California: Where the Builders Hang 10

No wonder California builders are so laid-back.

By Patrick L. O'Toole, Senior Editor | November 30, 2002


Dan Nahabedian in action

No wonder California builders are so laid-back.

Wednesdays at a surf break called the Pipes near Encinitas, San Diego County builder Mike Reynolds meets with industry buddies for a morning surfing session. Regulars include a framer, another general contractor, two cabinetmakers and a plumber. "It's a long-board spot," Reynolds says. Other days, the group might meet near La Jolla, Torrey Pines or Sunset Cliffs. "Some places have fast waves for short boards."

Up the coast, Dan Nahabedian of John Laing Homes meets architect Eric Zuziak and landscape architect Pat Murphy at a break called Cottons near San Clemente. Occasionally the group includes John Sands of Standard Pacific Homes, industry photographer John Bare and John Parodi of Valley Crest Landscape.

Others spotted standing on waves at Orange County beaches include Tom Redwitz of John Laing Homes, Tom Mitchell of William Lyon Homes and builder attorney Greg Dillon. Debra Wright, director of design for Woodley Architectural Group, is an accomplished long boarder who competes regularly.

Mornings are best, these surfers agree, followed by "right before sunset when the ocean surface becomes smooth again," Nahabedian says. "Surfers call it 'evening glass off.'"


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