How Santa Cruz Waves Is Building A Community By Building A Business

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Since March of 2010, Santa Cruz Waves has been operating as an online community for the central coast surf haven, creating a resource for “ocean lovers of all ages, travelers looking to find a good bite to eat, party people, and locals.”

Largely ocean-focused, the site is meant to provide a local platform highlighting the culture of the area, which according to founder, Santa Cruz native and big wave charger, Tyler Fox, is full of talented individuals who decide to make Santa Cruz their home or travel destination. Read on to hear more from Fox about how the site is impacting one of California’s most beloved beach towns, steadily growing its traffic to over 10,000 viewers per month, and doing it all with a unique business model spawned from a night on the town in San Diego.

How did Santa Cruz Waves come about?

While out at a night club in San Diego with some friends, a photographer came up to us and asked if he could take a shot of our group. He then handed us a card for to view the shot online.  I checked it out and it brought about some great memories. I was like, “Why can’t this same idea be done with surfing or other sports?” This idea morphed with the idea that Santa Cruz was lacking an informative and entertaining website and out came, “SANTA CRUZ WAVES!”

What is the mission of Santa Cruz Waves?

Our mission at Santa Cruz Waves is to create an online hub that showcases the beauty and talent of the area while bringing the community together.

Here’s a sample of the amazing images Santa Cruz Waves captures from around the community, posts online, and makes available to the subjects and their friends:

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What is the need being filled by the site?

This area produces a tremendous amount of world class athletes, musicians, artists, restaurants, among other types of talented individuals that a lot of times slide under the radar. We shine a light on these people and places which can serve as a stepping stone for budding talent and new business.

The site also offers the everyday surfer, skateboarder, kite surfer, skim boarder or any other sport enthusiasts a chance to view and purchase a magazine quality photo of themselves, which in the past was only for the pros.  We shoot anyone who is enjoying themselves in their respected sport whether they’re eight-years-old or 80.

Are there any community outreach components to what you do? Events, etc?

Yes, we are big advocates of a healthy community and a clean environment. We’ve put on beach clean-ups and sponsored local contests and want to continue to collaborate with local non-profits and environmental organizations. We are actually having a big party on October 1st at Pono Island Grill which will serve as the official after party for the “Tick Off” Surf Contest. The event is being put on for local stand-out surfer, Neal Kearney, who for years has been suffering from the debilitating symptoms of Lyme Disease. There will be killer food, music, and raffle, with a portion of the proceeds going to Neal as well as Save Our Shores.

Even though there is a lot negativity, doubt, and turmoil in the world right now, people can still make a positive change. A lot of times it starts small; one community, one beach, one school. Little things can make a big difference and we strive to create a positive change starting right here at home; uniting community and supporting the local scene, the people and the economy to create a better place for everyone. People can check our website: www.santacruzwaves.com and also follow Santa Cruz Waves on our facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/santacruzwaves.

Who else is behind Santa Cruz Waves?

We operate with an enthusiastic and diverse team of writers, reporters, and photographers. Our team currently consists of Local Loop aficionado Brad King; businessman Jon Free; sales & marketing Sarah Blincoe; event planning Farrah Kemp; writer & promotions Angel Brown; staff photographer Jeff  “Kookson” Gideon; music & art writer Eliza Cole; among many other contributing writers and photographers.

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