Greg Long is one of the world’s best Big Wave surfers. His got his edge not just from his physical ability, comfort with risk and skill on the water; he was literally born to be a surfer. His father was a lifeguard and took young Long and his brother surfing, exposing them to the sport and the surfing community when they were children. This is a typical story in that industry. When I went to the Big Wave Surfing Risk Assessment Group, a risk conference for surfers, nearly all the famous surfers there grew up in the business.
In my research I meet a lot of people who do unusual jobs, from inseminating horses to bounty hunting. The first thing I ask is, “How did you get into this line of work?” and most of the time I get one answer (always said with pride): “My father.”