Lifestyle photo of Chris Dodds for Malibu Sandals Local Locals community feature wearing brown thunderbird convertible sandal

Local Locals Chris Dodds of Thermal Surf Travel

Local Locals:

Chris Dodds

Welcome to another installment of ‘Local Locals’, our brief get–to–know–them Q&A with friends and friends of friends from Malibu and beyond. This week we are at the confluence of waves, culture and film frames with Chris Dodds. A visionary filmmaker capturing epic rides and golden sunsets. 

What comes to mind when you hear the word Malibu?

Pt Dume. Some of my favorite memories are from being in the water and feeling the energy there. Every time I go it's a special experience, a communion with the land and ocean that brings me so much joy.  

What was your first concert? We want to know the artists, the year, tour and venue.

Well, it wasn't my first concert--that would have to have been one of my uncle's shows when I was a little kid. Starting in college I used to go to tons of shows and was able to shoot with many different artists and festivals. Then, after many years of chasing great shows, I scored a backstage pass to the Rolling Stones Ole Tour in 2016 and saw them in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. I got to hang out with Keith, Ronnie, and Darryl Jones, and after that I felt like I could retire from going to concerts (laughs). 

Which Malibu Sandals style are you wearing right now?

The Colony's in Japanese Denim from a few years ago. 

What’s the vibe of San Diego these days?

As Kevin knows, I am always with my dogs and with a board or two (or three) in my truck. I moved down a few years ago and really love it, I'm closer to family now and have fallen in love with the waves around here. There's no Pt. Dume but spots like Blacks and Swami's keep me happy to call SD home. 

Have you been spending time south of the border? Or where have you been laying your head lately?

To be honest, I've been spending about 50% of my time on the road. I work for a surf travel company called Thermal and just this past year I went to Hawaii (4x)  Costa Rica (3x), Oaxaca, Tahiti, Panama, Nicaragua, Barbados, Brazil, and most recently Tofino, British Colombia. 

If you’re not spending time behind the lens where can we find you?

In the ocean or walking on the beach with my dogs :)

Have you ever read a book twice and if so what is it?

Oh yeah, I'm a fairly prolific reader so that's a long list, here's an abridged version: The Book by Alan Watts, Barbarian Days, Eat Like A Fish, The Alchemist...and I've read both the Harry Potter series and Game of Thrones multiple times each. 

If you had the chance to go back in time what year would you pick and what would you be doing?

One question, could I bring my surfboards? Haha! If not I would go back to the late 40's or early 50's and surf Malibu with the original crew. If I could bring my boards, I would go back a few hundred years with a horse to explore the coast and meet the indigenous tribes to see how they lived. I often wonder how things were like without all the people and when the rivers still flowed freely into the sea.

Lifestyle photo of Chris Dodds sitting down wearing colony sandals for Malibu Sandals Local Locals community feature

Where and when do you find solitude in your daily life?

Either in the ocean or on my yoga mat.

What is one of the most gratifying moments in your life so far?

I volunteer as a surf coach with a group called the Challenge Athletes Foundation (CAF) and help kids and adults experience the magic of riding waves. CAF does absolutely amazing work putting on surf clinics that bring people from all around LA and SD, as well as throughout the US, to get in the water and go surfing. Their events have been the most gratifying moments of my life, hands down. I'll be helping them out, and doing other types of surf therapy, as long as I can. 

Were you named after someone?