As a surfer, there are a handful of role models that I’ve looked up to over the years. People that surf well, but are beacons of joy in the lineup. Always giving. Always grounded. They are able to transform the attitude and the experience of a whole mass of humans, simply through their example.

Donald Day​ is one of my all-time favorites.

The man is such a wonderful human in every respect. Thoughtful, playful, intelligent, kind… and a devastatingly good surfer. It has been too long since we’ve crossed paths, but the impact hasn’t lessened any. Countless surfers have benefited, like I have, from witnessing what it really looks like to be “a leader” in the water and beyond.

Donald just won the Malibu Invitational — a prestigious local surf contest. That victory is testament to his prowess on the waves. However, I believe it is his other form of “genius” in the water that is truly deserving of recognition.

So Donald, thanks for showing me, and so many others what leadership really looks like.