Jim Kempton is a well-known pioneer in the surf & action sports industry, an author, editor, and media marketing authority, chef and historian.
Over his career, he was Editor and Publisher of Surfer Magazine, Group Publisher for TransWorld Publishing, and Director of the Quiksilver Crossing setting up programs for the brand around the globe. For most of the last decade Kempton worked as Media Director of Billabong, surfing’s top lifestyle brand. Kempton is currently the President of the California Surf Museum where he has served for the last 10 years.
Kempton owned an award-winning restaurant and has collected recipes and studied cooking his entire life. He is also the author of three books; his latest is First We Surf Then We Eat, a travel, surf adventure cookbook.
Awarded the California Arts Award of Excellence in Editorial Writing, Kempton has written hundreds of articles on surfing and the surf industry including the definitive history of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association. Kempton wrote Surfing the Manual, a book on the history of surfing told through the performance techniques of the world’s best surfers. He also wrote and edited The San Onofre Surfing Club, a 2003 book on the history of surfing at San Onofre.
A graduate of United States International University Kempton holds an MBA in International Business and a BA in Journalism; studying in England, Hawaii and California while earning his degrees.
A world traveler who has surfed or lived in over 30 countries, Kempton was born on Guam, growing up and learning to surf in the South Pacific and South-east Asia. Over his career he traveled to 5 continents in search of waves and good food. He lives in San Clemente with his wife, still surfs, cooks, travels, and enjoys his 3 children.