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// The Coast //
Dec 10, 2015
It’s been awhile since we’ve shared something with you all, but hopefully this will make up for lost time! The NRS film crew have an aptitude for capturing the beauty and mystique of the great outdoors and The Coast is a gem in their collection. Surfer Hayden Peters shares his insights, wisdom and undying love of the ocean and inspires us to make the absolute most out of our time on this amazing planet, however long that may be.
// To Scale: The Solar System //
Sep 25, 2015
It’s kinda mind-boggling trying to imagine the magnitude of the solar system, but this short video by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh attempts to give us an opportunity to do just that. Shot on a dry lakebed in Black rock City, Nevada, these 2 lads and a group of friends built the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits in order to portray “a true illustration of our place in the universe.” Beautifully shot and explained in a way for us non-scientifically-minded folk to understand, it’s worth the watch if you have 7 minutes up your sleeve!
// Denali //
Jun 18, 2015
If you’ve got a spare 8 minutes up your sleeve, check out this heartbreakingly beautiful tribute to a man’s best friend from the crew at Felt Soul Media, made possible by Patagonia. In memory of his late dog, Denali, Ben Moon opens up his heart as he shares his journey with his longtime companion, with whom he was with through the good times and the bad. Inseparable until Denali’s last day, this short film perfectly encapsulates the unconditional love between pet and owner and will move you to tears and laughter in all the right ways. Enjoy.
// Red Tape axes Byron Bay Surf Festival 2015 //
May 30, 2015
It’s a sad day when you hear from the good folk at Byron Bay Surf Festival and they inform you broken-heartedly that they’ve had to pull the pin on the Byron Bay Surf Festival 2015.
The event has been hugely successful over the last four years and was recently awarded by Surfing Australia for its contribution to surf culture. Held in beautiful Byron Bay, the grassroots festival attracts people from near and far, who all come together to pay homage to the ocean through the art, music, workshops and other good stuff the event has showcased over the years.
Unfortunately, this year the tough decision was made to cancel the event due to a lack of funding and bureaucratic red tape that rendered the festival logistically and financially unviable this year.
The BBSF director and co-founders have postponed the event until 2016 and are now calling out to the wider ocean-minded community to ensure this event continues in future years. Please share this and reach out to anyone you know can see the benefit in keeping this unique surf culture festival alive and If you want to support or maybe know of possible major sponsors, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
// Let’s Make Waves! //
May 6, 2015
Big wave charger, PhD scientist, co-founder of Waves of Freedom, artist, adventurer, and all-round lover of life, Easkey Britton has many strings to her bow and although her life is positively hectic, for the past year she has been working with a bunch of equally talented women to put together the world’s first Surf and Social Good Summit.
Using surfing as a vehicle for positive change, the Summit will bring together like-minded folk from all over the globe who seek to explore and collaborate on ideas for a better future.
We asked Easkey a few questions about this exciting event that is just around the corner…
When and how did the idea for the Surf and Social Good Summit come about?
About a year ago this slowly began to take shape – it came from a need a realisation that I could only do so much on my own… Having just started Waves of Freedom, I had so many questions and I wondered how other people coped in similar situations – trying to effect change doing what they love. I wanted to ask them, how did you do that? What challenges do you face and how do you overcome them, what motivates and inspires you? Questions I’ve been asking myself and have discovered how much easier it is to find the answers to what we’re seeking when we ask! Sounds silly, that should be so obvious. But when we’re so driven by passion we can forget how important it is to reach out – it’s not a sign of weakness, but of strength – by coming together and acting collectively, creating meaningful connection we can bring about far greater impact. That’s what happened and how this collective, surfing + social good, began and continues to grow.
Your event plans to harness the power of surfing as a tool to bring about positive social change. In your opinion, what are some of the greatest challenges in achieving this change?
