The San Francisco-based graphic designer Felix Desroches describes himself as a bit of a “glomad.” Born in Ventura, California, this French Canadian Brit hybrid spent his early years living between Indonesia, Venezuela and Nigeria, followed by stints in Paris, Texas and England, where he studied political science at the University of Warwick. In 2007, he returned to the Golden State for a new job where his unconventional boss told him he’d fire him if he didn’t go surfing with him. Next came his first-ever surfing excursion to Bolinas, a sleepy, hippie town just north of San Francisco in Marin County. “From that day on, it was surfing five days a week for me for an entire year. I was addicted to it,” says Desroches, who now owns more than a dozen surfboards, a mish-mash of long and short boards. Old school long boarding, however, is where his heart lies. While the best wave he’s ever surfed was Malibu, he remains loyal to the frigid, shark-infested waters of Ocean Beach, his local break. “I like surfing brutal Ocean Beach because with waves of consequence, egos tend to dissolve,” he says.
In late 2012, feeling the need to disconnect and ruminate about life, Desroches hit the open road in Duke, his trusty 1982 Vanagon, in which he spent a year zipping across Canada, Mexico and 30 US states, surfing iconic breaks such as San Onofre and Rincon, as well as lesser known East Coast spots like Ogonquit, Maine, and the Outer Banks. He documented it with a photo blog at Dukebec. Next adventure on the agenda? A surfing / motorbiking trip in Biarritz with some surf buddies. “Nobody knows where the journey will lead – least of all myself – but if anything I’ll be moving forward.” Read what surfing is to him below.
Name: Felix Desroches
Where do you live: San Francisco
Years surfing: 7 years
Surfing is: My muse and my torment. It gives me peace and frustrates me to no end, all within the same instant. It keeps me humble, keeps me human, and keeps me longing for more.
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