By Blink-182 Bassist, Mark Hoppus
Even though I grew up in the desert, I’ve wanted to dive for as long as I can remember. When I was in junior high school I would buy scuba diving magazines and imagine how cool it would be to be part of that world. After moving to the coast, I found myself becoming more and more drawn to the ocean — if you live in Southern California, you can’t really help but have a connection to the ocean. Finally, after a tour date in Hawaii, I decided to take a leap and get certified. I’ve been lucky enough to dive in Hawaii, Fiji, Turks and Caicos, and St. Thomas, but I love diving the Channel Islands in Southern California most of all. Someday, I would love to visit Palau, the Red Sea and the Maldives.
Once I became a diver, I realized how fortunate I am to explore and enjoy a world that only a few people ever get to experience. More important, I saw how critical it was to protect our marine environments. I called the Surfrider Foundation and asked what I could do to help. They understand the importance of not only maintaining clean water but also of protecting and promoting healthy ocean ecosystems. Over the past year, I’ve been working with Surfrider to help spread their message via interviews and my social-networking pages. I also helped them celebrate 25 years of coastal protection by emceeing their anniversary gala last year, which was a blast.
For me, diving is such a great complement (and contrast, actually) to my experience on stage. Instead of the immediate energy and chaos of a show, diving is controlled, relaxed and focused. It’s a balance that helps me keep going in every aspect of my life, whether it’s the European tour this summer, going back into the studio to produce our next album or continuing my work with Surfrider. The beach and the ocean have become part of my DNA, and that influences everything I do, not just my music.