This is exactly the kind of question we will be asking and tackling at the Summit. For me, I see the greatest challenges as disconnect, a growing disconnect within ourselves, between each other and especially the world we live in – our environment. But perhaps the more important question is why surfing matters – why is it such a powerful force for social impact? I think surfing is such a powerful and positive metaphor for how we live life and overcome challenge. Surfing isn’t easy, it’s unpredictable, we have to leave our need to control behind and be open to the unexpected; it demands our total awareness and presence to the moment, along with a willingness to let go, flex and adapt, and exposes us to a force far greater than ourselves.
You plan to empower individuals, particularly young women and girls. What are some of the specific challenges young women and girls face compared to their male counterparts?
As momentum around surfing builds with over 35 million surfers globally and surfing rapidly growing in developing countries in particular, it’s becoming increasingly important to better understand the benefits of surfing and to acknowledge their differential effect on girls’ lives in diverse cultural and economic settings. That said, a gender perspective is largely absent in the global surf culture, especially any media that includes female voices from emerging surf cultures. And yet, surfing is proving to be a powerful force for social change in emerging surf cultures such as Iran where, through Waves of Freedom’s work with young pioneering sportswomen, surfing has become a story led by women and a medium to connect across gender, cultural, class and religious divides within the country. In Papua New Guinea, we co-facilitated an initiative launching surfing as a tool for self-empowerment and to raise awareness to end violence against women. As a result, young women experienced an increased sense of recognition in their communities, a sense of belonging and equal status in the line-up, a shift in attitudes of their expected roles, increased self-confidence and participation in local decision-making. And now we have the Girls Make Waves Action Day at the Summit on May 17th – the aim of which is to create connection and community by capturing and sharing stories like these and through them, exploring the potential for surfing to act as a catalyst to change gender-based inequalities, aiming to unveil the rich diversity of surfing women around the globe, regardless of sexuality, race, and class. Surfing is a dynamic way to build confidence, overcome fears, and connect with others in a safe space, which are all very relevant for girls and women.
This is the next step in “Sport for Gender Equality.” Sport has demonstrated its transformative power in addressing social challenges, particularly toward advancing gender equality. Organizations from the United Nations, USAID, DFID, and more have propelled it as a major tool in international gender empowerment. Surfing is the next wave in this movement- harnessing the natural power of the ocean, as a force that unifies individuals and overcomes barriers.
Involvement in surfing can positively change existing gender norms and help girls and women move into public space and become important role models for others, such Mona Seraji, Iran’s first woman of surf who is coaching other girls how to surf in her country.
What sort of fire in the belly can people expect to walk away with after the summit?
Fired up to act, inspired to start the thing they thought they couldn’t, new networks…
This is a beginning – to map out the successes and opportunities, as well as challenges and obstacles, and to form new opportunities for collaboration through research networks and project partnerships that we hope to create during our final day, the Impact Lab, May 18th. We’re going to help maintain these connections and opportunity for collaboration by partnering with Hashtag Charity (#charity), an amazing organisation bringing their tech and innovation skills to S+SG by building a collaborative platform for us to continue to work together on high-impact ideas and projects beyond the Summit.
This is about growing an active community of wave-makers globally and we’d love to get the support to offer this as global experience, with events at various locations around the world.
There are plenty of ways to connect to the cause…
– The S+SG Summit is almost full but there might still be some places left if you register here.
– Support and give to our S+SG initiatives via the online Crowdrise fundraising campaign.
– Join the Twitter Chat, May 8th 9am EST/ 2pm GMT/ 9pm Bali time, follow the conversation on #surfsocialgood
All images courtesy of Easkey Britton, who would like to give special thanks to all their supporters, sponsors and partners, especially Waterways Travel, The Cashew Tree, Salt Gypsy and Surfer Girl.
// Antarctica by Kalle Ljung //
May 4, 2015
While touring Antarctica with his father for 20 days from December 2014-January 2015, Swedish filmmaker Kalle Ljung put together this video that captures landscapes few people get to encounter in their lifetime. Armed with his drone camera and GoPro, Kalle captured the raw beauty of the Antarctic where vast blues meet pristine whites, ice shelves look as fragile as they do resilient, whales pass by unperturbed and every breathtaking vista is further illuminated by its mirrored reflection. It’s videos like these that make you want to trade in a tropical vacation for the harsh and frosty climes of the south.
