Go because you can

“There was a week of time where words like terminal and poor prognosis became part of our conversations. Needless to say, life comes into focus very quickly.”

By John Brodie

The Great Pacific Northwest

If you were given the coordinates of 46 degrees North and 123 degrees West you’d find yourself in the Pacific Northwest – a stretch of rugged coast from Southern Oregon to British Columbia.

Imagine the surf culture that inhabits this coastline. Bigfoot adjusting the rear-view mirror in his favorite Patagonia flannel, shifting into second gear, snapping redwood branches in a rusty Toyota pick up? In the truck bed lies a rifle, a dog the size of a Grizzly and a wooden single fin?

Bigfoot is a mythical monster, perhaps one constructed from thousands of stories passed on for generations. An enormous apelike beast spotted picking berries and stealing cattle throughout acres of thick forest. Yet Sasquatch him self, is harmless compared to one very real monster. Cancer.

Troy Nebeker preparing for a downwinder - Photo by J.Patzer Photography

Troy Nebeker preparing for a downwinder – Photo by J.Patzer Photography

Speak Softly & Hustle

As a young man Troy Nebeker was his Grandfather’s deckhand. A love for the Sea began to brew while securing dock lines and coiling salty rope. This love has kept Troy’s humble heart close to the shore in one way or another all his life. Usually you can spot him piling boards atop his car hours before dawn.

Troy is a family man. He lives by two rules: Speak softly and hustle. Two rules that were passed down from his father in which have lead to a successful graphic design career.

When asking Troy how he would describe himself he humbly noted,

“First and foremost a dad and husband, everything else after that is gravy.”

Helpless is an unimaginable understatement of what Troy now felt. His wife has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and shortly after lymphoma. Suddenly all that gravy is poured down the drain and Troy emerges as the anchor of a husband with the strongest of arms for his daughters.

There was a week of time where words like terminal and poor prognosis became part of our conversations. Needless to say, life comes into focus very quickly.”

A Monster Was Born

A focus deepened to simplicity’s core. The simple need to give back, to use your talents in a way to douse happiness on those around you. Through family, friends and a love for the ocean, a new monster was born in the Pacific Northwest.


Troy created the brand in 2013 after his wife was diagnosed. Monster and Sea oozes with inspiration. Nothing is taken for granted because it can all go up in flames before you can say Sasquatch.

Troy describes his goals for M&S as a need to give back. He says,

“To create a community of people and businesses who want to inspire and do good things. As one person it is a very difficult task – but as a community – making a difference becomes very possible.”

A community has formed full of people who go because they can. People who give one extra hug to family and an extra laugh amongst friends. People who see the little things as great, big and giant things. People who have come face to face with the cancer monster as well as those who haven’t.

Fueled by a heart full of love for the sea

Fueled by a heart full of love for the sea, the hands of a creative designer and the focus to appreciate what you have, Troy Nebeker has crafted quite the collection of apparel that sends 10% of proceeds to families fighting cancer. The slash beanie (a personal favorite) has been put to the test in Scandinavia, helping my Californian ears feel at home.

Go because you can is a Monster and Sea inspired trademark.

“Go because you can is for the joy of living.” Troy explains.

“My brother in law was a professional snowboarder. Traveling to an event he was in a car accident. He is paralyzed now. His life is great, don’t get me wrong – but when you ask him what he misses – carving and sitting in soft snow.”

Four words that contain an ability to answer four million questions: Go because you can.

Monster and Sea is a growing community of humans who do what they love – giving back with a smile on their face and a few boards on top of the car.

If you visit monsterandsea.com  you can read plenty more about Troy’s story and how you can stand up to the monster called cancer. Maybe even snag a few of those slash beanies while they are in stock.

Speak softly and hustle.

“This is a very crazy adventure. Through it I have been very fortunate to have meet some wonderful people, been treated with extreme kindness and have watched my family grow closer and stronger than I ever thought possible.” – Troy Nebeker



In a world where we are inundated by product marketing and insidious messaging it is refreshing to stand together with mission driven individuals such as Troy and our tribe here in the Northwest, which includes YOU! Thanks for your commitment and solidarity to our hui. ~Naim



  1. Profile photo of Nathaniel Dietz
    wrote on May 20th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Nathaniel Dietz

    Awesome write-up on an inspiring brand. Then again, it’s more than just a brand, isn’t it? I saw the “Guardian” t-shirt awhile back at Urban Surf and went online to find out more about the brand. Little did I know how inspired I’d become – checking the Instagram feed on the daily to keep me pumped, planning trips to check out out-of-the-way lakes we can explore on our boards, trying to spread the word about the brand (plus, the sticker on the back of the Vanagon gets a lot of inquiries). “Go Because You Can” is so simple, yet so powerful. That, combined with the story behind it, is such a renewable source of energy!

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