Show Us Your Quiver – Trevor Bloom
As Trevor Bloom is quick to acknowledge, he is a bit of an outlier at Ocean Beach. For starters, he’s barely 20 years old, which makes him about a decade younger than the average San Francisco surfer. You just don’t see too many teenagers who surf the beach, and Trevor’s been doing it since he was a freshman in high school. He grew up in Maui, and when he moved to Northern California for high school he had already invested too much time into surfing to give it up — cold water, big waves and exhausting paddle be damned.
“At first, I mostly thought the beach was off-limits. If it was much bigger than overhead, I wouldn’t even consider it.” But in the past few years, he’s grown more bold, and doesn’t hesitate to hunt down waves on the bigger days. He’s even paddled out at Mavericks a few times.
As for his quiver, Trevor is once again an outlier. In a surf town where customized boards and funky shapes are extremely popular, Trevor sticks with a much simpler method of getting his boards: hand-me-downs. He never buys new boards, instead just purchasing old boards from friends, something he attributes to a nascent understanding of board design. “I can’t buy new. I don’t have the know-how to do it right, and if I order a board, and it doesn’t turn out right, I’ll be pretty bummed. It saves me the headache to just get a board as it is, and figure it out … rather than order a board and get the dimensions all wrong.”
Trevor lives and studies in Marin as a college student, so we met along the Great Highway near a friend’s house where he sometimes stores boards. Here’s what he had to say, in his own words:
This has been the board of the season so far. I got it from Matt Lopez who got it for Puerto. It’s definitely for technical, top-to-bottom, barreling waves. It works well out here, but is really circumstantial. I don’t know. It goes fast, but when you’re going slow, sometimes water will collapse the rail in. It’s a really technical board, but it works really well out here if it’s a low-tide, top-to-bottom day.
I don’t like being under-gunned, so I’ll surf this up to maybe 12 foot, but nothing really bigger. It’s a good board. I’ve been riding this a ton, and got this from Matt over the summer. I don’t do too many turns on it, but it’s good to just try and get barreled.
Matching big wave guns
I have two guns. The first one is 7’10″, and then the other one is 10’0″. The 7’10″ is good for almost anything at the beach, but it’s gotta be pretty calm to work on the really biggest days. There’s a lot of foam in this board. As a quad, it goes really fast, and turns pretty well. I got it from my friend Jamie. I actually got the pair from him. He ordered them, and he tried them out early on in the season, and he wasn’t happy with them, so he sold them both to me. These are my first big boards for bigger waves.
The 10’0″ is great for as big as the beach will go, and it canoes into waves. It’s also so fast in its paddleability. I’ve only taken it out here once or twice, but have taken it out to Mavs a couple times. I’m still just sort of feeling things out around there, and I love watching guys like Alex [Martins] do their thing.
I got into size on a trip to Puerto last summer, and realized that I’ve put so much time into surfing, that it’s worth going big. I have gotten kind of tired of groveling out here. All my friends are high-performance surfers, but I’d rather go into the bigger stuff. I can only ask so much out of myself in the performance department.
To be honest, my understanding of surfboards isn’t that deep. I don’t always know the details, and I try to figure it out from feeling the board. I have friends who will customize a board and if it’s one-sixteenth of an inch off, they’ll send it back. These guys are super specific. But for me, I just like to roll with it a bit. I like buying used boards, I guess I don’t really trust myself with having a good enough sense of what works. And so far, these bigger boards feel good with me. Big boards have a bit more latitude with what feels good anyway.
My friend disliked this last board so much, and couldn’t sell it, so he just gave it to me. At the time, I had been riding a bunch of weird, small-wave boards that really push your ego and let you get away with whatever you want in terms of performance, but this is kind of my ticket back into reality. It’s a 6’2″ that’s kind of pinny, but doesn’t let me surf anywhere outside of my ability. It keeps me in a realistic place.
I had never ridden a shortboard over 5’11″, but the little bit of the extra length and pinniness means that I have to be more precise with my rail surfing. If I want to do a turn, I really have to generate speed to do it, but with other boards, you can kind of get away without it. It’s definitely helped me get back in tune with what I can do as a surfer.