// Dreamy Imagery From O.G by the Sea //
Apr 30, 2015
There’s something eerily beautiful about these photos that were taken by Mervyn O’Gorman or the ‘O.G.’ as he was affectionately known. Taken in 1913, they feature his daughter posing naturally against the backdrop of Lulworth Cove, Dorset, and are said to be among the earliest colour photos, made possible by the Autochrome process that was patented a mere 10 years prior. Although he is best known as one of the greatest British engineers, he was also a keen artist and photographer and one of the pioneers of colour photography. The grainy quality in contrast with the vibrant red whisk you away to times past and although we can marvel at the advancements in colour photography over the years, it’s nice to reflect back to its humble beginnings, especially when images like these leave you feeling spellbound.
// Up Close With a Sperm Whale //
Apr 23, 2015
An exciting day at the office for these scientists who had the joy of seeing this inquisitive sperm whale come and check out their underwater research robot some 600 metres below sea level a few days ago off the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing like a rare encounter with such a magnificent beast…
// Flight Paths of a Revolutionary //
Apr 6, 2015
With the 53rd annual Rip Curl Bells Beach pro currently taking place, Silvana Lima took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with Jan Juc local, Heidi Atkins, who gives us an insight into this Brazilian charger who continues to leave her mark in the professional surfing world.
Words and photography by Heidi Atkins.
Silvana Lima has a gigantic and warm smile. It’s an honest, natural beauty and while she may be mouse-like in stature, her grin is a gateway to an enormous energy. This energy is filling the Jan Juc home of my Brazilian friend, where Silvana chose to reside during her campaign to regain the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title. I’ve come to meet her and the sound of Portuguese banter flies around, most pleasing to my ear. As we sit, Silvana neatens her hair, arms revealing a tattooed map to her story. Maria da Penha is an ode to her mother. The 2009 Bell rings for her, mid torso. A beautiful, tribal piece with turtles and fish curls from elbow to wrist.
I try to conduct a casual interview whilst she destroys my friend’s six-year-old son in a game of what’s supposed to be friendly backyard football. She wrestles him to the ground, both boy and ball toys at her mercy. She skillfully passes through his legs to score another goal. The tired out boy flops on the outdoor chair. He tries to hide his embarrassment, smiling through his sweaty fringe. He has met his competitive match, and been defeated by a girl.
A girl who was once a cheeky seven-year-old, growing up on northern beaches of Brazil, stealing surfboards from her brothers and showing them how it’s done. A thirst to win, born so young in the water.
These days at 30, she’s classified a veteran. The scars on her knees like lightning bolts are inherent to her electric persona and will to perfect. These marks show the toll of ligament tearing aeronautical landings.
Whatever her age or injury, she did something very special for women’s surfing earlier this month. At the Roxy Pro she wowed the crowd with an aerial manoeuvre “rated best in the history of women’s surfing” (Gold Coast Bulletin). Earning her a perfect 10, some claimed this was the move that could change the face of women’s surfing. All this makes it is hard to believe that Silvana is without a major sponsor. Perhaps the melodious clanging of yet another bell will awaken the slumbering sponsors. What a visionary face of change they will snap up. Boa sorte Silvana. Boa Sorte!!!!!
We are nowhere, and it’s now – Fergal Smith
Feb 21, 2015
We are nowhere, and it’s now is one of the most inspiring films by our friends at Desillusion we have come across in a while. Fergal Smith is an Irish born and raised surfer who grew up in the country with his family on an organic vegetable farm. A simple life, that educated him about some of the important things in life, family, good food, health and enjoying whats around him. As a well travelled surfer, Fergal chooses to stick to his roots and the way of life he learnt calling the Irish country home, not choosing surf as a way to make money, but rather something he simply loves to do. He gives us a humble insight into the importance of living a self sustaining and happy life, and the importance of being a part of a community.
