Introducing David Santiago: Degree33 Team Rider - Hilo, Hawaii

November 03, 2014 2 Comments

Life is about relationships. What makes you human is the way you interact with those around you. Every once in a long while, you make a unique and exciting connection with someone that you know will, without a doubt, have a positive effect on your compassion and stoke for living. Good people like this come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they’re right in front of you, other times they’re half way across the largest ocean on the planet. Once that connection is made, your smile gets bigger, your turns get cleaner, your laugh, richer. David is that kind of connection. The stoke that permeates the air he breathes is incredible. Simply put, David is one of the boys now, and we’re AMPED.

David came to us on a longshot… putting himself out there in a genuine and authentic manner. He hails from Puerto Rico, a culture-rich, humble and proud island of people that just so happens to have some of the best waves in all of the Caribbean and Middle Atlantic Oceans. I know, I’ve been there, and I got it GOOD!

After growing up in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, the Atlantic-exposed northeastern corner of the island, and having an incredible ambition for pushing his surfing to the next level, David relocated to the states where he surfed for a number of reputable surf and lifestyle companies. After a few years of living the pro surfer life he began settling down, stepping away from contests and surf travel, and started a family with his lovely Hawaiian bride, starting their family with little Luna. They’re expecting their 2nd little one in March so David is on his fresh custom, getting into daddy daycare shape! David and his family have made Hilo, Hawaii their home(his wife's stomping grounds) for the past 3. 5 years. If there’s one thing about Hawaiian culture that is a staple of island lifestyle, it’s this; to gain respect in the islands, you MUST give respect, treating others better than you treat yourself. David is that guy, so it’s safe to say, he’s a big contributor of love in his new hometown. That’s safe to say ANYWHERE David goes!


David Santiago - Home Break: Honoli'i from Degree33 on Vimeo.

Back to how we met David. He’d read our story, our team rider introductions, our employee interviews and really believed in the way we treat our customers. Nobody offers payment plans or exchanges the way we do; that really offers new surfers a fair chance at joining the surf culture, an idea that’s really the staple of what D33 is all about. David emailed us his resume and just a big appreciation for what we do. From there, Holly and I did our research and found that photos and video amply backed up his resume, even more, it got us EXCITED to know more. After I gave him a call for the first time and we spoke for a solid hour, the gratitude and compassion told me he HAD to become a part of D33. We talked story about where we surf, who we love, the dreams we have, what life means to us... and a whole lot matched up.

Scoot forward to today. David’s got his new custom T9 all waxed up, he’s gotten a half dozen waves on it, and he still can’t believe we sent him a freshy across the pacific designed specifically for him and his home spot of Honoli’i. We’re extremely excited to see what he can do on it and cement this new shape into our lineup as the new step-down shortboard for the intermediate to advanced rider. More than anything, we’re just excited to share our lives with someone as stoked as David. I think he even calls me almost every other day just to say hi. Who does that? David Santiago, that’s who.

To finish up. We want to introduce our newest team rider, our first surfer outside of San Diego, David “Vampiro” Santiago. Keep an eye out for awesome footage on his new ride, simple cross-training fitness out of the water, healthy lifestyle tips, and more importantly, a whole lotta love coming out of Hilo, Hawaii. Welcome to the Team David, the future looks bright!

2 Responses

Luis Diaz
Luis Diaz

October 05, 2016

Wow cousin last time I saw you, You were about 10. I am very happy for you and your beautiful family. congratulations on your surfing skills you’ve come a long way since I last saw you learning how to surf at the age of 10. La pared in Luquillo, PR. Is our home town and a great place to surf. God bless you and your beautiful family..


February 11, 2015

Vampiro.. Blessings to you and your family I’m very happy for you and proud to say that a decent, humble guy like yourself came from luquillo Puerto Rico..

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