Julie Cox and Rel Lavizzo-Mourey Decided to Build the Surf Community They Always Wanted
In 2012, former pro-longboard surfer Julie Cox and her partner Rel Lavizzo-Mourey moved from Southern California to the Bay Area. It was, as you’d imagine, a relatively big shift. Southern California has a very different vibe than San Francisco, and it took them a while to get their bearings. But when they did get their bearings, they had a wonderful idea: a place for surfers called Traveler Surf Club.
The place they moved into didn’t have a garage or really anywhere to store boards. The walk-up unit they lived in made it difficult to get them to their door. The waters off San Francisco are not, to put it mildly, as warm as the waters off Southern California, and the prospect of climbing out of a 5/4 in a rainy parking lot wasn’t exactly something they looked forward to. And since San Francisco isn’t generally thought of as a surf town, they missed talking with other surfers. If only there was a place to store surfboards close to the beach, get warm, and shoot the breeze. And so Traveler Surf Club was born in the form of a place where all that was available.
In 2016, the first location opened its doors in Pacifica. A place with hot showers, changing rooms, surfboard lockers, and heated furniture, just a block from the water. Since then, Julie and Rel have opened TSC locations in Malibu, Ventura, and Santa Cruz, and each one has a sharp focus on the community they’re in.
“Building a community has been really important to Traveler,” says Julie. “I think surfing can be a little bit of an intimidating sport and lifestyle to get into. We hold events like pop-ups, movie nights, panel discussions, surf meet ups. Surfing is such a great community in itself and we’re just trying to expand that and make an inclusive place.”
This episode of CREATORS was shot and edited by Jordyn Romero. Follow Jordyn on Instagram @jordynromerofilm. Watch our other episodes of CREATORS presented by Flying Embers (the Ventura edition) starring Michael Arenal here, Darrick Rasmussen here, and Caleb Amico here.