Damien Hobgood – ex Pro Surfer

Damien Hobgood Surfing Magazine 2013

My husband and I met former pro surfer Damien Hobgood through a mutual friend. On a whim, Damien agreed to surprise my husband for our wedding anniversary with some friends at Amor Boutique Hotel in Sayulita MX. Damien had big dreams of surfing professionally in high school, when that wasn’t even a thing. He chased that dream and surfed on the tour for 14 years, then followed that up riding big waves in the World Surf League.

We talk about the early days of pro surfing…when no one even thought it was possible to earn a living chasing waves. Damien has deeply-held convictions about integrity and being true to yourself and your family’s beliefs. As a Christian man, he learned life’s most important lessons from his mom. 

Throughout his career, he’s dealt with big brands, sponsors, and promoters, which gave him plenty of opportunities to learn about the corporate world, which he’s now taken into his career in wealth management. He continues to collaborate with brands like Salty Crew and surf-related operations like Desert Surf, an artificial wave surf park slated to open in Palm Desert in 2023.

Damien shares the many transferable lessons from sports to the corporate world. If you love surfing, are curious about what it was like growing up in that culture, or want to hear Damien’s perspective of meeting challenges head on, you’ll learn so much and more  on this interesting episode of MENTOR dna

Damien Hobgood 2022
Damien Hobgood at Freshwater Financial
Damien Hobgood on a fishing excursion with Salty Crew
Damien Hobgood on a fishing excursion
Damien Hobgood Surfing Magazine 2013

About Damien Hobgood

Damien Hobgood is a professional surfer from Satellite Beach, FL. He and identical twin brother, CJ, started surfing at a very young age as they tried to keep up with their dad past the whitewash breaks.

Damien always dreamt of being a pro surfer, even writing about it in high school, where his teacher said “You can’t do that! There isn’t such a thing!” But in fact, the pro surfing circuit was just starting and Kelly Slater was paving the path. Upon graduating high school, Damien tried to qualify for the pro tour, missing out on a spot to CJ, but that didn’t deter Damien. In fact, he prayed and made a promise to God that if he made the tour, he’d give his life to the Lord. He kept at it and qualified for the tour the following year in an incredible competition in Brazil. As he stood on an empty beach after his win, he remembered his promise to God and committed his life to Him at that point. 

Damien and CJ both surfed for Rusty and started to receive a lot of coverage in surf and mainstream media like  Surfer Magazine, USA Today and Rolling Stone.

Damien won 2000 World Championship Tour rookie of the year and was also the 2004 Quiksilver Pro Fiji Winner, 2005 Santa Catarina Pro Winner, 2006 Globe Fiji Pro Winner, 2007 Billabong Pro Tahiti Winner. He’s famous in the surfing world for holding one of the highest two-wave scores in pro surfing by scoring 19.9 out of 20 in the 2004 Quiksilver pro where he defeated Andy Irons.

Damien surfed on the  World Championship Tour for 14 years then went on to compete on the 2015 World Surf League’s Big Wave Tour. In 2019, in conjunction with a documentary about their lives “And Two If by Sea,” the WSL held an honorary Heritage Heat for Damien and CJ to compete against each other at the Hurley Tahiti Pro, a spot where they both still hold titles as the most winning professional surfers of all time. 

Damien has since retired from surfing professionally and continues to work with lifestyle brand Salty Crew. He’s also involved with DSRT Surf, a world-class wave pool resort slated to open in Palm Desert in 2023. Damien is a doting father of three beautiful children and has now transitioned his career into wealth management with Freshwater Financial in San Diego, CA.

Gary Addeo – Pastor, Sales Lead, AAA Pitcher

Gary Addeo

Gary Addeo is a mentor that’s poured into my life in such rich and impactful ways, that I struggle to understand how he does it for so many other people, too. He came into my life as a bible study leader when my husband and I first met and has since been such an incredible friend to our entire family, guiding us in spiritual matters, helping with parenting questions, and acting as a sound board for some of life’s biggest decisions. 

Gary truly has a servant’s heart and has touched thousands of lives; church members, clients from his printing days, and homeless people he meets and shepherds. Tune in as he shares stories about his start in the minor leagues as a pitcher, having to walk away from his life’s dream to play in the MLB, to his 4th career buying land for a regional logger and developer in the Pacific North West.     

About Gary Addeo

Gary Addeo started his career as a pitcher playing AAA baseball. After tearing his rotator cuff during spring training one year, he had to make a tough decision. He decided to pursue a different avenue and entered into a 36-year career in sales in the printing and typesetting industry. 

After nearly four decades commuting from Orange County to all parts of Southern California, Gary’s doctors warned him that the long commutes and stress were significantly impacting his health. Gary volunteered in his local churches through his adult years and felt called to pursue ministry full time.  An exciting and lifelong-dream to become a community pastor presented itself and he jumped! 

Gary spent much time helping friends, family and strangers in need. He’s an incredible prayer warrior and knows the Word and exactly how to reference the right scriptures. He and his family have hosted countless people and families in their own homes, including professional surfers and skateboarders who moved in and out of the Volcom house in Newport Beach in its earliest days.

He led life groups and recovery ministries for 8 years at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa. As leadership changed at the church, he also saw the writing on the wall. It was evident that that he was being called away from Southern California. To his friends, this seemed impossible. How could a man who grew up surfing and loving the beach so much move away!?

But family duties called. He and his wife made the move to the Pacific Northwest, where he started a new chapter working for his son-in-law in timber sales and land development. Gary’s calm demeanor immediately puts anyone at ease, and his friendly approach has served him well through all of his years in sales.