// Interview with Derek Nobbs //
Feb 7, 2015
If you’re an artist living in a place called ‘Squalor Harbor’, it seems fitting for nautical themes to seep into your work at some stage or another. But for artist Derek Nobbs, his homage to the sea runs deep and his artwork is heavily influenced by a genuine affinity with the ocean. Working with watercolour, gouache and ink, Derek’s pieces have an old-world aesthetic that capture the mystique of the ocean and the living creatures that dwell within.
We caught up for a chat with Derek, who gave us some insight behind his work, while maintaining a sense of elusiveness that left us even more intrigued about the man and his work.
All images are property and courtesy of Derek Nobbs.
Where are you based out of and what does your studio space look like at the moment?
The official answer to where I’m located is Squalor Harbor. My studio space currently looks like an old longshoreman’s garage, but with windows, and two cats to throw the fish heads to.
I usually seek out coffee, maybe some food depending on how I feel, then I get to work on painting or whatever needs to be done. Then lunch, then painting. Then most days I go for a walk, drive, hike, or some combination of the three. Then get back to work until dinner or late into the evening. Not very eventful.
Can you summarise your work for us in one sentence?
No. I wouldn’t even know how. So much thought goes into my work that if I was to summarise my work in one sentence I would be leaving something vital out.
Your artwork is heavily centered around nautical themes. Why do you find yourself gravitating towards the ocean for inspiration?
The ocean has endless history, folklore, superstition, and mystery that keeps bringing me back. It’s beautiful, brutal, and mysterious; it’s natural that I love it. The theme was inevitable as I’ve always lived near the water, up and down the west coast, and there have been more than a few sailors going back through my family line. I’m also concerned with the fragility of the ocean and I try to speak to that in my work as well.
Mainly nature and history in some form or another. Whether it comes from a walk in the woods, old photos and ephemera, or stories of man taking on nature—true or mythical.
What are you listening to right now?
At this moment, Bob Dylan.
When do you find yourself to be most creative?
I don’t really know. I suppose that depends on how I define my own creativity and honestly creativity is such an intangible, encompassing, and fleeting word that I never give it much thought.
When was the last time you were truly stoked by what you’d created?
Right now! I’m totally stoked on this piece I’m working on!
What keeps you sane?
Am I sane? I’m not sure if I’m qualified to say that I am. But for the sake of argument here are some things that keep the gun out of my mouth; painting, being in nature, being with friends, my family, Jessica McCourt, my cats, whiskey, being surrounded with objects that inspire me, and Tom Waits.
What was the last artwork you saw that blew your hair back?
Whatever it was it was by Peter Ferguson, Walton Ford, Andrew Wyeth, or Rockwell Kent.
What sort of stuff do you get up to when you’re not making art?
Pursuing all the other things that keep me sane.
What are some of your plans for 2015?
More fires, more exploration, more inspiration and less stress.
I like to fly
Feb 7, 2015
Stu Gibson Photography has been exploring the wonderful world of aerial cinematography AKA Drones!! Wouldn’t have expected anything less from this amazing photographer – definitely some of the best footage we have seen in a while – enjoy! We like to fly too!
// Greetings from Baja //
Jan 30, 2015
Ahoy there! You may have noticed we’ve been pretty absent on Facebook and the website of late, so we thought we’d better let you know what’s been happening with the Sea Stoke crew.
Heeding the call of the wild, we’ve embarked on project at the last-minute called The Howling Sea, where off-road motorcycles, surf and desert landscapes of the Baja peninsula collide for an epic adventure into the unknown. The journey has at times been challenging, but overall rewarding and laden with the sort of stoke we wish everyone could encounter at some stage during their lives. We feel so privileged to be riding amongst vast cacti forests, stargazing at night skies that dazzle us with a shooting star nearly every minute and most importantly, getting to share such wondrous times with good mates.
