In late May, a few dozen holistic health-minded professionals gathered at a private residence in Newport Beach, CA, on a back deck overlooking a protected bird habitat/wetlands situated smack in the middle of Orange County.
There, they spent the day discussing, presenting, and exploring a variety of healing modalities, technologies, and topics, such as chiropractic, GMOs, the effect of vision on sports performance, and even the development of non-dominant hands and sides of the brain.
It was an unofficial holistic summit, of sorts, supported in part by Bob Hurley, who also presented alongside Endless Summer-er Pat O’Connell, talking about Hurley’s newfound focus on health and balance, and how that has led to a more successful and thriving surf team and company. And at the center of it all was the day’s host, the man behind the event—Tim Brown. So it’s no surprise that the event started with a group surf session across the road at 64th Street.
Tim Brown may not be a name that the average surfer would know, but considering his history, it probably should be. Tim started out as a college football player, but soon found his passion in the water, and ended up surfing on the Orange Coast College NSSA team.
After doing his undergraduate studies at the University of Redlands, he studied chiropractic at the Cleveland Chiropractic College and graduated in 1984. He worked his first ASP surf event later that year—the TDK Gotcha Pro—and has been with the ASP/WSL ever since, eventually becoming the co-medical director of the WSL (North America). In other words, he’s the guy who has kept your favourite competitive surfers in fighting shape for the past 30 years.
Spending an afternoon talking with Tim is the equivalent of diving down the rabbit hole of healthy living. The first time I met him, we covered more holistic topics in two hours than I’d discussed in the past year. We talked about diet, posture, hydration, ginastica, chi movement, positive mental focus, breathing, yoga, fascia release, and even Tim’s proprietary IntelliSkin shirts that help teach you proper body alignment.
And we talked about surfing, of course. Or more specifically, how all of these topics relate to surfing. He even rolled around on the ground for awhile, showing me the exercises that guys like current world champ John John Florence are using to keep themselves in shape. And this wasn’t even during his holistic health summit—this was just a normal Saturday afternoon, when I stopped through for a quick visit.
Tim’s knowledge about holistic health is only matched by his passion and energy for the topic, which probably explains why he has seen so much success in the sports medicine world. In addition to his work with the ASP/WSL, Tim has worked with Olympians, been the medical director of the AVP (pro volleyball association), and treated professional basketball, baseball, football, golf, and hockey players, as well as MMA figthers and extreme athletes in sports such as skateboarding and supercross.
He co-created the Hurley Performance Team, and consults with Red Bull athletes across just about every sport the brand sponsors. And to top it all off, he was named sports chiropractor of the year by the American Chiropractic Association in 1998. In other words, this guy gets around.
But despite the fact that he has worked with some of the biggest names in sports, what endears Tim to people is how excited he is to talk about health with the average punter. It doesn’t matter if you are a world champ or a weekend warrior. If you are interested, Tim is more than happy to talk health—which is exactly why his event in May was such a success.
And hopefully it won’t be the last of its kind. While this year’s event was by invitation only, and mostly involved health and sports professionals presenting to each other, Tim’s vision involves future events that are open to the public—to people in his community who are as excited and interested in holistic health as he is. And since his community includes everyone who surfs, that means any of us who are hoping to stay in the water for the rest of our lives.
Although his next event probably won’t be until next summer, Tim will be sharing some tips and ideas with us over the coming months to help us keep us from getting dry-docked by injury and imbalance. In the meantime, if you surf Newport Beach with any regularity, you are sure to see him in the water. Share a wave and chat the good doctor up—there’s no telling what you might learn.