When you grow up in Santa Barbara, Rincon is a favorite spot to surf. Sure it does get crowded at times but the point is so long and there are so many different sections to the wave that it’s a great learning ground for any surfer. Not only does Trevor Gordon surf Rincon with style and finesse, he can ride any type of board out there. From longboards, twin-fins, quad-fins and even finless, he can ride anything and make it look good. Surfer, world traveler and also artist are some things that Trevor does and it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to stop soon.
Thanks again Trevor for the interview, congrats on recently getting married, and happy campings in the future! Hope you guys enjoy Trevor’s interview and get influenced to go out and explore for yourselves as well!
Who are you and where are you currently right now?
My name is Trevor Gordon and I’m sitting on my sailboat in the Santa Barbara harbor.
When did you start surfing?
I learned to surf when I was about 7 or so but I really didn’t become obsessed with it until I was about 12, when I started surfing everyday before and after school.
How did you first start becoming interested in surfing?
I grew up really close to the beach and as a family we would go out on the boat all the time to the Channel Islands. Surfing was just a really natural thing to do around and after you try it once as a kid. It sticks with you and it’s all you ever want to do.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing keeps me really grounded I think. For better or for worse, it’s kept me near the coast and always has me watching the weather and swells and for that reason it’s shaped my life in a particular way. Most everything revolves around surfing.
Where is your favorite surf spot?
How did you become interested in art?
I have always been a doodler, like most people. But one of my best friends growing up was part of a really artistic family and when we would hang out over at his place we would paint and draw for hours. I was about 15 or so.
What materials do you like to use the most in your artwork? ( i.e. watercolors, color pencils, etc)
At the moment, mostly ink and collage. I live on a boat now and the size constraints have currently put my painting on hiatus.
What influences your art?
Travelling, but not all the places I’ve been, and not directly. I don’t travel somewhere and paint or draw what I see. It’s more the people I’ve met or the stories I’ve heard that inspire me. Like a trip to Canada I took several years ago. I heard a story about Bigfoots. I’m still drawing Bigfoots.
I’ve seen some footage of you working with a lot of different shapers like Ryan Lovelace, Fletcher Chouinard, and Kyle Albers. What are some of the boards that you have ridden from them and how come you haven’t had much footage surfing a standard thruster?
Ya. I met Ryan Lovelace when I was pretty young. He was making some weird stuff that I wasn’t privy to. He made me a 5’3 quad egg, and since then I really haven’t ridden a thruster. We’ve experimented a lot with boards and it’s just a lot more fun of a process than that which goes along with the pursuit of the perfect thruster style board.
You’ve traveled to many different places to go surfing. Where were some of the
places you have been to and which ones stand out the most?
I went to India a couple years ago. The forecast looked horrible and hopes were not very high but after a couple days of waiting we got some really insane waves. I also went to Russia with low expectations in terms of surf and had a blast.
Can you tell us a little more about your experience surfing in Russia? I watched the video “Russia: The Outpost Vol.01” and it looked amazing.
Ya, that was a wild trip. We were there for two weeks and camped every night of that. We traveled around in an old military vehicle and surfed some really fun waves. The particular area we were in was really wild and incredibly beautiful. We caught salmon and dipped in geothermal hot springs, took a helicopter in search of waves and surfed virgin waves. It was just an awesome trip.
Growing up in Santa Barbara, you have surfed Rincon a lot. Who are some of the people locally that have influenced you and your surfing?
Tom Curren for sure had a big influence. Lauren Yater has awesome style. Travers Adler. A lot of local surfers just know how to surf that wave really well and have had influence on me.
Have you heard of anything about surf in Taiwan?
I have a friend who’s been there and said that it can get fun, but no, I can’t really picture a particular wave… I’d love to go there someday though.
Single-fins, twin-fins, quad-fins and finless. Which fin set up do you prefer and why?
I’d choose twin fins. For Santa Barbara it’s the perfect board. You can drive really fast for the points at low tide but you can still smack the lip if need be.
You’ve seemed to travel to a lot of places and lived in your camper. Tell me about life living in your vehicle and meeting others during the time like Foster Huntington and sleeping wherever you park.
As a surfer you just travel around chasing waves a lot and you are always on a budget, so you sleep in your car. I met Foster while we were both working at Patagonia and we both had VW vans. It’s a super fun way to live and you meet some really cool people in the process.
What are you most proud of in life so far?
The friends I’ve made and the places I’ve seen.
I saw Foster Huntington has a new project coming out entitled “The Cinder Cone” could you tell us more about that project and did you help them out with building the amazing treehouse?
I didn’t really swing a hammer at all but I went up there a couple times during the making and just hung out. I did the layout concept design for the book that is coming out soon which was really fun.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would you want to live and why?
I would live here in Santa Barbara on a sailboat like I do. This is where I want to be.
Can you tell us the boards you have in your quiver? And what board are you currently riding the most?
It’s summer now so I’m riding longer boards as the waves are pretty small. Ryan Lovelace and I made a 7’10’’ double ender bonzer “thick lizzy” that has been a blast.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m working with POLER on a couple of short films. I’ve been working more on videos actually, and sort of directing. Also working on a book called “The Tiny Mess” with my wife Maddie and her friend Mary… It’s a cook/photo book about people who live in small places and cook with their small kitchens.
Any last words of advice/wisdom for the Taiwanese reading this?
Oh shoot, well… can’t not sound cheesy but… Don’t be afraid to go for what you’re