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As an avid surfer, I’ve grown accustomed to the water. But this time, out there in the desert of Egypt, it was just Christopher Sugrue, the Sphinx, and the Pyramids of Giza having a party. Being in a desert for once was a whole new experience for me, and my first visit to Egypt was unforgettable.


The few things I brought with me from my hotel room were my camera, a small jug of cool water, and my sunglasses (gotta protect my eyes from the Sun, y’all). While our tour guide was babbling about the history of the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids in his accent, I decided to stop lollygagging and began my own journey under the radar to discover the magic of these gigantic monuments myself.

I parted away from the group, went off to wander, and before I knew it, I found myself standing in between the Sphinx’s feet.
Christopher Sugrue, the Sphinx is very glad to have finally met you,” I said to myself.


This mythical creature with a lion’s body and a human head has waited centuries to see my 21st century reincarnated body. I looked up to carefully study the Sphinx’s enormous head. Based on the pamphlet that I’ve been carrying, the Sphinx had lost its beard and nose. Legend has it that a Sufi Muslim from centuries ago, who, along with other worshippers made offerings to the Sphinx in the hope of increasing harvest to no avail, was outraged and destroyed the nose. He was hanged for vandalism. Meanwhile, a fragment of the Sphinx’s beard is up for display today at The British Museum.


After much marveling at the beauty of the Sphinx and itching to visit the Pyramids next, I went back to the spot where I last saw my tour group. They already left.


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Surfing legend Kelly Slater being awesome, from Christopher Sugrue Photos

My name is Christopher Sugrue. As an advertising creative, I hawk my ideas and proprietary flashes of genius to the Man to earn a living. The rest of the time, however, I am a regular ocean ripper, rubbing elbows with other sun, sand, and surf worshippers for a chance to crash into the waters and catch the perfect waves, riding sweet and low, or high and tight.

When exploring the intricacies of surfing, mastering the popup is crucial. The surfing popup takes you from the paddling position where you are lying on your stomach on your surfboard to an upright position on your feet.

From Christopher Sugrue Photos/a>

Allow yours truly, Christopher Sugrue, to give willing beginners a few lessons on the popup.

From Christopher Sugrue Photos

Practice several popups on dry land beforehand to build arm strength and muscle memory. This makes the actual popup easier.

Now, onto the step-by-step:

  • Place your hands up by your chest, at the bottom of your ribcage.
  • From Christopher Sugrue Photos
  • Snap up to a crouched standing position in one flowing movement by pushing yourself upwards using your arms while bringing your legs under your body.
  • From Christopher Sugrue Photos
  • Voila – you have popped up – you are now upright, your feet and body are now facing out from the board.

If you find it difficult getting on your feet that way, here’s a shortcut:

  • Place your hands on the rails when you are going at a fast enough speed to catch the wave.
  • While holding the rail, pull your legs up under you by twisting your body around to the correct angle.
  • Slide the front foot under you into the correct position, keeping your back foot and lower leg at the rear.
  • From Christopher Sugrue Photos
    From Christopher Sugrue Photos
  • When the front foot is firmly planted in the correct spot, close into a crouch.

Congratulations, brah! You can now pop up.

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Stencil of surfer bros Bill and Ted from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), from Christopher Sugrue Photos

I’m Christopher Sugrue, advertising executive who surfs for leisure. I am an idea monger by profession and a wave chaser by volition.

For me, there’s nothing better than catching a perfect tube ride. Inside the cyclonic hollow created by the face and lip of a massive wave, you get on your feet, bulleting through high and tight, turning as the wave pitches, leaning forward for optimum speed as you glide from the barrel’s lips closing in on you. You aim for daylight, ripping right through as the wall breaks and the surface calms.

After going off on a tangent like that, my friend Max would say, “Okay, I get it, man. Christopher Sugrue, you’re a true surfer bro whose bond with the ocean cannot be denied. When your mother gave birth to you, you made a bottom turn and rode crest of the placenta on your way out. We are not worthy.”

To that, I just chuckle. Sure, I like to rip, but my amateur tube riding is nowhere near the skill of the real surfing legends.



