El Porto siblings Beck Cherry and Cash Cherry live to surf, and they’re putting in the time required to become the best.
Beck Cherry and Cash Cherry share a passion for surfing. But like most brothers, the two have different takes on the sport. Cash, 14, prefers longboards and considers Robert “Nat” Young to be his surfing inspiration. (Cash says that Young’s powerful, title-claiming performance at the 1966 World Championship has been a major influence on his surfing style.) Cash is pensive, sharp, a little quiet and tends to pause before speaking—weighing his words.
Beck, 16, is more forthcoming. He laughs a bit more and is quick to verbally jab his brother—albeit in a friendly fashion. When Cash mentions that it was his father who introduced him to surfing, Beck quickly jumps in and says—with a laugh—that he’s the one who introduced Cash to the sport. “He never gives me credit,” Beck says, smiling. He’s more of a new-school surfer: He looks up to John John Florence and rides a short twin-fin.
And, of course, they both have different surfing goals. Cash, who won a World Surfing Association Under 14 longboard competition in Huntington Beach earlier this year, wants to refine his old-school style and advance his competitive game.
“I want to learn how to ride fins-first,” he says, “and get bigger waves. I want to win a local contest this winter, but I mostly want to surf better and have more fun. I want to be able to surf the way I want to surf.
Beck, who’s on the Mira Costa High School surf team and recently ranked in the top 10 for Boys Beach Flags during the 2016 California Lifeguard Championships, not only wants to advance his surfing skills but he also wants to keep surfing for as long as possible. “I want to be able to surf my whole life,” he says. “Unless you’re a pro, you won’t be surfing competitively into your 40s.”
Outside surfing, the boys have their own creative pursuits. Cash has a knack for “cubing” (i.e., playing with a Rubik’s Cube), and he also enjoys composing music—his favorite instrument is the classical guitar. He also writes fiction, and his favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien.
Beck is an artist, and he enjoys painting and drawing in his spare time. He also designs T-shirts, screen-printing them in his bedroom and selling them locally at Spyder Surf.
Even though their end goals are slightly different, they’re both dedicated to and passionate about surfing. Both are up before dawn regularly to surf, and they often paddle out right after school too—putting in as many hours each week as their schedule permits.
They check the surf methodically, and their fitness, health and diets all revolve around surfing. Beck does strength training and wants to practice yoga to improve his flexibility, and Cash watches surf videos to improve his tricks. Competitive goals aside, both love surfing for a simple reason: It’s fun.
Cash puts it best when asked about why he surfs. He just smiles and says, “Because I can go fast.”
Beck’s and Cash’s Year in HEALTH
Beck: Wake up at 5:30, eat breakfast, check the surf and in the water by 6:30. “The Mira Costa surf team surfs at 26th Street, so I skate there from my home and surf for an hour.” Eat another breakfast and then go to school. “After school I might surf again, do homework, play guitar and doodle. Weekends I sleep in, but then I go and surf for an hour or two.”
Cash: “I like to wake up at 4:30, but I’m usually up at 6 a.m.” Tuesdays and Thursday he does Manhattan Beach Middle School Surf PE at the Manhattan Beach Pier until 7:45 a.m. “After school I go home, do homework and go surf again. I have guitar lessons on Thursdays. Otherwise I usually surf out in front of the house. I like to play music and write too. On the weekends I’ll surf all morning.”
Beck: “I drink almond milk. I’m allergic to wheat and dairy. I eat a lot of coconut products, like coconut milk and coconut yogurts. We make a lot of eggs, sausage and bacon for breakfast.”
Cash: “No dietary restrictions. I like to have extra butter and veggies in my lunch. We don’t eat much bread, but we eat a lot of bacon and butter.”
Beck: “I skate on my Carver. And during the school year I go to Level 10 Fitness with my surf team. It’s a good workout, especially for surfing. We did a lot of boxing. I also want to do more yoga.”
Cash: Competitive speed cubing and writing: “I’m working on a prologue and first chapter of a fantasy book.”
Beck: Design T-shirts: “I’m an artist and play the electric guitar. Classic is fun, but I’m big on electric.”
Other Favorite Activities
Beck: “I like to slackline. It’s pretty fun, and it helps with my balance.”
Beck: Cookies, gluten- and dairy-free
Cash: Uncle Eddies Vegan Cookies
Ideal Wave Height
Beck: “It’s not about wave height for me—it’s about conditions. It can be 10+ feet, and if it has no power I’m OK. It depends on the conditions. I would like to surf Hawaii waves. Biggest wave I ever surfed was bigger than double overhead at PV Cove. I was really scared.”
Cash: “Biggest for me is double overhead. I feel comfortable in waves up to about that big. I haven’t been out in anything bigger.”
A run-down 1933 Spanish revival home in Palos Verdes is brought back to life with historical reverence and creative vision.