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Before Work Spotlight - Justin Parr


Welcome to our first club spotlight! Here we will introduce and showcase a variety of humans from long time fans, extinguished humans, rad friends and more.  First up is Justin Parr.  A standout in the water in the Wrightsville Beach area, always has a smile on, more than excited to talk swell forecasts, and is overflowing with stoke.  That's why we dubbed him the unofficial King of Stoke.
Who are you and what do you do for a living?
I am Justin Parr, an avid surfer and diver currently living in Wrightsville Beach, NC. I work full-time at a local software company, nCino Inc., as a Release Manager, and love to have a great work-life balance. 
When did you start surfing and why do you surf?
I started surfing around 2008, when I was burned out with wrestling as a primary sport. Along with my best buds Matt and Aaron, I would get dropped off at the beach by our parents and picked up a few hours later after the ocean taught us a few lessons. Since those early exploratory days, surfing has become an integral part of my life physically, mentally, and socially. Surfing as a sport has opened up so many opportunities within my life which I would have never imagined, and really I just do it for fun. Even after a decade of surfing I'm still learning more and progressing. 
 
Where has surfing taken you over the years?
Surfing has taken me all over the world for competition and for leisure. Within the US, I've surfed most of the East Coast + Puerto Rico except for the North-east (I need a New Jersey tube). On the west coast/Pacific I've surfed in California and Oregon, as well as on Oahu and Kauai in Hawaii. Internationally I've been to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Spain, and France for surfing.
 
What does surfing mean to you?
Surfing to me is more than just a hobby, it is more of a lifestyle and life-choice. Surfing is what I want to do when I wake up and you best bet I'm looking at the forecast charts before I go to bed. When I broke my leg and couldn't surf I turned into a full-time surf photographer, so if I ever get out of commission for some reason that will be my new calling. Certainly my life doesn't revolve around surfing, but I very much like to make room for it when the waves are on!
 
What time of day do you prefer to surf?
In the morning is always a good answer to this question, as the winds are generally calmer which provides for cleaner conditions. On a work-week, I'll sneak out for a lunchtime session if possible, but for the most part its Before Work Surf Club for me.
Do you party wave or snake your friends?
Party wave all day!
What are some of your favorite things about surfing and being in the ocean?
I like that as a generalization, no one session is the same. The swell will be different, the people around you different, maybe riding a different board, etc. On top of this, the ocean is one place where you can go and forget about everything else and immerse yourself into the nirvana that the ocean provides. A passing pod of dolphins or some really clear water never hurts.
What else are you passionate about?
As I've been surfing for a bit of time now, I've searched for hobbies which I love to do when the waves are bad. Recently I've found this within the sport of free-diving. Generally when the waves are small the diving conditions are good, and with a speargun in hand a lot of the time dinner is brought home. Outside of hobbies, I am very passionate about giving back. As a community champion at nCino, I help organize company initiatives with local non-profit organizations, and am always excited at the opportunity to personally volunteer time. I love to be included in initiatives to make our community better locally, regionally, or globally.
 
Why are you frothing 24/7?
Why are you not frothing 24/7? 
All jokes aside, its really hard for me not to be frothing all the time. Life is so great, I have some of the best friends in the world, a great job, and stuff I love to do no matter what mother nature throws at us. I certainly have my down times like everyone does, but overall I would be concerned if I wasn't frothing 24/7.
 
What was the sketchiest situation you've ever been in the water?
My new hobby of free-diving brings some new stories to this situation, but I'll stick to surfing. The sketchiest situation I've been in surfing was in high school when I was still learning how to surf. I was a pier rat in Virginia Beach and would spend most of my sessions surfing the 15th street pier. One day in January I was surfing close to the pier and had a fall on an overhead wave pushing into the pier. I got held down and my leash got wrapped around one of the pier pilings. After freaking out for some time underwater, I had to release my leash in order to get to the surface. I then missed my board so I had to swim 150 yards into the beach in my 5/4 wetsuit. Probably one of the closest times I've had to drowning while surfing.
 
What's a good surf trip story?
I went to the north coast of Spain solo just to chase a swell. I ran into three dudes from Barcelona who were some of the most stoked surfers ever. It turned from a trip which was going to be filled with searching and public transport to travelling around with 'locals' surfing the best spots and partying at the coolest bars. We scored point breaks in northern Spain and they even drove me to France so we could surf places around Hossegor. This specific trip was really what I think about when I think of my coolest surf trip. Travelling by yourself can be the best experience ever if you go into it with the right expectations.
What does Before Work Surf Club mean to you?
Before Work Surf Club to me goes along with the work-life balance statement earlier. This brand stands for the fact that we're not all pro surfers, but we certainly can be as passionate as one. It signifies that no matter what is going on, its always great to get some time in the surf, and it doesn't even have to mean specifically surfing. For anyone if this is before work, after work, etc. I believe Before Work Surf Club embodies that feeling of "getting up and at it" and shares it with everyone!