Yancy Spencer

Sometimes the finality of life on this plane hits you in a way you didn’t expect. The kind of stuff that sticks to your bones. A week and a half ago, Gulf Coast surfing legend, Yancy Spencer was surfing in Malibu. Feeling chest pains, he got to the shore, called his daughter and paramedics. At only 60 years old on an idyllic California beach,  the picture of health, Yancy Spencer died.

It’s like the rug gets pulled out from under you. It takes a little while to regain your footing and understanding of what happened. Everyone, I mean everyone that surfed or spent time on the waters of the Gulf Coast knew about Yancy Spencer.

Finding his spiritual footing in Jesus as a young man, he spent his life living as a reflection of his faith. He owned Innerlight Surf Shop since the mid 70’s. I remember one location in the late 70’s in an old house on 9th av in Pensacola, that had an “upper room”, where people could go to discuss life and spirituality. I always thought that was especially cool. I have bought surf gear from Innerlight for over 30 years, just like everyone else.

I didn’t know Yancy past a kind hello in passing. I remember in later years being on the beach when the Innerlight van would pull up with a beautiful long board on top. Yancy would get out to survey the surf. It always made me feel that things were alright in the world to see him still surfing, still connected to the water and Gods creation.

Our community held a “paddle out” for Yancy last Sunday. Over 1000 surfers in the water, and another 1000 on land for a beautiful memorial. It was a reminder that life is short, but the best revenge is to live well. Yancy did that and was a ray of light for us all. Peace to you Yancy, thanks for everything.


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