3 bites, 30 minutes.
And you are certainly well aware, by now, that the breakout star of this year’s National Football League postseason, San Francisco running back Raheem Mostert was/is a surfer and was once offered a sponsorship by Billabong to surfer professionally. He turned the offer down in order to pursue his football dream though does celebrate touchdowns by “paddling” in the end zone before popping to his feet and “surfing.”
Oh our surf world is very much like Christian rock ‘n’ roll. Any mention, any wink from “mainstream culture” our way is met with swoons, with much pride and a swelling of self-worth. We matter, we really matter.
Well, The San Francisco Chronicle, getting in on the fun, traveled to Mostert’s childhood home of New Smyrna to interview his “surfing pals” about these exciting days. Lo and behold his surfing pals are Eric and Evan Geiselman with special appearance by Billabong’s own Evan Slater and let’s dip straight in together.
Evan was friends with Mostert in middle school.
“We had P.E. together and he was miles above everyone in terms of athleticism,” Geiselman said. “He was a freak of nature.”
After eighth grade, Evan was home-schooled so that he could pursue his sport. But he still kept in touch with Mostert and surfed with him.
“I learned a lot of my skills from them,” Mostert said.
He and Evan are both goofy footed (meaning they ride with their right feet forward on the board).
“He just kind of had a knack for it,” Geiselman said of Mostert’s surfing. “I love how he celebrates his touchdowns.”
“New Smyrna is a hotbed for East Coast surfing talent and Raheem was one of a handful of local kids with real potential,” said Evan Slater, Billabong’s vice president of global marketing. “Even then, Raheem was clearly a gifted athlete who would likely achieve an elite level in whatever path he chose.”
And while the Geiselmans and Evan Slater are the absolute best representatives of this surfing life, the scariest reveal in the Chronicle piece was that Mostert’s then-girlfriend, now wife, is the survivor of a multiple bite shark attack and let’s read that together too.
When Mostert took his future wife Devon to New Smyrna for the first time, on spring break from college, he said she was bitten three times by sharks in the space of about 30 minutes. The sharks in the area, hammerheads and tigers, are relatively small.
“Not like the Great Whites here,” Mostert said.
He doesn’t surf anymore, and not because of the sharks. The activity is forbidden by his NFL contract.
“But I still like to go to the ocean,” he said.
Three bites in 30 minutes?