Living Off-the-Grid with Asher Pacey

Asher Pacey Under the Grid

Filmmaker Dan Scott and The Surfer’s Journal recently released a short film on the off-the-grid lifestyle of professional surfer, beekeeper, gardener, and crystal collector, Asher Pacey. 

You’ll know the tall, lanky Australian from one of his many edits over the years of him effortlessly banking smooth turns into one another before hitting the brakes and parking himself comfortably into a whopping tube.  

Asher Dropping his Wallet

There’s also almost always some variation of a twin-fish under his feet.

Outside of his surfing, I didn’t know much about the guy, but have quickly come to the conclusion that he’s lived a life we should all be quite envious of.  I know, I am.  

As Pacey talks about his sprawling garden, bee colony, and shows off a few of the crystals he’s hunted down over the years, we start to understand a picture of someone who is more than just a very, very good surfer.

Off-the-Grid Honey

I try to be a gardener, myself.  We’ve got fifteen fruit trees, rain barrels, composting set-ups, and three raised vegetable beds.  

We’ve also got a 10-year old outdoor cat named Beetlejuice who always seems to stay one step ahead of the owls and coyotes, while keeping our little garden and orchard free of bite-happy mice and rats.  

Our strawberry patch has started delivering the goods, and they’re a favorite of my daughter, so I’ve instructed him to make them his current focus.  So far, he’s done well. 

Beetlejuice After a Good Scrap
Though he avoids the coyotes, Beetlejuice has never been one to pass up a good alley fight.

With this said, I can’t hold a candle to what Asher Pacey does at his “off-the-grid” farm in mid North Coast New South Wales.  He’s the real deal, but it seems to be just one more thing that the Australian does effortlessly.  

Unlike Pacey’s farm, my home is nestled into crowded south Carlsbad.  There’s a Home Depot down the street. 

Also unlike me, Pacey grew up by candlelight.  

“We’ve always been off-grid,” he laughs barefoot, as he casts a fishing line in a bubbling stream with a 6-pack of beer at his side.

Pacey and his easy, peaceful demeanor talks about the things he didn’t have growing up out in the bush. 

These included a refrigerator, lights, and carpet.  

“We never had carpet growing up,” says Pacey.  Since his childhood, he’s made his home more comfortable, adding modern amenities like solar panels, a fridge, and even carpet, but his ideal has always stayed consistent. 

For him, it’s always been about having a place where he can grow fruit trees and edible things, and truly work with the land, not against it.  

Not only has he been able to achieve that, but it’s this exact model that also seems to guide Pacey’s surfing.  

Asher Pacey Growing Up Off-the-Grid
Asher Pacey growing up off-the-grid.

When you watch him out in the water, he seems to be completely in tune with what the wave is offering him.  It’s never forced or feels like he’s trying to impose his will on the wave.  Rather, he’s taking what it gives him and works with it.  

Pacey is completely at home when he’s surfing.

But he also seems completely at home when he’s beekeeping.

Or crystal gazing.

Or fishing a babbling brook in the middle of nowhere.

Or living off-the-grid, which is just something he’s always done.

He might be the essence of that famous Bruce Lee quote about water.

“You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, friend.”

Living Off-the-Grid

I’ve got a meeting with my HOA tomorrow night.  I’ve always wanted to try my hand at beekeeping, and watching this film about Asher Pacey has reignited that ambition.

Sadly, I don’t think the bees are going to fly, with the neighborhood or my wife.  

As a consolation, I’m going to try hard to get them to budge on the poultry clause they’ve instituted. 


I can’t imagine that Asher Pacey would have ever felt the recent spike in egg prices.  I’m sure, he’s got a thriving flock of egg-layers all his own.  

In my presentation to the HOA, I’m certainly going to try to channel Pacey’s calm, watery demeanor.  

If all goes well, Beetlejuice’s daily duties are going to increase in a big way.  

Let’s hope he’s up for the challenge.  

Until then, enjoy the new short film by Dan Scott about the off-the-grid doctor of smooth, Asher Pacey. 


Father, surfer, poet.


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