Travis Hayes

    Travis Hayes

    I grew up in the small southern Maine coastal town of Falmouth. Reared in the drafty rooms of a 1730 colonial farm house, I was a child descended from Mayflower Pilgrims. We had a small wood stove and horse hair insulated walls; the lights would inexplicably turn off and on in the cold night, and you could hear mice scurrying in the walls.

    I spent weekends and vacations with family, predominantly on the water, often in a boat. Our grandparents owned a small cottage on Cliff Island, in Casco Bay, that my Great Grandfather, George Hodgkins, built in 1907. The cottage was built out of reclaimed wood scavenged from the Portland Customs House fire; wood that my Great Grandfather rowed 8 miles out to Cliff Island in his 18’ dory. My cousins and I spent our days exploring the island’s granite bluffs and sand beaches, fishing for stripped bass and bluefish off the wharf.

    A childhood on the water naturally led to my infatuation with surfing. I caught my first wave while attending college in Oregon in 1996. When I moved back to Maine in 2000, surfing became the focus of my life. I bought my first SUP in 2010, in order to have something to do when the surf went flat. Flat water paddling led inevitably to the surf and now I predominantly SUP surf.

    I started racing in 2015 as a way to add focus to my paddling. I have been fortunate to have had some success on the New England race circuit, but I mostly just love getting together with good people, and pushing my physical limits on the water.

    Last summer my family began our journey as summer caretakers of a small island off the coast of Cape Elizabeth. We spend our summers walking the grassy paths, picking wild raspberries, climbing the granite buttresses that meet the sea, and combing the beaches for treasure.

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