Wednesday, June 04, 2008

(double click image to enlarge)

The Paskowitz Children

DAVID PASKOWITZ, son #1, born in 1959
David was always the captain of the family. As the oldest child, he was expected to lead, encourage, and enforce Dorian’s philosophy while keeping his eight siblings in line. After he finally broke away from the camper at age 23, David used his amazing vocal talent and stage skills to launch a musical career as lead singer of Johnny Monster and the Nightmares (a popular Orange County band who played with Sublime and others), Rock Kandy, Goldfish, Metal Snake (an ‘80s heavy metal revival band), and now, The David King Experience, a variety show in which he documents his life story in song. As depicted in SURFWISE, David’s attempt to help save the Paskowitz Surf Camp in the late ‘90s led to a major family rift, which is only now being mended. David, his wife Nancy and his daughters Davida and Delilah live near San Diego, California. He surfs everyday.

JONATHAN PASKOWITZ, son #2 born in 1961
Jonathan Paskowitz spent years involved in the surf industry. First as a professional surfer winning the US and World Longboard championships in 1987 and 1988. He later worked with surfer hero Herbie Fletcher at Astro Productions, creating the first surf comic book Surf Crazed and the first surfer trading cards. Astro Boys division of film Video production became his favorite part of the job developing Wave Warriors surf Videos with WEA and Warner Bros Music. After leaving Astro he went to Fly Industries and developed an eyewear company called Black Flys, manufacturing eyewear snowboards and apparel. Fly Girl, a femme line of similar products and Fly TV a line of inexpensive surf skate and snow videos. After Flys, Jonathan was the director of Marketing for Gotcha brand management, working on Gotcha Girl star and MCD. Later, he did indie marketing for companies like Earthlink, Adidas and Oliver Peoples (brand eyewear). He then went on to work with Stephan Nemeth of Rhino films (who developed Lords of Dogstown) and worked with Brian Grazer on Blue Crush. While at Rhino, Jonathan met Doug Pray. While there he also met Graydon Carter and during the next few years he worked on little projects and surfed with Graydon’s family and Punch Hutton-Hodges. Through these associaties, the SURFWISE team slowly evolved, adding Matt Weaver and Tommy Means along the way. Jonathan’s other film work includes Big Wednesday and Back to the Beach.

ABRAHAM PASKOWITZ, son #3, born in 1962
In SURFWISE, Abraham Paskowitz jokingly calls himself the “first girl” of the family, having used his culinary skills and empathy to help his mother manage daily life in the camper. Tired of his competitive brothers, Abe left his family in Baja California at age 15 with $50 in his pocket to pursue romance and a series of restaurant jobs in Southern California. Interviewed for SURFWISE while working as a chef at San Clemente’s Beach Fire Bar & Grill, he has recently moved to Spring Hill, Florida, and opened “Our Pots and Pans,” a restaurant and catering company. Despite his passion for cooking, surfing has always been a big part of Abe’s life. He ran the family surf camp for a whole decade (1984-94), and produced a number of major longboard surfing competitions, including the Cabo Classic (with Herbie Fletcher) and, for six straight years, “A Tribute to the Greats Longboard Classic.” In the mid-1990’s, working with Tommy Hilfiger, he developed a line of Paskowitz family surfwear, and began his own brand, called Jaisle. Near the end of SURFWISE, Abe and his wife Shelly are seen introducing their newborn baby, Levi, to grandfather Dorian for the first time at the Honolulu Airport. He has two other daughters, Naomi Paskowitz and Caia Jaisle.

ISRAEL “IZZY” PASKOWITZ, son #4, born in 1963
Izzy is the surfing champion of the family, having competed in, and won, dozens of longboard titles, including the 1988 Hang Ten World Championship. At the height of his competitive surfing career, he had numerous sponsors and had modeled for Nike ads and many other surfwear brands. In 1998, Dorian gave Israel ownership of the world-famous Paskowitz Surf Camp. Since then, he and his wife Danielle have owned and operated the camp out of Mission Beach, California, with the help of various Paskowitz brothers and professional surfers. The camp, which offers weeklong sessions throughout the summer for children and adults, was originally started by Doc and Juliette in San Onofre 35 years ago to help spread the “Aloha spirit” and advance the sport of surfing. Izzy and Danielle have three children, including Isaiah, who is autistic and is shown in SURFWISE at home with his father. Inspired by the positive results of tandem surfing with Isaiah, Izzy and Danielle founded SURFERS HEALING, a very successful nonprofit organization that offers free surfing day camps to hundreds of autistic children and their families in Southern California, New York, and Hawaii. Izzy and Surfers Healing were recently profiled in a widely-shown short on ESPN. (

