“Think it with your mind, feel it with your heart, and then do it.” Although one’s imagination would have a hard time conjuring up the globe-trotting, surf glam, dream life he’s had, a young Dave Rastovich has, without a doubt, took this advice.
On a personal career quest at the time, I was curious about all the interesting ways people make a living and focused in on people making a living involving the ocean. As one of the most recognized surfers in the world and as someone who uses his fame for environmental activism, Dave made the cut.
In addition to his surfing, he is recognized for his efforts protecting dolphins and whales with Sea Shepherd and “Surfers for Cetaceans.” It was during his Transparentsea Voyage, where he and musicians, celebrities, activists and athletes kayaked hundreds of miles along the California coastline to bring awareness to this cause, that I was able to catch up with him.
I kept with the name Dave for the interview. I did this because I asked him whether the inference that “Rasta” as a nickname lends itself to a hippie-type of guy. “Names are not always accurate,” he told me. “That name is attached to me from my surname. I don’t smoke weed and I don’t have dreadlocks and I don’t do all of that rasta stuff. It’s not that accurate, but I guess any media source needs to explain who you are and what you do and that’s been done for me in terms of that hippie surfer. I don’t care, though. People can call me whatever they like. I get called lots of things by my friends at home.”
Although Dave mentioned wanting to become “a great gardener” back on his farm in Australia and doesn’t have the competitive fire, don’t let his mellow approach fool you. He didn’t get to be the best in the world by accident. When asked if he has a fiery nature, he answered without skipping a beat. “Definitely. I love to be challenged, whether physically or mentally like (going through with) an idea that might be foolish, or enduring long paddles like we’ve been doing up the coast of Australia.”
I realized there is both a Dave Rastovich and “Rasta.” One of his favorite sayings is “Live simply, so others can simply live.”