The swell was relentless. After 45 minutes of paddling alone, Professional Surfer Chadd Konig made it out beyond the break. The humid cold air made the sea bite that much harder. Chadd paddled into his first and only wave of the tiring session. The wave grew to double overhead and began to close out. Chadd rode in what was left of it.
This is a typical morning for Chadd. Paddling out alone in the early morning light without another soul in the water for maybe 100 miles. After receiving a warm greeting from his dog Nala and toweling off, he drove into town. The community center was filled, Sunday brunch was being served, goods were being sold or exchanged and friends were visiting. These are a few of the reasons why he moved to this rural stretch of Northern California.
We’ve largely forgotten what community feels like, but there are places that still keep the real meaning of that word alive. These rural places function and are able to survive because people learn to take care of each other. After Chadd finished breakfast and promised to be over to help with a small potato harvest later in the day, he headed home to his yurt and small 3 acre farm.
The farm is one of the main things that compelled him to move from the warm, friend filled beaches of Southern California. After a few years of traveling and being in the surf scene, he started to feel a need to simplify his life and reconnect with the resources we all depend on to sustain life.
“I think with food, water, and energy in general, we as a culture don’t really apreciate it to the fullest extent because we ultimately don’t understand where it’s coming from,” Chadd commented. “Here on this property and in this valley, I’m able to have a closer relationship with my resources.”
After seeking out some land near a few surf breaks, Chadd constructed a Yurt and began planting. The Yurt acts as a catch basin for rainwater, his meals are mostly pulled straight from the earth and his power is harvested from the sun by 2 Boulder 90’s and one Yeti 1250.
Leading a simpler life can be complicated in the beginning. New routines take time to develop, food takes time to grow and skills are often times acquired through trial and error. Eventually things fall into rhythm and the new normal brings different priorities into focus.