Spending most of his youth surfing the waves of Mission Beach and La Jolla, Ken Whalen fell in love with the ocean at an early age. This love of his wasn’t complicated either. The ocean, in its infinite diversity, was a very stable, reliable element in Ken’s life and over the years this love and connection grew stronger.

Ken’s other loves in life were his family and friends. And when Ken’s loved ones wanted to discuss something important, he would frequently tell them to “Save it for the water”, for it was there, in the ocean, that he felt most connected and open.

Ken was an extremely gifted business man, the founder of Whalen Furniture, which he grew into an industry leader. But despite the demands of running a large corporation, he maintained a life balance that always included time in the ocean with friends and family.

Ken always pushed himself and those around him to get out of the “comfort zone” and try new things. As a result, he lived an incredibly rich and exiting life full of adventure and new experiences. More importantly, he inspired others to do the same. There are countless examples of people who profess that but for Ken’s urgings and example, they would not have taken certain steps to enrich their lives. Whether it was making a major change to one’s health, profession, or overall well-being, Ken was always there to encourage people to take steps to better their lives. This was Ken’s gift. This is Ken’s legacy.

Ken passed away in 2014 at the young age of 47 and it is through the Ken Whalen Surf Challenge, that his amazing gift of inspiration and love for the ocean lives on. Ken Whalen’s massive influence continues to reside just offshore, touching generations of youngsters who will no doubt share a connection with the ocean.