Stephen Houser didn’t grow up surfing. But once he discovered the sport while in deployment in Morocco in 2011, he quickly became committed to a lifetime of riding waves.
After returning home from Morocco, Houser bought a surfboard and began making regular trips to the Jersey Shore from his home in Pennsylvania in order to surf. Once he was discharged from the US Marine Corps, Houser became a special education teacher, freeing up his schedule and allowing him to get in plenty of ocean time on weekends.
“My wife saw that I was becoming more and more upset when I wasn’t near the ocean,” says Houser. “So we decided to leave everything behind and sold our house in 2018. We moved away from our families and bought a new house to start a life in New Jersey. Saying I have the most supportive wife someone could ask for is an understatement.”
A longtime lover of film and making short movies, it was only natural that Houser began documenting his new life as a surfer. He started putting together short vlogs centered around surfing, skating, family life, and much more and posting them to his YouTube channel.
When Houser got connected with TANDM Surf founder John Clark, they quickly hit it off. Houser had the chance to try all of the different TANDM boards including the inflatable bodyboard, the Double Barrel, and the SIT + SUP. He quickly became a fan and set up a demo so others could try the boards and made them the focus of some of his YouTube videos.
“I’ve ridden all the boards and every board is different, but I have to say that the bodyboard is my favorite,” says Houser. “My daughter loves to swim in the ocean and try to surf but after one bad surfing wipeout, she became a little scared to try surfing again. But when we are on the TANDM bodyboard together, the fear goes away—the same happens when we paddle too. It really has increased our time on the water together. Even my wife is stoked to get out there!”
According to Houser, New Jersey has a storied surf history dating back to the 50’s when Ron Jon brought three surfboards from California and sold them in New Jersey. New Jersey gets heavy waves in the wintertime, making it a great surf and bodyboard destination. As a surfer, Houser has noticed a lot of local parents wanting to get their kids in the water but limited by the cost and time commitment of surf lessons. As a parent, Houser is a big fan of the TANDM bodyboard as a safe an easy way to help his kids get comfortable in the ocean and on waves.
“TANDM Surf is all about spreading the stoke, positive energy, and enjoying surfing,” says Houser. “TANDM Surf offers a more comfortable way for kids to get in the water and not be afraid of surfing by allowing an adult to surf with them comfortably. Being a father with a huge passion for surfing, I’ve always wanted to share that with my kids. I couldn’t be happier to represent such a good cause.”