Party Wave podcasters
Santa Barbara surfing podcasters, from left, Jade Flogerzi, Ava Pederson and Toby Wahlberg sit in Flogerzi’s Promaster Dodge van during pre-pandemic times. The van serves as the studio for their show, “Party Wave,” the official women’s surfing podcast. (Courtesy photo)

Three Santa Barbara women stoked about surfing are barreling through the sound waves of the Internet to share their passion for the sport.

Friends and recreational surfers Jade Flogerzi, Ava Pederson and Toby Wahlberg have joined the lineup of podcasts with their surf-centric show “Party Wave.” The program, which they’re calling “the official women’s surfing podcast,” is streaming on the platforms Spotify and Apple podcasts. It also can be heard on the Party Wave website.

“This has been a dream on our bucket list for years,” said Flogerzi, the owner of the marketing company Clever Punch. “We are so passionate about women’s surfing and love discussing all the nuances that you wouldn’t get from a male’s perspective. Nothing is edited, and we are laughing nonstop. I think people will find it refreshing to listen to something so lighthearted.”

In the debut episode, the hosts recap the first women’s event on the World Surfing League’s 2021 championship tour, talk about their dream guests (after local WSL pro Lakey Peterson, of course) and some surfing experiences.

They also discuss the film “Unstoppable,” the latest documentary on surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a 2003 shark attack and ultimately returned to professional surfing.

After seeing the film, Flogerzi was super impressed how Hamilton surfed while being several months pregnant.

“She’s got this crazy bump and she’s surfing this huge wave and ripping it,” Flogerzi shouted on the air.

A regular feature of the show will be “The Surf Term of the Day.”

“There’s a lot of made-up language (and) you can use it wrong,” Pederson explained.

The first surf term was “blown out,” which they quickly defined as being too windy to surf.

“Think of it like blowing out a candle … the wind is blowing out the surf,” Wahlberg said.

In her opening remarks about the show’s start, Pederson said, “It’s been a whirlwind, but we’re here.”

Party Wave log

The “Party Wave” podcast can be heard on Spotify and Apple podcasts.

Flogerzi added: “There’s a lot of subjects I’m passionate about, but there are podcasts for those.”

Wahlberg said the show is taking on “a big subject a lot of people care about.” 

The idea of the podcast spawned from their conversations while together in a car.

“We used to get together every Friday afternoon (pre-COVID) and drive around doing volunteer work, getting coffee and doing errands, and our conversations were always highly analytical and lots of laughing,” Flogerzi said. “Surfing was a main topic of conversation. We would have these high-energy debates and then always end them with: ‘Why don’t we have a podcast!’’’

She and Pederson were having coffee at Handlebar Coffee Roasters (the show’s first official sponsor), and the idea came up again as they conversed about the first World Surf League women’s contest. 

Flogerzi recalled the moment in an interview: “Ava said we really just need to make this happen. And I said, ‘Why not today?’ We texted Toby and had our first episode four hours later.”

All three surfer/podcasters are fans of podcasts.

Florgerzi listens to NPR’s “How I Built This” with Guy Raz, which is about innovators and entrepreneurs. Pederson is fond of true crime podcasts as well as shows such as “The Morning Toast“, “Switched on Pop,” “Stuff You Should Know” and “Working it Out.” Wahlberg also is a fan of “Switched on Pop” and likes shows about travel and self-help, including “Adventure Sports Podcast” and “Good Life Project.”

In keeping with surf culture, “Party Wave” is recorded in a van, albeit without boards, wetsuits, towels and sand inside.

“It’s my company vehicle,” Flogerzi said of the converted Promaster Dodge van that is used as a makeshift studio. “It serves as a mobile office and mobile unit for a film crew to work out of and edit from, and now our podcast studio.

“We bought it fully converted on the East Coast this summer and took three weeks to drive it home. It has everything you could need, and is fully off grid.”

The first show was done in the parking lot of the Riviera Theatre.

Their plan is to do the podcasts from different locations.

While they don’t often get the chance to surf together because of their schedules, the women stay active in the sport and love talking about it.

As for their favorite spots, Flogerzi goes with Sands Beach; Pederson’s preference is Campus Point for the waves and Naples for the scenery and vibe; Wahlberg’s pick is Devereux.

When she’s not surfing or hanging out with friends, Pederson works for a local orthodontist and helps her husband, Joel, with his company, Fin Window Cleaning

“I really hit my stride in surf knowledge when I was trying to impress my future husband,” she says on the podcast. “And it just grew from there.”

Wahlberg is a Cal Poly student working toward a biomedical engineering degree. A former Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy member, she hopes the podcast reaches a broad female audience who share a common love of the sport.

She tells listeners: “I like surfing. I’m not great at it, but we get out there. … The heart and effort, that’s what counts.”

The women have been friends for nearly 10 years.

Flogerzi said she and Pederson used to babysit Wahlberg and her sisters.

After the first show, Flogerzi said there was a “surreal and vulnerable moment when Ava texted us that it was up on Spotify. And the next day the messages and texts came pouring in from such a variety of people, all ages, all different places around the world, on how much they loved it. And so many said, ‘Keep going!’ That part we were really not expecting.”

Pederson said doing the show didn’t feel real.

“After a bit, it felt like a normal silly conversation and almost a joke that we were ‘recording,’” she explained. “It wasn’t until we got the MP3 file that I started to feel nervous. After the show, I felt a little uncertain, like either that would be the only time we ever recorded, or it would be the start of something really special. I’m glad it was the latter.”

After some early nerves, Wahlberg said the podcast “honestly felt like we were just hanging out, talking about everything we normally do.”

She said they were all pumped with energy and adrenalin after wrapping up the first episode.

“We were all grinning so hard and just totally in shock, like: ‘That just happened.’ We all had way more fun than we expected, which is saying a lot because we had high expectations for ourselves to begin with.”

The trio said they have plenty of good content lined up for future podcasts.

“We plan to keep it diverse but still surf-centric, so that anyone, no matter their level, can connect with us,” Pederson said. “We’ll be discussing our favorite surf movies, hair care in and out of the water, famous surf destinations, and always giving our listeners a new surf term of the day.” 

That should keep them stoked.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.