Redondo Beach’s Hudson Ritchie Is Not Allowing Convention to Define His Path in Life

Winging it.

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  • Written & photographed by
    Kat Monk

At 23, Hudson Ritchie has seized opportunities that others only dream of. A talented actor, surfer, singer, guitarist and even pilot, he’s putting it all out there in pursuit of a rich and well-rounded life.

Hudson carves his own path and takes nothing for granted. Early mornings. Breakfast burritos. Van naps. These moments become welcome routine. If good waves roll through the coast or a south swell approaches, Hudson loads his rigged-up van with all the essentials—including his longboard—and cruises up to Leo Carrillo beach in Malibu. With the help of his parents, Hudson transformed the inside of his van to resemble a 1960s VW Bus with curtains and wood paneling. 

A role in the 2018 film Age of Summer allowed Hudson to earn his Screen Actors Guild card despite not having any previous acting experience. He hit it off with director Bill Kiely as they chatted about surfing during his audition.

“Hudson drips authenticity to a degree [that] he was cast to play himself,” Bill says of the California surfer kid. Filming in the South Bay afforded Hudson the ability to ride his bicycle to the set every day for almost four months. With his own trailer, he invited friends to come chill and hang out. 

While some of the movie’s actors went on to do other acting work, Hudson had different plans. Soon after filming, an opportunity arose for local bands to play at a thrift store event. Without hesitation, Hudson pulled together a drummer and bass player to form a band. 

The morning after the event, the three headed to Classic Burger in Torrance and noticed “country breakfast” on the menu. “What a great name for a band,” Hudson said to his bandmates. 

As lead singer and guitarist, he soon wrote a song about biscuits and gravy that became Country Breakfast’s first hit. With the help of his surf sponsor Rhythm, the band has received additional exposure. Recently Country Breakfast was asked to perform at BeachLife Festival in a Friday night spot. For Hudson, to perform for his hometown audience on that kind of stage was a chance of a lifetime. 

Did we mention that he’s also a pilot? Hudson received his solo license at 17 after successfully flying alone and landing three consecutive times. Local aviation customs dictate that after passing your solo, the instructor cuts out the back of your T-shirt—since the instructor no longer needs to tap the student’s back during training. 

Hudson’s T-shirt is now framed and proudly showcased on the wall at his home. His next step is to become an instructor and achieve the necessary hours required for a multi-commercial license. One day he hopes to fly the friendly skies for American, Delta or United.

It is not uncommon for Hudson to rent a plane to fly his family or girlfriend to Santa Barbara and back. The real dream, though, is to trade the van for his own airplane so he can fly to Mexico and never miss any epic surf.