Young Kyle Daniels grew up in Hermosa Beach on a street full of kids who loved the ocean as much as he did. But his affinity for all things aquatic didn’t end with childhood. He parlayed his passion into a decades-long career and adventure lifestyle.
Kyle and his neighborhood friends became Junior Lifeguards—a program run by the Los Angeles County Fire Department to instruct kids in water skills. It was then that 10-year-old Kyle first fell in love with paddleboarding.
“The siren’s song of the sea called me …”
While attending Loyola High School, Kyle and his friends would often hit the beach before school to surf. He continued volunteering as a Junior Guard and also played water polo and swam for the school. His coach, a Los Angeles County lifeguard, encouraged him to take the lifeguard test in 1994. Kyle would continue his post as an L.A. lifeguard for 20 years.
He graduated from Santa Clara University with an accounting degree and worked first for Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP and later for a small tax firm in Manhattan Beach. But the calling he heard as a child never left him.
THE OCEAN’S CALL
“The siren’s song of the sea called me to full-time ocean lifeguarding,” Kyle says. In a full-circle twist, he also became the director of the Junior Lifeguards … the same program he joined as a child. He worked with more than 4,000 students and supervised nearly 100 lifeguards.
His love for the ocean extended to competitive paddleboarding, which eventually led to the grueling, 32-mile Catalina Classic—the longest-running and most celebrated endurance paddleboard race in the world. He won the race six times. With his fifth championship in 2006, he notably ended Australian sportsman Jamie Mitchell’s seemingly unbeatable winning streak.
Around this time he married Colleen Williams, a Palos Verdes native. They met thanks to Colleen’s father, Danny Williams, who knew Kyle from the local paddleboard races … yet another way Kyle’s connection to the ocean led to great things in his life.
CHANGE OF PLANS
Sometimes great things come to an end, and it seems a different career path was in store for Kyle. Around 2011 he started experiencing intermittent low back pain but shrugged it off and kept powering through his lifeguard shifts, surfing and training. Eventually he was diagnosed with a torn disc and fractured vertebrae. “I looked at all my options, talked to a lot of medical experts and determined that hanging up the red trunks was my best option,” Kyle shares.
It was a major lifestyle change—going from surfing twice a day, working at the beach and being named a “Fittest Real Athlete” by Outside magazine to seeking a new career and having to limit physical activity. Fortunately he had the support of family and friends to get through the tough times.
In another twist of fate, Kyle had become a licensed Realtor in 2008 so he could dabble in real estate on the side. Little did he know that eight years later this would become his full-time career when he could no longer lifeguard. As an agent with Ericson Beach Real Estate, Kyle represents buyers and sellers of single-family and residential investment properties in the South Bay.
The same passion that once drove Kyle to save lives and dominate races is now evident in his work connecting people with the right home and neighborhood. Client Robert Gaddis says, “Kyle did an outstanding job for me as my agent. As would be expected of a former accountant, his expertise and attention to detail was outstanding. He is also excellent in follow-up and delivering on his promises with lightning speed, and he is honest and candid.”
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Kyle and Colleen have two children, Isla, 4, and Riley, 7, and a third child due in August. As the father of young children, Kyle’s focus has shifted from competitive paddling and water sports to having family fun time at the beach, hiking trails in his Palos Verdes neighborhood and enjoying his connection with nature.
What does the future hold for this all-around good guy? “I still try to get in the ocean as much as possible. I’m planning to swim the Pier-to-Pier this summer and would eventually like to summit Mount Whitney. And I’ve dreamed of running my own brokerage some day. In the meantime, I am focused on delivering the highest value to my clients. Buyers and sellers need someone who can provide honest guidance and negotiate what may be the largest purchase of their life.”
Whether it’s helping a family find a new home or organizing a neighborhood block party or beach cleanup, Kyle feels a responsibility to build on what previous generations helped create in this area. “Growing up in the South Bay has instilled a sense of community in me that I like to share as a real estate professional. It’s a special place, and I want to help it continue for future generations.”
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