First Light Spotlight - Tyler // SoCal

Tyler, First Light Surf Club, Spotlight, Local surfer, before work, medical sales

Meet Tyler, the medical device sales rep who surfs before work and whose stoke level is higher than any other surfer we've met.

From the hospital to his garage surfboard shaping bay to every surf break in between, Tyler loves to surf and his energy and love for it are infectious. We sat down with Tyler to hear about his morning routine and what gets him frothed up to surf each morning.


Q. What got you in to surfing and where’s your favorite spot to go?

Tyler - I was born into surfing at a very young age, my dad always wanted a son who knew how to surf. As long as I was standing, I was on a surfboard. My favorite spot changes all the time, with different swell directions, tides, winds, etc. Overall, my most favorite place to surf is Seaside Reef on those big WNW swells, that left is phenomenal.

Q. What do you do for work and what time do you have to get there in the morning?

Tyler - I am a medical device sales rep in the Electrophysiology division (Heart arrhythmia treatment). My daily tasks are being a consultant to MDs, being an onsite technician for the equipment, and being an account manager and company representative. Usually, I need to be at the hospital by 7:30ish for the first case of the day. 

Tyler, First Light Surf Club, Spotlight, Local surfer, before work, medical sales

Q. What motivates you to wake up early and surf before work?

Tyler - It sets my day up for success. Getting in the water early allows me to get a daily exercise in, get a daily dose of nature, and most importantly, it provides mental clarity that is unmatched by any other morning routine. Surfing in the morning in the winter months is sometimes the only time I am able to get outside and be in nature because procedures do tend to go long.

Q. How does an early morning surf affect your mood and mindset for the rest of the day?

Tyler - A morning surf is the PERFECT morning routine. In So Cal, the ocean is one of the only few immersive nature experiences, with the large urban areas we all live in. Weekly nature immersion has been proven to be a leading non-pharmacological treatment for depression. There is something about exposure to nature, seeing animals, and being at nature's mercy that is so beautiful, and surfing encompasses all of those. Another beautiful perk of surfing is that it manifests through big waves, small waves, good waves, or bad waves. When you have equipment conducive to all these different conditions, you will make almost every morning surf a successful one in enjoying the day ahead.

Q. What's your morning routine look like on the days you surf before work?

Tyler - A great morning routine doesn't start in the morning, but in the previous evening's preparation: good sleep, prepping the car with the surf equipment, and eating a healthy dinner. With the early start of work, there is very little time to waste in the morning. An extra long time in the bathroom in the morning means a couple less waves (hence the healthy dinner), a morning looking for a bar of wax or a leash can result in a couple less waves (hence prepping the car), and lastly, sleeping through epic surf because I was up late. These are all detriments to a successful pre-work surf. I have to have the routine dialed so I can score.

Tyler, First Light Surf Club, Spotlight, Local surfer, before work, medical sales

Q. How do you make sure you get to work on time after a dawn patrol surf?

Tyler - I rock a waterproof Rip Curl tide watch that has been tried and true for me. The watch usually keeps me punctual in terms of getting out of the water. Some days it's easier to leave the surf than others.

Q. Any tips for someone who might be thinking of trying to get a surf in before work?

Tyler - A consistent sleep schedule, along with a consistent morning and evening routine are HUGE in setting your day up for success. We all want to live a happy and healthy life - surfing and having a routine are both huge steps in the right direction. I read a book once talking about strategy and self-discipline from the perspective of a samurai warrior. He had a great quote, "once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things." In this case, once you understand the hurdles that set you and your mental health straight, you can see how that intervenes in all other aspects of your life.

Tyler, First Light Surf Club, Spotlight, Local surfer, before work, medical sales

Photography // Chase Viken @wavechase

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