Surf and drive - always air-cooled

Ken Hake grew up on the surf board and carries Porsche in his heart. So it was only natural for him to combine both passions. That's how Petro-Surf came about, an event on Sylt for air-cooled Porsches and passionate surfers.
Text Michael Petersen
Photo Vince Perraud

Some people surf, some people drive old Porsches. "What do you prefer to do?" That question momentarily leaves the eloquent Ken Hake from Hamburg speechless. Yet the question is entirely justified; after all, Ken Hake is the organizer of an event with the evocative name "Petro-Surf." Owners of air-cooled Porsche 911 have met on the island of Sylt three times already.

Hake and his organizing partner Angelo Schmitt speak of two worlds. On the one hand, the "edgy charm" of the air-cooled Porsche scene, and on the other, the alternative surf culture. Both worlds are united by Petro-Surf's "drive for freedom, individualism and a special view of aesthetics."

Oh yes, there was still one question left, which would you rather do, surf or drive an air-cooled Porsche? After a few seconds, Ken Hake revealed: "The sea is a bit of a drive away from Hamburg, so maybe the surfing? Or the air-cooled after all?" Luckily Hake doesn't have to decide, he simply does both.

Hake of course surfs himself. That's not at all that surprising, born on the island of Sylt, he grew up in California. There he developed close contacts with "Luftgekühlt," founded by the American racing driver Patrick Long. Porsche fans immediately know that Luftgekühlt is all about the air-cooled boxer engines that power classic Porsches, from the 356 to the last 993, which rolled off the production line in 1998. Hake brings the Porsche happening "Luftgekühlt" to Europe. He himself drives a 3.2-liter Carrera built in 1987.

The network is thus extended in every direction; Hake and Schmitt use it for petro-surf and choose Sylt as the venue. " Specifically not Los Angeles or Biarritz," as Hake notes. It was on Sylt that water sports enthusiasts first dared to hit the waves in the 1950s, the birth of surfing in Germany.

"When all the engines were running,
the ferry was shaking."

Ken Hake

At "Vol. 3," the third edition of the show in the summer of 2021, 75 classic cars from Zuffenhausen fill the Munkmarsch harbor. Do all the drivers surf? "Nope," Hake dryly replies. But Petro-Surf's goal is certainly "active riding and active surfing." The weekend includes a small regularity competition with the 911s and also with RC cars, exhibitions are set up with topics ranging from surfboards, "Surf Cars", various art to the historical theme "Munkmarsch: Gateway to the World". A petro-surf skipper meeting must not be missing, nor live bands and the DJ in the evening. The "Farewell Tour" with the Sylt ferry from List to Römö in Denmark rounds off Petro Surf. The highlight: The ferry is exclusively filled with air-cooled. "When all the engines were running, the ferry was shaking," Ken Hake says. Everyone on board smiled, some cheered.

Oh yes, there was still one question left, which would you rather do, surf or drive an air-cooled Porsche? After a few seconds, Ken Hake revealed: "The sea is a bit of a drive away from Hamburg, so maybe the surfing? Or the air-cooled after all?" Luckily Hake doesn't have to decide, he simply does both.


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