We catch up with San Clemente’s Cole Houshmand at the Vissla Great Lakes Pro pres. by D’Blanc to discuss his sophomore trip to Australia, life on the Qualifying Series (QS) and how San Clemente has shaped him as a surfer.
You’re in Australia at the moment. How many times have you been here now, and how does this trip compare with the rest?
This is my second year that I’ve come to Australia. I came last year for the run of QS events and this year I’ve come for the same reason as well as the World Juniors. It’s been an amazing trip so far. All the events have had amazing waves. I mean, look at Boomerang right now, it’s firing and would have to be one of my favourite stops of everywere I’ve travelled.
Do you ever get surf like this at home?
There’s a few beachbreaks like this, but they don’t get as good as this very often. These waves we’re watching seem to be an everyday occurrence for Boomerang, but at home this would be one of the best days of the year.
Talk to us a bit about your plan for 2018. You made a few quarters here in 2017, how does the Aussie leg set you up for the year?
The Australian leg of QS1,000 events is great as it gives you such a good start to the year and allows you to get your groove going as you try to set yourself up for a better seed. My goal is to finish in the top-100 on the QS this year and hopefully get into the 6,000s.
How has San Clemente shaped you as a young surfer?
Mostly, it’s known for its pointbreaks and of course Trestles. There’s always beachbreaks to surf around there as well, so there’s a ton of variety.
What about the people of San Clemente though, there’s a colourful lineage of surfers from the area, like the Fletchers, the Archbolds and the Beschens. What’s it like growing up under them?
It’s still a really small surfing town really and everyone tends to push each other pretty hard. Kolohe Andino is one local who has taken a lot of the local kids under his wing and taught them a lot. He’s been a really good role model for a lot of kids in the area. Also, Griffin (Colapinto), I’ve been surfing with him since he was seven years old and seeing him qualify has definitely pushed a lot of us and helped us realise our potential.
Do you feel lucky to be living this life?
Definitely. There’s not many 17-year-old who have seen as much of the world as I do. Seeing so many different cultures and how people live is inspiring in so many different ways. I want to continue to soak it up as much as I can.
Words: Ethan Smith