PIPELINE: Chris Stimpfl
Surf future looking up for Chris Stimpfl
by Mike Purpus
It’s a picturesque, four-foot, offshore, low tide beautiful afternoon looking more like Waikiki Beach than the Palos Verdes Cove. Ben Fortun and I are stroking out after a few go-behinds on an outside left when this 4-foot blond, goofy-foot, grommet fly’s off the top right in front of us. Ben turns and say’s “You got to do a story on this kid”. The kid’s all smiles when I ask him to check with his parents to see if we can talk.
Stimpfl lives in Redondo’s Rivera section and started surfing on his own at Rat Beach when he was 9 years old. “I just started on my own riding this beat up $50 Ed Sakal Bullet Model. I bought it at Dive n’ Surf and they let me paddle it around their diving lesson pool to make sure it still floated.”
Stimpfl moved on to a 5-foor-2 Brog tri fin from Soul Performance Surf Shop. Today Chris rips on his quiver of 4-foot-10 Lost Driver, 4-foot-11 Lost Scorcher and 4-foot-10” Doc Sea Hawk.
“ET always helps me out every time I walk in there,” he explained. Body Glove has also been a big supporter, he added
Stimpfl was 12 years old when he competed for his first time in the Christian Surfing Federation Contest at Torrance Beach.
“It was a pretty big deal for me just to make the semis because there were some pretty heavy pros in the contest,” he said.
Last year Stimpfl competed in the South Bay Boardriders Surf Contests and finished third overall in the 16 and under division. He hopes to do better this year with his new layback maneuver. He practices almost everyday at Torrance Beach with Ron Sannes, Vince Podegracz, Kyle Beaty and the rest of the crew. He loves Trestles where the rights are perfect for his roundhouse cutbacks and new backside airs.
Last month the South High surf team rider won the boys shortboard division at the South Bay Surf League Classic at the Hermosa Beach pier.
Stimpfl has been to Hawaii’s North Shore where he really got into the Rocky Point lefts and Velzylands hollow rights. He caught Jaco’s good in Costa Rico but spent most of the time worrying about the crocodiles.
Stimpfl looks up to Matt Pagan and Alex Grey because they always help him out in the water.
“Matt trains harder than any surfer getting all his maneuvers down to perfection. Alex Grey has more guts than any surfer. He is constantly chasing the biggest waves around the world.”
Stimpfl said that he hasn’t had any near death experiences yet but has gotten a lot of stitches in his head going for big airs. ER