Terry DeLoach has been surfing for almost 50 years and has no plans to stop any time soon. Terry is a familiar figure to many locals and can often be found surfing near the pier on good days or walking his dog on the beach when the waves don’t cooperate. “Too many people use age as a crutch and use it as a reason not to do things,” DeLoach said. “I don’t see age as a problem. If there’s a point when I can’t ride ‘em, then I can’t ride ‘em. But I’m not going to use age as a reason not to do it. I think people are pushing the limits more now, age-wise. You see people climbing mountains, exploring and doing things you probably wouldn’t have thought of 10 or 20 years ago. I think my generation is refusing to lay down!”
Terry is an earlybird. He arrives at Bailey’s gym by 4:30 or 5 a.m. on most days. After his workout, he heads to the beach to check out the waves, often bringing along his camera and taking pictures of the surf conditions. His daily observations prompted him to start sharing his #walkthedogsurfreport. “When I’d go to the gym, I’d have my board and everything so that when I went to the pier if there were waves, I’d go surfing. If there weren’t waves, I would go home and walk the dog … it just started kind of as a thing for my friends, just something to do for fun, but there’s a lot of people that seem to appreciate it.”
It’s important to Terry that he give something back to the community. He has served on the Jacksonville Beach planning commission for 22 years. Commission members are unpaid, and must be appointed by the mayor and the city council. “To have a surfer, with a surfer mentality and a business mentality, to be helping to make decisions that affect the beaches … it’s a way that I can give back to the community, and I think that’s very, very important,” DeLoach said.
Staying active is a priority for Terry. In addition to surfing, he enjoys practicing the martial arts and weight training to stay in shape. “The weights have been a part of my life as long as the surfing,” he says. “I was always interested in pushing weights around. The weights have always been an important part of fitness. Surfing alone will not keep you in shape. It’s a combination of surfing, diet and exercise, and that holds true even when you get into professional surfing: the world surfing league. Those surfers all have dieticians, trainers and professional training regimes that they follow.”
Terry believes that you don’t need a gym membership to get a good workout. “I think the push-up, the pull-up and the dip are exercises that you can do without any weights, just body weight exercises that you can certainly benefit from, so I don’t think you have any excuses, even if you don’t have access to a gym. Those exercises are good for surfers. Air squats are also good for surfers.”
When it comes to nutrition, Terry said he strives to eat healthy 90 percent of the time but also enjoys eating out and having fun. “I’ve got a weak spot for french fries!” he admits, but at home, he and his wife eat mostly organic, healthy foods. He admires those who can stick to a vegetarian lifestyle, stating, “I do think that’s the best way to go.”
Whenever he can, Terry visits his favorite place in the world, the North Shore of Hawaii. “It’s got some of the best waves in the world, and the whole community is just about surfing. I’ve always had a really good time and been really lucky there.” His board of choice for North Shore waves is his 6’ 6” HIC Round Pin — the longest board he owns. “I only ride short boards, because I have fun on them. They’re harder to paddle, but I don’t really think that way. I think, ‘just paddle harder!’”