SRFACE Diaries

Gordon Fontaine

Written by SRFACE

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, Gordon Fontaine talks about pure surf stoke and something that’s more similar to surfing than you’d ever know.

How did you start surfing?

I grew up in a family of five with two brothers (I’m the middle one) and from the get-go, watersports have always played a key role in our lives. My dad was a keen windsurfer back in the early 80s, and I remember spending my early years at the beach, messing around in the shallows on bodyboards. Around the age of 6 or 7, I started windsurfing with my older brother Scott and before we knew it, the family holiday of choice was Tarifa in Spain, famous for its sunny, and more importantly windy, beaches. One day though, the wind died out completely and we had perfect little waves rolling in the bay. We decided to hire surfboards from the local shack for the day and basically never looked back.

Why do you surf?

Surfing is me, it’s where I feel myself the most. I live in a fairly wave-starved town on the south coast of England now with my beautiful family, and any time I paddle out into a fun-looking lineup I feel completely rejuvenated. I used to compete a lot and every time I surfed, subconsciously it was kind of about training, practicing my three-to-the-beach. Now it feels more like a dance. While performance is always there in the back of my mind, it’s become more of a way for me to express myself creatively.

What’s the best session you’ve caught on camera?

That’s got to be the Mentawais! I went there in 2010 with a bunch of mates and we were lucky enough to score an epic run of swell at Rifles near the Kandui resort. Tropical waters, non-stop laughs, and barrel after barrel.

What is your favorite surf destination?

Going to stick with the Indonesian theme here and say Lakey Peak, Sumbawa. Picture perfect waves, a super laidback lifestyle, and incredible food. Can’t wait to take my kids there one day.

What is your favorite surf spot?

Although the crowds these days are probably even more out of control than last time I was there, Snapper Rocks (or just the whole Superbank) has got to be up there. When it’s on and you stumble onto a bomb, you’ll catch the best wave of your life without a doubt.

What is your favorite surfboard?

My favorite board is my Quiver Thumb 5’11”. I’ve actually had it for a couple of years, which is probably the longest I’ve had ever kept a board for but it’s lasted me so well I can’t justify replacing it! I’d spent a bit of time with Phil Hodge, Quiver’s head shaper, developing the model over the years and this one seems to have hit the sweet spot. 5’11” is a little longer than a traditional shortboard for me but I was longing for drive, power, and longer lines – most probably inspired by the late great Andy Irons (still a long way from emulating his kind of surfing though!).

Who is your favorite surfer?

I’ve got a few I draw inspiration from. Ten years on and AI is obviously still up there, probably equal in influence with Dane Reynolds. And whilst I’ve always been into the way the Gudauskas brothers surf over the years, I’ve really, really been digging their positive vibes the past year or so. Pure surf stoke; the way it should be. Wish I could grin that hard!

What accounts should we follow on Instagram?

@asher_pacey and @_natetyler. These guys have been at the forefront of style and fun for years and still killing it. In fact, I’ve also really been into @josh_kerr84’s latest shenanigans. That carving three at Snapper a month or so ago was something else.

What is your favorite surf movie?

All the 90s and 00s OGs! Still get mesmerized by Volcom’s Magnaplasm and Frankenplasm after 20 years. In fact, that was probably my first VHS surf film! Also, I still regularly listen to the soundtrack of the Taylor Steele movies to get me amped up. Nothing beats it.

What does a typical day in your normal life look like?

What even is a normal life? Ha!

How do you stay fit?

I’ve been riding bikes a lot! Fallen in love with MTB a couple of years ago and been shredding gnar (trying to!) ever since. Riding downhill is more similar to surfing than you’d ever know – all about going fast, picking your lines, and carving your brains off.

Anywhere you want to point our followers to?

If you want to see more of my surfing tomfooleries, then head over to @gordonfontaine and give us a follow. Thanks for reading!

Behind the lens: David Mallett

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