MORE THAN JUST THE RIDE
HEROES OF OUR NEW WORLD ORDER
Brad Gerlach Harold Hunter Risto Mattila Beastie Boys Miki Dora Huck Finn Lacan
SHauN wHITe SNOWBOARDING’S VERY OWN ROCK STAR
VOL. 01 ISSUE #001 JUNE/JULY 2006 made in the uk £2.95 SHAUN WHITE by KEVIN ZACHER
ÂŠ 2007 Vans, Inc. photo: Carlos Pinto vans.com / vans.eu / pukassurf.com
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the big stories contents. huck #001
42 shaun white snowboarding’s very own rock star wants to play monopoly with dolphins.
50 !!! “chk chk chk” the new york band that’s got everyone lost for words.
56 adam brodie random thoughts on the growth of bling within the skate community. 58 ireland dreamin’ spencer murphy captures the emerald beauty of an imaginary irish surf dream. 68 indo boat wars to charter or not to charter: that’s the question. 70 snow symbols an attractive line-up of raw snowboarding talent. 78 vancouver island: beneath the clouds searching for waves on the western frontier. 86 barcelona: puke bar chronicles gonzo diatribes on the city of skate. 88 scotland: the mosshead point island hopping in the far north. 92 whistler: island of snow, island of wealth a former resident’s chronicle of change. 96 framed in space stuff we like and know you’ll want. 102 morning haze summer fashion to bridge the beach-street divide.
the front 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 38
brad gerlach harold hunter larry haynes miki dora paul willoughby the tower of oz power surfing the beastie boys red shoe manifesto
the back 114 snowboarding in kashmir 116 brick 118 three foot charlie 119 kona bike 120 atomic ant 121 surf academia 122 music 124 films 126 games 130 surfing is a fiction
contents. huck #001
vol. issu 001 HUCK MAGAZINE
June/July 2006 www.huckmagazine.com
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68 ee f
text vince medeiros photography robert brown/billabongxxl.com
You are now looking at the biggest documented wave of the past twelve months. What do you think? Pretty big, right? Ridden by occasional MTV star and leviathan surfer Brad Gerlach, this monster of a wave measured in at an adjective-defying 68 feet. Not your prosaic, day-to-day water bump, I’m sure you’ll agree. Just to put things
in perspective, think five double-decker buses, six African elephants or 11.33 average 6ft tall human beings standing on top of each other. But Gerlach, who tow surfs alongside fellow Californian Mike Parsons, has balls size large and made of steel. Even though he was testing a new board, the forty-year-old San Diego local went for
broke on the last wave of the day during the now historic tow-in session at Todos Santos, Mexico. “I was actually getting a bit annoyed,” says a casual Gerlach. “It was getting dark and everyone knows there’s a lot of sharks out there. But then the wave came and we were in the right place at the right time. It had a lot to do with luck.”
They say bigwave surfing requires cojones the size of watermelons...
Did he even realise how big the wave was? “No, I had no idea. And I wasn’t scared, either. I was pretty much in the zone. It seems odd, but when you’ve had a lot of waves and you’re really in the zone, that’s when it’s safest to surf these waves.” The ride netted him the 2006 Billabong XXL title and $68,000 ($1,000 per foot). Interestingly, in 2001 it was Parsons who
won the event, with Brad manning the Jet Ski and pulling him into the wave. Since Parsons shared the prize when he won it, Gerlach graciously returned the gesture, splitting the 68k between them. So how does he feel about the whole experience? Brad takes his time, as though searching for the right words, then says: “It’s... poetic.”
Gerlach runs the National Surf League’s The Game in California. To learn more about The Game, check out www.nslgame.com. To check out Gerlach’s episode on MTV’s Made series, go to www.mtv.com. For more on the 2006 Billabong XXL, go to www.billabongxxl.com.
It happened a few months ago. A friend to some, a role model to others and someone spectacularly mad but incredibly cool to most, Harold Hunter is now gone. He is no more. An ambassador of NYC’s Downtown Manhattan scene, Harold lived for thirty-one years on this planet. He may not have been the most amazing skater, but he sure got people together. He inspired black and Hispanic kids to pick up skateboards. He spread warmth and humour to those around him. He was a human magnet, a walking party. And the NYC skateboard community was his home. Harold shot to mainstream fame with an acting role in Larry Clarke’s drug-and-fuck teen flick Kids (1995), his part in Zoo York’s Mixtape 1 is simply classic, and his iconic role as a key member of Zoo York’s nineties skate team will be with us forever. During the last few years of his life, though, things looked anything but bright. Harold seemed to be constantly one step away from being broke and homeless. The drugs took their toll, too. Harold eventually died of a cocaine-fuelled heart attack in the East Village housing projects where he grew up. Harold’s wake was appropriately crazy. Jeff Pang mounted tight Indies underneath his coffin, “Just like he used to ride ’em.” People like Gonz and Muska were there to pay their respects. Around the world, the skateboarding community came together to acknowledge the loss. Harold used to say: “Legends never die.” Judging by the aftermath of his death, his statement has proved prophetic. Rest in peace, brother.
What’s the best part about being Harold Hunter? “I like being funny. You know, I like making people laugh. I like to get a lot of attention. I like to be a skateboarder. Being a black skateboarder from New York City, born and raised, Manhattan.” from interview in WYWS magazine
Harold Hunter: 02.04.1974 – 17.02.2006 text sami seppala illustration phillip grisewood
quintessential american in the water text vince medeiros photography jeremy hilder
Larry Haynes has more lives than a cat. And he probably needs them, too. As one of the world’s premier water cameramen, Haynes spends most of his time negotiating some of the planet’s most treacherous surf. “I love the thrill,” he says, “the big, insane, dangerous stuff, that’s what I’m into. If you see my films, it’s not like you’re gonna see little ripples – you’re gonna see big waves, huge manoeuvres and heavy wipe-outs.”
Legendary cinematographer Larry Haynes wants to show you a big wave or two.
Close calls, as you’d imagine, abound. One particular wave at Pipeline, Hawaii, draws attention, as he apparently did die – and then came back to life. Haynes explains: “It was a wide closeout set a few years ago. I’m diving to go under – you just find little crevices where you go deeper – and I’m going through this little crevice and then it just turns black and I hear a big... ‘bang!’ Next thing I know, I’m ringing like a thirty-foot copper bell, just ringing... ringing.... And then I look around and see this light hitting me with bubbles all around. Then the next frame, I just see myself and I can’t move a thing... I’m 5ft back from myself and I’m silhouetted with bubbles all around me.... You see, I’m actually out of myself, looking at myself out of my body and I’m... chilling. Next frame, and I just wake up, no problem – though my helmet is totally split in half.” Heavy shit. Still, it seems there’s very little Haynes won’t do in order to get the shot. During the recent O’Neill Highland Open, in Thurso, on the north coast of Scotland, he braved water temps as low as five degrees Celsius to film the event. “It’s like a refrigerator out there,” he says, “but I’m always at home in the water.” And it shows. Out in the surf, Haynes looks like a happy seal, ducking, diving and splashing around with his film equipment in tow. On land, he is loud and boisterous. These days, Haynes is keen to talk about his latest project, The Endless Winter: “The film has footage from the last couple of decades. I’m writing the script for it right now. The idea is to have a premiere on July 7, 2007. We’re gonna have this go huge.” The concept, which originated from a conversation with late big-wave surfer Mark Foo, is Haynes’ answer to Bruce Brown’s iconic Endless Summer: “Mark Foo and I, we were always talking about the endless winter – always chasing the big waves all over the world. I’ve already got the footage. Now it’s time to make the film.” To learn more about the Endless Winter project and other Larry Haynes films, check out www.fluidvision.com. For more on the O’Neill Highland Open, go to www.oneilleurope.com/highlandopen.
The black knight returns text jamie brisick
Miki Dora’s sanctioned biography is finally out.
If you took James Dean’s cool, Muhammad Ali’s poetics, Harry Houdini’s slipperiness, James Bond’s jetsettting, and rolled them into a single man with a longboard under his arm, you’d come up with something along the lines of Miki Dora, surfing’s mythical anti-hero, otherwise known as the Black Knight of Malibu. The short version of the Dora story goes like this: Introduced to surfing by his stepfather in the thirties, Miklos Sander Dora made a huge reputation for himself at Malibu throughout the fifties, riding the long, hotdog waves of First Point with style and panache. Then came Gidget, the Beach Boys, beach blanket bingo and the commodification of surfing. Dora was repulsed. He voiced his protest through a series of colourful acts. The most memorable came in the 1967 Malibu Invitational. In the semi-finals, with thousands of spectators huddled on the beach, Dora took off on a wave, dropped his shorts and flashed his bare arse whilst riding the length of First Point. It was his final fuck you. He then set off to travel the world on what can only be called the greatest surf odyssey of the twentieth century. Throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties, Dora sightings flooded back to the States, always shrouded in romance and mystique: Dora the gypsy hopping trains in Budapest; Dora the nomad on the backs of camels in Kenya; Dora the bon vivant skiing in the French Alps; Dora the jewel thief hunting diamonds in Namibia; Dora the bullshit artist at the casino in Monte Carlo; Dora the hustler on the golf course in Biarritz... His surfboard was his magic carpet and his wits were his wings, and from the late sixties up until his death in 2002, Dora lived the Endless Summer lifestyle, defining what it means to be a surfer. I ingested Dora Lives: The Authorized Story of Miki Dora cover to cover in a hypnotic, four-hour sitting. It has the aura of an illuminated manuscript. If velvet covers, gilded pages and elegant script were what they did in the Middle Ages, then minimalist graphics, photographic smartness and tactile sleekness are what we do today. If you don’t surf, the book is beautiful. If you do, it’s nearly biblical – a portrait of surfing’s original artist. Perhaps Miki should have the last word: “Real secrets will get you dead. I always forget to remember anything. I am a waterlogged, sun-baked old surf bum and that act always ends the inquisition. I wanted to be left alone. So I left alone. Now I don’t want anything.” Dora Lives: The Authorized Story of Miki Dora, by C.R. Stecyk III and Drew Kampion, is out now on T Adler Books, Santa Barbara. Hardcover, 142 pages, $45.
Photo : Elina Sirparanta
D AV I D L I V E T OXBOW TEAM RIDER
H O K K A I D O I S L A N D , J A PA N W W W. O X B O W O R L D . C O M
Paul Willoughby: illustrations Inc. text michael fordham photography sam christmas
the blank look turned out to be deceptive.
