One More Wave: Entrepreneur learned early on: ‘Surfing is a gift’


Chuck Scott, founder of C.B.S. Scientific, knows it’s a gift. It’s something that has been special to him since he was a young boy. He’s grateful every day he gets to do it. It taught him the independent attitude that led to his success in his personal life and business.

That special gift is surfing, and for Scott, it started in the ‘60s when he was a young boy growing up in Long Beach.

After school he delivered newspapers and went surfing with his friends. His big sister was a star swimmer, but for him it was always surfing.

Going to college at UCSD allowed some surf time between undergraduate and graduate school while majoring in biology. Back then at UCSD, you had to be a Renaissance man who could not only do research, but also design and build experiments. Turns out Scott had an aptitude for designing and building the equipment needed to perform the experiments.

So, as his colleagues left UCSD for jobs across the United States, they’d call on Scott for his expertise in creating the equipment they needed. Scott realized he had the makings of a business.

In 1979, he quit UCSD and with his wife and partner, Jocelyn, focused on the company, C.B.S. Scientific.

The Solana Beach-based business designs, produces and manufactures test equipment used worldwide for biotech, cancer and cell-based research and crop testing.

Between the business and raising four kids - Vanessa, 27, Alex, 25, Trevor, 21, and Spencer, 18 - Scott stopped surfing for about 10 years. He got back into the sport via paddleboard, which he describes as “an immersion in nature that is a special way to start the day plus being a great core workout.”

Now, almost every morning he and a group of other paddle-boarders head out at La Jolla Shores to paddle and surf.

“Surfing teaches you how to be independent and take care of yourself. You paddle out by yourself and you have to get in by yourself,” Scott said. “That attitude of independence and willingness to take risks you need in a business.”

He smiles and then repeats his mantra: “Surfing is a gift.”