SRFACE Diaries gives you a peek into the lives of our ambassadors. Because we all surf but have so much more that makes us interesting human beings. This week: Surfer & photographer Evie johnstone from Newquay, United Kingdom.
How did you start surfing?
I began surfing when I was very young. My dad taught me, and we used to drive down to Devon on weekends and surf with him. I have the nicest memories about those days.
Why do you surf?
I guess once you learn to surf that’s it. I don’t think there’s any feeling that compares to it. It’s everything to me. It makes me happy, it gives me freedom, it’s an escape from the world, a form of meditation, it keeps me fit, it makes me smile. I can name a million reasons why I surf and why I love it. I am forever grateful to be a surfer.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
As a freelance travel and lifestyle photographer I don’t think any days look the same haha. There is very little rhyme or rhythm, which is what I love the most about my work and life. But when I am home and working here in Cornwall, most days revolve around the swell and the tides. When I’m not surfing I spend all my time in my studio working, editing, creating and having fun learning new creative processes with my camera.
Who or what inspires you and why?
My mum. She’s always so positive, and so helpful. She has a non-stop flow of energy to her and always goes out her way to provide support and help to everyone around her. I want to be just like her when I’m a mum.
What do you do to relax?
Surf! It’s my escape from the realities of life and stresses that can sometimes come with work and the world we live in. I also love to take off in my van and go on adventures, exploring and waking up in new places, surfing new waves and seeing new faces. It’s such a wonderful way of living.
If you’re not surfing, you are…
… probably working. I am the queen of not being able to chill or sit still. Kind of annoying ha. I love my job, most of the time it doesn’t feel like work. And if I’m not working I’m looking for waves, or planning an adventure that revolves around surfing.
Name one thing the world could use more of right now
Do you have a tip for people who want to build a life around freedom (and surfing)?
Be passionate about what you do and the choices you make. Be kind, have confidence, and work hard. I think hard work is sometimes what people don’t see behind the facade of social media, especially within the surf lifestyle, so that’s why it’s always really important to love and be passionate about what you do. You can spend 80% of your time doing it. Living close to the ocean definitely helps too of course, I can’t recommend that enough!
What’s the worst job you did so you could surf?
When I was 17 I moved to Costa Rica. I worked in a cafe for one dollar an hour to pay for a horrible little room filled with cockroaches. I’d wake up in the night and they’d be in my bed urghh. I lived off bananas and this strange yellow maize cake because it was all I could afford. But I was so stoked to be able to surf everyday, the waves were epic, it was warm. I was so happy with that simple beautiful life.
What is your favorite surf destination?
I fell in love with Mexico. I hitchhiked from Sayulita down to Escondido over a two month period, and I was blown away by so many things: The kindness of the people, the food, the landscapes, the thick jungle, the huge palm trees, the empty line-ups, the surf (world class and so consistent), the tequila, the mezcal, it just ticked so many boxes for me and I’d go back and do it all again in a heartbeat.
What is your favorite board?
Ahh such a hard question. Can I pick four?! Having spent so much time in the UK this last three years, I’ve gone from being a tunnel vision short boarder – would never ride anything else EVER, to a surfer now that drives around with my four favourite boards in the van because I never know what the surf will be like. I feel like the older I get the more I just want to surf, have fun and catch as many waves as I can, whereas before it was a lot about competing in the contests, turns, only one style you know. And now it’s about being able to surf in every condition, even the really bad days and still have the best time. So my four would be:
My 9’6” longboard. I have totally fallen in love with longboarding these last years. Big days, small days, any days. I AM IN LOVE.
My 6’4” Noller Design single fin. A new found love in my quiver designed for the bigger days, the fat surf days, my lazy days, and the full head to toe neoprene winter days.
My 5’11” standard shortboard thruster for the good days.
What is your favorite surf movie?
Lola Mignot, Gyspy princess of Sayulita. It’s not really a movie, but a beautiful short featuring the story of Lola, capturing her incredibly wonderful style. I guess this is one of the things I watched over and over when I first started longboarding and what inspired me to start longboarding. It’s just so lovely.
What accounts should we follow on Instagram?
Name one thing you would give up surfing for
Haha, I don’t think there is anything.
Best lockdown activity?
I’m lucky to live on the beach – and so very grateful – so for me it was practising my longboarding, and a lot of photography of course. It’s been really nice concentrating on photographing Cornwall and areas around my home that I have often overlooked, it’s so beautiful here. During the less strict lockdown periods I’d often head out exploring and sleeping in my van with my doggie.
Would you rather have unlimited paddle power & speed or night vision so you surf at night?
Unlimited paddle power and speed for those dreamy non windy days, and point breaks.
The ultimate wetsuit for every surfer