Thalia Interview: Hans Hagen - The Village Never Sleeps
Posted on 20 April 2011
Here at Thalia Surf, we've always gone against the grain. When the surf industry is pushing forward a high performance generation, we try our best to preserve a surf lifestyle that better fits our way of life. Call it retro, call it alternative, we still just know it as surfing. Enter Hans Hagen a veteran Laguna surfer, who has lived in a house behind our shop since before we can remember. Known locally as the unofficial surf advocate, Hans is deeply rooted in this small town's surf scene. Through his connections in and out of the water, Hagen has had the unique opportunity of being able to document, one surfer at a time, the roots of Laguna surfing that has so quietly been spreading since the early 1930s. In a new series called The Village Never Sleeps, Hans will begin to look under the hood and reveal some of the characters and things that make up this towns surf culture. Through the upcoming stories, interviews, videos, private photo archives and more, Hagen will be able to publicly document the scene and it is our hopes at Thalia Surf this is something that everyone might dig. Peace...Corey.
TS: So Hans, tell us a little about your early years. How'd you end up here in Laguna?
HH: I WAS BORN IN LAGUNA IN THE EARLY 1970'S. MY PARENTS MOVED BACK FROM MAKAHA TO HAVE ME AND MY SISTER. I COULDN'T IMAGINE A BETTER ENVIRONMENT GROWING UP; OUR GENERATION HAD A GREAT RUN OF THE PLACE. MY DAD WAS A SURFER, OUR VW VAN WAS CONSTANTLY STACKED WITH BOARDS ROLLING SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BAJA AND BIG SUR.
TS: How did growing up here influence your surf career and where you're at today?
HH: THERE WAS A LOT OF ENERGY AT THE BEACH WHEN I WAS A GROMMET, BEING A PART OF THE PECKING ORDER WAS COVETED AND STILL IS TODAY. MARINATING IN THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THIS PLACE HAS DEFINITELY INFLUENCED MY OUTLOOK ON LIFE BUT THE SURF QUALITY HERE AT TIMES WAS SOMETHING TO BE DESIRED, SO NATURALLY IT HAD ME CHOMPING AT THE BITS TO GET OUT TO EXPERIENCE THE BEST WAVES IN THE WORLD.
TS: So that brings us to the present and a new series by you called 'The Village Never Sleeps'. Can you give us some background info about the title and your motivation behind this project?
HH: THERE SEEMS TO BE GREAT STORIES AROUND EVERY CORNER. LIKE ANY GREAT SURFING TOWN, SO MANY JOKERS LIVED OUT THEIR GLORY YEARS HERE SUCKING THE MARROW OUT OF ALL THIS PLACE HAS TO OFFER. I DON'T WANT TO SEE THE FUTURE GENERATIONS MISS OUT ON NOT KNOWING THESE CHARACTERS WHO BURNED BRIGHT BEFORE THEM. IT'S A GROUNDING EXPERIENCE TO EXPLORE THESE ROOTS... I SEE A HUGE VALUE IN THIS.
TS: What can we expect to find here in the future?
HH: MO MONEY, MO MONEY...NAW, HOPEFULLY A RENAISSANCE OF SOUL. PEOPLE ENJOYING LIFE NOT WORRYING ABOUT WHO'S CAR IS CLEANER. I DON'T KNOW, MAKE LIFE GRAND AND THE BEST THINGS ARE FREE!!
TS: Well Hans, we're stoked to be working with you and Vans and can't wait to see what you've got in store for everyone. Any parting words before we hand the mic over to you? What can we expect to find here in the future?
HH: I AM OVER THE MOON TO HELP BRING SOME OF OUR LOCAL SURFING CULTURES HISTORY TO LIFE. VANS IS SOO DOPE TO SEE A VALUE IN THIS!