All of the stories that we have featured throughout Sea Stoke over the last 2 years have inspired us immensely, and we hope that perhaps our little adventure will spark a desire for all of you to venture out on some crazy journey that you’ve been dreaming about, or simply just take the time to enjoy the beauty of the natural world.
It’s our mission to continue sharing the sorts of stories that inspire others, so if you have a story or imagery to share that will fan the flames of our readers, please submit your goods our way! We’re currently working on the next issue and when we get settle back into civilisation, we’ll get it fired up and out there as soon as possible.
We want to wish you all a belated Happy New year and we hope that 2015 has been good to you so far. Stay salty and we’ll hopefully bunker down somewhere soon and inject some proper love into Sea Stoke for the coming year.
Until then, buena onda amigos!
// Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans in San Diego //
Dec 11, 2014
We’re massive fans of the work behind PangeaSeed who collaborate with internationally renowned artists to employ ‘artivism’ as a means to raise awareness and educate the masses about the current issues that are negatively impacting the world’s oceans.
Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans is an ongoing artistic campaign that uses large-scale public murals in combination with community-based educational efforts that focus attention on major environmental issues the oceans are currently facing and promote the importance of long-term sustainability of natural resources.
They’ve recently released several new works that make up the San Diego addition to this epic project. With some well respected artists such as Phlegm, Exist, DALeast, Fintan Magee, Nosego, Tatiana Suarez and Zio Ziegler, the San Diego chapter once again showcases an impressive collection of murals for a valuable cause that we’re always stoked to support.
To learn more about PangeaSeed and ways to get behind the cause, head over to their website.
All photos courtesy of PangeaSeed founder and director, Tre Packard.
// Legacy of Stoke – calling for submissions //
Dec 10, 2014
Most people have a vivid recollection of the first time they went surfing—paddling until you felt yourself being picked up by the wave and the exhilaration of standing up for the very first time, followed by a smile from ear-to-ear that can’t be wiped from your face. Instantly you understand what it means to be ‘stoked’ and perhaps without realising it, you’ve just become part of a tribe that you’ll continue to thrive in for years to come. For those who have ever had the honour of passing on the joy of surfing to anyone else and seeing them catch their first wave, the stoke is infectious and it takes you back to when you were a fledgling surfer. This passing on the legacy of surfing is what has inspired Joseph Tomarchio to put together a collection of stories of people around the globe who can recall their initiation into surfing and what it means to be able to pass this on to somebody else.
Joseph is currently calling for submissions to this awesome project, inviting anyone from around their globe to share their story, that will be compiled into a professionally edited and printed publication around March 2015. If you think you’ve got a story anywhere worth sharing, get typing and send it over here.
Tell me a bit about yourself: where do you currently reside and where did you grow up?
I grew up in South Florida and started surfing when I was 11 years old. Later, I moved to California to attend college and surf the west coast and now I reside in Charleston, SC with my wife and son. I married my high-school sweetheart almost 18 years ago and we have an 8 year-old son who started surfing with me three years ago. Outside of these two, I have surfing, traveling, books and photography, all which make my life very full.
What is your background?
I work for a publishing subsidiary of Amazon.com so, this type of project allows me to bring together two of my passions with writing and surfing. I first published 2 children’s books with my best friend called “My Daddy Taught Me to Surf” and “My Mommy Taught Me to Surf”. We are currently working on our 3rd title in the series which is tentatively titled “My Daddy Taught Me to SUP”. The “Legacy of Stoke” felt like a natural progression that will allow me to share the love of surfing from another’s perspective and to a larger audience.
Tell us a little bit about this “Legacy of Stoke” project…
The “Legacy of Stoke” is a project that will allow me to gather all of the great stories that we as surfers share with one another in the line-up or in the car or over a beer with your friends. The plan is to select a subject for each volume, gather the best and most inspiring entries and then share them with everyone that we possibly we can. We can give some writers a chance to see their favorite stories published and pass along our love of surfing.
What was the catalyst for the project?
