The Who Da Guy Q&A With The Outer Bank’s Stefan Turko

July 26, 2019 • ESA, Who Da Guy / Girl

Compiled by Jason Hoover:


Full name: Stefan Turko

Age: 16

Hometown and state: Kitty Hawk, NC

Nickname: I don’t really have a nickname but people call me Stef for short.

Education: 10th Grade-Home-educated at Carolina Coast Academy

Homebreak: Kitty Hawk Pier

Sponsors: Sanuk, Lost Surfboards, Electric, Xcel, FCS, Secret Spot Surf Shop

First paddle-out: My brother Quentin took me out when I was six on one of his boards at Eckner Street

Crew: Quentin, Neke,  David, Christian

Strongest maneuver: Backhand snap

The young Turko, South Nags Head, Spring of 2019. When asked recently just who is this guy is top international surf scribe and Outer Banks local Matt Pruett had this to say for ESM: “Compared to most post-millennials around this joint, Stefan is actually a bit of a throwback. He respects his elders, maintains etiquette, rides a hard-top surfboard, doesn’t run his mouth all session, and doesn’t go in after every wave to look at the GoPro clip. Plus, he knows how to use his rail and has long hair a la Nathan Fletcher circa 1989. Kid gets it.” – Matt Pruett / Surfline – Photo: Mez @mezapixels


2018: ESA Easterns Championships, Nags Head- 3rd Place U16 Boys, ESA Outer Banks District- 1st Place Boys U16

2017: ESA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, Nags Head, NC-3rd Place U14 Boys; ESA Outer Banks District- 1st Place Boys U16

2016: ESA Outer Banks District-1st Place Boys U14

2015: Volcom TCT, Kill Devil Hills, NC-3rd Place Groms: Rip Curl Grom Search, Nags Head, NC-Semi-Finalist Boys 12 & under

2014: East Coast Surfing Championships (ECSC)-Menehune Semi-Finalist 

Turning it on during the finals in the Boys U16 at the 2018 ESA Surfing Championships where he took 3rd overall. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Magic board: Lost Driver-Matt Biolos Shaper, 5’7” x 18.25 x 2.25 23.5L. The board works well in all  kind of waves.

Best day surfing: It was 3 years ago at Tateway Street in town. There were perfect glassy A-frames  all day with only my good friends out.

Biggest day surfing: 2 years ago at Wilderness, Puerto Rico. On my second day surfing, there were  10 foot, sick waves all day.

Best East Coast surf spot: The Lighthouse in Cape Hatteras, NC.  When you get the right swell, that place can have overhead waves barreling for 100 yards down the beach.

Best surf trip experience: Last fall went to the BSR Surf Ranch in Texas with some of the Secret Spot surf team. It was such a rad trip especially knowing you’re going to score waves the whole time you are there.

Theres no place like home, especially when 27949 is your zip code. Photo: Katie Harms @killaharms 

Should Kelly retire or stay on tour and what should he do when he does hang it up? I think he’s getting close to retiring and once he does he should work on putting his wave pools around the world.

Local hero: My brother Quentin. He’s One of the best surfers on the Outer Banks and a big inspiration in my life.

First surfboard: It was one of my brother’s secret spot SB surfboards that was a hand-me-down for me. It was around 5’1” faded and dinged.

Worst surf injury:  tried to jump off my board and bodysurf surf a wave and somehow my board came back around and cracked me in the back of the head and left a gash in my head.

Nastiest lineup: Sea Isle in Rodanthe had a few crazy crowded days last year. Guys were getting burned everywhere!

Non-surfing sponsor: Penn Fishing-High quality fishing reels.

Social media- good, bad or a necessary evil? I think social media is great as it allows you to see the best surfing content instantly and to stay updated on things more easily.

Worst wipeout: Went over the falls on a super heavy one at the Lighthouse.

Recommended website:

Song in your head to surf with: Self Esteem by the Offspring.

Time spent out of the water: Fishing, hunting, and golfing.

Winter whip back. Photo: Jon Carter @joncarterphotography

Best local hangout: Wink’s before they closed down last year.

Girlfriend/ boyfriend or no: Still on the search…still looking for that special one.

Personalized license plate: FISHNSURF

Wheels: Yamaha moped.

Ambitions: Professional fisherman.

Epitaph: “Just Send It”.

 There are several up and coming photographer / videographers on the Banks who have been deeply influenced and inspired by local legend Mickey Mc Carthy before, and after, his untimely passing and Jon Carter is one of them so his assessment of Stefan Turko are as good as gold to us:  “I’ve shot photos with Stefan since he was a little kid. He’s such a kind and respectful young man and it’s been really rad to see him grow and watch his surfing evolve”! Looks like this duo has it down out in the water and we look forward to seeing many more sick frames like this one in the future. Photo: Jon Carter @joncarterphotography

Favorite quotation: “Life’s a garden, dig it” – Joe Dirt.

Inspirations: Tiger Woods’ come back is inspirational and shows not to give up.

Biggest virtue: Respect.

Dirtiest habit: Playing with fish guts.

Overrated: Fortnite.

Stefan with videographer / photographer mom, Debbie and older bro Quentin – who is one of the OBNC’s finest young rippers – during a recent May, 2019 session. Photo: Mez @mezpixels

Underrated: Pineapple Pizza.

All-time buzz kill: Crowded lineups.

Name drop): I met Mick Fanning when I was 5 or 6 when he was on an east coast tour.

11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Drop in on Locals.

Breaking the law: I could tell you but then I would have to kill you.

Biggest phobia: Spiders.

Stef throwing buckets on the Banks. Photo: Debbie Turko.

Lesson learned the hard way: Don’t grab a triggerfish barehanded.

Message for today’s misguided youth: Don’t let social networking take over your life.

Secret other life: Golf course attendant.

Credit due: People fighting against offshore drilling.

If I could pick a superpower … Teleportation so when I hear the waves are good somewhere I can just teleport there.

Born and bred Outer Banker Stefan Turko. Photo: Jon Carter @joncarterphotography

Jet-skis are for… people who don’t like paddling against current.

If I could do one thing over again… There was this one wave I wish I had the opportunity to try and make again.

I once snaked… my friend David but he still burned me anyways!

Feral or five-star? Five-star, I like comfort.

What does it mean to you to be an East Coast surfer? You have to work a lot harder and be on it way more to get that epic day.

Stefan wraps it around this past Spring in south Nags Head under the watchful gaze of older brother, Quentin. Sez’ big bro who knows him and his surfing better than anyone: “Stefan has been maturing and pushing his surfing so much in the last few years.  It’s awesome to watch how much better he’s getting every time we surf.  It’s not going to be long before I’m competing with him for the best waves in the session!”. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

What is today’s surf culture lacking? Good rail surfing. It seems everyone is too worried on air reverses.

Whats the one question we didn’t ask you and what is your response? Question: what is it like living on the Outer Banks? Answer: it’s an amazing place to call home and there is always something to do year around. I hunt and surf in the winter months while summer is a great time for spearfishing and hanging with friends and the Fall is the best for catching hurricane swells.

Last words: I love to cook especially with the fresh fish I catch.


Edit of Who Da Guy Stefan Turko posted by richard meseroll on Vimeo. Video by Debbie Turko