T2TR X Glenice Venice
Curating the most entertaining surf reports
Aside from providing thousands of people with daily surf reports in his hometown of Venice, CA, Glenice Venice also advocates for inclusivity within the surf community, acting as a major proponent for LGBTQ surfers. Along with that, Glenice strongly urges people to adapt a sustainable perspective, saying "every surfer should be an environmentalist!"
Hey Glenice! How's it going?
Yew! What's up man.
Not much, just trying to stay busy. What have you been up to recently?
As of recently, launching my own merchandising line! I’m really stoked on that right now. With Covid being a huge delay to everybody’s lives, including my own, I have tried to stay focused on new projects, one of which is fashion. We’re releasing some new products soon, check them out at www.shopglenice.com !
That's epic, love the plug there haha. Let's take a couple steps back, tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Yeah. I was born and raised in Santa Monica, just off of Ocean Park. You know, I was a teenager during the late 70’s, who grew up across the street from dogtown legends. I was that kid with big glasses, fashion-forward style, bombing hills. During such a transitional time in skating, I was right in the middle of it.
I can imagine. Dogtown created a big movement, not just locally but globally as well. How was school at that time, I assume you went to SAMO [Santa Monica] High, right?
Long story short, after a difficult first semester, I ended up at the alternative school [Olympic]. Being surrounded by a lot of tough kids, and being an out-of-the-closet teen, I definitely did not have a lot of sympathy from others. With my fashion and music taste, though, I found a connection to the black kids in my classes. That is what sort of led to my love for music.
I can imagine that being a difficult time to come out, especially with a social paradigm shift. So besides the skating, music, and fashion-loving Glenice, when did you get into surfing?
It’s a funny story actually, I was really into bodyboarding (also known as boogie boarding). In fact, I started competing up and down the coast. Eventually, because of this guy I had a crush on(he goes unnamed because he is a famous chef now), I was convinced to switch crafts and try out surfing. Being a beach-loving skater, it kind of came naturally and I fell in love with it.
What a time to start surfing in LA. What was the scene in the water like?
Territorial, aggressive, shitty. All of the above haha. I only stuck to surfing Santa Monica because I lived there, stepping into Venice as a surfer was a big mistake. You know, this was a time when V-13, Venice Suicidal, and other gangs were running the streets.
So when did you start surfing Venice?
Early 2000’s. I luckily had my friends in Venice who would have my back if I went out.
So then I assume you didn’t start reporting immediately?
Well, way before Instagram, I was already walking to the pier every morning for my own sake. It was a great excuse to walk my dog Stewy, rest in peace, and update my friends on how the waves were. Honestly, having Stewy was like a right of passage and encouraged me to wake up and walk him every morning. Shortly after Instagram became a thing, I would put up photos of the waves every morning and got some positive, and some negative, feedback.
Yeah, how did the locals feel about you putting up photos of the spot?
As I said, there were some people who were mad about it, but I had support from most of the locals so that justified it.
I love the idea of it, a great excuse to wake up early and get out. Did the instagram take off immediately and gain traction?
Not right away, but instagram releasing the video feature most definitely helped out. It was interactive, featured local surfers, you know.
Having mentioned notoriety for yourself, and exposure for local surfers, I feel like you have really helped the local community a lot. With that said, are there local movements that you have also advocated for?
I want to be a voice for the community for sure, and I hope I have been. I support locals, I support BLM, Heal The Bay, A Walk On Water, and I try to emphasize these movements in my daily reports. Concerning environmental advocacy, I will say “pick up your trash Venetians,” especially with all of the plastic floating in our local waters.
Pollution, in and out of the water, is everywhere. It’s hard to voice your opinion and have cooperation from everybody, but spreading the message is very important. Do you participate in the local beach cleanups?
Yeah! I try to make it as much as possible, and sometimes DJ for their events, but also find it important to pick up trash everytime I surf. I am so grateful for that front zip wetsuit pocket! If I see a piece of trash, I won't be able to take my eyes off of it.
Love to hear it! On the topic of the environment, anything to add about our local waters? I know I've seen a shit ton of trash here.
Look, the way I see it is that we (surfers) love it more than anybody. We should be the ones cleaning out our waters if we’re surfing in them everyday. Every surfer is an environmentalist in a way. That’s kind of my PSA on all of this.
Most definitely. As you know we like to keep everything environmentally friendly with T2TR, from packaging to clothing. On that topic, can you tell us a little about our collaborative design?
Yeah! I’m really stoked on this. You know, as I already said, we as surfers have an obligation to keep our waters clean. Locally and globally. So that being said, the phrase “every surfer should be an environmentalist” applies best. We have a great graphic of a wave that is littered with trash, and the pier in the background. We have a lot of shit in our waters here (laughs), but that doesn't mean we can’t do anything about it!
I love the message, and I think it goes beyond local action. We should work on cleaning all of the oceans, one beach at a time. To finish it off Glenice, can you tell me what being “true to your roots” means to you?
I was waiting for this question (laughs). In my personal life, I came out when I was sixteen. That was a big part of me, coming out. So in a sense, living your own truth is what is most important. Speaking your truth too! You know, advocating for equality, whether it is social, environmental, and so on and so forth. So, that's what being true is for me.
I agree with you. Being true to what you believe, no matter what challenges or consequences you might face. Glenice, thank you.
Thank yewwww! Hope people can find a silver lining within this design and enjoy the products!
Stoked! For anybody looking to check out the best surf report, follow @glenice_venice , and check out the clothing below!