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Thomas VanMelum

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

A few questions and answers with Thomas Vanmelum

Blacks, Southern California - Photographer-Blair-Austin-@blarrel

How are you finding Hawaii, in and out of the water?

I tend to have wind at my back and wind in my sails, so Hawaii is the perfect place for my family and I right now. Our house and lifestyle rings with boisterous mirth, which is not suitable for everyone, but it suits us well -- and it's not by design -- it's simply our nature.

In the water I'm actively searching. I'm a learner. Hawaii has so much to teach I couldn't possibly learn it all, even with several lifetimes. So I observe. I organize. I compartmentalize. Again, mainly because I've always had an inclination towards this kind of living. Most of all, I love it.

Mother Wedge, Newport Beach - Photographer John McMurray

Can you tell us a good story about Wedge?

Not at this time. The stories have been covered so many times, peppered with truth and fiction. They are done much better than I could do. The average wedge riders' (myself included) imagination knows no boundaries -- especially when it comes to tails of their own endeavors. The fact of the matter is, Wedge is as much a culture as it is a wave. You can come surf it, but if you've never lived it: the ups and the downs, the fundamental addiction, the people, then no amount of stories will create the understanding until you decide to commit yourself to it. Like Facebook relationship status via 2007: It's Complicated.

Pipeline - Photograph by Christa Funk @instaclamfunk

What’s the secret to getting down the line speed on a solid wave?!

A surfboard. But seriously, you tell me. I attack the problems of life and bodysurfing actively and I organize my thoughts about it privately. I think back on my ideas and I'm happy with the fact they exist. But, you wouldn't want my opinion contaminating your experiences. Keep continuing to discover and you'll get where you're going: "Down the line!!!"

Who inspires you?

I admit it is no one completely, but everyone collectively. A spectrum of inspiration if you will. I'm driven by the disdain of my own accomplishments. Obviously my family for reasons that I can't explain. Those whose perception and truth completely escape me. To be honest, it's not the sort of question that speaks to me, or one I've actively entertained until now. 😘







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