Matt Walker rode his first wave at the age of eight at 65th Street in Virginia Beach. He had no idea that his newfound love would lead to a career as one of the East Coast’s first truly dedicated surf journalists, when he first published reports from the Outer Banks for Surfing magazine in 1993. From 1995 through 1999, Walker was one of an important crew of admitted ‘misfits’ who managed to pound out hundreds of issues of the “All East Coast, All the Time” Eastern Surf Magazine. ESM, as it was known, changed what print surf media meant to East Coast Surfers, because they now had their own magazine, and Walker was their first hire — and for three years, their editor, where he helped grow the mag to record size and reach.
In 2000 he joined the team at Swell.com, which gathered a who’s-who of writers and photogs — not to mention the 2001 Webby-award for Sports — before reorganizing into what’s now Surfline.com. In 2001, Walker became Senior Editor for Surfing Magazine, where he spent the the next 10 years compiling mags and penning surf words, while traveling from the South Pacific to South Africa to South Florida to South America. Upon return to the Outer Banks of NC in 2004, he simultaneously helped the local Surfrider Chapter lead an East Coast charge to fight offshore drilling.
Along the way, he contributed to nearly every American and international surf outlet from The Surfers Journal and Surfer to ASL, Zig Zag and Japanese Surfing Life to Surfline.com. Currently, he lives in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, where he and his wife produce a cultural quarterly, Outer Banks Milepost. Walker continues as a freelance writer for numerous surf digital surf media and surfs some of the best waves on the East Coast.
Photos by Mickey “2M” Mc Carthy, Tom Dugan / ESM, Miimi Dugan / ESM, Dick “Mez” Meseroll / ESM, DJ Struntz, Jeff Flindt