Gerry Lopez’s cat-like grace and patented down-the-line soul arch wave after wave made the vertical drops and heavy tubes of the Banzai Pipeline seem easy. The Pipeline Masters competition was named after him after he won it consecutively in 1972 and 1973.



World champion in 1985, 1986, and 1990 before retiring from competing in the mid-nineties, Tom Curren combines the buttery-smooth, rhythmic maneuvers with raw power, blinding speed, unique check turns, and body English.



Fluid, fast, and fully formed, Kelly Slater won the first of nine world championships in 1992, at 20. His revolutionary power and release approach allowed him to surf above the wave, the first to integrate fully functional aerials into his repertoire.

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Hello, Christopher Sugrue here. As an independent advertising consultant, I understand how important music is in affecting the emotions of people. Play the right beats with your TV ad and you’re sure to have a hit that not only effectively promotes your brand, but also evoke in people a spectrum of feelings.


Similarly, before I go out to ride swells, I make sure I’m all pumped up and in the mood for surfing with music. As if the idea of spending an alchemy hour in the blue sea is not enough to stir up the adrenaline junkie in me, I still make sure I have my iPod and playlist ready before I head out to the beach.

Here are some of Christopher Sugrue’s favorite surf music:

Wave of Mutilation by Pixies


Hawaii Five-O by The Ventures


Misirlou by Dick Dale
Pipeline by The Chantays
Wipe Out by The Surfaris
Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin


Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple
Fire by Jimi Hendrix
Walk, Don’t Run ‘64’ by The Ventures
Success by Iggy Pop
Surf Rider by The Lively Ones


Baja by Astronauts
Penetration by Pyramids
Motor City Madhouse by Ted Nugent

Now, these are just some of them. And these songs don’t necessarily have to be about surfing. But when I listen to these songs, there’s no stoppin’ me from surfin’.

Check out my Twitter/Chris_Sugrue for more.

Every surfer has experienced being heartlessly smashed by the waves. Just like how life can be unkind sometimes, surfing isn’t always highlight reels of triumph. Like everyone, yours truly, Christopher Sugrue, had my share of surf’s up and “surfless” days.

In life, we work our way to achieve success, happiness, and satisfaction. There are times when we get our hopes up but the thing we desperately desire isn’t just meant for us. We give it all we got, but all falls in vain and we receive nothing in return.


With years of experience riding the surf, a number of realizations came crashing down on me as waves from an ocean of wisdom.

Life is not brutal, it is indifferent but isn’t mean.

Just like surfing, we get what we input into life. This is exactly the positive message I, Christopher Sugrue, would like to impart.
Sure there are days when the waves choose not to come out and play, when we lose our footing, when we did grab the opportunity to conquer that wall of water yet we still got our ass- kicked and washed back to the shore.

But these are never reasons to give up. Never ever let them be.

The important thing is we keep paddling, then wait and keep our focus and optimism. Who knows, we might just be moments away from our very own highlight-reel moment of our lives.

Stay Cool!
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Hi, Christopher Sugrue here. As an adrenaline junkie, I’ve scoured the world for the best surfing spots. I’ve practically made the Pacific Coast of California my abode, but I’ve also gone abroad to France’s West Coast, Australia’s Sunshine Coast, Bali, Cocoa Beach in Florida, the North Shore in Hawaii, Siargao Beach in the Philippines, and even to Portugal to find the best waves. I’ve surfed with friends, strangers, adventure-hunters like myself, and dogs!


But my ultimate dream surfing trip has got nothing to do with where I do it or who I am with—it’s hanging loose with orcas.


Yes, those sleek, black and white killer whales who eat sharks for breakfast. I don’t know of anyone who has actually done it. I want Christopher Sugrue to be the first ever. I mean, I know people have taken artistic underwater photographs of themselves swimming with timid humpbacks, but I have never heard of anyone getting so close to orcas and actually spending an alchemy hour with them in an intoxicating swell. Now that’s a rush.

For now, I can just enjoy the sight of those over-seven-tons-and-all-dressed-up-like-a-gentleman-in-a-tux oceanic mammals showing off their surfing skills like no human being in a surfboard can do.

Check out these amazing photos taken by Michael Cunningham off the beach at Sandy Bay in northern New Zealand of orcas riding swells like they’re not the coolest whales in the world.


Follow me on twitter at Peace out.

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