Whether he’s reeling in Largemouth Bass or catching a transatlantic flight headed for world-class surf, Simple Surf Dad on the Street Brett Barley lives life with style.
I was born and raised in Buxton, North Carolina. I actually live next door to the house I grew up in. From a pretty young age I started pursuing professional surfing, and officially went “Pro” when I graduated High School… though I went on to spend many years barely making ends meet trying to achieve my dreams. Eventually, I did finally get to a place where I was able to support my family. I got married to my wife Casey Barley at the age of 19, had our son Masen when I was 22, and our daughter Malia when I was 25. I’ve spent my life traveling the world chasing surf, but I’m as much of a homebody as I can be for what my job is (literally… look up homebody in the Oxford dictionary and my name comes up)…
… I’ve been into video editing since I was 12, and went from making occasional surfing edits to running a weekly Vlog series on YouTube that I started back in March 2018, now called “Life On Water.” I’m a long talker, so be careful if you engage in a conversation with me, because I’ll likely run my mouth till your ears fall off. But when I’m not surfing, or boring people with conversation, I’m going fishing and taking the family along when they can come. There’s nothing I love more than enjoying the fruits of this place that my family calls home on Cape Hatteras, and sharing that joy with everyone else.”
Simple Surf Style
Which three words best describe your style?
Simple, clean, surf.
What are your favorite places to work out? The Lighthouse… A surf spot known for its intense side-shore current when the waves are good. A full day of surfing there when it is on is the best workout conditioning I can possibly do. It’s a full-body workout for the entire day (or day(s) if the swell is good).
Who’s your favorite fitness icon? Not Applicable… I’m more into Iced Tea than Mr. T.
What’s your best fitness advice? Eat right, stay active. You don’t need to be some hyped-up version of yourself. But being in good health is important.
What trend did you love at the time, but now cringe when you see old photos?
When I was 10-14, I HATED long pants… and I would wear flip flops with knee-high socks and board shorts to school on cold days. I thought it was fun to be dorky on purpose, but as I got older and looked back at that time in my life, I cringe overtime. Up until I was 13 I also had SUPER long blonde hair… I don’t think there is anything I regret more in life than that hair.
What’s your dad superpower? Telling amazing jokes… Some call them dad jokes, but to me, they are just jokes.
Facial hair or clean-shaven? Clean-Shaven… with a side of it’s-been-a-busy-week-so-I-haven’t-gotten-around-to-shaving.
Simple Surf Family
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? Taking them fishing! There’s nothing I love more than guiding them through nature and making memories with my wife and kids that none of us will ever forget.
What’s been your best family vacation? Hawaii 2018. Every year for surfing I have to spend 6 weeks on Oahu, where my family gets to join me for a part of the trip. But the years prior to last year were always hectic, and we spent minimal time hanging as a family. Last year we went a few days before I was supposed to be there, and I told my sponsors I was going to spend a week JUST vacationing with my family, and I’d join in on the rest of the 6 weeks afterward. They were supportive, and I got to spend a full week going full tourist with my family. That was so special to get to put work aside for a week straight out there, and just focus on having fun with them and adventuring together.
What’s your favorite family activity? Tickling! Haha. There’s nothing that gets all of us wound up, and laughing harder than a good tickle fight. Whether its mom/daughter vs dad/son, or 1 vs all or everyone for themselves. It’s always hilarious.
Best parenting advice: Be Slow to Anger… If it isn’t one of the hardest things to do when your child is deliberately disobedient, or repetitively breaking the rules, I don’t know what is. BUT, I’ve always found they respond better when you are calmer in your response to their actions. I struggle with it, but it’s always my goal.
Parenting true confession: I despise made-up characters revolving around holidays or personal events… The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny. While it can be fun to pretend, I don’t like the idea that we lie to our kids, and one day they grow up to realize none of it was real. I’d much rather never speak of any of those things. We definitely dull those experiences down to a minimum (we may not actually do Easter bunny).
What’s your go-to family dinner? Quesadillas. Typically after a long day when we’re exhausted, quesadillas are our go-to meal for refueling before hitting the sack.
What’s your favorite family restaurant? Cookouts at the beach! We almost never go out to eat as a family. BUT, grilling out on the beach at sunset is our favorite way to enjoy a meal together.
Simple, Clean, Surf Life
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? That’s a tough one between The Office and NCIS. My wife and I will bounce back and forth between the two. Like when you listen to a song till you don’t like it, then move to the next. We do that with those shows, but then just go back to the previous and the cycle continues. haha
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? John Krasinski… I think being able to star in The Office & 13 Hours qualifies him to pretend to be me.
What’s your favorite sport and why? Surfing. I surf professionally, so it’s also my work, and that takes a lot of the fun out of it. But, I’ll always love the feeling of scoring fun waves with just my friends out, surfing till dark, and being out in the ocean. There’s nothing like it on earth.
What’s your favorite workout song? Currently… if I WAS going to workout, “Leave Me Alone” by NF would be number 1 on my playlist.
If you could hang out with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? Jesus… While that may seem like a cliche answer, there’s no one I’d rather get to spend time with, and experience him in the flesh here on earth. Do I get to time travel back to his time on earth? Cause that’s how I’d want to experience it…
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Snowboarding in Colorado. I’m so content here at home, I love where I live. Getting to travel a lot since I was 12 has given me a lot of special experiences. There’s a lot I’d like to see and do, but really nowhere I’m like “I have to go here before I die.”
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?” With my feet kicked up in my chair, talking with my wife and kids about our day. To make it perfect, I’d have a cup of decaf coffee in hand too haha.
Your Simple Surf Style
Brett doesn’t take himself too seriously– he’s too busy taking family fun seriously instead. While he’s got the spontaneity and adventure of a big kid, those things always come second to his wife and kids. Luckily for him, his whole family is always in on the adventure, too. If you want to check out Brett’s skills as a waterman, be sure to check out his vlog series on youtube, titled “Life On Water.” He might be good at surfing, but I could probably still beat him up. For more stylish dads on the street, head over to FamilyApp’s Dad on the Street Channel!