government cheese, crashing wherever they could. He grew where an intense city meets uncontrolled wilderness, the ocean, and he traversed sand bars and gang territories with similar ease. He hung out with everyone from David Landsdowne, Watts local and organizer for the Black Surfing Association, to top notch fashion photographer Herb Ritts, who brought Strider into modeling gigs alongside Cindy Crawford et al. He won an NSSA national title but turned down the national team to free surf instead, heading to the North Shore unchaperoned, with nowhere to stay, at 12 years old. After years of following his heart, and scrapping it out in Hawaii, he was searching for his path, and found himself in a Chumash sweat lodge. He emerged with a clear vision: Hawaii was the way forward. The next year he slouched into a Pipeline pit that got him a Surfer Magazine cover and a contract to travel the world riding waves of consequence as a teammate of Kelly Slater. One of his favorites, Teahupoo, almost killed him. His injuries led to years of rehab, but only yoga brought his full vitality back. His yoga practice has now become a mainstay in his life, along with wife Lily Harfouche, and their 3 boys Coast, Country and Cruise. Still traveling the world as a World Surf League commentator, Strider also runs a responsible business of his own: mineral based, reef safe, chemical free Shade sunscreen. Nice work!