The muffled holler of a grime MC escaped from the rotten sashes of Paul Willoughby’s Stepney flat. I could have sworn there was a crack-ravaged biggie clone somewhere up there strapped with a Tech-9 waiting for me. It was trepidatious, dude. The lift stank of piss and didn’t work anyway, so I schlepped up the eight flights of stairs to the top floor of the lo-rise, past a fleet of triple-locked Ridgeback hybrids and barred bog windows. I tapped on the door and the man emerged. It had to be said: Willoughby’s yard was minging. It was common knowledge that the guy had been ensconced in a dose of artistic penury, but this was ridiculous. He’d recently graduated from an obscure Midlands art school with a sketchy portfolio of squiggles after all. The kid wasn’t exactly bubbling over with employability. We’d met Paul for the first time one Dog Island afternoon in the offices of adrenalin magazine. Twisted genius art director Mickey Boy G had called me over to meet the morose-looking blond kid who’d come in to show his work. It just so happened we had been let down by a crayola-botherer and we needed a picture pronto. Question: “What do you know about Gerry Lopez?” Cue the trademark Willoughby blank look. The blank look turned out to be deceptive. Knowing fuck all about surf culture never prevented Willoughby from coming up with the goods for adrenalin. In fact, the piece on Lopez turned out to be the first in the brilliant series of multi-layered invocations of surf culture heroes Paul was to create for the magazine. He quickly became a permanent fixture on the flannel panel, and the exposure – combined with a terrier-like tenacity and a surprisingly ruthless eye for the main chance – led to tasty gigs with the mainstream press. Soon, particularly flavoursome commercial jobs for people like Nike and a plethora of interesting editorial jobs allowed our man to extract himself from the squalor. Currently a high-ranking priest in the Church of London (the collective of adobe-wallah who create cult flick magazine Little White Lies and the missive you hold in your hands), Paul is residing in a slightly more salubrious East End environ and sitting on expensive chairs. Power to his tracing paper. www.paulwilloughby.com
clockwise from top left we love america childhood memoirs duke kahanamoku jarhead lynching
tHe tower of oz
text chris guelpa illustration rob longworth
With oil prices rising and an energy crunch biting everyone squarely in the arse, the Aussies have come up with a rather novel way to keep their cheeks intact.
a planned solar power sTrucTure in The ausTralian deserT could be TallesT in The world.
The Australia Solar Tower project, spearheaded by EnviroMission Ltd., is one of the most ambitious solar endeavours ever attempted by man. Well into the planning phase, this $800 million project consists of a 20,000 acre glass canopy with a 1km hollow, reinforced concrete tower sprouting from its centre. The idea is that as air within the canopy heats over the day, it rises up through the tower, turning turbines, producing electricity and saving 900,000 annual tonnes of greenhouse Co2 gases from entering the atmosphere.
A tower of this size could produce up to 200 megawatts of electricity â€“ enough to power the roughly 200,000 homes in hobart â€“ and would be the largest manmade structure in the world. Nice. www.enviromission.com.au
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Power surfing text chris guelpa illustration rob longworth
The UK’s South west Regional Development Agency (RDA) have unveiled a plan to build a wave farm 16km off the coast of Cornwall, the wave-rich peninsula in the southwest of England. Dubbed ‘The wave Hub’, the project seeks to use several energy-converting buoys connected to an electrical hub on the sea floor to convert the mechanical energy of the southwest’s waves into electricity. This electricity would then travel from the hub via cables along the ocean floor to the mainland and directly into the national grid. The South west RDA have already pumped £2 million into the project and are currently seeking private funding for the remainder of the estimated £13 million bill. when completed, aside from being one of the first large-scale wave energy plants in the world, the South west RDA hope the wave farm could offer a competitive source of clean electricity for 14,000 homes with very little impact on the environment. Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), the UK’s leading surf-based environmental NGo, are keen supporters of The wave Hub. SAS Campaigns Director Richard Hardy says: “Surfers are keen to see marine renewable technologies progress quickly so they can play a part in curbing climate change.” www.southwestrda.org.uk / www.sas.org.uk
wave farm To be builT off The cornish coasT.
Photos: Roger Baumer
Hans Åhlund Cooke City, USA rd 2008 February 9th to 23 Check the story: m/hans www.zimtstern.co
Zimtstern Snowboard Pro Team: Hans Åhlund, Colin Frei, Björn Hartweger, Reto Kestenholz, Simon Abt, Lukas Blaser Zimtstern Snowboard Rookie Team: Carmen Beccaro, Chrigel Bertschi, Melanie Camastral, Julian Fürsinger, Anja Imboden, Nico Kurz, Helene Nadig
Awesome; I Fu**in’ Shot That!
I don’t know what to say, man. We’re in the fuCKin’ Garden!
text MATT BOCHENSKI
No bling, no bullshit, no bulletproof vests – just three MCs, one DJ and 20,000 people losing their minds in the hometown of hip hop. In the words of the Beastie Boys, “This is New York City – we gotta turn it up a notch.” What time is it? Time to get ill. The brief was simple. Three days before a concert in New York’s Madison Square Garden, Adrock, Mikey D and MCA put the call out on their website. They were looking for fifty fans to take a Hi 8 digital camera into the crowd and capture the experience of a Beasties gig. The only rule: rock out and keep shooting. Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! eliminates the invisible wall between crowd and stage. Where other concert movies offer a peek at privileged back-stage access, subtly reinforcing the distance between fan and celebrity, Awesome turns the fans into the celebrities: each one a director of their own movie, recording their own unique experience. The electricity crackles off the screen like speaker static. With support from Mix Master Mike on decks and human beatbox Doug E Fresh, the party vibe of hip hop’s roots reborn is irresistible. And holy shit, do the Beasties know how to milk it. In an industry of preening ‘pimps’ and glorified sneaker salesmen, “takin’ care of business” to the Beasties is still only about one thing: a bravura block party blown up to stadium size. The sheer magnitude of the performance is stupefying – from Mix Master Mike climbing decks the size of an Aztec temple to the encore’s delirious metal meltdown of ‘Sabotage’.
But there’s more at stake here than one killer performance. What’s refreshing and inspired about Awesome is how it breaks down the boundaries between concert and movie experiences, and re-imagines it as one, all-encompassing whole. At first glance, Awesome is resolutely cinematic. Beginning with a pastiche of gangsta favourite Scarface (Guns! Drugs! Cool!), it plunges over the New York skyline in shaky fisheye, curving the borders of Hip Hop City into the whole world. MCA (under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hornblower) spent over a year in postproduction, filtering the images from fifty cameras, and the result is a film that moves like a sound wave – building and rolling with the rhythm of the music, dancing across the noise in a fury of movement. At times it goes too far – some of the digital trickery distracts from Hi 8’s jagged purity. But by the time you’ve noticed, the film has already cracked that fourth wall, lifted you out of your cosy seat and plonked your head four square in the mosh pit. As Fresh spits his way through ‘Time To Get Ill’, and the crowd scream it back in his face, you’ll put the popcorn aside. As ‘Brass Monkey’ rips its way through a Rick Rubin riff, you’re going to want a beer. By the time ‘Intergalactic’ breaks open the encore and the entire Garden goes collectively insane, you’ll be pissing in a cup and throwing it at the front row. So the bottom line, as cinema and music join ecstatically together? Sit at the back or take a raincoat. Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! is out 7 July in the UK. A DVD version is out 25 July. For more, go to www.awesomeishotthat.com.
Passion. ‘…The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire…’ (Ferdinand Foch) Longboards, post-modern boards, wetsuits, fins, leashes, boardbags, accessories, t-shirts, hoodies, seasonal clothing lines and a little bit of soul. Nineplus Ltd. Unit 1, Goonhavern Ind. Est. Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9QL, UK / 00 44 1872 573 120 / email@example.com
www.nineplus.com SurfersPath.indd 10 10 SurfersPath.indd
4/4/07 21:55:56 21:55:56 4/4/07
Red shoe manifesto text jamie brisick illustration ROB LONGWORTH
A trendy, if slightly foppish, American surfer decries redneck culture and reaches for a more creative concept of self.
In the spring of 1990 I moved from Los Angeles to the Northern Beaches of Sydney, home of Tom Carroll, Martin Potter, Barton Lynch, Damien Hardman and a heap of other lateeighties/early-nineties world class surfers. The move was motivated by a beautiful creature called Luana, whom I’d recently fallen in love with. She was my first love, and I was giddy and terrified and oversexed and overwhelmed. I was also a struggling pro surfer, and the combination of romance and ruthless competition confused me to no end. Not to mention the hard time I got for snatching up one of the finest girls in Sydney. There’s a thing in Australia known as the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’, meaning the flower that rises above the rest – i.e. the person who stands out or strives for excellence – is doomed to be cut, chopped down to match the masses. It’s a real individuality squasher, and if you’re the type of bloke who thrives on being left of centre, it leaves little room to move, a kind of rounding off of the edges to make for a general fit. I encountered the ‘TPS’ one night at a café in Narrabeen, a small town not far from where I lived. I was there with my delectable girl, enjoying a fine meal, when I got up to use the restroom. “Think ya betta’ than the rest of us, do ya mate?” said some bloke I’d never seen before who was in the midst of washing his hands. He wore Blundstone boots, high-cut ‘Stubbies’ shorts and a yellow T-shirt. His body language was all anger and bitterness. His face was cooked by the sun and his teeth were in bad need of a good dentist.
“’Scuse me?” I said from my benign station at the urinals. “Ha!” he snickered. “Should’ve bloody well known. American! An American in red bloody shoes!” I looked down at my adidas high-tops. “What do my shoes have to do with this?” I asked curiously. His face filled with spite. “Fucking pro surfers! Fucking Americans! Think ya own the bloody place!” He took a step in my direction and raised a finger, “Well ya don’t!” he said, and walked away. I was speechless. But worst of all, I just stood there. And by the time I fully processed his insults – and realised he’d not only offended me, but also the free world in general – he was gone. I vowed then and there to be a crusader against this kind of small-mindedness. (“Better to die on your feet than live on your knees,” goes the great Midnight Oil line.) I also went home that night and wrote furiously in my journal, a kind of Five Commandments/Liberation Manifesto, which I’ll share with you here:
1) Thou shalt never repress the creative urge in one’s fellow man 2) Thou shalt always encourage diversity and self-expression 3) Thou shalt retain a healthy sense of irony and skepticism at all times, but never at the expense of open-mindedness and the desire to expand oneself 4) Thou shalt look beyond the mediocrity of one’s fellow man and strive for something higher in any style of shoes/ boots/sandals one so desires 5) Thou shalt never take shit from a redneck, even if thou is in the midst of urinating. In fact, utilise that urine and make it a weapon, and piss all over the motherfucker’s shoes! From that night on I made it a point to dress as eccentrically as I could, adding mini skirts, pink boas and come-fuck-me pumps into the mix whenever the occasion called for it.
Even Chat shows? Movies? A sitcom with Shaquille Oâ€™Neal? Place your bets and pick his next big move.
After winning the Olympics and conquering mainstream America, Shaun White is ready to take on the world.
text zoe oksanen photography kevin zacher
“i think it has to do with the fact that i have gills on my back. yep, i’m a mutant like kevin costner in waterworld. i was at sea for the last eighteen years, and now that i’ve found land i’m so happy. all i do is bake cakes in the shape of land masses. how i love cake.”
How happy do you think Shaun White is right now? Well, according to the Olympic gold medallist himself, he is around an eight out of ten. “Things were crazy after the Olympics ended,” he says. “I flew straight out of Italy into a media beast. It was so much fun but also a lot of work. Things are mellowing out now. I’m finally home, spending some time skateboarding and getting ready for the summer.” ▼
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S BUTTER-SMOOTH STREETS ARE OFTEN WITNESS TO THE AIRBORNE TOMATO’S SMOOTH CRUISES.
Guitars and gold medals are becoming the mainstay of our man’s collectible stash.
