Conrad Carr, suited and booted on Day 1 in NYC.
Conrad Carr Is Walking From New York To Florida To Save Hurricane-Affected Pets
"Liam [Hemsworth] wasn't sure, but then Miley [Cyrus] called later that night and was like, “We’re doing this!” And I was like hell yeah!"
Fact: I use Instagram to sniff out roughly 60% of surf scoops. It’s the best place to find tidbits of info before the major sites catch on, and it's the quickest way to connect with someone whose phone number evades you. IG is quite the useful, if terribly addicting, platform.
Just yesterday I found myself 327 km down the wormhole, and somewhere between the butts and barrels I lucked into one of the most interesting stories (and people) I’ve heard in some time.
Here’s today's Insta skinny: Conrad Carr is a mid-twenties surfer from Malibu, competed as a kid, was sponsored by Quik, and still rips today. A couple weeks ago, Conrad went on a trip to chase one of the recent hurricanes in New York. His friend, whose identity you’ll learn shortly, bet Conrad he couldn’t walk the 1,000 miles from New York to Florida. Conrad accepted, amazingly, under one condition: that his friend would donate $100k to hurricane relief for abandoned animals upon the completion of his journey.
I caught up with Conrad on Day 5 of his (One. Thousand. Mile.) stroll, as he strutted just south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Stab: Conrad! How are you doing?
Conrad: I’m good! Exhausted, a little delirious right now, but I stopped by this tavern to charge my phone. The walk goes on. You can’t stop me.
So you walked from New York through Philly already… how much ground is that?
Today is a big milestone, because I've finally made it 100 miles. The last five days I’ve averaged a little over twenty miles, and we’re about 1/10th of the way there. Still got 900 to go.
How long do you think this is gonna take? Will you be able to keep up this pace?
I’m hoping. So far the legs have shown that I can keep it up, and at this exact pace it’ll be another 45 days. I’m not in a crazy rush though, I don’t want to kill my body.
Why are you doing this?
Me and my buddy were flying into New York for the hurricane, and he was joking like “what if you walked to Florida?” I was like, “Ah, I could do it.” And he’s a big animal dude, I work for Sea Shepherd. So he said he was gonna donate 100 grand [to help animals in need after the hurricanes] if I made it. So that’s where the idea came from.
Who the hell is this "friend"!?
His name is Rick Salomon -- public image not so good... Paris Hilton sex tape, was married to Pamela Anderson -- that Rick Salomon. He’s a big poker player. And he’s the best guy I know. He’s done so much for me, so much good for so many people, he’s saved a lot of people’s lives, he does a lot of good for animals, he’s the best dude on the planet. You can quote me on that.
Yeah, I’m good friends with Liam. We initially thought we'd be raising money for whales, so I asked Liam what’s a good whale organization, because a lot of money that goes to Sea Shepherd gets caught up in legal stuff. Liam wasn't sure, but then Miley [Cyrus] called later that night and was like, “We’re doing this with Happy Hippie!” And I was like hell yeah!
Then we thought... there’s so much going on with the hurricanes, and these abandoned animals are kinda going under the radar, so we figured this would be a great avenue to show everyone what’s going on with them. So we’re gonna have all the money go to the Humane Society, because they’re on the front lines, helping the hurricane-affected animals.
That's amazing! And, sorry to backtrack but... how are you friends with all of these high-profile people?
I don’t know I mean… I grew up in Malibu.
So I just meet a lot of people. Like I met Liam [Hemsworth] surfing, and then I saw him at a party, and we just became buddies. Then I knew Pam [Anderson]’s kids growing up... Pam actually got me the job at Sea Shepherd. Then Rick knows everybody, so yeah.
And you grew up as a competitive surfer, right? Are you still surfing a bunch?
Yeah, I used to surf competitively and compete around the world. I rode for Quiksilver, I got paid for a bit, so I guess I was kind of a professional surfer. I’m not a total kook [laughs]. But yeah, my girlfriend is Malia Ward, so I like to surf and travel with her a bunch. We were just over in Indo and scored some really fun waves. (see below)
Are you thinking of stopping anywhere along your walk for a quick surf?
Yeah, I’ve been thinking about hitting North Carolina. I’ve always wanted to go to the Outer Banks, but it looks like it’s so far out there...
Yeah, OBX is really out of the way if you’re trying to get the shortest mileage, but maybe you could hit Wilmington or something.
Really? Someone just messaged me literally five minutes ago saying, “Hey I got a place in Wilmington, crash here.” Maybe that’s the move, huh?
Yeah, that’s it! So back to the animals... you’ve got the $100k donation, but has money been pledged from anyone else?
I’m not sure yet. I know Liam said he’s gonna get this out to his buddies, and he’s got some pretty high-profile friends, so we’ll see what happens. I’ve gotten a few messages from people sending me photos of their donations, but I don’t know how much has been raised total. I asked the Humane Society about it, but they said they can’t disclose it for privacy reasons.
Have you ever done a big walk before this?
Hell no, I haven’t done a marathon, I haven’t been working out. I’ve been surfing a little [laughs], but I have no formal training or fitness. Everyone was telling me, “You gotta train, you gotta train,” but I just think that’s the dumbest thing ever. This is 99% mental, 1% physical. If I train for it, I’m gonna get discouraged and think, “This sucks, I don’t want to do it.”
Where have you been sleeping?
First night I tried sleeping in a cemetary, and I was so freaked out because this car drove by, and the dude opened his door, so I started sprinting, then he closed the door and started driving really fast so I bolted the other way. I also slept behind a church… I’ve kinda just been finding little nooks wherever I can, and if it looks good I’ll just throw down my mat, which is kinda comfy. It’s getting cold though [laughs].
Do you have a sleeping bag or tent or anything?
Nah, those things were a little too heavy, I’m trying to be light. Luckily people are beginning to follow this movement, so I'm getting more people telling me I can sleep at their places along the way. We’ll see if that pans out.