Champagne Lifestyle, Beer Budget: Manny Vargas.

Champagne Lifestyle, Beer Budget: Manny Vargas.

By Manny Vargas.

Becoming a professional bodyboarder will be the best job you’ll ever have… guaranteed.


You’ll learn to bargin hunt for airfare, sleep on floors or in board bags, cook for yourself, fold your own clothes, meet the best people on the planet and learn to love the little things in life. For it’s in the best education anyone could have given me. 

Life is about the journey. Plain and simple. And I’ve been a part this amazing journey since I was 10 years old. I’m 48 now and am still on the most epic journey.

Thank you bodyboarding.

I’ve got a ton of personal stories that I’ll share with my boogLIFE podcast patrons. I will however share one story about the South African circa 1996.

Location: North Shore, Oahu.

For 99% of South Africans to make it to the North Shore during the bodyboarding season is a feat in itself. You’re traveling to the other side of the planet and coming up with the dough to pay for the flight may have you saving up money for years!

So what the South Africans did that year was to team up and rent a house right across the street from the Foodland grocery store. I’m not 100% sure but I want to say there were about 15 of them in a 3 bedroom house. I went to a house party there and I have to give them props for keeping the place clean. Billy Theil was the king of the house and ensured everyone kept up with their cleanliness.

If you stayed at the house, you never had a session to yourself. So when one person from the house would gear up and go surf, there were about 5 to 10 South African bodyboarders riding their cheap rusted bikes to Off The Wall or Pipeline. More props to them for showing the locals the utmost respect in the water. 

As for the food… I know I saw a few of them an hour before Foodland closed. The reason? That’s when Foodland put the hot food that was cooked for the day on sale. They’d put small portions on a foam plate, wrapped it up in plastic wrap and make them for 99 cents! If those mother fuckers got there before me, I was shit out of luck. They’d swoop up all the meals. Bastards!

Last thing… I have to give the most props to one South African that proved being a professional was about the journey. That’s award goes to Alister Taylor. If you haven’t the stories about him living in a tent in the pine trees at Log Cabins and eating potatoes before making a statement at the biggest Pipeline event to this day, well, you need to hear this story. I’m heading to Hawaii soon and he’s on the top of my list to talk to.

Read AT’s story here:

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