Shaun White, pro snowboarder at the age of thirteen, the only athlete to ever podium at both the Winter and Summer X Games for two different sports, and without doubt the rider with the most gold medals in the history of snowboarding, is no ordinary nineteen-year-old. With a signature model for almost everything other than his underpants, White is as much a brand as any athlete has ever been. But it wasn’t until his sweep to gold in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics that his life really changed. Overnight, Shaun went from a snowboard mag regular to a mainstream, primetime TV, your-grandmother-knowshis-name-type star. It was, as he says, “Pretty crazy.”
Although not your typical Olympian, it was Olympic glory that thrust Shaun and his huge flop of red hair into fame on several huge-rating chat shows Stateside. He says: “I got a call from Shaq (NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal) the other day. He wants to make a TV show where he is a used car salesman that has super powers and helps to save the world from the evil menace Anus Man. The script is tight, so it might be a go!”
Shaun is fast establishing
as something of a rock star. A recent photo to hit my inbox confirms it: it shows Pamela Anderson, in all her bountiful glory, hanging off Shaun White’s arm. Oh, and there’s also the rumour mill of a date with Hollywood sweetheart Lindsay Lohan. True or not, who would argue that this puts Shaun in a league of his own? He takes the modesty stand on this one, though: “People are just into snowboarding now. It’s pretty funny meeting all these peeps, but they are just interested in the sport.” This all leads us to the question: exactly what is the Shaun White ‘magic’? “I think it has to do with the fact that I have gills on my back. Yep, I’m a mutant like Kevin Costner in Waterworld. I was at sea for the last eighteen years, and now that I’ve found land I’m so happy. All I do is bake cakes in the shape of land masses. How I love cake.” I hope that serves to enlighten you. Of course, we can’t overlook the fact that Shaun is not only a golden veteran in halfpipe and slopestyle in the Winter X Games, but last summer he also took home silver in the Summer X Games for skateboarding. It takes an enormous amount of talent to be at the top of your game in one sport, let alone two. Could he really be a red-headed mutant? “I think that [the Summer X Games] was one of my most memorable contests. That summer I spent every day on the ramp so motivated to do well, and to have it come true, I was so stoked.” And the magic doesn’t just end with his dedication and professionalism. Shaun’s smiling freckled face and copious ginger mop, coupled with his ridiculous humour, leave a lasting imprint on everyone he meets. Girls dig him, he is a sponsor’s dream and teammates always have a good word to say about Master White. Which is surprising seeing as he whips their arses in nearly every single contest. While I’m on that point, isn’t it time he gave other riders a chance to get gold again? ▼
“there is still so much to do. i want to open a car wash and employ only hot eighteen-year-old girls. i want to buy a dolphin and teach it to play monopoly. then, if it beats me, i’m going to eat it.”
The boy WE used to call ‘the future’ is now the man they call ‘the moment’.
“That’s the thing. I have to work really hard to be able to win. It’s not like in the summer I’m just mellow eating ice cream and watching Girls Gone Wild videos. So when I get up to the mountain, it might look easy, but I have to put in a lot of work. Riders like Mason Aguirre and Danny Davis are stepping it up daily. It’s getting crazy on the streets.”
All the same,
“Every contest is a new day,“ he says, “and there is no way I just step up to a contest and go, ‘It’s mine!’ Riders are so talented and every pipe is different. I just treat every contest like it’s my first, like I want it so bad, and then give it my all. I’m that way with everything, you should see me play Monopoly, it gets nasty.” So with the additional pressure of living up to his golden status, does he still have time to snowboard for fun? “I love to snowboard now as much as I did when I first started. Pushing myself to do better and to progress is why I love to snowboard. If I wasn’t having fun, I would just focus on skateboarding.” And in five years’ time? “I want to be snowboarding and skateboarding at a professional level. Honestly, I love what I do. There is no alternative motive, like starring in a movie with Vin Diesel, I just love what I do.” I can’t help, however, but labour the point with him. Shaun has not yet hit twenty. He has enough financial security and fame to last him several lifetimes. He has now proved that he is the world’s best halfpipe rider and his talent on a skateboard is driving people to compare him to Tony Hawk. So where, honestly, do you go from here?
“There is still so much to do. I want to open a car wash and employ only hot eighteen-year-old girls. I want to buy a dolphin and teach it to play Monopoly. Then, if it beats me, I’m going to eat it. Hahaha, yes, the future is so bright.”
you can’t help but wonder how an athlete finds motivation when he knows he is still pretty much guaranteed to take gold in every slopestyle and halfpipe contest he enters. It can’t just be the winning. That grows old after a while, as does the prize booty when you are in Shaun’s league.
t’s shedding it down this winter’s evening in Brooklyn, New York. The eight members of !!! finish eating burgers at a well-known Williamsburg diner and step out into the rain. Their rehearsal room isn’t far, and they’re already soaked to the bone, so they wing it and walk. Once there, most take off their shoes and socks. All are quick to set-up. They’ve got till the morning to work on new songs in this small, damp room but come sunrise two of the octet – guitarist Mario and horn player Alan – are flying back to California where they live. The heat is on. ▼
text jasper hammond photography phil knott
Drummer John Pugh: snooze before the storm.
With a new album due and a tour lined up supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers, !!! are officially back in business. Huck manages to catch all eight of them together in their Brooklyn rehearsal space.
!!! – say it as ‘chk, chk, chk’, or however else you choose – have always been a strange fruit. One of the few for whom the tag ‘punk funk’ is actually appropriate, they formed out of the ashes of a couple of California hardcore bands in the mid-nineties, moved (in the most part) to New York at the turn of the century, put an excellent debut album out on Warp in 2003 and toured the world together. But they have always had members who have moonlighted in other bands. Tyler, !!!’s guitarist, plays bass in James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem, and it takes up almost as much of his time; Justin, their bassist and sound engineer, and frontman Nic, play in Out Hud. There’s hardly ever a point when they are all together in the same city, unless they’re playing a show. Hence their need tonight to get things done. The world has been waiting for their sophomore album for quite some time already, and the band themselves are super keen to finish it before their summer touring, which includes supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the UK. “It’s just the original groove, and then it’s repeated,” Nic tells the band. “I feel like we should take it from there. It almost sounds like a locomotive. Remember?”
he band play, and they’re sounding good. On the strength of this sneak preview, the new songs will still be monstrous slabs of heavy funk that build and build, but there’ll be changes in their sound too. Later Nic will say, “Some of the stuff on the new record is more melodic,” but for now Alan, who’s lost his wallet, has distracted him. “What’s up?” Nic asks. “Are you going back to the restaurant?” “Fifteen minutes at the most,” says Alan. “You haven’t got your shoes on.” “Oh, yeah.” There’s a break. Drummer John takes a snooze; the others fiddle with amps and stretch their arms. I ask Mario whether it’s annoying that their moments together are so few and far between. “Yes,” he says, ardently. “Especially since the songwriting is so collaborative,” continues Nic. “We do a lot of stuff based out of jams. Maybe we’ll play and edit together some loop or sequence. More specifically, for this record, we’ve been recording basic tracks – a genesis – and then jamming on top of that.” ▼
main: Guitarist Tyler Pope: moment of Zen. strip: Vocalist Nic Offer: check, one, two.
So we should be expecting something different? “We’ve been very influenced by Led Zeppelin, mostly in that we’ve been trying to write really good parts and execute them the best way possible. I suppose we’ve been trying to focus on the aspects of the band that we like the best. We obviously want the record to sound like the kind of thing we like listening to. We still want to make songs as good as our favourite funk songs – to make music that’s the funkiest fucking shit you’ve ever heard in your life – and we keep getting closer. There’s more range on the new record, but it’s still...”
ic stops and turns to the band. “Does anyone want to talk about what we’re going to do differently with that song? No? Okay. Shall we just carry on without Alan? Yes? Okay.” !!! will be supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their UK tour in July. For tour dates and info on the upcoming album, check out www.brainwashed.com/!!!.
Guitarist Mario Andreoni: soaked and ready to rock.
“there is a growing trend of ‘bling’ in skateboarding. some skaters are becoming these weird elitist rock stars who date models or become scientologists.”
SWITCHSTANCE text Sami Seppala
Filmmaker Adam Brodie on his latest skateboarding short.
Adam Brodie is a filmmaker based in Toronto, which is a smaller, cleaner New York City with fewer handguns. Odd thing, then, that he’s decided to make a movie about cops. Switchstance is a spoof comedy about a middle-aged undercover policeman who penetrates the skate world to bust an international crime scheme. Coproduced with fellow skater Dave Derewlany, Adam’s film received widespread acclaim at the recent X-Dance Festival in Park City, Utah. HUCK: Adam, why the plot? ADAM BRODIE: We write all our movies together, usually in saunas. The storyline came from an obsession we have with overwritten cop films, and we were inspired by the concept of a grown man having to go undercover as a child. Plus, being that Switchstance is a cop, he’s undercover as someone he would normally harass.
Are the ‘rich kids’ gang meant to represent any particular group of skaters? Not anyone directly, but there is a growing trend of ‘bling’ in skateboarding. Some skaters are becoming these weird elitist rock stars who date models or become Scientologists. We just pushed it to the extreme and put them into Polo and deck shoes where they belong. In the movie there’s all those cliché lines you hear from the cops and the security guards. I guess that’s why the movie is so funny, too. Do you think that – though the film is a comedy – you were addressing some issues there? It’s doubtful that most flatfoots would get some of the subtle jokes being made at their expense. The film is more a parody of Hollywood cop dramas than individual cops. But some of those lines Frank delivers to the kids are direct quotes from being hassled and arrested growing up. Of course, if you skateboard, you become a target for bored police officers, so you get to hear all kinds of inane and hilarious lines in real life. I think anyone who has skated can relate to what we are satirising. What do you think of Hollywood movies about skateboarding? We love when Hollywood skateboarding films employ obvious skate-doubles. Like in Gleaming the Cube whenever Christian Slater jumps on his board, his hair suddenly becomes very wig-like and he grows a few inches. For Switchstance we were careful to make it obvious when we were using a body double for skate stunts by casting only the skinniest skaters to play opposite our hefty lead. We would also have them wearing different colour shoes, etc. Groundbreaking Hollywood skate films like Thrashin’ and Gleaming the Cube were big influences on Switchstance.
Right, so what kind of film are you going to make next? We are very interested in creating some rollerblade courtroom dramas and BMX political thrillers Adam Brodie and Dave Derewlany write and direct music videos through Toronto-based production company Blink Pictures. Look out for their short films Heatscore and Father, the Son & the Holy Bullet. Switchstance was a runner-up in the Fuel TV Experiment.
Oâ€™Busby wired for song.
A surf trip to the west coast of Ireland has always been about much more than the waves and the Guinness. When photographer Spencer Murphy journeyed to County Clare and Mayo as part of the inaugural September Project, he was tasked with tuning his lens to the least obvious, most memorable moments.
Dreaming irelandâ€™s photography Spencer Murphy
Slow ebb at Lahinch.
Two of Easkyâ€™s memories.
Swell and hulk: steel grey and rusted by Irish elements.
Northern lights, muted dawns.
