The former pro surfer who’s become a creative tour de force.
Peter King is one of surfing’s most charismatic characters and a creative tour de force. He’s best known today as the man behind the award-winning web series Tour Notes: a raw, behind-the-scenes look at life on the Championship Tour. But whether he’s following The Tour or not, King is always embedded with surfing’s vanguard.
The former pro surfer himself came out of La Jolla, California. He grew up at Windansea in the late 70s in the shadow of local legends like Chris O’Rourke and Bill Caster. But it was Richard Kenvin, the 1979 Stubbies Pro winner, who helped Peter develope his surfing. Meanwhile, his older brothers schooled him on La Jolla’s unwritten codes of coolness, like the importance of playing in a band.
Peter’s colorful personality mirrors both his hometown and that unique time in surf history. As his skills in the water progressed his entertaining nature opened doors. At 17, he appeared in Chris Bystrom’s groundbreaking movie Beyond Blazing Boards. After turning pro he was featured on Surfer magazine covers and appeared in a handful of high-profile Billabong videos that also included his music.
He’s been playing music longer than he can remember but helped form the band Dakoda Motor Co in 1991. (They’ve reunited in 2019.) King was Bob Hurley’s leading creative force for more than three decades and still works with the brand. He’s been an MTV game show host, a band member with Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, and a producer for Clark Little and John John Florence on TV shows and movies.
In short, King is a gem of a personality in our surfing world. Though he’s firmly entrenched behind-the-scenes today, his institutional insight, influence, and knowledge make him a sought after creative force. And fortunately for us, Peter loves to speak his mind. That makes for a fun interview, so I hope you enjoy. – Chris Mauro