Fantasy Surfer Winner

San Diego fireman Huckle Berryman takes the 2012 title and grand prize

2012 Fantasy Surfer winner and fireman Huckle Berryman, equally capable behind a hose, a keyboard, or on rail.

Congrats on the big win. Can you tell me about yourself?
Yeah, my name is Theodore Berryman but everyone calls me Huckle. I'm 37 and I'm from North County, San Diego and work as a fireman in Carlsbad. I've been surfing pretty much all of my life and in a million years I never thought I'd win this thing.

So what kind of a strategy did you have this season?
Well, I wouldn't call it too much of a strategy, but I picked three core guys that I kept on my team throughout the season. I had Slater, Fanning, and Parko throughout the year, sort of as a foundation. The other surfers I would alternate out each event. Basically, once I got the heat draw and looked at the forecast, I would sit down with a cup of coffee and put some thought into who looked strong given the wave and what kind of swell was on the horizon.

How long have you been playing?
This is my fourth year playing I think. In the past few years, I've been pretty terrible to be honest. But this year I put some more effort into it. Actually, I didn't even look at the overall ratings until about two events ago. One of my friends told me that I was in fifth and I couldn't believe it. I knew I was doing pretty well, but I didn't know that I was rated that high. So after hearing that, I put some extra thought into picking my teams for the next few events.

Was there a point in the season that really sealed your lead?
Pipeline was the big one for me. I put a lot of thought into picking my team for that because I knew I was seated in a good spot. I think the big thing for me for Pipe was having Josh Kerr on my team. I don't think  a lot of people thought he was going to do as well as he did. He was a darkhorse and he really paid off.

With your win, you've now got yourself a free weeklong stay at Turtle Bay. Are you pretty excited?
Oh totally. I'm super excited. I'm actually gonna be taking my wife to Kauai in January for a vacation so that's gonna be super fun. We're really looking forward to that trip. I've been going to Hawaii for a while now and I've spent some time on Maui, Kauai, and the North Shore. I love it there. I think I'll probably head down to Turtle Bay next fall, maybe in November. You know, Hawaii is really special. You can look at the boat trips in Indo and Mexico and you're gonna get some great waves there for sure, but there's just something different about Hawaii. I think you're more likely to get the wave of your life there than anywhere else.

Can you talk about your clubhouse?
Yeah, I have a clubhouse called AirDrop and it's basically about 10 guys from the Firehouse and we have a lot of fun with it. There's a little bit of trash talking, but it's all in fun. When I initially got the call from the main Fantasy Surfer guy, I thought it was a prank. He actually called when I was on duty at the station and the rest of the guys must have known what the call was about because they all gathered around me on the phone and one of my buddies was filming the whole thing. So I thought it was a prank from them, but while I was on the phone I pulled up the overall ratings on and realized that it was for real. I was pretty fired up after getting the call, but it couldn't have been more than a few minutes after I hung up, the fire alarm went off and we had to go to work. I had to switch mindsets and get focused and go to work for a while, but after we got off I was able to let it sink in. I'd also like to say that with the tragedy in Connecticut, that it's a muted celebration. Everyone over here at the firehouse is thinking of that community now and our hearts are with them. Anyway, I just wanted to add that. But yes, I’m really stoked on the win. I never win things like this so it’s pretty awesome.

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