A native of Santa Cruz, California, Darryl “Flea” Virostko has earned a reputation as one of the most fearless surfers in the world — winning the Mavericks competition, the Super Bowl of big-wave surfing, three consecutive times. With a flourishing career in big-wave surf competitions and corporate sponsorships, Darryl has appeared in the surfing films Riding Giants, Step Into Liquid, Billabong Odysseys and most recently The Westsiders, the award winning documentary that follows the rise and fall of the Santa Cruz surf tribe.
Darryl was at the top of his profession when the celebrity lifestyle that accompanied his surfing success brought with it alcohol and methamphetamine addiction. A near fatal fall from a cliff almost killed him – that was when he decided to get help.
Now Darryl is giving back with an exercise-based approach to rehabilitation for addicts, FleaHab Inc. In a survey of 500 counties across the Santa Cruz County completed in 2005, 87 percent reported increases in methamphetamine-related arrests in the previous three years. California counties reported a 100 percent increase.
A not-for-profit organization, the mission of FleaHab is to provide a sober living environment in Santa Cruz focused on physical activity, in effect replacing the high of drugs with the endorphins of exercise. Combined with a nutritional menu and access to sports, yoga and other holistic support systems, FleaHab offers a new approach to sober living – and new hope for those afflicted by drugs and alcohol.
FleaHab teaches recovering addicts how to surf and be active while learning a new way of life, without the ups and downs caused by addiction. Find out more and get involved at FleaHab.com