David Rastovich on a life very well examined…
David “Rasta” Rastovich is the just-turned 35-year-old surfer famous for his environmental activism (Dolphins!) and endowed with a level of surfing that is as immaculate as his coca butter skin and glowing smile. What may not be so well-known is David doesn’t give a damn about what he says and is, therefore, a rare and intelligent interview.
Let’s learn more…
Nickname: Doc (his initials are DR), DR, Rasta, Ronavitch.
Music: I was in a collaboration project with (Cronulla surfer) Terapai Richmond, Ash Grunwald, the lead singer from King Tide and others. I played whatever I could, mainly percussion, to fit in. I’m into every kind of music except pop which I think is more about making money and fostering image. A favorite track is Golden Brown by the Stranglers. I like Ernest Ranglin and Loose Jam.
Romance: It’s about diversity on all levels. Being open-minded, creative, going interesting places and not doing clichéd, stereotypical things. It can be as simple as the way you talk and communicate with each other to sexual things.
Diet: Vegan. I eat organic and go to the local farmers markets every Tuesday. For 35 dollars I can eat for a week. I don’t drink or eat chocolate and I don’t support massive food chains that use pesticides and who unnecessarily ship foods to places that don’t need them.
Grooming: As long as my hairy ass is warm I’m good. I don’t want logos all over my threads. Obviously, no leather or animal fibres. Billabong have organic cotton products which I get around in. I dress practically as opposed to image based.
Haircare: I haven’t washed my hair in 10 years. Once, I got lice sleeping on a dank mattress in Mexico. I had to shave my head and use anti-lice shampoo. There was another time when I was in India with Taylor Steele and Dustin Humphrey. We were on a river ferry and my hair was long and seedy and we were bored so we washed it.
Weapon shape: Gary McNeill 5’10”, stringerless board with carbon rails, a pulled-in tail and a deep concave. It’s made out of a sugar cane substitute instead of polyurethane. It’s strong, fast and light.
Car: Toyota Troopie, which is insane for camping and tripping. And a beaten up Holden Rodeo for around home.
Movies: The Cove (a documentary about the wrangling and killing of dolphins in Japan) is amazing. I worked closely with that. I like films from Asia and the Middle East. Fantastic Planet is amazing and left field. You don’t know who the actors are, what’s gonna happen, it’s so new and fresh.
Fun: Mountain biking in the hills behind my house.
Liquor: Coopers Green pale ale. No preservatives, thick, lagery and smooth. There is a brand of Vejo-flavoured vodka made by 42 degree below. It’s a New Zealand fruit that I’m in love with.
Payment: Credit card so I can keep a record for tax purposes.
Confrontation: Not into it. I’ve been in the middle of it a few times. When someone is drunk or high on something I get rattled. But, being involved in conflicts in an environmental protest I love. I was in a Sea Shepherd confrontation in Ecuador and the one with fisherman in Japan. In those scenarios I can’t have any form of aggression. If you sit there peacefully it highlights their insanity.
Computer: Weathered old MacBook Pro. The CD doesn’t work and the keys are tweaked.
Indulgence: A few beers and sleep deprivation. It’s my fetish. I love how twisted and creative my mind gets after being awake for a couple of days. I don’t necessarily have alcohol or anything in my system but I enjoy that delirium you get into and how quirky and creative you get.
Surfing: I’m not in that world. I don’t see anyone surf anymore. Uncontrived, someone who lets it come out whether they’re on a bodyboard, goat-boat, shortboard, grandpa, little girl. Someone who lets it come out of them without controlling it or concocting their style and plan. Same with music.
Training: One hour of yoga a day. And an hour-and-a-half paddleboard session. And bike riding in the hills.
Spending: I don’t have any luxuries. I don’t buy CD’s cause I play music and I don’t buy shampoo cause I don’t wash my hair. Just chip away at a home loan.
TV: Don’t have one.
Airline: No preference. I don’t always pay for the carbon-offset program. It’s a bit funky, that, large offset programs where companies are selling old-growth forests to set up new ones. And this is supposed to give companies a good name for offsetting their carbon?
Pets: Brush turkeys and ibis birds and pelicans that roam around my house, but no pets.
Surf Psyche: Waves. I saw a video that got me more psyched to surf than any other – Searching For Michael Peterson. I’m from Burleigh where all those guys are from, and they use to be out there when I was a grommet.
Backside tube: No hands.
Education: I finished high school, but the things I value the most I have learned through travel. The essentials of learning to write, talk and communicate are the base. But, in terms of treating people, experience in life and appreciation of things, travel is the best education.
Wave: Anything empty really. I’m not a human’s human. I would rather surf waves that are less perfect with no one out there.