JONES :FULLY SEAMS TAPED :WATERPROOFNESS 20K :BREATHABILITY 15K :LAYER 03 SHELL Traveling the world on a tireless quest for first descents and fresh tracks, Jeremy Jones is today widely regarded as one of the world's best big mountain riders. By purchasing this product, you will be supporting Protect Our Winters - Jeremy Jones' non-profit environmental organization that unites the winter sports community in an effort to reverse the damaging effects of the global warming crisis. This garment is engineered with recycled polyesters for example PET bottles.
JONES :FULLY SEAMS TAPED :WATERPROOFNESS 20K :BREATHABILITY 15K :LAYER 03 SHELL Traveling the world on a tireless quest for first descents and fresh tracks, Jeremy Jones is today widely regarded as one of the world's best big mountain riders. By purchasing this product, you will be supporting Protect Our Winters - Jeremy Jones' non-profit environmental organization that unites the winter sports community in an effort to reverse the damaging effects of the global warming crisis. This garment is engineered with recycled polyesters for example PET bottles.
[ LI FE A F T E R S K ATE]
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DISTRIBUTED IN EUROPE BY FIFTYSEVEN NORTH AB www.fiftysevennorth.com
RIDER: MIIKKA HAST — PROTEST.EU
27 TRUCKS TO OVERTAKE TO GET TO THE SLOPES
TO GET THERE
photography MUSTAFAH ABDULAZIZ.
HUCK 24. contents 18 Pinhole Camera 20 Alt. Snow Flicks 24 Mike Franklin
26 Boombox Project 28 Shaun White 30 Trash Talk 32 9Eyes
Action As Art
The Solitary Few
ERROR IN THE CODE
Life Through A Lens...
Big Is Back
35 Fleeting moments frozen in time.
52 Creative chaos from the daddy of design.
56 Surfing in Scotland is not for the meek.
60 It’s all business for Norway’s golden boy.
64 Getting to know the people of Peniche.
70 Big-mountain snowboarding is going through a boom.
74 Cold water stills from Vancouver Island, by Mustafah Abdulaziz.
82 A hodgepodge of cool shit.
84 Is surfing plagued with a racist streak?
90 A search for community in contested land.
94 Jeremy Jones.
98 Mementos and things.
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TERJE HAAKONSEN SPLICE®
00800 625539 38 ©2010 Oakley, Inc
photography the boombox project.
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Publisher Vince Medeiros
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Staff Writer Shelley Jones Online Editor Ed Andrews Global Editor Jamie Brisick Skate Editor Jay Riggio Latin America Editor Giuliano Cedroni Snow Correspondent Zoe Oksanen European Correspondent Melanie Schönthier Editorial Assistants Hannah El-Boghdady Liz Seabrook
Website Designer Evan Lelliott Words Mustafah Abdulaziz, King Adz, Tom Eagar, Tetsuhiko Endo, Gemma Freeman, Jeremy Jones, Chris Nelson, Mat Osman, Dave Zook Images Mustafah Abdulaziz, Sébastien Anex, Andy Bennetts, Paul Calver, David Carson, Christy Chaloux, Oskar Enander, Matt Georges, Dean ‘Blotto’ Gray, Jeremy Jones, Petri Kovalainen, Christophe Margot, Guy Martin, Robin Mellor, Tim Nunn, Chris Ortiz, Lyle Owerko, Guy Pitchon, Kevin Rankin, Markus Rohrbacher, Mae Ryan, Nikolai Samson, Sparrow v. Swallow, Thomas Stöckli, Yves Suter, Tougui, Will Wissman
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Distributed worldwide by COMAG
Cover Design David Carson Photography Oskar Enander Rider Stefan Gasser. Haines, Alaska
X AL OU CH TY R IS CH PH OT O:
Kim my 60 Fas an i Fro nts ide 3
fa sn â€” ce bo ow. Fea t ok Bo uring ot, .co dcs Ley the B idd sin m/ ho Jac y S dc ket now sho es. and boa r An d zer , Mo es. co eP r eu m ant . a rop e
Camera ObsCura Step back in time and experiment with the dark art of analogue photography by following our Step-by-Step guide to making a pinhole camera.
