SUMMER 2017 WITH EVAN MOCK

Interview: Yentl Touboul, Video: Robin Pailler

Evan Mock’s been loyal since day one.

For those of you who’ve followed us from the start, you’ll remember Evan gracing our print and digital realms long before Frank Ocean made him a star overnight. Since then it’s hard not to notice Evan wherever we go; whether it’s seeing him grace the cover of At Large, representing Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week or recently breaking the internet riding a Hawaiian concrete rollercoaster, Evan’s quietly living his best life and we couldn’t be more stoked for him.

So since we recently retrieved a lost hard drive containing never before seen footage we shot in the Basque Country together in 2017, we figured we may as well release our print interview from that summer too.

*This interview was originally published in October 2017

photo: Yentl Touboul

photo: Yentl Touboul

What up Evan? Talk to us about ballistic missiles.

Dude, how gnarly is this. This morning I got a text from my mom saying:

“Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Get immediate shelter. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

How did they accidentally do that? And what are we supposed to do? 

I mean there’s bunkers on the island, but how are you gonna get all the people on the island in these 4 bunkers. The best would probably to find a bank safe or something. or go surfing I guess (laughts).

How is Costa Mesa?

Costa Mesa is great man it’s a cool little surfy town with a big skate community and 5 minutes away from the beach so i can’t argue at all and its close to sponsors so it’s nice to be able to pop my head in whenever i want. Since the new year started I’ve really felt motivated and fired up to work hard at my goals so I’ve been pretty busy since I got here. I just been going out with photographers like Sam Muller here and got a photo that im hyped on, so 2018 is starting out well I’d say. We’re having a barbecue tonight, if you guys get the first flight I’m pretty sure you can make it. How did that super 8 footage we shot in France turn out? Is it just a bunch of bails? Haha, It was just me getting frustrated, and you burning money basically. It was like:

“Here’s $200, let me burn it really quick”

Yeah Biarritz was kind of hard but we got some good clips in Spain. How was Hawaii this winter? 

Hawaii was sick. the waves weren’t that good but it was still an epic time hanging out with everyone and we of course still got a bunch of beach time in.  The North Shore is such a small place that you end up bumping into people every 2 minutes, so it’s cool to link up with the whole scene passing by throughout November/December. Partying and living the island life.

photo: Robin Pailler

photo: Robin Pailler

We saw you hanging out with Benny Fairfax?

Benny is a legend. Benny is so psyched on surfing. He got a photo with Medina’s dad and we then went for dinner with John John to celebrate his title and he was so stoked. He was frothing to be with all these dudes. When the Pipe Masters was going on, we were in the city trying to get skate clips and at the same time watching the wsl webcast we were all was so into it. 

Obviously everybody on the North Shore is focusing on surfing in the winter, but did you find some time to skate as well? 

I actually skated more than I ever skated on this trip back home. Usually when I go back to Hawaii in winter, it’s very surf-oriented because everyone is here for surfing. But since the waves weren’t that good it kinda led us to go out and skate instead. We would all go to Banzai skatepark, and hang out and skate there everyday. It’s such a fun crew over there too they’re all so fun to skate with and those are the moments i love while I’m back home.

We had a really good crew: Nate Fletcher, Greyson, Arto, Noah and Malakai Montes… and a bunch of other local rippers… it was so fun to have everybody at my local park and skate with them. There’s been a couple new spots that have been skating too. It’s a DIY spot that’s been built in an abandoned building. They built banks all around the building, it’s super hard to skate but super rad.

How would you describe the skate scene in Hawaii? 

The scene is crazy here. There’s kids who don’t even surf. They don’t hang out at the beach and stuff. They just skate. And I guess it’s surprising from an outside perspective because you’d think that everybody would be all about the Island life thing and surf, but it’s not the case. So for an Island, I think Hawaii’s skate scene is amazing. Skating is obviously getting bigger around the world, and Hawaii is really in tune with what’s happening in California. There’s a lot of influence from California, because a few kids from the Island turned pro and moved there, and that’s the path these kids want to pursue. You get to a certain point in Hawaii and then you move to California to hopefully pursue living from skateboarding.

photo: Yentl Touboul

photo: Yentl Touboul

When did you make the move to California

I moved at 18. I knew I was always gonna move. Not especially to California, but I knew I was gonna get out of Hawaii as soon as I possibly could. Because you can only go to a certain point in Hawaii until your skating kinda gos on a flat line, and you need to be elevated by something. The skill level when you go to a skatepark anywhere here is so high, and most kids are 10 times better than you… 

So, at the same time you still kinda feel like a big fish coming from Hawaii because people think you’re ripping there… and then you arrive in California and you’re put into this fish bowl with all these crazy good skaters. So this really pushes you. 

So it’s a constant emulation, and you’re constantly telling yourself “Damn, I need to be stepping it up!”, and in Hawaii you don’t really feel that urgency of needing to get better because the bar is only set so high there. And you end up getting conformable. 

So that’s when I knew that I needed to be out of here as soon as I possibly could, and California was very simple. My sister and my dad’s family live here, so I’ve always been visiting them. Even before skating.

