Joe Bark does not tire easily. The Palos Verdes shaper / freediver / spearfisher / father / surfer / paddler / boardbuilder / husband is a study in fusing work and life and passion into one all-day marathon of doing what you love. And what Joe Bark loves is the ocean. Everything flows from there.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, a place teeming with surf and ocean history, Joe took his cues from surfing's "Greatest Generation" of boardbuilders, paddlers and shapers, salt-of-the-earth pioneer types from the '50s and '60s who cut the example the rest of us should follow. In 1983, intrigued by a small group of paddlers bent on resurrecting the then-defunct Catalina Classic (which had been dormant for 20 years), Joe paddled the race, and hasn't missed a race since. He won the event twice, in 1988 and 1989. 2013 was his 30th crossing.
But to focus on the crossings is to miss most of the Joe Bark story. He made himself his first paddleboard in 1976, and today, Joe Bark Paddleboards is widely recognized as the leading brand in the burgeoning ocean endurance community. He has a long and storied history as a surfer, riding big days at coveted and historic spots in Los Angeles, as well as heavy water Hawaiian breaks during his years living on the islands in his early 20s. When he's not paddling or surfing, he's diving for lobster, designing the newest, fastest craft in the shaping bay, spearfishing off Catalina, or raising his own children to embrace the waterman ethos he's been so integral in establishing in Southern California.
For Joe, it's not work, it's a life. He's up at four (that's a.m., to the rest of us), heading to his shop in Los Angeles, crafting some of the finest paddleboards, the most versatile surfboards, and the most cutting edge, stand-up paddleboards on the planet. And then he's on the water all day, doing what he loves.