The place wasn’t supposed to be open for another few weeks, when the season’s first golfers were due to arrive. We’d knocked hesitantly, thinking the sight of six saltencrusted surf bums would be enough to make the landlady shoo us away through the letterbox of the closed door. Instead, we found ourselves packed off – literally – every morning with homemade soda bread, and every evening to the clandestine after-hours sessions at the local bars. Good Friday evening and our landlady thinks for a minute before saying conspiratorially, “The first pub on the High Street. It’ll look closed, but just knock on the door and tell them I sent you. Oh, and tell Sean that my husband will expect a little extra in the collection box on Sunday.” Actually, if you need anything in Ireland, it helps to be in with the clergyman’s wife. Easter Sunday morning and the swell had risen again. Groomed Atlantic lines arrived in Doolin Bay. We left the harbour entrance, not aboard one of the tourist boats departing for the Aran Islands, but paddling our boards through the eerily calm waters of the blue-black, deep-water channel. Twenty minutes later and we were approaching the near side of Crab Island. The frothy foam travelling in the rip gave a clue as to what was waiting for us as we rounded the corner. From the shore it looked small, but I’d been advised to take my semi-gun and wear my helmet. Now, staring down the throat of Crab Island, I was glad that I had. The ocean’s power had been compressed by the reef and magnified from jacking, sucking take-off to stand-up barrel. The jagged limestone reef takes no prisoners, and the only other guys in the line-up were a couple of local bodyboarders, one bleeding heavily from a newly-acquired cut on his forehead, the other sweating profusely despite the frigid waters. We’d been sent on our way this morning with the usual little homemade packed lunch and a smile. “You boys have fun now,” she said with a wave – a jaunty Californian pointbreak kind of a wave, the kind you could ease onto with a Skip Frye fish and just cruise. Not this Irish raging bull of a wave I was now confronted with. This wave would like to pin you to the lacerating reef and gore you until you gave up all atheist thoughts in your spinning head and prayed to one of the many Virgin Marys that peppered the coastal road home. The quiet in the line-up was a stark contrast to the smoky music that swept through the Doolin pub the night before. It was the kind of scene you only see in a movie – beautiful young girls singing along to the wizened old guy with a penny whistle buried beneath a huge hedge of beard. There had been a lunar eclipse, and everyone had wandered outside, gazed at the sky for all of five minutes, before returning to the peat-warmed fireside to continue their set – the kind of set that lulls you into a warm world of sweet harmonies and soothingly cold Guinness. Not the kind of set that was exploding on the reef, setting pulses racing like a shot of adrenalin injected straight into the heart of someone entering anaphylactic shock. From the line-up I could see the huge vertical plunge of the Cliffs of Moher. They drop surgically 700ft into the Atlantic, as if someone had cut off a chunk of the Irish coast with a huge cheese-wire. Looking over the precipice the day before, I’d felt the pull of vertigo and wondered out loud, “If I fall, will I clear the rocks below?” Paddling into the rising peak of the next wave I looked down, felt the world start to drop away and through the crystal-clear water I saw the warping Burren limestone shimmering below. As I popped to my feet and angled right, down the face, a little voice in the back of my mind was calculating, “If I fall, will I clear the reef below?” I knew there was one person who would know for sure. He was sixty-three, wore tweed, and his accent was so strong I only understood every third word. That’s the thing about Ireland. If you want to know anything, ask the barman
The day before Good Friday, and the tiny village had virtually closed down for Easter. Our chances of finding a B&B were looking increasingly slim until an enquiry in a pub led us here. That’s the thing about Ireland. If you want to know anything, ask the barman.
Dreaming ireland’s text chris nelson
The September Project is the first in a series of beautiful, carbon-neutral books about surfing’s spaces, places and people. To order your copy, go to www.stranger-mag.com.
Photos: Roger Baumer
Photos: Roger Baumer
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INDO BOAT WARS
To charter or not to charter: that’s the question. A HUCK magazine soul-searching investigation.
text craig jarvis illustration ROB LONGWORTH
When I used to camp out at HT’s in the Mentawais, years before the charter wars had begun, I really loathed the coming of a charter boat. Somehow I felt that by the simple act of roughing it I had a right over the wave, over rich pricks who would arrive, pink and fattened, and get a lift out to the lineup. I used to paddle out and assume some sort of line-up ownership whenever a boat arrived and turned around in the tiny channel. It was a human endeavour to get from Cape Town to a village in front of HT’s on the Mentawai Islands, and that mission must be worth something. In hindsight, the guys who came along in their boats and surfed with us were always
respectful and gave me any wave I wanted. Some of them even hauled my skinny arse on board and plied me with ice-cold Bintangs, fresh crisps, avocado dip, cold milk and other such things that could make a hardcore feral cry. Still, I reckoned they were soft. Fifteen years later, I’m the one on the boat. And guess what? I’m fattened and pink. Things have changed, and my life is too busy, too hectic to be able to spend months travelling, getting to a destination and immersing myself in a local culture. Now, whenever I arrive at a perfect line-up I can’t help but look grudgingly at the lazy smoke tendril floating up from a camp on the beach and at the skinny, bearded surfers trudging towards the paddle-out key-hole. Yet I know what it takes to get to a place like that, and therefore realise that it’s not right to give a feral any attitude, as long as there is no attitude coming at me. We all have to get to a surf destination somehow, and the only thing that counts in the end is how we act when a perfect set of world-class waves comes rifling down the reef to meet us. Do we acknowledge the brotherhood across all of our boundaries, or do we fuck out and fight for our assumed rights? You decide www.truebluetravel.co.zk
snow symbol¦ photography jorn tomter
when it comes to powder power, few are as talented as the attractive lineup that follows.
right eirik haugo nationality norwegian sponsors o’neill, santa cruz, vans, smith, session skateshop trademark manoeuvre “backflip, i would say.” snow hero nicolas mueller “talent and creativity is what makes riders stand out.”
left heikki sorsa nationality finnish sponsors burton, oakley, analog, gravis, red bull, northstar, trulliclan trademark manoeuvre “er... i don’t know!” snow hero eero ettala
right philipp strauss nationality german sponsors burton, ratiopharm, volcom, oakley, gravis, oneballjay trademark manoeuvre “being a twin and making twin jokes!” snow hero christophe schmidt
“snowboarding is about having fun and trying to do everything with style.”
“what is important in snowboarding is the passion. when you get knocked down it’s the passion that keeps you going for it.”
left gian simmen nationality swiss sponsors o’neill, santa cruz, ford, smith, level, xbox 360, northwave, drake trademark manoeuvre “the backside 720 chicken salad.” snow hero terje haakonsen
right tobias strauss nationality german sponsors burton, red, gravis, ratiopharm, volcom, oakley, oneballjay trademark manoeuvre “it’s probably my smile.” snow hero marko grilc and christophe schmidt
“what matters most in snowboarding is style and the talent to use the slope as a big playground.”
“the only thing that really matters in this sport is fun, the rest is freestyle.”
left risto mattila nationality finnish sponsors flow, billabong, smith, giro, swix, samsung, volvo trademark manoeuvre frontside nine tailgrab snow hero terje haakonsen “what matters most in snowboarding? snowboarding’s all about having fun!”
right silvia mittermueller nationality german sponsors oakley, santa cruz, vans, ratiopharm, sp, elm, grenade trademark manoeuvre euro turn snow hero “everyone that stays positive and smiles even when things don’t quite work out.” “snowboarding is about having fun and staying healthy. it’s important to be able to say no sometimes: if a jump doesn’t look fun and i feel i might get hurt, then i won’t be riding well anyway.”
beneath Port Alberni, once the secret rural retreat of the Hollywood crowd.
Vancouver Island is a place of ubiquitous moisture, pristine waters and perhaps the hardiest surf
community on the planet. HUCK searches for waves on the western frontier. text chris nelson photography RICHIE HOPSON
left Chestermans Beach, Pacific Rim. middle Sepp Bruhwiler, local pro surfer and owner of Westside Surf School. right Wayne Vliet, first-generation surfer and shaper, from Ucluelet.
ancouver Island has come a long way. In fact, it’s come all the way from the South Pacific. Over the millennia it steamed in a northeasterly direction until it finally careered into Canada’s western coastline. The impact caused the Pacific seaboard of the mainland to buckle and crumple, forcing up a mountain range that is now home to the powder fields of Whistler/Blackcomb. Meanwhile, this 280-mile long geological battering ram rests just off the coast, shrouded with dense forest, its mountainous interior snow-capped in the winter. There are few roads on the map. Highway 4 bisects the island, dropping down onto the western coastline and a T-shaped peninsula smothered by the Pacific Rim National Park. The north is home to Vancouver Island’s own ‘Surf Town’ and yearround tourist destination: Tofino. The more workmanlike Ucluelet covers the peninsula’s southern end. Between these two poles there is nothing but 26 miles of forest and beach. The rainforest that backs onto the sand is now protected from exploitation and acts as a natural break on the towns’ growth. And then there’s the weather. On Vancouver Island, Canada Dry isn’t a drink – it’s an oxymoron. It rains – a lot. “I remember once it rained for a whole month – that was a bit of a strain,” says
Krissy Montgomery, the manager of Surf Sister. She’s leaning on the counter of the bright boutique as another dark squall blows through outside. It is the base for her successful girls’ surf school and café. The number of female surfers on Vancouver Island is unusually high, up to a third of the dark silhouettes in the line-up. What’s surprising is that you don’t really notice. “The thing about the girls who surf here is that they are really committed and serious surfers,” says Krissy. “It’s too cold to just sit on the beach.” Wayne Vliet is one of the original Vancouver Island surf crew members, having first taken to the frigid waters in the mid-sixties. The original surfers weren’t Malibu surf bums or Waikiki beach boys, but men carving a living from what the Island had to offer: logging or fishing. In Wayne’s case, it was carpentry. “The perfect job for a surfer,” he says. “Plenty of work and you can have flexible hours.” In between playing a bit of Hawaiian slide guitar, Wayne strokes his beard and recalls the early days of this remote surfing outpost: building their own plywood boards, struggling with old dive suits and eventually stumbling into board making. When the shortboard revolution struck, he began cutting down boards for people: “We didn’t really have any role models – in the beginning we were pretty much in a vacuum. The nearest surf shop was in Oregon. It was pretty much a summer thing. We’d hang out at Florencia Bay. There was a hippy commune down there too – it was the late sixties. At the start of the seventies the National Park kicked everybody out.” ▼
I ask about the influence of the surfers who came north from the US during the draft. “The young Americans were on the road doing their Jack Kerouac thing. The Vietnam War was on big and they were leaving the country and some of them built a bunch of driftwood shacks down the beach. But most of those people were fairly low profile. We didn’t have any real growth through the seventies. For ten years we probably surfed with little change in the surfing population. We’d go to Cox Bay and there might only be three of us surfing.” Then, Wayne says, came the boom times: “The nineties. I think it was a global phenomenon. Suddenly surf videos were out. There was also better equipment and wetsuits.”
fter spending the day with Wayne it becomes clear that he’s underselling himself. He didn’t come to the island to surf, drawn by romantic ideas of the life of a frontier surfer. He grew up with the scene. He’s the real deal. With his friends he pioneered remote spots, sometimes taking boats up the coast and wading ashore to surf new breaks. In his shaping bay he shows us an old brown board from the early eighties. “This was the first thruster that I shaped,” he says, tilting it to reveal a pop art explosion on the deck, the letters WP emblazoned
left Vancouver Island, from the mainland ferry. middle Ex-pat Paul Horscroft reflects on island life as an instructor at the Pacific Surf School. right Cedar logs the size of telegraph poles litter the high-tide mark at one of the secret pointbreaks.
