JOB Loses YT Throne, And Not To Ben Gravy - Stab Mag

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JOB Loses YT Throne, And Not To Ben Gravy

Meet the new king of Surf YouTube…who happens to be blind.

news // Jul 13, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Anything is possible. 

Jamie O’Brien (805k), the psyched-out marketing genius, has officially been eclipsed on Surf Youtube — at least in terms of subscriber count. And no, not by Koa Rothman (135k), Nate Florence (179k), Koa Smith (129k), or even Ben Gravy (163k). Rather, he has been surpassed by Pete Gustin (983k).

Who?

Pete Gustin.

You may know Pete better as “Blind Surfer”, which is his straight-to-the-point YouTube moniker. Pete was diagnosed with macular degeneration at the age of eight, and his eyesight has been significantly deteriorating since he was born. Today he can see shadows and movement within a few feet, but not much else, making him legally blind. 

Despite this, Pete has managed to traverse the notoriously complex — and typically visual — learning curve of surfing (as an adult, no less). He’s also a famous voice actor, who you’ve probably heard in trailers for The Walking Dead, Spongebob, and SuperBowl ads. He’s also a published author.

Pete started his YouTube channel as a passion project in January of 2020, and he’s already amassed nearly a million subscribers. As Pete states, his intent with his videos is to document his adventures and mishaps as a blind surfer, while inspiring other people to overcome their own challenges. 

Interestingly, much of Pete’s YouTube success has come through Youtube Shorts. Shorts are essentially YouTube’s marketing solution for the perpetually shrinking attention span of, well, everyone. AKA a desktop version of TikTok.

You can watch one of our favorites here.

So what is Pete doing with all of his monetization money? Well, he’s putting all of it toward his newly launched Blind Surfer Foundation, which he created to help train and pair service dogs with people who need them.

The guy is a fucking legend. Seriously.

He’s inspiring, articulate, determined, generous, and his voice is in competition with Morgan Freeman’s for the father figure of America.

How does he surf?

Considering he takes off late, goes down the line on overhead waves, and doesn’t flap his arms too much…he surfs better than many of us.

After watching Pete surf, we can’t help but wonder what it might feel like to surf without sight. To predict and understand what the ocean has to offer with only sensual cues. An argument could be made that this is one of the purest forms of wave riding, second only to e-foiling.

Also, can someone get Occy one of those “BLIND SURFER” shirts ASAP?

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