Passion – You must do what you love
Jeff Kafka – Passion – How to do what you love and love what you do.
Yes, so I guess my passion came from growing up in a little coastal town, called Pacifica, California. And you know, a small groups of us kids, we had a friend who had a house on the beach and we could actually take the garage door and push the doors open and slid little boat into the pacific ocean and from there we could go surfing or we went fishing and diving.
My friend Brian, his dad taught us how to abalone dive and then as we got older we started doing surfing competitions. So there was like an amateur surf tour around California and then the championship was actually in Texas and we traveled around during the surf competitions and I think I’m pretty competitive so it was; the motivation was to be like competing against other people and trying to beat them in these competitions.
And then once I got better at this sport, then it was more about competing against myself in trying to learn a new trick or surf a better way or whatever. Then there was a point where I got involved in big wave surfing and it was actually a pack that I made with a friend in a garage and were like, we’re going to become big wave surfers and like we shook each other’s hands and we both committed to like training and swimming and we started travelling to surf big waves.
And in California, one of the most famous place in the world is Mavericks and we got involve with that community and surfing Mavericks and for a while I was competing but then I found that I could succeed more with traveling around the world and doing these competitions as an event organizer and organizing the competitions and now I’m the lead rescue for the big wave world tour, so I get to travel and do these competitions. I get to, I don’t get to compete in the events all the time, once in a while, but more I’m doing the rescues and I get to surf with some of the best surfers in the world at the best time at that location, when the waves are best the whole year. So it’s a great fun thing to do and from there, I guess that’s my passion, surfing and kite boarding.
From kite boarding and surfing and having like a regular 9 to 5 job to do, don’t really go together very well. So it was frustrating for like 9 years of like trying to have a 9 to 5 job and go surfing and the waves are usually good in the morning.
In kite boarding, the reason I got into kite boarding actually is because, in the bay area it’s a windy location and the wind is good in the afternoon so I think that’s why a lot of people are drawn to the sport; is because they can go to work all day and then get off work and the conditions are great for kite boarding.
In California, especially the bay area, the bay area is a world class kiteboarding location, where we have world class waves here but it’s not every day that the waves are good.
So kiteboarding was kind of a backup to surfing, like my second sport that kept me in shape and kept me active and everything and I got so passionate about that, that I started teaching it because there was nobody else in the bay area that was really involved in teaching people and I wanted to get other friends involved because when I first started I would show up to the beach and there will be no one else kiteboarding.
Kite boarding is kind of a social sport where you want to have somebody else to go with and you can share the sport and share your stoke for the sport or whatever. So I ended up quitting my telecommunications splicing job and started a kiteboarding school here in the bay area. It’s been a great opportunity because I’ve met like founders of Google and Facebook and Youtube and Twitter and now I have all these relationships with these folks and we travel the world and network but also share our passion of the sport of kiteboarding and surfing as well.