across its dimpled surface. “I told my girlfriend it stood for ‘Waynie Poo’, a nickname she used to call me,” he recalls with self-deprecating honesty. “I told everyone else it stood for ‘Water Power,’” he says laughing heartily. He props it next to a freshly finished twin-keeled fish. The irony of an ancient thruster propped up against a brand-new fish isn’t lost on him. “I don’t know why people are still riding these retro boards,” he says, shaking his head. We retire to the pub where Wayne tries to explain the rules of ice hockey to us over some thick, dark Canadian beer.
he small, gravel car park is surprisingly busy in the mid-morning drizzle. I pull on my winter wetsuit and look down at my damp neoprene gloves and hood as they lie on the floor. “Will I really need these?” Paul Horscroft is already waxing his board. An ex-pat from the UK, Paul moved to Vancouver Island and, with just three years under his belt, he sounds as Canadian as everyone else. “Most people here are in a sixmil suit with a fixed hood in the winter,” he says smiling. Another truck rolls up next to us. The surfer climbs out, already in her wetsuit and is soon jogging towards the surf, board under arm. This is not the kind of place to linger with a damp towel around your waist. The first duck dive brings the familiar grip of an ice-cream headache. I stop paddling and pull my hood over my head. The ocean has a green-marble translucent quality and a remarkably low salinity. “I think it’s the amount of fresh water run-off from the forest,” says Paul as we sit on our boards. “From the rain.” There is a clean shoulder-high swell running, fanned by offshores. The dark silhouettes peppered through the line-up face out towards the horizon, scanning for the next set. After a couple of quick waves, I turn my back to the ocean, captivated by the panorama. The bay is wide and the rainforest has pushed to the very fringe of Chestermans Beach. An isolated cedar stands like a watchtower near the point. Suddenly a huge shadow takes to the sky and sweeps over the line-up, its white head scanning back and forth. I follow the bald eagle as it arcs out towards the offshore island when a blazing gold flash catches my eye. The sun has broken through the cloud, and although it is raining here at the coast, the mountainous interior is suddenly awash with sunlight. Individual deciduous trees shout their presence amongst a sea of huge evergreen cedars – the reds, burnt oranges and browns of their autumnal leaves brought to life by the morning sun. Snow-capped peaks are revealed for a short, fleeting moment before the clouds again roll through and the scene fades to grey. It is the kind of raw natural beauty that makes you forget why you paddled out into the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific in the first place. ▼ 83
left Even in stunning rural beauty there are human scars. Metallic corpses off Highway 4. middle Cox Bay, home to luxury resorts, five-star surf and roaming bears. right Fashion statement, Vancouver Island style.
he remains of the Pacific Surf School lie compressed under the weight of a red digger. It seems a fitting analogy for the changes taking place here in Tofino – the changes taking place in surfing. Not a symbol of failure, but of growth. Just as the last piece of the old building comes down, Pacific Surf founder Jay Bowers explains that soon a new and bigger unit will sit here. An island once driven by logging and fishing, the changing socioenvironmental climate has seen tourism take over as the principal economic force. Surf culture has become an integral part of the local economy. There are now over half a dozen surf shops and a handful of shapers on the island. A couple of weeks before we rolled into town, the Quiksilver Crossing was here. Hot local surfers like Raph Bruhwiler, Sepp Bruhwiler and Peter Devries have hooked up sponsorship deals, regularly appear in the US surf magazines and entertain visiting surfers like the Malloy brothers. This is a
community coming to terms with the spotlight of the outside world falling on their isolated piece of paradise. House prices have rocketed and property tax has gone up accordingly. Accommodation is devoured by tourists during the summer months, meaning a shortage for the young who work in the service industries. It’s a universal theme as common to California and Cornwall as it is here. “You can find places to let through the winter and spring,” says Jay. “But they want the space for the summer so they can capitalise on the influx of tourists. Many are forced into caravans or tents.” Surfers from as near as Vancouver and as far as Australia are crossing the Strait of Georgia to sample what is still a pretty unique surfing experience. Not everyone is over the moon with the growth in numbers. But some take a more philosophical view. “Sometimes I pull up at Long Beach and there are maybe 150 people in the water,” says Wayne. “I look at it and drive away. Having had it pretty much to myself, it’s pretty disconcerting. But then when it’s good the people are spread out. That’s the thing on Long Beach: you can spread out and find your own spot – find your own wave.”
or the last half an hour we have been bumping down a rutted logging track deep into the forest in Jay’s 4X4 pick-up. We are heading to one of the area’s legendary secrets, a pointbreak that would grace any list of world-class surf spots. When the road runs out, I wonder whether we’ve either taken a wrong turn or the forest has simply taken back the road. The sun has broken through the clouds for the first time in a week, and we are slipping and clambering over the immense fallen trunks and through the dense undergrowth trying to keep up. We can hear the sea, but the rumbling echo could be coming from any direction. There is a base smell that underlines the forest. The smell of damp cedar pervades everything. It is the smell of Vancouver Island. We scramble to the bottom of a steep bank and see Jay waiting ahead, silhouetted by the sun on the fringe of the forest. We break through the last branches and stumble onto the rounded, volcanic boulders that line the point, our eyes adjusting to the sudden brightness. Every surf trip has a defining moment – be it a wave ridden, a scene glimpsed. Our pupils dilate. A sudden moment of clarity – this is it
Thanks to all in Tofino, especially Carly Hall of the awesome Long Beach Lodge Resort (www.longbeachlodgeresort.com), Jay Bowers of Pacific Surf (www.pacificsurfschool.com), the Weigh West (www.weighwest.com) and Louise Bourchier of Tourism British Columbia (www.hellobc.com) for arranging the trip. Also thanks to the Opus Hotel and Pacific Palisades Hotel in Vancouver.
PUKE BAR CHRONICLES
Barcelona is so passé, he said. You’re such a fucking idiot, I said.
text SAMI SEPPALA illustration ROB LONGWORTH
Eight more beers to the corner table, por favor. Four slices of pizza, too. An old waitress is working her way around the tables. The off-duty chef is rolling another joint. Two of our comrades have passed out. Maybe they’re just sleeping. More likely, though, they have slipped into a deep alcoholic coma. It’s been a hard day’s night at one of the most relaxed bars in town: the not-toofamous Puke Bar, in Barcelona, Catalonia, the world. Why do I write this? Why does another sentence need to be written about Barcelona? Because people are stupid and people forget, that’s why. The skate media and others have been writing Barcelona off for some time now. But it is good to remember that the same media that have been complaining about Barcelona hyped the town up in the first place and, to some extent, killed it. The same media (and teams) over-exposed the spots until they were skated to death, by them and by the masses that followed. And now, we got what we asked for: it is illegal to skate in the town centre.
But new legislation aside, Barcelona still remains an amazing place to improve your skating and engage in outrageously fun seek-and-enjoy missions. The place makes you that much better of a skater. In most other cities, it is easy to turn an awkward piece of cement into magic. Here, it takes much more. The spots are always better than you. I mean, always. Even if you’re a pro. One of my friends observed: “Skateboarding, film-wise, is more about the spots these days than the tricks. Almost everyone can do the switch-whatevers on so and so many stairs, rails, ledges. It’s more about finding the aesthetic spot, a virginal one, just right for the camera angle and the trick.” But why bother, especially if you’re on holiday? Another friend has the answer: “I can’t see the point of coming to Barcelona to make your flip trick at a famous spot. There is too much else to discover. I can’t see the point of filming here anymore. I can see the point of skating here, though. It’s fucking amazing.” But most kids film day in day out around the same old places. They are trying to get their average shit together rather than learning to skate. How incredibly stupid and boring. In these media-driven days, it is easy to forget that skateboarding is more than a picture or four seconds of footage. There is so much more skateboarding beyond the photographs and the moving image. And in this town, it really comes alive. There is no hiding from it. My advice: leave your DV cameras at home. Live on the roofs. Live for yourself rather than the camera. Learn to skate. Learn to skate better. Smoke great hash. “Catch a metro anywhere and for sure you’ll find some sick spots,” says the chef. The man knows his onions. Which reminds me: back at the Puke Bar the last drops of sensibility are leaving our table. So how did this place get its (unofficial) name? Well, nearly every night someone here will puke, but the story, according to the chef, goes like this: One night, a well-known elder skater was being sick outside, leaning on his knees. A budding pro and starlet of a skater showed his sympathy by crawling from behind, sticking his melon between the guy’s legs, turning his head up, and avidly swallowing the yellowish puke that rained down on him. Sick. Barcelona is full of puke bars of some sort, full of good stuff to be found and, most importantly, a home for a lot of skaters. Don’t rape it. Don’t underestimate it. Digital imagery not needed. Great memories will do just fine
the Mosshe point. Islan hopping in Scotlandâ€™s north. text dan crockett photography john eldridge
sometimes travel reveals its own reward.
ad d far Rush hour London is pure madness. Roaring surges of people – heads down, bodies wired with tension and coffee – fight for inches of space as they crash and bump into each other all over town. Thank God we’re actually leaving. Our destination: Orkney, Scotland. And we heard the surf can be good. Our house sits atop an ancient Nordic graveyard. The first night is awash with thumping, dragging and scratching. By midnight the entire place is buffeted by winds gusting in excess of 100mph. The power blinks out, and an awful darkness engulfs the house. The noise is intense – a great whistling and howling. Shadows dance, reminiscent of James’ Turn of the Screw. Surely grown men shouldn’t be this afraid of the dark? ▼
Surfing in Orkney’s northerly latitudes is a uniquely elemental experience.
In the morning, we take a long walk through the mud to a left that breaks at the end of a series of points. “I’m not going out,” I say, the words snatched away on the wind. A bull seal plays along the water’s edge, dodging the bombs, hunting its salty prey. The wind and tide are just that bit wrong, and it looks way more danger than fun. But the sou’souwesterly carries with it a rare blessing. The east coast is on fire. The gale drives a freakishly large windswell up from the depths of the North Sea, and all manner of rarely-lit, freakish spots come to life. The taste for exploration is tangible. Crossing Churchill Barriers, we soon run out of Ordnance Survey maps. With no idea where we are headed, we stumble upon a beautiful situation: an untouched wave guarded by a mossy headland within a secluded bay. Leapfrogging into our suits, we thread the gurgling first section... stoked! In two weeks we take in three islands. Thurso East, the classic of the mainland,
is the jewel of the trip. We witness as local charger Chris Noble shouts and throws himself into these seething pits. They breed â€˜em hard up here. The nature of the surf community in these latitudes calls back to a barely-imagined surfing world before the fall. Everyone is friendly and conversational. There is no pretence, swagger or judgement. Up here everyone is bonded by the fact that they are on the fringes. City life, with its nocturnal focus and irresistible obsessions, recedes further and further into memory. Of course, a twenty-day jaunt is nothing like reality here. A book by Kevin MacNeil, The Stornoway Way, shatters the idea of island life as utopia. To the outsider, however, the reality will never be understood.
