10 Questions With ... Peter Belden

April 18, 2021

Welcome to our new series, "10 Questions With ..."

We're talking passions, pursuits, progressions -- and coffee -- with champions of the active California outdoor lifestyle.

First up, Peter Belden, who founded The Board Club, an innovative surf shop in Newport Beach, and is a long-time lifeguard there.

What was your first experience with your passion?

My first truly impactful experience happened at 8 or 9 years old when my dad took me bodysurfing with him in red flag surf in Newport.  Shortly after making it out, we rolled over the first wave of a set to see what looked like mountains barreling down on me.  My dad screamed at me to swim hard and dive to the bottom.  After surviving the full set of waves and the fear subsided, I was left with an adrenaline high I had never felt before.  And I've been chasing that feeling ever since.

When and how do you incorporate your passion into your daily life?
Honestly, the waves haven't been that great lately and I've been a bit of a "wave snob" so it hasn't been a daily routine for me.  But since I own a surf club, my passion is still what I work on every day.  If I'm not getting in the water every day, at least I'm helping to spread the stoke to others.

Where's your favorite place to spend outdoors in California?
Does Baja California count? Lol.  No place in the world feels better than a Baja camping trip in the middle of the desert with no cell service, good waves and good friends.  

What's your most memorable outdoor experience?
I spent 2 months traveling solo through Bali, Lombok, and Sumbawa with just a scooter, three surfboards, and a backpack.  Best time of my life.  It's also where I came up with the idea The Board Club.

What's your favorite way to drink coffee? Hot or cold brew?
Usually hot coffee but I've been drinking some cold brews lately.  I'm thinking about converting. 

Do you drink espresso, or drip?

Do you take it with cream, sugar, or straight black?
A little sugar and creamer. 

What's your current home-brewing setup?
I brew fresh drip using my Kuerig reusable cup filters so I can drink fresh coffee without single-use plastics. 

What's your favorite vintage - car, truck, board, music, art?

I LOVE old photos of Newport Beach from the late 1800's through the 1940's.  It's so cool to see what my hometown looked like when it was just a fishing port and vacation homes.

If you had to pick: mountains, beach, or desert?

Beach. Not even close!