June 02, 2022

Dean Petty does California

Interview by Grey Lockwood

Photography by Ridge Ben Ben


Tell us a little about what you’ve been up to in Canada lately. 


Well geez ….eh! I basically spent the last two years being a hermit and working on a building project on my property. With Canada being locked up, I put my head down and started sticking a bunch of wood together while trying to keep the coffee and pizza businesses alive. It was a wild ride. Just been itching to travel and see my friends! 


What made you want to come out to California and how long did you stay?


Spending some time during the winter in California has always been on my radar. I have just been trying to get life together to make it happen. If you didn’t know this about Canada… the months of January through March are extremely dark and cold, plus pretty hard on the head mentally. I’ve basically been building my life over the last 9 years to find a way to pull off a great escape mission for the winter and get into the sunny sunshine that California seems to have on tap all year! This was phase 1. I bounced around a bunch, but was primarily between Venice and San Clemente surfing and hanging with friends I hadn’t seen in a few years.



What spots did you surf the most? Did you have any magic days that stand out in your mind?


I surfed the Church + Middles zone a lot when I was in San Clemente. I definitely clocked a few magic sessions in that part of the coast. I have always kinda been allergic to the crowd factor in California…. But this season I feel like I had a few sessions that felt like I was in the Baja. Maybe 6 people out… all smiles and good vibes. So many waves! We did a morning meet up with the Bing crew and absolutely scored… glassy perfect waves. That was a standout session for sure. When I was staying in Venice I was surfing Malibu, which never felt like Baja, with 600 of my best friends or heading up the coast to Ventura to surf the beachies or Rincon. It’s always kinda fun to get into the mix at the Bu. You just have to think of surfing as a completely different activity. It’s more of a happy hour vibe all the time. 



 It looks like you picked up a new sled while you were in town. Give us a rundown on your “Bueno Life” model. 


Ahhh yes “The Bueno Life”. Well, I really love this board because it’s the perfect mix between loggy and loose. As someone who rides all different shapes and sizes of boards I really just ride the Bueno when its under chest high. It’s a noserider. I like trying to stuff myself into the pocket and see how long I can float on the nose. Its great for that! The moon tail loosens it up a bit, I find it resets really well… but at the end of the day Matt and I designed this board to stay stuck in on  the nose and lift and it sure seems to do these things well! 


You also tried a few new board models while you were in town. Tell us a bit about each board and what you liked/disliked.


I love trying new boards! I was waiting on the Bueno to get glassed and had a few epic sessions on the IZZY RIDER 2.0. This thing rips! Really responsive in the turn department, fast down the line and held really well on the nose. Not sure what kind of magic Matt and Izzy put into the resin on this one, but David Blaine would be proud! That board would be an amazing all around longboard to have in your quiver! Lets see.. I also rode a 7’10” Alpha Pin Quad that I borrowed from the Bing squad. This puppy took a minute to get used to, but I eventually found my flow and figured out where to drive it from and got a few fun ones! This board would be epic for someone who is looking to ride boards with more float but isn’t trying to jump right into the log game. I also had a fun session on a 5’8” classic keel fin fish and this board is my jam without a doubt. I spend a lot of time on my 5’6 twinny up here on the points of Nova Scotia and I love the glide and flow of a keel fin fish. This would be my go-to board if I could only have one surfboard in my life. My desert island magic board.



Who did you surf with while you were in town? Were there any standout surfers at any particular spot? 


I felt like I got the “Red Carpet of Shred” laid out for me. I got to surf with so many of the dudes I look up to in the California scene. JJ Wessels (the kindest man on Planet Earth) took me under his wing. This man is an inspiration to watch surf. He’s some sort of noseriding wizard. He also seemingly knows exactly when and where the waves are gonna be 365 days a year. Thanks JJ! Good ol’ Mick Rodgers and I spent some time at Church together. Micks “twinkle toes to the most insane noseride you have ever seen” approach is still very much alive and well. And in fact may be more insane than ever on his Continental model. I also made some new friends in the lineup. Ridge Ben and Purple Toaster (aka. Joe McGettigan) are both incredibly talented photographers, filmers, and surfers. I feel like I should have been the one with the the flippers on. 


Word on the street is that you’re a big E-bike fan. True of false? Where did you use them the most?


Ummmmm Yeah! I’m a huge fan! TRUE. I really only used them in the e-bike capitol of the world known as San Clemente. Where no one peddles anything and its seemingly glassy and perfect every day. I call that place the “life simulator” because you just throw a basketball in the direction of a hoop and it goes in every single time.


You were kind of bouncing around a bit from L.A. to San Clemente and also had a trip to Mexico while you were out here. What was your favorite part of the trip? 


No favorites really. Each little mini trip was amazing. I get very excited about most places that I visit. I will say that Mexico City blew my mind. No waves, but the most delicious food, culture and vibes! And I’m not a city guy. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it to anyone.


Any rad food/coffee shops/bars that you’d recommend to people coming out to the West Coast?


Leucadia doughnuts. Duh! Hahaha. So much good food and bean water. When I was in San Clemente I was on the e-bike to Bear coast program. They actually saved me one day when I was fully cooked from surfing my brains out. They were just about to close and they gave me a cold brew and a bunch of treats. Thank you! In Venice my favorite restaurant is the Taco Stand on Lincoln Blvd. If you don’t go here when you visit that zone you are missing out on some seriously delicious taco magic. 



Any kind of fun projects you’re working on coming up?


Barns, Barns and more barns! I’m excited to be home and back on the tools. I lucked into a really fun swell the weekend I got home and instantly re-fell in love with where I live! I cashed in on a visit to the Mexilogfest + Duct Tape party instead of a possible trip to Ireland with my good pal Tom Terrell. Ireland has been on my radar for years and I’m excited to see what’s on tap over there…. besides a good pint of Guinness. Also trying to get to Baja for a little south swell action if I can swing it before summer mode kicks in in Nova Scotia! So much to do and see in this life. Hoping Elon Musk gets those teleporting machines on the market soon and then I’ll be dialed!


Follow all of the fun adventures Dean is known for here:






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