Surfers relocate to California for waves and love, for Mexican food and privacy. But did we forget about the most classic reason that Americans — from gold miners to budding starlets — move out west? Did we forget about fortune and fame?
We may have, but Evan Geiselman hasn’t.
In American surfing, Orange County is Hollywood. It’s home to Lowers, the most rippable wave in the world. It’s where surf brands do business and where we, the surf media, produce content. Which is in large part why 18-year-old Evan moved to San Clemente from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, last year with his older brother, Eric. Because while stars might be born elsewhere, they’re made in Orange County.
“Being in California allows me to consistently check in with my sponsors and with the magazines,” says Evan. And while it’d be easy to paint him as a spotlight-hungry surfer, his reasons for transplanting are more pure than just high-fives and ass-slaps with the industry folk.
“Really, I just moved here to surf more,” says Evan, who admits that the California coastline allows him to hone his craft in a range of waves that Florida can’t always supply. Plus, his biggest competition is here — his best friends and closest rivals. And since Sun-tzu tells us to keep our friends close and enemies closer, Evan figured he might as well just move in. “It’s really good for my surfing to surf with friends like Kolohe and Luke [Davis]. Those guys make me surf better.” —Taylor Paul