Trevor Gordon is a talented surfer/artist from Santa Barbara, California. Growing up in the Central Coast, Trevor was influenced by the Curren and Malloy families and developed his own unique style of riding. Trevor is also an avid illustrator and painter. We spoke with Trevor to learn more.
What was your life like growing up?
I grew up in Santa Barbara, a minute’s walk from the beach, always surrounded by the ocean and mountains. My parents were avid sailors growing up, so life has always revolved around weekend trips out to the Channel Islands. I grew up surfing, boogieboarding and bodysurfing down the road at Leadbetter beach and Sandspit. I was basically your typical surf stoked, skate to the beach, surf kid.
When did you get your first surfboard?
I was about 6 or 7 when I got my first board. I think I bought it off one of my Mom’s co-workers for $5. It was an old 80’s Matt Moore thruster. The thing was so beat up, it looked like a rotten banana patched with stickers and wax. I don’t have it anymore but I wish I did, it probably would have been a super funky little fun board if I could ride it now.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
I can’t say that I remember my first feeling on a board but I can remember the feeling of that time period. I can remember the excitement surfing brought me when I first learned, and the feeling it left me with.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were younger?
As far as surfing goes, I’ve always admired people like The Currens and the Malloys, basically local guys. I was never the kid who would go out and get the newest surf movie, so I feel like I was always admiring people who were closer to home and that I knew a little about. I looked up to people I would actually see surfing in Santa Barbara.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out and why?
Last year, I was able to be a part of an amazing adventure up into Canada’s Pacific Northwest Great Bear Rainforest. That particular part of the coast is the mainland stretch above Vancouver Island up towards the Queen Charlotte Islands. It is entirely untouched and fully wild. We saw grey whales in the lineup, grizzly bears feeding on wild salmon in the rivers and eagles everywhere you looked. We spent 10 days on a sailboat looking for surf, scouring the coastline while each night nestling into a small cove for refuge from the wind.
Does it get better? The mission of the trip was to raise awareness about the rainforest and coastline that is threatened by Enbridge and the oil industry. I will never forget how absolutely pristine that entire coastline is. It definitely was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and not one soon forgotten.
Who/what inspires you?
Art. Music. Travel. Friends. Being around inspired people inspires me. Seeing people go at what they love, creating things, making art, surfing how they feel. Honest things. Sometimes a certain song or musician will inspire me to paint or draw. Other times it’s a surfboard concept.
What was your most memorable wave?
I went to India last year and we found some really amazing waves. I basically just got a long clean barrel. The water was this glowing glassy blue and I could see the coral beneath. I remember pulling out the back, flopping over and thinking “Is this place real?” It was surreal to be surfing in India and getting perfect waves.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
The value of appreciating everything around you.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of where am in my life. And whom I am able to share it with.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
My girlfriend, family, making art, surfing, traveling, campfires and Banoffee pie. Put all of those in one place. Please.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
There are a lot of progressive guys out there really raising the bar as always, but I’m no good at keeping up with that. I really like what some of the asymmetrical boards Ryan Burch is making. Ryan Lovelace is throwing some curve balls and making some really cool boards. I really like the way Craig Anderson surfs. As far as shaping the path for surfing, there are just too many paths!
What is currently your favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
I’m really digging Fletcher Chouinard’s “Fark” model. It’s a really fun fast board, with just the right amount of fish and shortboard. It goes on every trip with me. Ryan Lovelace has also been making me some really fun fishes, hulls, and asymmetrical finless things. My favorite known surf spots are Rincon and Sandspit. Fast waves.
What “Golden Rule” do you live by?
What’s your favorite meal?
Bangers and mash.
What are listening to on your iPod?
Lately I’ve been listening to people like Frazey Ford, Alela Diane. Joe Purdy I really like. M. Ward. Too many to name, but I like folksy simple singer songwriter.
What are you most grateful for?
My Parents for introducing me to the ocean, Patagonia for the opportunities they’ve given.
What’s next for Trevor Gordon?
I’ve got a bunch of drawings in my head that I wish would hit the paper, some arts shows, building the summer garden and a few surf trips not too far out.