Box/container/can/carton 50mm wide, Pin, Scissors, Black tape,
Make a small hole (the size of a pea) in the side of your container.
Aluminium foil or small piece of aluminium cut from a can, Light-sensitive photo-paper with a nominal ISO of 4.
Cut a piece of foil/can and pierce it with the point of a pin. NB:
Sand the surface around the hole with emery paper to make sure it
The hole should be approximately 0.3mm in diameter.
is smooth. Rough edges will effect the quality of the final image.
Attach the foil/can to your container making sure the
from the inside with matte black spraypaint.
pinhole is over the pea-sized hole. Secure with tape.
In a dark room, place a piece of photographic paper, with its emulsion
Cover the pinhole with a loose piece of dark tape
side upwards, in the container â€“ on the opposite side to the pinhole.
(this is your shutter). The pinhole camera is ready.
Secure the pinhole camera in a sunny place and remove the tape
Cover the pinhole immediately with the tape (shutter)
(shutter) for the required time: Bright sunlight: 30 seconds, Sunny with
and develop in a dark room or at your local photo processors.
Thanks To Tarja Trygg, senior LecTurer aT The aaLTo universiTy schooL of arT and design, heLsinki. usefuL WebsiTes: WWW.soLargraphy.com, WWW.pinhoLephoTography.com.au, WWW.mrpinhoLe.com
To avoid reflection it is worth blackening the container
clouds: 1 minute, Overcast/cloudy: 2 minutes, Open shade: 4 minutes
NOTES: Donâ€™t expose the photo-paper in your light-tight container to Daylight. it will ruin the image. exposure times are volatile anD may vary greatly. experimenting with these variables is part of the fun of pinhole photography. or solargraphy the photo-paper can be exposeD for Days or even months anD will not neeD to be DevelopeD. 19
CtRl+Alt+Delete Forget big budgets and hi-def tricks. Reboot your expectations and rediscover fun with the help of these alternative snowboard flicks.
Deep in British Columbia, among the alpine slopes of Revelstoke Mountain
“Snowboarding shuns freethinking and embraces the lowest common
Resort, thirty-year-old filmmaker Nikolai Samson is going back to the
denominator; it exemplifies that ‘extreme sports’ mentality, similar to
roots of snowboarding and ditching his bindings to surf the white wave.
motocross or ultimate fighting.”
“I lost interest in conventional snowboarding and started to detest
Controversial opinions, but coming from Corey Smith you’d expect nothing
snowmobiling for access to good snow,” says the chipper Canadian.
less. The progressive rail slayer, artist and art director for LA streetwear
Hungry for a new kind of sliding experience, Nikolai tried surfing for a
brand COMU E has always spearheaded snowboarding’s creative side,
while. Then the binding-less craze of Noboarding came along, and he
with a vision that reaches far beyond the often-insular resort-based scene.
remembered what he loved about snow: “A good friend had a copy of
But while his Warhol-inspired paintings have made him a fixture on
the Rocky Mountain Sherpas [Noboard] film Yes to the No and my mind
the underground LA art circuit, his latest film project returns to his first
was blown. Surfing on snow?! Right then I knew I had to get some sort
of traction setup…”
Black Holes and Invisible Forces Bending Time Through Particle
So Nikolai launched Almond Manufacturing from his garden shed,
Deformation Creating Infinite Freedom in the Garden on the Moon
and started producing his own “white wave traction” technology, as
(BLKHLZINVZFS) is not just the craziest sentence you’ve ever heard‚
well as a rad little short film called Footloosin’ to promote binding-free
it’s also a unique and pioneering piece of avant-garde snow cinema.
