John Davis Hit Bottom And Made The Turn: Surfing Addiction Recovery And Three Years Spent In A Mexican Prison
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John Davis started surfing at twelve and began winning local competitions soon after. He moved to Huntington Beach to attend High School and became the Captain of Huntington High School’s first surf team in 1967.
After graduating, Davis “took off to surf Hawaii, --with two pounds of marijuana under my airplane seat” he finished second in the 1969 Sea Spree, a contest that he said was rigged, but made ten times his investment on the marijuana. Turned off by the politics of competitive surfing, he rarely competed in the following years until he won the North Shore Trials of the Smirnoff Pro-Am at Sunset Beach. That qualified him for the US Surfing Championships in Malibu in 1973; Davis placed third after surfing his way through multiple heats. That performance “proved his point,” and he gave up competitive surfing.
Eventually, Davis’ “lifestyle choices” moved him to Mexico, and he began smuggling marijuana into the US. Through the 1980’s he had a few brushes with the law and “served time” after being caught with an airplane loaded with 800lbs of marijuana near Victorville, California. In 1995, while smuggling 50lbs of marijuana, he got caught in a roadblock in Mazatlan and spent three years in a Mexican prison.
He was repatriated to the US to finish his sentence, and a parole officer got him into a drug treatment program. John Davis has been sober since 1998. He was inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach, California. He and his wife operate Las Olas Recovery, a comprehensive drug and alcohol detox and early drug rehab center in El Pescadero, Baja California Sur.
More information on Las Olas Recovery
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Check out Surfers’ Hall of Fame