Our Founder, James Pribram
James Pribram is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer, John Kelly Environmental Award winner and recipient of the 2011 Laguna Beach Patriots Day Athlete of the Year Award. His written work has appeared in the LA Times, Surfer’s Path, Surfing, Surfer, Water and numerous additional publications worldwide.
“I’ve won a lot of trophies and awards before but none more meaningful to me than this one. It sits right there proudly on the mantel above my fireplace and no matter how many great places in the world I've been lucky enough to experience, there will never be another more special to me than Laguna Beach."
Pribram is an active environmental leader in his community having served on the Laguna Beach Water Quality and Environmental Committees. He later co-founded The ECO-Warrior Foundation, a grass roots organization which is dedicated to protecting the world's oceans, beaches and sea life.
Pribram also is the owner and operator of Aloha School of Surfing, teaching aspiring surfers of all ages the power of surf stoke. Pribram’s Surfing Soapbox column appears weekly in Laguna Beach’s Coastline Pilot Newspaper.
Pro Surfer since 1990, two time NSSA National Team Member, High school State Champion, (2001) 9th place Billabong Pro Panama, 2nd place Billabong Pro Panama Team Challenge, 5th place Costa Rica Billabong Pro.
“What’s Special about surfing is that it has this power to save people and maybe even places too.”
“Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be sought after and achieved.”
“Life is nothing less than a series of come backs. Either physically, psychologically or monetarily. It’s not how you get knocked down but whether or not you get back up? I’ve been knocked down so many times that I’m almost use too it, and have become stronger and more driven as a result I can honestly say that I have never given up-on anything.”
“It is in these times that I am at my best and thrive in overcoming those obstacles that have been placed before me. Because without adversity what is life? Nothing, because the true test of life is and individual's will to persevere... Don’t ever give up.”
PLAYING IT FORWARD
Through his involvement as a spokesman and ambassador for the Costa Verde International School in Sayulita, Mexico: James shares the importance of protecting our oceans. This message is shared with children everywhere.
SOUTH ATLANTIC GYRE
James Pribram and 5 Gyres Institute researchers embarked on the world’s first voyage of its kind in November of 2010, to demonstrate that every ocean around the globe is polluted with plastic garbage harming marine wildlife and posing a threat to human health.
The 5 Gyres team, lead by co—founders Marcus Eriksen, PhD and Anna Cummins, sailed from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, South Africa on the first transatlantic Southern Hemisphere plastic–pollution research trip. The 13—member crew of researchers, journalists and others studied the South Atlantic Gyre first hand and showed the world that the scourge is not just confined to a single mythical “Texas—size garbage patch.”
THE ECO WARRIOR PROJECT
In 1997 James Pribram came close to death after developing a staph infection after giving a surf lesson at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California. That brush with death was a turning point in Pribram’s life. he had already begun to focus less on competitive professional surfing and more on global adventure travel; however this event caused him to redirect his attention to the state of the world’s waters with a new urgency and to incorporate environmental preservation into his work and future projects. Pribram initiated the Eco Warrior Project in 2006, with the goal of helping people, governments and developers work together in ways that complement human needs and the environment, especially with special regard for surf breaks in danger of being compromised or lost forever.