fun. “It’s mind-boggling the level [mainstream snowboarding films] are
As part of the Drop City creative initiative from COMU E – which provides
at,” says Nikolai. “Stuntman proportions with Hollywood production… It
a platform for emerging musicians, artists and filmmakers – seven guest
impresses me, but crazy trick after crazy trick gets hard to absorb after
editors (Ryan Scardigli, Hunter Longe, Matt Porter, Kevin Castanheria,
a while. I like watching well-executed powder turns with a bit of a story
Mark Wiitanen, Shelby Menzel and working as a team Corey Smith and
Liz Davis) have each created a chapter of the film, soundtracked by bands
For a dude who's inspired by “anyone doing it their own way, no
associated with Drop City.
matter what they ride on”, Footloosin’ is testament to a more stripped-
Says Corey: “I wanted to make a film that showcased snowboard
back snow-sliding approach – a throwback to snowboarding’s early
filmmaking as well as snowboarding – that’s how I came up with the guest
days, when fabled pioneer Sherman Poppen first stepped out with his
editors concept. I hope we’ll see a lot more snowboard movies next year
binding-free board. “Going back to the roots of the sport seems to
pushing their ideas, like creating multiple edits or versions of their film.”
refresh the experience,” enthuses Nikolai. “It’s the excitement of a new challenge.”
And with freethinkers like Corey pushing boundaries, the future of snow cinema looks far from dull. “Snowboarding deserves way better,” he says. “I love snowboarding, and want to contribute to it and raise its value
culturally.” Gemma Freeman www.thecomune.com
Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow
Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow
Let's Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow is no ‘girls’ movie, and Peepshow
It’s a hot summer day. Two men are lounging back in a rubber dinghy on a
are the antithesis of everything you’ve been force-fed as ‘female’.
sparkling lake, slapping on sunscreen, drinking beer and bickering about
Raw, gritty and totally homemade, Peepshow’s second film proves
who has left their knacker (sausage) on the beach.
how far a large dose of love, dedication and hard work can go – regardless
The pair in question are pro snowboarders Seppi Scholler and Marc
of budget. The collective, based in the US and Canada, couldn’t give
Swoboda of Austrian ethical clothing label Love Distribution, and this is
a monkey’s about product placement or faux-glamour. Urban riding,
the intro to their latest movie, Loveolution II.
style, fresh talent, beer, boobs and blunts – spliced together with sharp
The film isn’t your everyday ‘snow flick by numbers’. Yeah, there’s
editing and grimy tunes – is more their parental advisory package. It
the obligatory bungee-powered urban jib scene, heaps of backcountry
doesn’t matter whether they’re boys or girls, dudes or chicks: this is a
booters and powder turns. But there’s also some good old-fashioned
real snowboard film.
comedy sketches involving weightlifting, motorbikes and dating agency
Jess Kimura, who founded the collective with June Bhongjam and
videos requesting “women to steal horses with”.
Esthera Preda, embodies the spirit that makes Peepshow tick. Based in
Sounds random? Well, that’s because it is. “I’m a big fan of stuff that
Whistler, she splits her seasons between working on construction sites,
has nothing to do with each other,” says Scholler, who co-founded Love
shredding and filming.
with Pizzi Petrovsky in 2007. “One of my main goals is that people watch
“I’ve always been a person to break barriers and push the boundaries
our movies and really ask themselves if we are crazy.”
of everything,” she says. Known to ride with a broken arm, skate, break
That heavy dose of crazy, however, is backed up by some solid riding
the other arm and then bust a knee, the twenty-four-year-old is beyond
from a diverse international cast including Swiss halfpipe destroyer Markus
driven. And nowhere is that perseverance more evident than in her
Keller, Icelandic rail trickster Gulli Gudmundsson and a great all-terrain end
banger section in Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow – one of many
section from Swoboda himself – all produced with near-zero budget.
impressive, progressive parts from the likes of Laura Hadar, Desiree Melancon and Robin Van Gyn. “It represents us well,” says Preda about the film. “We basically fuck up everything we do, but that’s what makes it ‘us’.”
