MICK RODGERS aka MR RODGERS NEIGHBORHOOD | A CITIZEN OF THE SLIDE
Posted on February 9, 2015 by Trace
M I C K R O D G E R S
Mick resides in Encinitas, California and has been captured by local photographers, as well as featuring in several videos carving up waves in his ‘neighborhood’ & rolling around in his vintage Chevrolet utility.
We have been entranced by his super fluid style for many moons now. We had some questions for him…
— C I T I Z E N S
O F T H E S L I D E
NOT SO ORDINARY CITIZENS INTERVIEW —
Mick and his van [top] by Aaron Kim
Photo above by James Parry [signed by Mick, print available to purchase via his website here]
Photo above by Nathan Oldfield & web
HC: We read that you grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles, CA where you learnt to ride a singlefin under your father’s guidance. You now call Encinitas in San Diego County home. Tell us about the moniker @mrrodgers_neighborhood.. Does this refer to the neighborhood you surf? How did this evolve… and is it funny to you, that you’re thought of as “Mister” Rodgers?
MR: Yeah growing up my Pops was definitely my biggest influence, he was always riding 60’s influenced longboards and always had a smooth casual approach. Naturally the whole family followed suit as far as equipment, so I never thought anything of it…to me longboards were just the norm. I moved down to North County SD about 8 years ago for schooling, and bounced around living in the different coastal communities there, throughout that time. I found Encinitas with its mellow/cruisey vibe and the areas ability to provide frequent rideable waves throughout the yearto be the spot for me. There used to be a popular children’s program called ‘Mister Rogers Neighborhood’. Its pretty iconic in the States, known for its gentle host Mr Rogers who helped children with understanding and coping with the world haha. Its got a classic intro song and catch phrase “wont you be my neighbor”, just played off that for my moniker…more of a joke than anything, but I started thinking long after I started it that maybe other people around the world weren’t too sure what I was playing off. So yeah, I think its pretty funny being refered to as Mister Rodgers, but I’ll take it ha.
Oceanside Pier by Samuel Glazebrook
Another of Mick’s sponsors Otis Eyewear
HC: According to your bio on Bing Surfboards you have learnt a lot about respecting the locals and knowing your rank within the lineup. How does this effect your time in the water at your home break and likewise do you take this ethic to wherever in the world you are surfing?
MR: I grew up surfing in the South Bay, and the locals pretty much demanded respect…if you didn’t give it, there was a good chance you’d have some issues. So pretty much if you were going to surf you had to figure out a few things about reading the line-up and knowing who had put in their time and deserved waves more than you did. This is something definitely lost in todays current mainstream (social media fueled) surfing culture. There are so many more people these days getting into surfing that are not getting a background on surfing history, and proper edict in the water. But by the looks of it there’s not much that can be done about it, so I just try to stick to what I was raised by and not let it bother me too much.
Photo above Aaron Kim
MR: But you’ll find if you treat locals with proper respect, there is a much higher chance you’ll have it returned. I was fortunate enough to meet a talented local surfer Robyn McGinnis, at a spot I was frequenting when I first moved to the area. After putting in my fair share of time at the spot, we began to form a friendship, and after time found she had a strong connection with Bing Surfboards. She introduced me to the gang at Bing and got me riding their boards; got my foot in the door so to speak. If it wasn’t for her getting the ball rolling there’s a strong possibility I wouldn’t be talking to you folks today. Respect the Locals.
Photo by Aaron Kim with Mele Saili a fellow Bing rider (you can have the next one!)
HC: We came to think of you and your 1966 Chevrolet as a team..was it hard to part ways?
MR: Honestly I’m not too bummed the truck is gone. It was a great time while it lasted, but old cars are high maintenance and not the best suited for long distance exploring… that’s why I bought the van. Its currently my home and have been enjoying the ability to jet off whenever I please, as well as the simpler life it offers.
Photo from the ‘All Neighborhood’ surf film by Soren Heil featured above Mick’s story
Photo of Mick [L] with James Parry [R] via Bing Surfboards
HC: Where is your favourite travel destination? And if you could surf somewhere you haven’t been to yet…where?
MR: I wouldn’t say I have a favorite destination at the moment, but I have really been enjoying my recent trips out to Australia. There’s just a different style of wave over there that we don’t get to sample as much living in Southern California…and the warm water is a bonus as well. I was also fortunate to check out Japan last year which was quite the experience… just so much to see, and the city was next level. The top of my list of new places to check out would definitely be New Zealand. The combination of awe-inspiring landscape/remote beaches seems too good not to make an effort to try and visit…one day
Photo of Mick [top] via James Parry & via TCSS [above]
Photo via Ruwac Productions from movie ‘Longboard Surfing Mr Rodgers’ watch here
HC: Name one person that you believe has most influenced your surfing style.
MR: I’d say Knost for sure. His approach to riding a wave is so different then most, by far the most entertaining to watch. It was something about the speed at which he moved and variation he threw in, that really drew me in…I grew up surfing super fast/dumpy beach-break, so it made sense to try and speed up my surfing in order to make the most out of the waves I was riding on a regular basis. I think that if you ask anyone today in the current scene, they’ll say Knost had some influence on them, one way or another…he’s the Guy.
Photos above by Bryan Timm
HC: Yearning for a surf at which Australian break?
MR: Been itching to give Byron a whirl…heard lots of good things. No rocks is a plus.
HC: Tell us about your relationship with TCSS.
MR: My relationship with TCSS is great, couldn’t ask to represent a cooler deal. I started my relationship with the crew about 3 years ago when I was introduced by my boss Margaret over at Bing. At this time the company was still relatively new, and thought it would be cool to be apart of an emerging brand. Its amazing to see how much growth has occurred from the time I got on, until now.
Photo above by James Parry
MR: It seems that with each release of the latest lines the product continues to refine and develop the TCSS signature…which in my opinion is a unique feel, with an attention to detail. The fellas over at TCSS are top-notch folks, and really hands on with every aspect of the company. This makes it a great experience for myself because I get to be in constant communication with the guys running the show, and gives you more of a feeling that you are actually apart of the crew, and can lend your input. I’m just happy being hooked up with a company like TCSS because they’re encouraging us just to live our lives, and they’ll come along for the ride… no pressure no demands. Excited to see what the future holds.
Big thanks to TCSS and Bing for all the support so far.
Photo [top] by Bryan Timm
HC: What else is in the pipeline for Mr Rodgers?
MR: Currently working on a few film projects with amigo Soren Heil, look to get those all squared away in the near future. (Soren created the video above, check it out) Looking forward to the upcoming Noosa Fest, and catching up with some of the boys from around the world. Been working with Matt Calvani over at Bing Surfboards on fine tuning my model…making some tweaks and subtle improvements. Hoping to keep the ball rolling, having the passport in action and continue to focus on pushing my surfing…enjoy the ride.
Follow Mick on instagram ↱ @mrrodgers_neighborhood ↰
See the Mr Rodgers model Longboard by Bing
↱ here ↰
See more Citizens of the Slide
↱ h e r e ↰