Darryl “Flea” Virotsko is a big wave surfer from Santa Cruz and three-time winner of the Mavericks big-wave competition. This short radio feature was produced by Patrick Harte, a student at Cabrillo College as part of my “Writing for the Broadcast Media” course.
Flea graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1991. Virostko appears as himself in the surfing films Riding Giants, Step Into Liquid, and Billabong Odyssey. Surfer declared his 2004 wipeout on a 50-foot wave at Waimea Bay, Hawaii, the “Wipeout of the Decade”.
Virostko is a recovering addict, and runs a program, “FleaHab”, to teach other recovering addicts how to surf and be active while learning a new way of life. He starred in The Westsiders a documentary film by Josh Palmer that chronicles his difficult upbringing and addiction to drugs, on the west side of Santa Cruz.