Says Scholler: “The concept behind this is that there is no concept; I focused on making a movie that people can feel. I want to make
something different to all the other movies out there. The ‘acting’ should never compensate for the riding, but it makes the movie personal to people and hopefully [it will make them] laugh.”
Come and see us at ISPO on Stand 100/611, BN07 in Hall C2.
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STAY STRONG Amateur skateboarder Mike Franklin refuses to let an accident stand in his way. Text Jay Riggio & Photography Chris Ortiz
The comfort of routine prepares us for nothing. It blocks our view down the
That’s awesome.’ And [he] was determined to save my leg.”
ever fragile tunnel of life, and lets us forget that we live at the mercy of a
Utilising the muscle and an artery from his left foot, the right leg was
roll of the dice. For twenty-four-year-old amateur skater Mike Franklin, all it
saved. But after a month in hospital, Mike’s optimism started to dwindle.
took was a split second to be reminded of this fact.
Missing skating and questioning whether he’d ever skate again, he
Mike began to surface in the skate media just two years ago. With his
received a random call from legendary skateboarder John Cardiel – who
skate-anything skills and powerful style, he quickly made a name for himself
in 2003 suffered a serious spinal cord injury when he was accidently run
as one of skateboarding’s ams on the rise. And with a handful of solid
over by a trailer.
sponsors including World Industries, Mike’s love was quickly blossoming into a career. But in March this year, that dream was almost destroyed.
“I almost dropped the phone ’cause I was so surprised. He basically told me to keep my head up and that I would get through this – to stay
“I was back in my hometown of Santa Clarita because I had a party out
strong and that I’d be back on the board. And at that moment I fucking
there for my birthday,” Mike explains. “I was riding my Harley over to the
knew I would skate again,” remembers Mike. “It was the most inspiring
bank and was making a left at an intersection when a lady ran a light at
thing ever hearing that from John. He was told he would never walk again
sixty miles per hour straight into me, sending me flying sixty feet.”
and he basically said, ‘Fuck you,’ and is now back on the board! He’s the
The extent of Mike’s injuries is almost too grim to recount: an exploded
gnarliest dude ever!”
ankle; both leg bones broken completely in half; muscle and all of the
Mike has already been able to step on his board, cruising around and
arteries literally ripped from his right leg; a broken shoulder; a fractured
even doing 50 50s on a small quarterpipe. He’s hoping that in a few months
neck. Yep, you guessed it – gnarly as fuck.
his leg will be strong enough for him to skate full-force.
Truth is, Mike almost lost his right leg. In fact, doctors were ninety per
“This accident has been a trip. Life can be taken from you in a split
cent sure they would have to amputate it from the knee down. But instead
second and nothing in life is guaranteed,” he says. “I’m just going to enjoy
of obsessing about that dark possibility, Mike focused on the positive
life the way I want to right now, stay positive and not let stupid little things
energy exuded by a skate poster mounted near his hospital bed – an action
bother me or stress me out.”
shot where he took centre stage. “The first day I was in the hospital my friends hung my World Industries poster on the wall. One of the surgeons saw it and was like, ‘He skates?
To order Mike’s World Industries Benefit Board go to: www.worldindustries.com/mikefranklin-benefit-board.