As a model for human existence though, who can tell which is more forwardthinking? Landing in London, the knowledge of a carbon trail following us across the country makes the return all the more heavy-hearted. To me, the answer appears abundantly clear www.visitscotland.com
Island of snow, Island of wealth
text chris guelpa illustration ROB LONGWORTH
It’s easy to understand why people pack up and head to the mountains. I spent my pubescent years at the tit of Whistler, British Columbia. When the Navybrat, migratory lifestyle my parents enjoyed took me there, I quickly came to count myself among the locals. It was a badge I wore with pride along with my Gore-Tex and beanie. Whistler was an interesting place to grow up, watching the parade of twentysomething convivials migrate to my Pacific Northwest home, an idealistic glimmer in their eye. Their reasons for coming were similar enough. Suffocated by mindless jobs, they resolved that a cubicle life and slow death from recycled air would not be their fate. Leaving behind budding lives they knew, they came over searching for something different, something better, something pure. A cure for an affliction they couldn’t even name. ▼
Once an affordable hideout for stoners and snow rats, Whistler has now become a weekend retreat for the rich.
Over time though, I noticed the glimmer that had once been in their eyes crystallise into a fixed glaze. And I recognised that cataract. I had seen it in the eyes of the lifers, the potpeddling fortysomething village rats dressed like teenagers, betrayed by crow’s feet and greying temples. “Should have seen Whistler the way it used to be,” they would ramble as they sold us eighths of B.C. bud, “before all these fucking yuppies showed up, developing.” I had never paid much attention to these permafried lifers. But, slowly, I began to understand. I watched as more and more quarter-life crises discovered the valley, innocently bringing with them a floodtide of city people simply after a weekend retreat; former bosses and cubicle buddies looking for a vacation, not a cure. The very things that had once made this place so sacred, so medicinal, were now the draw for the people the cure-seekers were trying to escape: the Pacific Northwest scenery, the more than nine average metres of snowfall a year, the 2,283-metre chairlift height, the more than 3,000 hectares of terrain, the relaxed lifestyle – their altar was now a vacation destination. And the vacation-destined had money. When over 9,000 condos were bought up as second homes, property prices skyrocketed, the average house now worth over a million dollars Canadian. And the cured’s minimum-wage, food-service reality, which had been enough to sustain the simple life they wanted, could less and less meet the haughty cost of living in the weekend retreat of the
elite. If a three-bedroom rental could go for $1,000 a night in peak season, why bother renting it to a burgerflipping local on a long lease? With duller eyes, my friends began to leave, forced out of their sanctuary. Some, of course, stayed, taking the road of the rambling lifers offering unheeded warnings with weed and accounts of how it used to be. I chose the former. Many people throw me a funny look when I tell them I left Whistler – unless they lived there, that is. Then they just nod. As the seemingly endless line of glimmering eyes continues to head towards the Whistler I left, I can’t help but wonder if one day they too will reminisce about the way things were – and whether there really ever was a cure after all
and win! So whatcha lugging around today as you go about your godforsaken existence? Maybe a laptop? A copy of HUCK? The latest damning exposé on the metastasizing expansion of Pax Americana by Chomsky? Bottom line is: whatever random shit you take with you as you leave the house, might as well keep it safe and cosy. But most importantly, might as well carry it with style. So here’s the deal: subscribe to HUCK (5 issues for £15) and win an inspiring Eastpak backpack designed by Brooklyn-based artist Rich Jacobs. The man’s a genius. The bag’s a gem. And as for HUCK, you know the score: solid mag. Please send cheque with your name, address and e-mail to: All cheques made payable to HUCK Limited.
Huck Magazine Subscriptions Department 45 Rivington Street London EC2A 3QB UK
FrameD In SPaCe photography ROB ‘THE DOG’ LONGWORTH styling ANDREA KURLAND
TURN YOUR SMALL SLICE OF THE WORLD INTO A MORE PLEASANTLOOKING SPACE. THIS FRAMED SELECTION SERVES AS A GUIDE.
oakley ‘DART’ SUNGLASSES
vestal ‘SAINT’ WATCH
lakai ‘MJ-3 HI’ TRAINERS
dragon ‘FASTBACK’ SUNGLASSES dvs ‘BANDANA’ BELT
obey LEATHER ‘EASTWOOD’ IPOD CASE
da kine ‘MACHNAU’ SKATE BACKPACK
fox ‘THE DEAN’ SUNGLASSES
Insight ‘BOUNTY HUNTER’ BAG
etnies ‘BOMB’ WRISTBAND
adio ‘THE KNOX’ FLIP-FLOPS IN ARGILE
elwood ‘SCRIBBLES’ POLO
dainese ‘STYLER’ HELMET
dunderdon STRIPE POLO
hardcore session KHAKI MILITARY CAP
roxy ‘BOARDSHORT’ FLIP-FLOPS
olga wears sheer print dress by all saints black bikini by ful么 by gina kling flip-flops by ezekiel
alain wears cannabis print boardshorts by vans
xavier wears check print boardshorts by ezekiel flip-flops by rip curl
Morning Haze PHOTOGRAPHY: SAM CHRISTMAS STYLING: FRAN LEe
olga wears red bikini by rip curl black kimono wrap top by laura lees necklace by les nereides
alain wears camouflage boardshorts by matix
olga wears denim shorts by dickies bikini by sarau flip-flops by kickers @ schu
alain wears orange print boardshorts by rip curl black t-shirt by ezekiel watch by rip curl
olga wears black pinafore dress by boudoir by disaya t-shirt by ezekiel black satchel bag by nikitA
xavier wears black-and-white print boardshorts by vans â€˜the shieldâ€™ sunglasses by adidas
olga wears check waterproof jacket by nikita check short-sleeve blazer (worn underneath) by all saints sunglasses by von zipper
olga wears cut-out swimming costume by ful么 by gina kling
STYLIST: FRAN LEE @ PRODUCTION TEAM HAIR: SIMON IZZARD @ DANIEL HERSHESON USING L’OREAL PRODUCTS MAKE-UP: ZOE TAYLOR @ SOHO MANAGEMENT USING MAC COSMETICS AND ESSIE NAIL PRODUCTS STYLING ASSISTANT: ANDREA KURLAND post-production: rob longworth MODELS: OLGA @ BOOKINGS WWW.BOOKINGSMODELS.CO.UK XAVIER ALAIN FULÔ BY GINA KING SWIMSUITS AVAILABLE AT WWW.AHEADFASHION.COM
Snowboard heaven amid the Kashmir war zone.
As I hop off the world’s highest gondola, the majestic Himalayan scene hijacks my breath. From 14,000ft, Kashmir looks like a haven of peace, quiet and tranquility. Looks are sometimes deceiving. I am standing on the summit of Mt Apharwat in India, gazing over precipitous valleys and jagged peaks. Pakistan is a mere 5km to the west. The two Kashmirs are divided by a stretch of no-man’s land straddled by the dubiously-titled ‘Line of Control’, a de facto border that has been a source of rage and violence for almost sixty years. But according to skiers who have gathe red in the Himalayan resort of Gulmarg this winter, the place is also home to some of the most magnificent backcountry snowboarding and skiing in the world. “My group has skied off peaks in Russia, Norway, Lebanon and Sicily,” says John Faulkner, an Australian guide based in Verbier, France, accompanying seventeen skiers who’ve flown in from Britain, France and Italy. “And they’re coming off the mountain here saying they’ve had possibly the best runs of their lives.” When Faulkner first came here sixteen years ago, skiers had to climb for six to
s have ever eight hours to reach Apharwat’s summit. It’s a view that few foreigner last May. gondola phase second the of n completio the by possible seen, made 1,330 metres The ski lift now climbs to a height of 3,980 metres, beginning some the Pir Panjal below in Gulmarg, a pristine village resort tucked neatly at the nape of mountain range. by the Sultan Translated literally as ‘meadow of flowers’, ‘Gulmarg’ was christened migrated him after Mughals many and Yusuf Shah in the sixteenth century. Shah plains Punjabi and Harayana the of heat stifling the here in the summer to escape Raj who British the by century h nineteent the in d embrace ritual a was This below. brought with them the fashionable pursuits of golf and skiing. gulmarg boys.
office if he Climbing the last 9-mile stretch I ask my escort from the Srinagar tourist shot.” got I “Before ruefully. chuckles Malik Sikander to,” used “I ski. likes to on skis As I ruminate on the appropriateness of asking Malik if he was shot whilst At fairytale. Grimm Brothers a into headlong and hill a we plough over the lip of lined bowl wide a around Set time. first the for appears Gulmarg how least that’s hotels and with sweeping crests of white snow are intricately carved wooden tourist wind-hollowed huts.
reveals A sweep of the hand across the delicate mantle of snow, piled 8ft high, Dar, a tantalisingly dry, feather-light consistency. “Pugh,” says Gulum Mohmad have we February In January. only “It’s Gulmarg’s tourism manager, triumphantly. twice as much.” to their lodge, An army truck swings around a bend offering passers-by a ride back bounce gunfire of bursts al Occasion while further on, armed sentries loll about. sight of out re somewhe d performe are exercises across the basin as military s. wildernes pristine otherwise this in ns perversio – curious – with one Foreigners have rarely been the target of terrorist activities in Kashmir from guerrillas by snatched were trekkers six 1995 In . notable and grisly exception to enough fortunate was , American an man, One Gulmarg. of out a trail leading n companion, escape his captors. The remains of his twenty-seven-year-old Norwegia ed. The decapitat been had He d. Hans Christian Ostro, were eventually recovere d. discovere never were friends bodies of their other four on the Ido Neiger, a thirty-year-old Israeli-Canadian, is unfazed. He first arrived ‘Mission ded spearhea has he years mountain six years ago. For the last two of the region. Gulmarg’, a project assisting locals in promoting the resort potential got a whole I’ve here and powder fresh find to hike to have I been I’ve ere “Everywh mountain of it,” he says. “For snowboarders this is heaven.”
gently Grinning, he drops away, beginning a blissful 3-mile decent to Gulmarg, only, lines maybe first, the creating slope, silken the across arcs wide g contourin of the day. before It’s a fantastic advertisement for peace but it may be a long time yet hellish history. region’s the d transcen can powder heavenly for n reputatio s Gulmarg’ www.missiongulmarg.com www.skihimalaya.com www.jktourism.org www.himalaya-heliski-cachemire.com
Nathan Johnson throws a Brick through the window of the teen movie.
The sugar-sweet world of teen flicks has changed. Rian Johnson’s explosive debut, Brick, takes the classic genre by the hair and wipes that stupid smile off its pretty vacant face.
Huck: How and when did you get involved with Brick? Nathan Johnson: Well, I grew up with Rian – we’re cousins – and I first read the script about seven years ago. So I got to watch the whole process from the shadows. Then after they had shot the film, Rian and I began talking about the music – that was when he first asked me to consider scoring it. Huck: The soundtrack was predominantly recorded in Bournemouth, England. That’s not very Hollywood. How did the logistics work with you in the UK and Rian in the States? NJ: Rian and I were never in the same room until we met up in New York to mix the score. We would have hours and hours of iChat conversations with our little cameras: he played the movie while pointing his camera at the screen so that I could watch it and hear him talk about it. When all was said and done, I had probably watched Brick fifty times on a 2-inch window. But I think that definitely contributed to the unique sounds in the score.