Surgery… I ruptured a disc several years ago surfing an epic swell in Costa Rica two of my best friends in the world. This past summer, the disc finally gave out and had to be replaced. This laid me up for a few weeks and while I was out of the water, it gave me a chance to read or reread some of my favorite titles about surfing. And in doing so, I wanted more… More stories and more tales and more anecdotes about this passion that we all share. A passion that can be so hard to put into words at times.
What does the word ‘stoke’ me to you?
It means love. It means gratitude. Is means being reminded of the magic in something you’ve looked at a million times.
Storytelling is a great way to document and pass down history for generations to come. Why do you feel it is important for these stories to be heard and shared?
It is so easy to find stories of pain and darkness and despair these days. I think that we have so much to be grateful for as a race and even more so as surfers. I think a life is defined by the experiences and stories we choose to remember and how we choose to remember them. I am so thankful for every person that has ever shared a positive moment with me, passed along an encouraging tale and made me a better person because of their shared words. Why not pass along what we love the most, share our greatest passions with someone, anyone who might need it or, might just cherish the reminder.
Who was it in your life that taught you to surf or injected the love of the ocean into you?
Well for me, the ocean injected the love of itself into me. Every wave I owned and every wave that owned me has injected me with gratitude and respect and longing. No matter what, I always long for more. I have smiled after an amazing barrel and I have smiled on the way to the hospital for stitches from surfing. I have laughed after landing an air and laughed under the bluest sky I’ve ever seen after nearly drowning.
From the moment I started I was also surrounded by surfers. The juxtaposition for us is we always want our waves uncrowded and our time on land surrounded by other surfers. We all share this commonality of stoke and love and it just moves and moves through us and around us and reminds us over and over again of how fortunate we are.
Throughout your life, I imagine you have passed this stoke onto others. Who has been the most significant recipient of this legacy of stoke?
Me. I’ve gained the most. As far as I am concerned, I have always been the biggest recipient in the equation. When I get the opportunity to take something that means so much to me, share it with someone else and then see them ‘get it’. To see a type of all-knowing, understanding smile spread across their face and light up their eyes is magic, truly magic. For me it’s like walking up to a christian and saying “Oh, you’ve been looking for Jesus? Well, come on, he’s right over here… I’ll introduce you.”
What are you looking for exactly and how can people jump on board and be a part of the Legacy of Stoke?
For the first volume, we want to start where you started. How did you learn to surf, who taught you and who have you taught. When did you get that knowing smile? When did you really become part of this tribe? Then, we will move on to other topics for future volumes.
What are some general guidelines for submissions?
We want 1,500 to 7,500 words of inspiration, of uncovering the mystery, of finding ‘stoke’ through passing on the heritage of surfing. From there, we will select the best stories and have them professionally edited. Every author whose work is selected will have their name and city/state or country put below the title of their work and receive two copies of the book when it is published.
Do you have an eta for the project?
I would like to get all submissions in by January so we can begin the selection and editing process. Then, with luck we can publish by March and help everyone get excited for the warmer Spring swells.
And finally, what gets you supremely stoked?
Simplicity and gratitude and the fact that I get to be who I am and do what I do and, that I get to know and love the people in my life.
In simplicity, I believe that I am one man who needs one board to ride one wave. I have one wife and one child. When you reduce your life and center it, focus it as finely as possible, what you have left is more precious than having 10 or 100 or 1,000 of anything.
Secondly is gratitude. I’m learning that so much of my life is about being aware of what I ‘do’ have. I am stumbling on a path to be more and more grateful for everything. Whether is it getting to paddle out or realizing that you just missed a car accident. If I didn’t get decimated by a wave in Costa Rica, I would not have had surgery this past summer. If I didn’t have surgery this past summer, I might not have thought of this project. If I didn’t think of this project, I would not have had the chance to try it. I’m learning to be grateful for every pebble in the path that I tripped on as well as where the path has led me.
To learn more about the Legacy of Stoke project, head over here.
All photos courtesy of Joseph Tomarchio.