MOSES ZYUS PASKOWITZ II, son #5, born in 1964
As the middle child in a family of 9, Moses is the ultimate intermediary between all the different factions of brothers. But he’s also a peacemaker because he’s very big and very strong. In fact he’s the only Paskowitz to have attended college due to a full scholarship he received to play football at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Though a bad knee injury cost him that scholarship, he went on to play for the San Diego Chargers’ farm team until additional injuries forced him out. Moses then set his sights on the entertainment industry, first going to school to learn the “biz” and eventually joining a union and becoming a transportation captain and field producer on numerous feature films, as well as being a full-time professional driver for Michael Bay and Tori Spelling. Moses ran the Paskowitz Surf Camp for one year and remains an active surfer. He and his wife, Phaedra, live in Encino, California and have three sons. In SURFWISE, Moses’ most memorable quote is how a terrible surfing accident (involving a surfboard fin and his colon) almost cost him his life.

ADAM PASKOWITZ, son #6, born in 1966
Adam pushes the limits, applying his creativity to everything he does. Not content to just surf like his siblings, he was among the first anywhere to do certain types of aerials, consecutive 360s, and to add extra fins to his board. In SURFWISE, he is found coming back from the sea on his surfboard after “extreme fishing,” where he drops a lure and lets sharks and other big fish pull him around (or so he claims!). But Adam’s primary gift has been music. An extremely talented songwriter, vocalist, pianist and guitar player, his first big break was with the popular late ‘80s glam-band Mozart. He then created the band The Flys with his brother Joshua, and co-wrote their top-40 hit “Got You (Where I Want You).” That song became the soundtrack single for the movie “Disturbing Behavior” and got them a tour with the Rolling Stones as the opening act. He’s seen in SURFWISE performing with his current band Jetliner ( Despite two decades of music industry success, Adam is the son who most wants to emulate his father’s nomadic life by leaving it all behind, home schooling his children and traveling around the world in a “slow-moving shrimp boat.” Fittingly, he and his wife Tracy have named their newborn son “Doc”.

It was miraculous enough that when Dorian first met Juliette he predicted the future by telling her she’d become the mother of his “seven sons” (a true story)… But nobody would have guessed that 7th son would be born on the 7th day of the 7th month in the 7th decade of the century, as was true for Salvador. A brilliant illustrator and self-described “nerd” of the family, Sal was fascinated with books and technology and got into computer programming (on a jerry-rigged unit in the camper) before most people even knew computers existed. Early in his post-camper life, he worked for Adobe Illustrator, and helped pioneer color selection software that is still in use today. In 1991, he drew and published the world’s first (and only?) surf-related comic book, “Surf Crazed Comics”, and has been a commercial illustrator and logo designer for Hurley, Billabong, and many other major sports companies. Though he still does graphic design for various clients, he has become a screenwriter, having recently co-wrote the film VOLPONI for Disney and other projects in development. He and his wife Kristin have a teenage daughter, Halo, who they have home schooled.

NAVAH PASKOWITZ-WALTHER, #8 child and only daughter, born in 1969
It’s hard to imagine growing up in a 24-foot camper with nine kids, but even harder to imagine being the only girl. But Navah grew up “just like one of the brothers,” surfing with them, being one of the gang, and, as she jokes in SURFWISE “without ever even having any girl’s underwear.” Like her siblings, Navah has a strong creative streak. She is a talented illustrator and has done surfwear design for Guess, Marciano, and others, including a wetsuit line she developed in the mid-1990s. Her striking good looks also have allowed numerous modeling opportunities, showing off her surfing skills in advertisements for high-end swimwear. Today, Navah describes herself as a full-time working mother. She has three children, Aviva, Wolf, and Max and lives in Encino, California with her husband Hank Walther. Religiously devoted (perhaps more than her brothers), Navah is heavily involved as a volunteer at their Temple and children’s school. In SURFWISE, Navah talks about the choice she made to opt for a suburban, domestic life, but that she still feels like a “fish out of water” when she’s sitting in traffic on the 101, daydreaming back to her days in Cabo…

JOSHUA BEN PASKOWITZ, #9, eighth son and final child, born in 1974
Josh is the youngest child of Dorian and Juliette. As he grew up, his cramped living quarters became increasingly spacious as all his siblings aged and moved out of the camper, eventually leaving him alone with his parents living on the beach in Acapulco. Yet, Josh seemed to absorb, and equal, all of his sibling’s good looks and talents: as an artist, a surfer, an athlete, and a musician. Musically, he was catapulted into early rock-stardom with his brother Adam in their band The Flys, (mentioned above, who had a top-40 hit and toured with The Rolling Stones). In SURFWISE, he is filmed performing the song “Black” on the Sunset strip with his co-writer Brian Ginsberg in the band Life in Exile ( Now applying his creativities to film, he’s directing and scoring his own documentary about the surf community in San Clemente. Josh is a strong surfer and has worked as an instructor at many sessions of the surf camp over the years.