I would come to California, visit my sister and stay with her. Then she would go work and I would go to the skatepark, and that’s when started knowing that I was what I wanted. I knew I wanted to move here at that point.

Apart from skateboarding, how is living in California different from living in Hawaii?

It’s a complete different lifestyle. California, you’re typically around the city and not really around water. In Hawaii, you would go surf in the morning, go skating, surf again in the afternoon and go for a sunset skate session. Not saying that you can’t do it in California. But you’re in this beautiful place all day long and as similar as both places seem its just a different lifestyle there and its so much more outdoorsy and that puts you in a happier mind-set to go out and do shit. 

In California I feel like you can get wrapped up in what you need to do, such as getting photos, getting clips, and it can get pretty hectic because you lose sight of having fun… like skating with your homies, hanging out at the beach…. 

Out here you’re wrapped up in this hecticness basically because you’re driving everywhere. You can skate around downtown LA, but typically you driving from spots to spots, and nothing is closer than 30 minutes. Most of the spots are 5 to 10 miles away but it’ll take you so much time because of all the traffic. 

Hawaii you skate from spots to spots, or you drive 5 minutes and you’re there. 

Who do you skate with most days in California?

I’ve got quite a wide range of friends out here…. Some might skate transition and some others might skate street, or both.

But that’s the difference I was talking about with my friend Sam the other day.

He remembers a time - and I don’t because it wasn’t my era - when people would skate, take photos and film together without really caring about what board company or clothing brand you were riding for… but now i feel like everything is so clicky.

But to answer your question I’ve been skating with Raven Tershy, Ryan Spencer, Arto Saari… And of course Malakai Montes who’s my good friend from Hawaii who I moved here with. 

He’s always been my number one skate homie, all the way from back in the early Banzai park days. it’s funny because he hated me when I first started skating, it was like how girls become friends, we would hate each other and be assholes to each other but then eventually became inseperable.

photo: Yentl Touboul

photo: Yentl Touboul

How did you end up coming to Europe this fall then?

My sister had plans to come to Paris because they hadn’t been back for a few years… and they had plans to link up with Sage (Erickson) in Portugal later, so they decided to go to Paris for a week before. I always wanted to go there too, so I had to join them. And then my friend Evelyn from the clothing label RTA had a showroom during Paris’ fashion week, which was just after. So I stayed with my sister and then stayed with Evelyn at RTA. She’s always been telling me how fun it is, so I couldn’t miss out on the fun. I like this scene and this culture anyway, and I had never seen a fashion week like that, so it was cool to experience it and that’s around that time when I met you guys when you premiered Eurothrash in Paris.

I stayed a few days after fashion week, and we then moved to Hossegor. Then I met Robin and talked about filming some stuff around here. I hit him up on Instagram not knowing I was about to meet him the next day (laughs).

Then we went down to Spain. We went to San Sebastian, Bilbao, checked out La Kantera’s skatepark… I’d never been there so it was cool to see. And the price of things was so ridiculous that we were just laughing, because you’re 1 hour away from Hossegor and everything is basically half the price. Then we just surfed around the contest area, saw some tits on the way… watched the contest and saw John John make a couple of heats… And I was staying at his, with Koa Smith, Kiron Jabour and Erik Knutson… basically John John’s entourage that we like to call the Johntourage (laughts)… and this Chef named Leonie was making breakfast lunch and dinner for us and it was the sickest program.  

It was really good to be in another country with all my friends from home. Seeing new cultures with your friends is the best.

Any highlights of your trip?

Finally getting that trick at la Kantera! It didn’t think I was gonna pull that back lip fakie… I really didn’t. I didn’t try for that long… but I was just trying again and again without resting… so it felt really long. 

We had a swim afterward and it was so refreshing. We jumped in there in our boxers, asked some girls for food recommendations, ending up getting a burger and beers.

Then we stopped at another spot on the way back and I killed myself trying a kickflip… I think I’m just too worried about what it looks like when it comes to filming trick (laughs) so i start focusing on that before i even land the trick hahaha.

Then a few days after we skated that spot in Biarritz… Cité de L’Océan and it was sick. 

photo: Robin Pailler

photo: Robin Pailler

Have you seen some good movies recently?

Robin told me to watch American Honey and that was an epic one. heaps of my friends have been talking about the new Blade Runner movie, and the The Disaster Artist… James Franco apparently kills it. 

What about skate stuff, anything hyped you up recently?

That Atlantic Drift San Francisco video. I thought that was sick.

Honestly I don’t watch skate videos that much. I watch more surf videos than skate videos.

I like Boys of Summer, and I watch Cherry on replay all the time… if it comes down to it, I just watch all of Dylan’s parts and the GONZ on replay.

What do you have lined up for the next few months then?

I just got a call that i’ll be heading to Tahiti for a week with Hurley dudes in a couple days and  and then  going back to Hawaii in February! Benny and the whole Palace team is coming to Hawaii, so I’m gonna show them around. I think most of the crew should be there, so it should be tight. and then hopefully get back to europe sooner than later. I’m just going to start off 2018 fresh and positive so I’m just gonna grind and get clips and photos. Basically the same than last year, but I feel really juiced up this year to get shit done. 

photo: Yentl Touboul

photo: Yentl Touboul