Pro Wisdom: 5 Travel Tips from Surfer Evan Geiselman

Pro Wisdom: 5 Travel Tips from Surfer Evan Geiselman

Pro Wisdom: 5 Travel Tips from Surfer Evan Geiselman

The Free Fly Ambassador wears the comfy, protective Bamboo Shade Long Sleeve and his trusty Wave 5-Panel Hat. Photo: Free Fly


The Inertia

Editor’s Note: This feature is presented by our partners at Free Fly


Life on the road can be hectic — just ask pro surfer Evan Geiselman. From quick brand trips to multi-month expeditions, the travel demands on pro surfers are nothing to sneeze at. And the very nature of surfing dictates that when the swell’s firing, you get on a plane, and go. 

That said, it makes sense that along the way Geiselman has picked up some travel tricks that help him save time, money, and headaches (often all at once). 

Evan sends it off the lip in Puerto Rico. Photo: Free Fly

From Stoked Grom to Pro Shredder

As a kiddo growing up in Florida, Geiselman was immersed in surf culture from a very early age. His whole family surfs — his parents even own a surf shop. 

Not to mention that his older brother, Eric, is a pro surfer, so Evan had a very clear template for pursuing the sport competitively. “I followed in his footsteps,” Evan recounted of his childhood. “Having the opportunity to learn from his successes and his mistakes has helped me in so many ways!”

The sport is pretty much in his blood. 

His parents — already rearing one pro — recognized Evan’s athletic talent and nurtured his growing passion for surfing. “I’ve been on a surfboard from my earliest memories!” the 30-year-old pro recalled.

At age 10, he won his first National Title, and from there the contracts started flowing in. “My life became: eat, sleep, breathe, surf,” said Evan. 

By age 12, he was traveling all over the world and knew surfing was what he wanted to do with his life. From spending summers in Indonesia for boat trips to wintering on the North Shore in Hawaii, life on the road (and in the sky) became routine. 

“I couldn’t be more grateful for all of the memories and experiences,” he said.

Evan Geiselman with shortboard

The pro shredder enjoys Free Fly’s jack-of-all-trades Reverb Short during a morning session. Photo: Free Fly

Evan Geiselman’s Travel Tips

But it hasn’t always been international jetsets. With such a rich and diverse surfing career, Evan’s picked up a lot of lessons about traveling the world — some of which he’s learned the hard way.

These days, he starts packing by making a checklist: surfboards, fins, wax, leashes, wetsuit or trunks, clothes, glasses, electronics, passport, and sandals/shoes. 

Beyond bringing these essentials, Evan also tries to abide by some simple best practices when heading far afield. Here are his top five travel tips for surfers and adventurers alike:

Tip #1: Bring a Waterproof Backpack

“Bringing a waterproof backpack while at the beach or on a boat is a must,” he emphasized. 

You never know when a rogue wave, a sudden rain, or a clumsy spill might soak your belongings. A waterproof backpack will keep your essentials — such as your phone, wallet, passport, camera, and snacks — dry, safe, and clean.

Tip #2: Bring Extra Boards

“Bring more than one board if you can,” he suggested. “Boards break easily, fin boxes blow out, etc. — have a quiver with you!” 

Surfboards are fragile. It’s one of the first lessons many surfers learn when they pick up their first board and inevitably ding it. It’s also something we’re reminded of just about every time we travel. Whether you’re in or out of the water, boards can snap, crack, or lose fins at any moment. Having a backup board or two will save you from missing out on epic sessions or having to buy or rent a new board when disaster strikes. It will also give you more options to suit different conditions and preferences. A quiver is a surfer’s best friend!

Tip #3: Calories and Sun Protection 

“Protein bars and sunscreen,” Evan listed. “No one wants to leave firing waves, so maximize that pumping day!”

Surfing burns calories and the sun will burn your skin. To keep your energy and performance levels high, you need to fuel your body and protect your skin. Protein bars are a convenient way to get some quick nutrition. Sunscreen (or a sun hoodie) are must-haves for preventing sunburns, skin damage, and even skin cancer. Don’t let hunger or sun exposure ruin your surf trip!

Tip #4: Pack a Stash of Charcoal Pills 

“It is so easy to catch stomach bugs from the waters in different countries,” Geiselman recalled. “Charcoal pills are a trip saver.”

Traveling to exotic destinations can expose you to new and unfamiliar bacteria and viruses, especially in the water. Sometimes, these can cause stomach problems. Charcoal pills are a natural and effective remedy that can help ease symptoms. Don’t let your gastric woes ruin a dream surf trip! 

Evan casts his fly rod while wearing Free Fly’s Bamboo Lightweight Hoodie. Photo: Free Fly

Tip #5: Bring Your Free Fly Gear

On top of surfing, Evan’s also a passionate fisherman. Through that angling experience, Geiselman has become a big fan of Free Fly. “Finding a way to tie surfing and fishing together is the goal!” he said of his dual passions. “I live in Florida, where it’s easy to balance both.”

Whether he’s on a surfing or fishing trip, he always packs his favorite Free Fly gear. So it made sense for him to partner with the brand after its recent pivot to surf, becoming an official brand ambassador in 2023. 

Here are some of Evan’s favorite Free Fly pieces that he always packs for the journey:

Bamboo Shade Long Sleeve: This shirt is a must for all those sunny days at the beach. It is made from bamboo fabric, which is soft, breathable, and naturally UPF 50+. It also has a relaxed fit and a hood for extra protection and comfort.

Tradewind Short: Evan lives in these shorts. They are made from recycled polyester and spandex, which are lightweight, stretchy, and quick-drying. They also have a drawstring waistband and a zippered pocket for convenience and security.

Cloudshield Rain Jacket: Whether on the boat or in the rain, Evan is always getting wet. That’s why he needs the Cloudshield rain jacket, which is his savior. It is made from nylon and spandex, which are water-resistant, windproof, and durable. It also has a hood, a full-zip front, and zippered pockets for functionality and warmth.

Wave 5-Panel Hat: This is Evan’s everyday hat. It is made from cotton and polyester, which are soft and breathable. It also has a snapback closure and a curved brim for a custom fit and a classic look.

Learn More about Free Fly

Evan stays cool in Puerto Rico rocking Free Fly’s Elevate Lightweight Tee. Photo: Free Fly

Living the Dream and Finding Gratitude

No matter the conditions, Evan loves the challenge and unpredictability of surfing. Like most pro athletes, along the way he’s had a few scares — but the most eye opening was a near-drowning at Pipeline in 2015. 

“That really changed my outlook on life,” he remembered of the almost-drowning. “Life happens fast, enjoy each and every day!”   

Despite being a traumatic episode, the incident at Pipeline hasn’t changed his overall approach to surfing. Sure, he’ll wear a helmet now when surfing waves of consequence, but he still shreds with the same aggression and confidence. 

But moreover, the near-death experience has instilled in Evan an appreciation and gratitude for his life and career. He’s living the dream — and he’s never been more grateful for it. 

“I’d say there are no downsides,” he reflected on his life. “I’m doing what I love for a job and am beyond blessed for the opportunity to travel the world and surf for a living. It’s a dream come true getting to experience the world and surfing great waves.”

The Free Fly Ambassador wears the comfy, protective Bamboo Shade Long Sleeve and his trusty Wave 5-Panel Hat. Photo: Free Fly Editor’s Note: This feature is presented by our partners at Free Fly.  Life on the road can be hectic — just ask pro surfer Evan Geiselman. From quick brand trips to multi-month expeditions, the…

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