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Adam Sachs: Surfer, Kayaker & Incredible Guide

There are a lot of things that go into a great trip – logistics, permits, food, equipment, weather, etc…. they are all important. But there is one key ingredient that every great trip must have – an incredible guide. Now good weather helps – but an incredible guide can make even the dampest of days seem sunny. Adam is the type of guide who would make the day seem sunny by having an umbrella, hot chocolate and a big smile. He hasn’t told me — but I would bet he is an Eagle Scout. This guy is always prepared, gets the details right and doesn’t stop working until the job is done – not an easy task when you are often dealing with complicated logistics, flat tires and a pile of dirty gear. And when the job gets really tough – Adam’s good nature shines through the most, he just smiles and gets it done. We sure are glad to have that smile on our team. Here is a little more information about Adam and some good tips for guiding, food and life.

Adam at Machu Picchu - on an adventure.

Adam at Machu Picchu – on an adventure.

Name: Adam Sachs
Age: 25
Birth place: Los Osos, CA
First car: ’98 Chevy S-10–And she’s still goin’ strong
Favorite place for lunch: Los Agaves on Milpas–chicken mole enchiladas!
Favorite hiking spot: I’ve been enjoying the trails around Mission Canyon lately

How did you find you way to SBACo? Do you remember your interview?
My old college roommate at UCSB had briefly worked for Santa Barbara Adventure on a couple specialty trips, and recommended that I check it out. Since I was already spending most of my free time surfing and kayaking it seemed like a good fit. My first “interview” was when I showed up to work as a lifeguard for SBACo. during a large surf trip. I stood on the sand for a few hours watching the water until the owner came down to talk to me face to face.

Do you remember your first time visiting the Channel Islands? Tell us about its impression on you.
I first visited Santa Cruz Island in the spring of 2007 when I was getting my bareboat captain’s license from the Santa Barbara Sailing Center. My roommate and I were on the boat with two other guys and our instructor, Rob Bollay. We set a course towards Painted Cave near the west end of the island and I was in awe when Rob expertly backed the 50ft sailboat deep into the cave. I also remember marveling at the vertical volcanic cliffs and wondering how they got so ferocious looking. I’d never seen anything like it before.

Every trip is different when you are guiding – the weather, the people, the waves. What is the most memorable trip you have had so far and why?
The most memorable trips are usually the ones where things don’t go according to plan, but they always make the best stories when you retell them.  One day last Fall we arrived at the beach to run a school program for over 100 students on a day when the swell was pumping. Several other guides and myself spent much of the day swimming back and forth with our fins in the impact zone to prevent kayaks from capsizing during the launching and landing. It was physically exhausting but also very rewarding to have the state park lifeguards come over at the end of the day to compliment us on doing a great job of keeping the kids safe.  We also got some great bodysurfing rides throughout the day.

Santa Barbara Guide

March 2011 at the foot of Cerro Fitz Roy outside town of El Chalten in Argentinian Patagonia.

Can you give 3 tips for someone interested in guiding?
First, treat each trip like it’s your first one. Be enthusiastic and smile. In reality it might be your 97th of the season, but for your guests it might be their one day to relax and have fun.  Make it special for them.
Second, keep things in perspective. Can guiding feel like a grind sometimes? Sure, but show me a job that doesn’t.  When I start to feel that way I remind myself that Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful places in the world, I enjoy the people that I work with, and I get paid to do something I love.  Not many people have that opportunity.
Third, let go of the bad days. Not every trip will be the best day ever, and things will happen that are out of your control. Learn from those experiences and move on.  Remember that each day is a new trip.

And don’t forget your sunscreen.

Any other adventures of your horizon?
I’m always looking forward to my next trip, even when I don’t know where I’m going. I’d like to spend more time with friends down in Baja this winter or a few weeks spearfishing someplace with warm water, clear water, and big fish. Hopefully both if I’m lucky.

Thanks for taking the time to share with us Adam.

Channel Islands trip

Adam with the crew traveling to Painted Cave, Channel Islands National Park

If you have been on an adventure with Adam please share in the comments section below. I am sure he would love to hear from you.

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