IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) --An Orange County surf instructor who has given lessons to celebrities and homeless people alike, is heading to North Korea to continue sharing his message.
Lamberto Lo developed a passion for teaching people how to surf while living in Hawaii and it quickly grew as he found himself in the water next to some big names.
"Steve Jobs and his family, Bill Murray was one of my favorite, David Robinson, Jason Kidd," Lo recalled.
But the Irvine resident doesn't teach to name drop. ABC7 spoke to him during a lesson with Shannon Carder, a homeless man, who's never been on a surfboard.
"When we get in the water, it washes away, we're all the same," said Lo. "And you see that smile? There's nothing like it."
"It's pretty heartwarming, the ocean is a level playing field," added Carder.
Now Lo wants to take his positive message and his talents to a place that's rarely seen surfing: North Korea.
"Where is the final frontier of surfing? Where has no board ever gone before?" Lo asked.
Lo said he and a friend, a surf instructor in China, have been approved by the North Korean government to give surf lessons for 10 days in the country. He was scheduled to leave on Thursday.
"I'm nervous, but I'm hopeful. That's what keeps me going," said Lo.
Though surfing may be a strange new concept for North Koreans, Lo said he expects the same results from his other lessons.
"I know it! I know that when these North Koreans catch their first wave, they're going to smile and then I know that there's hope for people," Lo exclaimed.
Lo said many of his friends have told him he's crazy to take the trip. He responded by saying this wasn't about politics, it was about bridging a gap, and catching some waves.
"It's not about what I believe, what they believe, it's all about love, just giving them an experience that they would have never had before," said Lo.