The family that plays together stays together. An interview with a brother sister duo that’s become surfing’s most promising and comers turned into full fledged admiration and family envy. A few hours with the McGills and you’ll want to be adopted, for real. As I tour their North Shore home complete with velvet paintings, antiques, a downstairs half pipe, personal photography studio, tire swing, and outdoor living room, I begin to see just how their lifestyles are breeding the next big things in competitive surfing. Welcome to McGillville.
Mike McGill, head of the family has the essence of a punk rocker, reminding me of Mike Ness (lead singer of Social Distortion). He welcomes me into his home and cracks me open a Heineken. I, of course, accept and become a fly on the wall in full observance of their family life and lifestyle. McGill has just wrapped a shoot on the East coast of Oahu as his wife, Lindsay, strides in looking like a fitness model, tall, blond, athletic build with a smile that lights up a room. The couple is gorgeous and for lack of a better word: cool. Mike is a well known photographer who’s photographed the likes of Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Britney Spears, and Mandy Moore to name a few. And Lindsay’s got her own production company called Minnow 11 where she’s worked with Annie Leibovitz and Tom Munro (both bigwigs in the world of fashion photography). I snoop around their house, riffling through their family calendar that hangs on their bright red 50’s style refrigerator. Dax, 14 and Finn, 12, are showing their presence in the surfing world winning titles and making a name for themselves. I admire the trophies that line their rooms and begin to fully understand that I’m in the presence of the famous before they are famous.
I always admired people who knew what they wanted to do at such an early age. But what’s more awesome is the family that supports and uplifts the dreams of their inner circle. For a photographer and a fashion shoot producer Hawaii isn’t perhaps the most beneficial place for their careers. However, putting the already budding careers of their children first is paying off. Dax, 14, and Finn, 12, have won the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s competition for each of their age groups in 2011 not to mention Dax’s brought home a win in her first overseas competition in Panama in April for the ISA (International Surfing Association). She became the second youngest to win the title in the 18 and under division. There’s no stopping her there, she’s bound for reigning the surfing world, blogging for Foam magazine, being buzzed about all over the surfosphere, and being stunningly beautiful doesn’t hurt either. And Finn isn’t too far behind ruling in his divisions and staying on track towards surfing star.
LINDSAY: same – it’s amazing.
FAV THING ABOUT HAWAII:
DAX: The waves. Seeing the Van’s Triple Crown in front of our eyes.
LINDSAY: It’s a bit like a playground, like we’re at some fun ‘adult recess’.
FINN: It’s beautiful, beautiful people and waves.
MIKE: Slow drivers, the people and their lust for life & the focus on friends and family.
FAV ALBUM TO LISTEN TO RIGHT NOW:
DAX: I like different music for different things. Sometimes I like to listen to music that pumps me up – like old eminem. Sometimes I like to dance, sometimes I like to listen to Uncle Jack to cruise.
LINDSAY: I’m a dork. Prairie Home Companion from Garrison Keillor. Or maybe HONK.
FINN: The Buzzcocks, Goons of Doom, New York Dolls, Jack Johnson
MIKE: Anything Bowie, The Pixies
FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FAMILY:
DAX: That we all surf together.
LINDSAY: That & the total, complete chaos. I know these years don’t last forever. So I’m going to ride the horse in the direction it’s going…
FINN: We all skate and surf together
MIKE: They are my best friends!
WHAT DO YOU HOPE COMES OUT OF SURFING SOMEDAY?
DAX: me as world champ. haha. i love how music, art and surfing kind of blend together.
LINDSAY: hmmmm….I love innovation combined with power. I’m a fan of ‘sports theory’. I love the fact that you can take the old russian sport system approach to surfers and the formula just doesn’t work. the most trained surfer isn’t always the best. there’s that ‘X’ factor….
FINN: To surf on the ASP & surf for a living, that’d be siiick
MIKE: To surf with Dax and Finn’s kids someday
WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOU ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS:
DAX: Lots of traveling. I love everything about travel. Hopefully win some more NSSA titles, add to my bag of tricks and hopefully storm the ‘CT someday.
LINDSAY: perfect my 1-1-2-3 combo. Plant a garden.
FINN: Grow a mustache, win a junior pro
MIKE: Still be kickin’
DOES HAVING A SIBLING THAT’S A COMPETITIVE SURFER HELP IN YOUR OWN COMPETITION, AND HOW?
DAX: Yes. Finn pushes me to charge harder, try new tricks, and basically surf more like the boys. But it does get annoying if he cuts me off.
FINN: For sure, if they do somethng good, barrels, airs— I try to do it better.
WHO’S YOUR HERO?
DAX: In surfing – Carissa because she’s so innovative. In life? Anyone who can make it when everyone says they can’t.
FINN: My parents, they let me do so many fun things and Bill Murray.
SPONSORS (SAME FOR BOTH):
VOLCOM, NIKE, T&C SURF, ELECTRIC, VESTAL, CREATURES, BUBBLE GUM WAX
DAX AND FINN: Since I was in my mom’s belly.