The film takes everything you think you know about the LA scene – the jocks, the football field, the parties and the principal’s office – and grinds them into dust with glee as Brendan (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) worms his way into the schoolcircle of a local drug lord to find the killer of his ex-girlfriend. Huck caught up with the film’s composer, Nathan Johnson, to talk film, family and standing naked in the grocery store.
Huck: What was the philosophy behind the music? NJ: Rian wanted a sort of junkyard orchestra – all broken-down and wheezy Part of my – so instead of going to the music store, I went to the grocery store. out the tone testing aisle are kitchenw the preparation consisted of me standing in blind to been have must I point that at think I graters. of wine glasses and cheese I hope project. a on working I’m when nded single-mi very get to tend I the world. I had clothes on. how Huck: When you’re making a film that’s this original conceptually, score? original an with up come to it is nt importa school NJ: It was very important to Rian and me that we didn’t have any high is not at Brick in language the that way bubblegum pop in the score. In the same There’s to. listening are kids most what not is music the all how kids today talk, that rusty creak in our score. Huck: Who else was involved? the banner NJ: I work with a group of close friends and family who come under England from mainly collective artistic loose a It’s und. Undergro c Cinemati of The basically, – show live and America. Right now we’re touring the States with a a live concert imagine a concept album mashed together with a graphic novel and of them few A doing. we’re what of idea some got with projections and you’ve Brick. in role a played Huck: Is storytelling an intrinsic part of your musical style? you a new NJ: Most definitely. I love that magical element in stories that shows life. for lens fresh a like It’s world. Brick is out now. For more, check out www.brickmovie.net
Apocalypse Now (1979) director and napa valley wine-maker francis ford coppola is singlehandedly responsible for the rise of surfing in the philippines. at least that’s what german filmmaker marten persiel found out on a totally unrelated trip to the asian nation last year. “i was there doing a documentary on fishermen in this small village,” says persiel, with a knowing smile, “and the village turned out to be the one where they shot most of Apocalypse Now. legend goes that during the shooting of the helicopter attack and surfing scene, a bunch of surfboards that belonged to coppola’s crew got lost in an accident. Those boards were found by two young rice farmers, who immediately set out to reach the beach and try to surf.” soon enough persiel returned to shoot Three Foot charlie, a surf film that tells the story of how surfing started in the philippines. The movie mixes classic documentary interviews with a
dramatisation of the original quest for waves by the two young rice farmers. says persiel: “once they found the boards, they just left looking for the waves, passing through jungle, paddling down rivers, overcoming all kinds of dangers, and eventually making it to a place that the locals used to call kagewad. only at the time it had just been re-baptised by the americans as charlie’s point.”
currently in post-production, persiel hopes to release Three Foot charlie in time for the 2006 festival season. a london premiere is already scheduled for June. “i’m trying to finish it for the deadline of the são paulo international film festival,” he says. “but the idea is to send it to as many festivals as possible.” when Apocalypse Now’s captain kilgore famously pronounced that ‘charlie don’t surf’, many people believed him. Three Foot charlie is here to prove he was wrong. www.martenpersiel.com
Cycling is the new herdism. Compress, unweight, air, hit, compress, push. Eyes on the next move, read the line and pump the pegs. All is ozone and ache and dirt and the whir of hubs and cranks. The Welsh mountain air is freeriding through the nostrils, the burn of uphill slog washed away in the flood of gravity-borne euphoria – endorphin crossed with adrenalin in a holy, heady mix. It had never occurred to me that downhill MTB was all about flow. Inland and landlocked, always loaded with responsibilities other than those that exist purely for the sake of my own balls, I had always ridden bikes as a vicarious surf substitute. But for me, pedaling had always been a way to transcend the herd-and-masses horror of a city commute. But now, everyone’s caught on. I suppose it can only be a good thing. I read somewhere that since the attacks on the London transport networks on 7 July last year, up to 40,000 extra cyclists have taken to the road in the capital city. But there’s something about this leg-powered renaissance that has started to make me a little queasy. Cycling was always about individualism, you see. Now, city cyclists have become just another herd.
They’re at every traffic light. There’s the nodders, the unskilled plodders swathed in Hi-Vis and Gore-Tex, expensively sold by a slick-limbed courier on the sellout in some rubber-smelling boutique cyclery. Then there’s the road-bike Nazis, tucked in and streamlined on tri-bars wearing man-made fabrics in toothpaste
colourways. I always suspect they are closet homosexuals. The most disgusting of all are the pink and fattened trader boys on detox, mounting slickedup, high-end hybrids and racing everyone as they sweat into their Lycra from light to light to roundabout as if their bonuses depended on it. Fucking cowboys, the lot of them. Compress, unweight, air, hit, compress, push. Eyes on the next move, read the line and pump the pegs. If only the city was as silent as the hills. The best way to escape the new cycling herdism is to buy a KONA mountain bike. Get up early and run to the hills. HUCK rocked a top-of-the-line Coiler Delux. It changed our lives. www.konaworld.com
At last, a genuine extremist. He surfs massive Jaws with as much ease as he alley-oops off a halfpipe or charges down the mountain. Meet the Atomic Ant, the world’s most versatile x-man. The man snowboards, skateboards and surfs. He also parachutes, skysurfs and hang-glides; wakeboards, kitesurfs and dives. Oh, and he’s also a bloody dentist. Luis Roberto ‘Formiga’ Moraes, also known as the ‘Atomic Ant’, is quite possibly the single most versatile athlete in the world. Name any unorthodox sport out there and the forty-one-year-old Brazilian is bound to have had a crack at it. “I don’t know anyone in the world who’s done so many different sports,” he says humbly. While Laird Hamilton turns heads for mastering both windsurfing and tow-in, and Sunny Garcia is a beast both on surfboard and bike, Formiga’s thrill-seeking spectrum includes no less than a staggering ten sports. The madness began when he caught his first wave at Praia Grande, São Paulo, at the age of nine. From waveriding he moved on to skating where he fostered a promising career on wheels. During skateboarding’s hey day, Formiga was king. He won three consecutive Brazilian titles in 1978, 1979 and 1980. At seventeen, he took to the skies. Hang-gliding came first. In 1986, he broke the Brazilian hang-gliding distance record by flying 142km non-stop. Other sky sports followed, including parachuting, skysurfing and skydiving in a ridiculous costume known as a ‘wingsuit’ (see photo). 120 www.HUCKmagazine.com
Next came snowboarding – and a life-changing brush with death. After cracking his jaw and breaking both arms while riding in Chile, Formiga decided he couldn’t be Brazil’s leading sports nutter while drilling teeth at the same time. So what did he do? He shut down his practice and turned his carnival of thrills into a full-time operation. Formiga’s most recent feat came last year when he towed into a mountain-sized wave at Jaws, in Maui, Hawaii. The Jaws session marked his first stab at tow-in surfing – just one more sport in his arsenal of action sport domination. “I caught two backside barrels,” he brags. “It makes you feel invincible. But in reality you’re not. You’re just going out there and doing it.” Right. So does the former dentist – used to torturing patients with his evil toolbox of terror – ever fear for his life? “I respect death,” says Formiga. “But the Grim Reaper and I are gonna have to work together for many more years to come.” Formiga hosts ESPN Brazil’s boardsports show X-TREME TV. http://espnbrasil.uol.com.br
University of San Diego offers course about surfing.
I’m sure some students at the University of San Diego signed up for ‘Surf Culture and History’ this Spring semester hoping for an easy grade. They were wrong. According to Professor Jerome Hall, who teaches the course, those hoping for a few free credits will be sorely disappointed. “It’s not a class on surfing per se,” says life-long surfer Hall. “It’s an anthropology course that uses surfing as a vehicle for learning about anthropology.” And when you look over the syllabus for Anthro 364, you realise he’s not joking: four exams, three textbooks, a course reader, three compulsory field trips, the mapping of surf breaks and a paper on the origins of their names. And here’s the kicker: Hall doesn’t even want to know if you’re a surfer or not.
“I think I frustrate some of my students because I have never asked who in the class surfs,” he says. “I really don’t want students to think that because they don’t surf,
who do.” they might be at a disadvantage to students the And Hall’s not the only one bringing surfing into the UK in uth Plymo of sity realm of academia. The Univer ology, Techn and e Scienc Surf in lor’s offers a full Bache lia, with Southern Cross University in Lismore, Austra s). Studie (Surf offering a Diploma in Sports Management while This is a huge step to further legitimate surfing sport. demystifying stereotypes associated with the the We may very well be standing on the cusp of tory manda with ete compl , history surf canonisation of ophy, philos with par a on s course sity univer ear first-y psychology and even literature.
academia And, come to think of it, why not? Why should the and re be restricted to the mainstream, the obscu can’t Latin, in e degre a get long dead? After all, you can you? Enough said. www.sandiego.edu
News And Tributes 679
As good as The Futureheads’ urgent and angular debut album was, it was also a musical cul-de-sac. There was no way they could have done another album that was so fast and filled with songs that were so short and, besides, they never seemed like a band who would repeat themselves. For their second album, the super young (singer Barry is the eldest at twenty-four) fourpiece from the English northeast went to the countryside to record, and that tells you something about it: in physical space they sought musical space – and they found it. These songs are far more classic sounding than their old ones and, as an album, there are far greater fluctuations in pace. It works well, and in an age when so many bands have got their eyes on the prize, you can’t help but admire this lot for cutting an album that sounds so much like them.
Mo’Mega Def Jux
First solo LP from the Boston rapper in over four years and, oh boy, it’s worth the wait. Bling may be clogging up the airwaves, but here’s your proof that the underground is still prepared to spit fire and take on the big things: Bush, the war, fast food, consumerism.... Courageous stuff, and the beats are tough too.
Enemies Like This EMI
Can’t blame a band for moving on, but at this rate it looks like the album Radio 4 did with the DFA guys in 2002, Gotham, is the only one people are ever going to care about. Perfectly fine, this new one, and you kind of admire them for staying political, but ultimately you’re thinking: one-trick pony.
The Trials of Van Occupanther Bella Union
Jason Lee, that well-known music critic, has been shooting his mouth off about this one saying things like it “actually means something”. He’s right too – it’s a brilliant record from a Texan band who know their Neil Young and their Mercury Rev and manage to make an old-fashioned seventies pop thing sound fresh.
Impeach My Bush XL
Great title and some decent tunes, but with Peaches’ third album you realise what you may have suspected from hearing her second: that for all her intelligence and character, she’s largely incapable of making music that’s sonically three dimensional. Peaches is a mask. Showing us more of who Merrill Nisker is would help.
Navy Brown Blues Fine
A white dude from Canada who can pull off that jazzy R&B thing and make it not just listenable but compelling is a talented dude indeed. Mocky lives in Berlin now and he’s truly got the skills – musical and lyrical. This is a quality album – funny as fuck and, amazingly, it never gets cheesy.
Dark and convincing hip hop from a man who clearly has the respect of the MCs: Doom’s up on one track here; Wildchild, Beans, Waajeed on others. Fans of Madlib and others who use jazz samples to make offkilter and heavy beats are gonna love this. Bong rippers will dig it as well.
