Married to the sea


    Malibu resident Armand Olaf Riza, who is Turkish and Norwegian and a retired real estate developer, is very loyal to the mother ocean.

    Looking much younger than he is rumored to be (anywhere between 70 to 90 years old), Riza has undertaken and excelled in almost all outdoor sports.

    With his unbelievably trained physique, one would never know that he has had two hip replacements, two ankle fusions and upper and lower back surgery–11 surgeries to be exact.

    Prior to his operations, he used to jump up, stand and surf. Not even pain could stop him.

    This is how Riza learned to surf: He made a paddleboard when he was a student at Lincoln Jr. High School, but it was body surfing that became his passion. He later went to Hawaii in the early ’50s.

    Riza lives in the old Tiki Motel, a place on Las Tunas Beach stuffed with legendary memories.

    A daily routine for more than 10 years, Riza paddles out to sea off the shore of Topanga Beach. His outings cover three to four miles roundtrip.

    “My boathouse is lived, rigged, ready to rip,” says Riza about his stash of boards (windsurfing, surf and paddle) and kayaks. “Anything that floats … I got it.”

    He has approximately 10 sails, the newest ocean equipment that there is. In his boat yard he takes pride in his high-tech new style sailboats. Weather conditions and the size of the surf determine what equipment he will use on any particular day.

    After hurting his ankle, all his footwear is custom made. Due to his injuries, he gave up on surfboards and windsurfing and has decided to stay with his canoe. He rides a wave ski, which is a surfboard with foot straps and a seat as well. It is made like a surfboard. Rather than the molded and plastic type, Riza has a foam and fiberglass similar to the surfboards in the water. It is custom made for length and size, maneuvers and spins around and can keep up with all the other surfers.

    Riza awakes with the sea and goes to sleep with the sea. Single his entire life Riza says, “I am married to the ocean.”