Name: Jake Wilsie
Occupation: Surf Instruction
Location: South Mission
Favorite Surf Spot: Sunset Cliffs
It’s a Tuesday afternoon, and Jake Wilse is peeling off his wetsuit after giving a private lesson to a couple from Amsterdam.
“I get paid to spend the day at the beach,” Wilsie says, referring to the summer job he has held for the last three years. Wilsie spends most of his day teaching tourists and local beach campers between the ages of 5-15 how to paddle out and pop up on their boards at South Mission Beach.
Wilsie teaches his students how to read waves. “Once you are able to look at a wave and understand where to sit, and once you are able to master your bottom turn, you’re on your way to being a surfer," he explains.
As a native San Diegan, Wilsie believes that younger surfers need to respect the older locals. “It’s little stuff like leaving trash on the beach or yelling at older guys in the water. [At South Mission] you are going to have to wait for waves more than most spots because there are a lot of local guys out there.”
Imperial Beach is the only beach Wilsie tends to avoid.
“It’s right next to TJ so it’s not the cleanest. I mean, it has its days. Sometimes IB looks like Pipeline so you just go out anyway.”
Wilsie explains the love of surfing, “There is always something or somewhere new to go. Surfing is the only sport in the world where you are completely connected with nature when you do it. You work with nature and take what is given to you without trying to make something that is not there.”