They say that Luke, head hog of Australia’s The Sleepy Jackson, is as mad as a bag of thirsty pythons. That may be the truth, but like so many loons before him he seriously knows how to make records. This one – his band’s second – is intentionally all soft country and easy pop – and it’s magnificent.
Rather Ripped Geffen
You Sonic Youth faithful might resent this new album for being pretty damn mellow and not that scuzzy, but it’s still got that mysterious edge that so many of their records manage, and it’s nice and poppy. If it sounds like they’ve gone soft, fear not: the sound may be sweet, but the lyrics bite.
Fast Man Raider Man Cooking
Big, fat double CD of new stuff from the big, fat Pixies frontman, and there’s tonnes of good shit all over it. With its deeply-rooted American sound, it follows on nicely from last year’s Honeycomb, but the guest ante has been upped. Levon Helm, Al Kooper, Steve Cropper and others are all repping. Woof.
aa Director: Byambasuren Dav Released: 21 July s the same dusty Director Byambasuren Davaa tread ugh, The Story kthro brea trail as she did with her 2003 is essentially what ering deliv el, Cam Of The Weeping shots of young a sequel to that film, with lingering constant threat children at one with nature, and the te. A Mongolian clima able of danger from an unpredict Waltons, this The and e Hom e Com mixture of Lassie ts. hear of est hard the even n softe film will
Director: John Lasseter Released: 28 July Imagine a world populated entirely by cars – they own hotels, run garages, read the news. Following Finding Nemo (fish) and The Incredibles (superhero family), Cars is the new animated effort by the clever folk at Pixar. While at times predictable, the film is a sumptuous spectacle. From the subtly shifting sunlight dancing across the hoods, to the eye-popping virtual camera work at the racetracks, Pixar have taken the bar and effortlessly tossed it away. Game over.
Director: Jonathan Jakubowicz Released: 9 June Literally translated as ‘Kidnapping Express’, Secuestro Express portrays Venezuela as a country of rampant crime, polarised wealth and corrupt police. While the film’s themes are not unusual, what makes it exceptional is its stark, sometimes crude depiction of seething inter-class conflict. While Jakubowicz cites Fahrenheit 9/11 as an example of American political cinema, that film attacked an obvious and powerful target. Secuestro’s strength is that it attacks a portion of its own audience.
Director: Miguel Courtois Released: 16 June A taut thriller based on the story of a double agent who infiltrated Basque separatists ETA in the early seventies, Lobo is crisply shot, keenly knit and stylishly performed. Eduardo Noriega, best known for Open Your Eyes and The Devil’s Backbone, excels as Txema, a construction worker bullied by the secret police into penetrating the terrorist outfit. Adopting the undercover name Lobo, he soon discovers an organisation split between militants willing to fight by any means necessary and intellectuals who prefer the ballot box to bullets. In the end, ETA’s identity crisis echoes Spain’s own fractious politics.
Director: David Ayer Released: 11 August As one Gulf War film is honourably discharged, another arrives to tell the story of how modern war affects the modern man. But where Jarhead alluded only briefly to its characters’ lives postcombat, Harsh Times focuses specifically on what happens when a professional killer attempts to take his place in civilian society. For Jim (Christian Bale) the natural choice is to wait for his call-up to the LAPD, but when that fails to materialise he returns to the streets of his childhood with best friend Mike (Freddy Rodriguez) to drink beer, cause trouble and occasionally look for work.
It should have been a no-brainer bet that the first next-gen game produced by Rockstar Studios would have been a gun-toting, pimped-out, controversy-causing shoot-’em-up. Well, surprise! Rockstar have opted for the far gentler Table Tennis, a straightforward, no-frills sports game. And, you know what, Table Tennis is a success. Though not the most obvious of sports to be given the video game treatment, the thing is surprisingly suited for simulation. There are no specious pyrotechnics here, just timing, direction and spin, all performed with the two Xbox analog sticks. As a result, the gameplay is mesmerisingly rhythmic and natural. It’s a real departure from other racquet sports, making Table Tennis a truer next-gen experience than many other games so far released. But where it really succeeds is in multiplayer mode where matches become a test of concentration and coordination. A game that could easily become a house party standard. Format: Xbox 360 Sweatability: 7 Drunkability: 9 Take the pissability: 8 Graphics and stuff: 7 Overall: 8/10
Nintendo’s prime steak shooter, Metroid, makes its first appearance on the DS. All the old archetypes are here from morph balls to unlockable doors. The controls are likely to cause massive hand cramps the first few times you play but persevere and Hunters turns out to be a solid shooter. But be warned: the much-vaunted Wi-Fi multiplayer mode is a slight let down. Although it’s amazing that the DS can do such things, the graphics aren’t good enough for accurate shooting, meaning death matches feel more like they’re based on luck than skill. Format: DS Visibility: 5 Wi-Fiability: 7 Nintendo rocksability: 8 Graphics and stuff: 7 Overall: 7/10
Sensible Soccer defined the Amiga era. Easy to play but stupidly addictive, anyone could score, but few could master its intricate subtleties. This was the premier league of 16-bit game design. Now it’s been given a reboot for the PS2 and Xbox, smartening up the graphics but keeping the top-down view and freaky bobble-headed players. Crucially, the glorious gameplay remains the same: a pick-up-andplay arcade feast with just enough charm and quirkiness to tempt gamers away from Pro Evo. Format: PS2 + Xbox Jumpers for goal-postability: 8 Retroability: 9 Big headability: 8 Graphics and stuff: 6 Overall: 8/10
The King of All Cosmos wants to build islands for homeless animals so it’s up to the hard-done-by prince to get out there and roll up more katamaris to make them. Er, what? Following on from the PS2’s Katamari Damacy and We § Katamari, Me & My Katamari brings the bonkers Japanese experience to a handheld format. Whilst a good port of the Katamari experience, the game suffers somewhat because of the PSP’s frustrating analog stick and D-pad, with its non-existent register of diagonal movement. Good fun, though. Format: PSP Japaneseability: 9 Oddability: 8 fightability: 3 Graphics and stuff: 5 Overall: 6/10
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Nicolas Thomas 216 pages book - realased in November 08 Bomb Blooming – 189 x 202 cm
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A vigorous and uncompromisingly honest review of today’s – and tomorrow’s – video game consoles. The games industry has come a long way, baby. These days, it’s a goddamn world force – a pimplepopping bedroom code monkey that grew into a billion-dollar corporate gorilla. We’re not in Kansas anymore, where pasty-faced stereotypes bash buttons to Marilyn Manson and masturbate with adolescent fury. Gaming is a serious business and gamers are some serious people, so listen up.
This is the house that Mar io built – a cultural tipping point that reoriented the pop compass from West to Eas t. From barrel-hopping LCD super sprite, to mushroom-poppin g LSD superstar, Mario roc keted gaming into the mainstrea m.
nintendo DS: Let down by a criminal lack of superstar software, the ‘Cube has struggled to keep up in this gen’s console wars. So thank Miyamoto (Nintendo’s in-house deity) for the DS. The dual-screen, touchsensitive portable has sold by the bucket load and points the way to a brighter future.
Revolution: Little is known of Nintendo’s newest at the time of going to press, sav e for a nifty-looking controller that you can wave around at the screen. Sounds clever.
Typically American, Microsoft didn’t so much throw their hat into the home entertainment ring as plant a ten-gallon Stetson four-square in the middle. The Xbox is big, brash, ugly – and the Japanese hate it.
Xbox: Initially met by sickened cries that it was a stealth PC designed for world domination, Xbox’s spectacular transformation into much-loved (or less-hated) hardcore haven can be explained in one word: Halo. The best FPS (First Person Shooter) ever made rescued the brand and was never bettered over the machine’s lifetime.
Xbox 360: Though figures remain shrouded in mystery, anecdotal evidence suggests Microsoft shipped a total of three units to the Western hemisphere. Those lucky enough to get one (Bill Gates, his mum and his mum’s friend Betty) had the world’s first hi-def games machine, capable of outputting glorious 720p graphics. Nice.
The electronics giant took one good look at the games market and concluded that this gaming business couldn’t be all that difficult. They called their machine the PlayStation. And the rest is history.
PS2: How to build on the most That successful console of all time? ’s was the question that vexed Sony k blac A er? answ best brains. The h monolith hyped to somewhere nort s year later its in of Pluto. Though 3 it would host a slew of sub-GTA first ing’s gam was PS2 knock-offs, the darytruly global icon, home to boun eddefying slices of genius from bliss orm out acid shooters (Rez) to platf actioners starring girls in sensible . footwear. Take that, Dead or Alive
PS3: The silver sandwich-maker promises the best graphics ever, although jaw-dropping demos claiming to be in-game footage turned out to be a pack of lies. That aside, the PS3 is a staggeringly powerful piece of kit, decked out in 24-carat future finery. Still, they said the same thing about Skynet. Be warned.
With apologies to Jacques Lacan.
There’s no subject independent of language. That’s from postmodernist icon and psychoanalytic madman Jacques Lacan. According to the Frenchman, people – you, me, the guy in Burberry over there pushing the pram – are all fictitious beings and simply cannot operate outside the closed system of symbolic representation known as language. What? Sounds like rubbish, right? But… what if it’s not? Poststructuralists, of which Lacan is one, claim that our only access to others and the world as a whole is through language. It’s the chisel with which we shape and sculpt and slice the world around us. Nothing exists without its decisive and absolutely essential mediation. But if we can’t access the world directly, what about surfing, the holy sport of kings, ultimate cathartic waterfall, mother of all sensorial overdrives – can we ever access it without the intervention of words and phrases and sentences? Just for the sake of argument, think of surfing as an invisible island surrounded by words. The only way to see this ephemeral place is to get off the island and plunge into the abyss of words and concepts that comprise the waveriding lingo. Barrels, drop-ins, aerials and re-entries; boards, leashes, wetsuits and booties. You see, surfing – even surfing! – is subordinate to a symbolic order. It always – always! – comes second. But even there, in the soup bowl of words, a barrel is only a barrel because of a bizarre and profoundly arbitrary convention familiar
only to those who belong to the tribe. Same goes for the floater, aerial and the as-yetmystifyingly-confusing move described as a double-grab frontside air tail whip reverse. In the end, they’re just words, rudimentary approximations of the ‘real’ thing. Which brings us to this horrifying and ultimately mind-fuck of a conclusion: surfing, baby, is a fiction. If you can’t really, truly, legitimately represent it, it probably doesn’t belong in the realm of real. After all, how do you represent the surfing experience through photographs appearing on magazine spreads? Can that really be done? How about this story? Does it capture the essence of the sport? If not, how do you capture it? The problem is that surfing can only be understood and explained and shared through a symbolic order which sits miles and miles away from the ‘real’ act of riding a wave. Reality – the real waveriding experience – lies beyond language. There is an invisible and yet insurmountable wall separating the symbolic world and the act of surfing. At best, it can only be felt – but never, ever shared or represented. Magazines, movies, posters, books, stories, words, spectacular accounts from friends… forgeddaboutit! That ain’t surfing. There is no surfing. Right. So is there a solution to this freak show? Yes. Drop this magazine and go surfing. You might not really, really experience it but at least you can stalk it, smell it, view it and maybe, for a second, when deep within the barrel of the beast, touch the raw reality beyond.