Danny Cortazzo grew up on the beach at Malibu and has dedicated his life to ocean safety. It was on a trip to Australia in his early 20s when Cortazzo first discovered surf helmets. Immediately recognizing the value of head protection, he became one of the first surfers in North America to wear a surf helmet and has worn one for over 30 years. Danny achieved his master’s degree in Marine Sciences and subsequently focused on lifesaving services—working as a fire captain/paramedic and beach lifeguard/junior lifeguard instructor for decades.
Cortazzo also founded one of the first adaptive surf programs—Ride A Wave—and is responsible for taking thousands of individuals with special needs surfing, free of charge. Danny is highly respected in the Santa Cruz community as a lifesaver, waterman, National Lifeguard Champion and competitive tandem surfing winner.