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boom time! The story of the boombox is a story of change. Text Mat Osman & Photography Lyle Owerko
“The mixtape overthrew the Shah of Iran.” Photographer Lyle Owerko is mimicking the sing-song speech of hip hop pioneer Fab Five Freddy as he recounts one of the hundreds of stories that didn’t make it into his book, The Boombox Project: The Machines, the Music and the Urban Underground. It’s a huge project – an encyclopaedic history of those ubiquitous, briefcase-sized tape decks that soundtracked much of the eighties. And Owerko makes an unlikely historian – a quietly spoken Canadian photographer best known for his iconic shots of 9/11 that graced Time magazine’s cover in the week after the attacks. So how, and why, did he segue down this path? “I always had a boombox playing when I was painting as a kid,” explains Lyle. “I planned to do a book of just photos of boomboxes... But I discovered there are so many people worth talking to.” So began a year-long process of working backwards to find the originators of the boombox phenomenon – Kool Moe Dee, Spike Lee, Fab Five Freddy, Don Letts and the Beastie Boys among them – and retell their tales. Ground zero for this heady mix of cultures was the South Bronx, one of New York’s poorest neighbourhoods, where a generation of MCs, breakdancers and graffiti artists were honing their skills. And at the centre of everything, was the guy with the boombox. “New York radio sucked – everyone knew this,” says Lyle, “so where music happened was on the streets and the boombox became a vessel for change… It was a battle shield and a signature of sorts. It was democratic and easy to use – anyone could take it on themselves to use a boombox to record something, to broadcast a point of view.” The ’box, according to Lyle, was the eighties equivalent of Spotify – a conduit through which music was shared. All kinds of New York meeting places, from city parks to basketball courts, reverberated to the boombox beat: Grandmaster Flash and Kool Herc in the Bronx; Latin sounds in Spanish Harlem; the Ramones down on the Bowery. And mixtapes, which sliced together original tracks, were passed around like sacred texts. As for that Fab Five Freddy quote: apparently it was mixtapes featuring revolution leader Ayatollah Khomeini, recorded by displaced Iranian kids in Paris, then sent to their friends back in Tehran, that sowed the seeds for his return to overthrow the Shah in 1979. From street parties to revolution, from the Bronx to Tehran, this is the story of a technology that changed the world. The Boombox Project: The Machines, the Music and the Urban Underground by Lyle Owerko is published by Abrams. www.abramsbooks.com
Will the real Shaun White please stand up? Is he a skateboarder, a snowboarder or something in between? Text TOM EAGAR & PAPER TOY TOUGUI
“I get a lot of people asking what sport I would choose if I had to decide,”
snowboarding between November and April, then skating away the
says pro snowboarder Shaun White, days after winning the skate vert finals
summer months. But as transferable as his skills may be, alternating
at the Las Vegas stop of the Dew Tour. “And I would say skateboarding,
between the two – and trying to kill it at contests against guys who ride
because it doesn’t take as much effort. I don’t have to go to the mountains
all year round – must be challenging. “It’s the most frustrating thing!”
– I can just go to the local skate park. I can skate park or vert.”
confirms White. “Waking up one day and you don’t know how to do an
It’s this adaptability that has helped the twenty-four-year-old win
ollie! […] You had your kickflip down. You could do it every try. And all
each of the three skate events he entered in this year’s Dew Tour. Pretty
of a sudden somebody’s like, ‘Oh, take a long break and then try to do
impressive for a snowboarder, right? But there’s more: with a gold medal
it in front of a bunch of people on television.’ [Laughs] It’s so frustrating
from the 2007 Summer X Games, Shaun White is the first, and only,
because you have to re-learn it every single time.”
person to have claimed gold at both the summer and winter events. So what makes the super-sliding overlord so prolific in both scenes?
He adds: “[As] I’m getting older, it’s actually gotten easier to switch back and forth, whereas before, when I was younger, it would take me
“Most snowboarders can skateboard,” says White. “[But] nobody
months to re-learn all the tricks [in skateboarding] before I could go do
tries to compete like I do.” The high-achiever has more than cemented
them again. There’s something about the muscle memory and being
his place in the public eye, having adorned two Rolling Stone covers this
older [that] has helped me a lot to get right back into it. But yeah, it’s
year, toured every talk-show sofa from Oprah to Letterman, and strutted
bare-chested down the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards. With the
There’s little doubt that snowboarding provides White with his main
recent release of his new video game, Shaun White Skateboarding, and
source of income. It is, after all, the bedrock of his mainstream fame. So
the Beijing Air & Style presented by Shaun White comp in December, the
when it comes to his master plan, is skateboarding simply a hedonistic
Flying Tomato’s name has been popping up everywhere. Everywhere,
aside? “I don’t have a bunch of skateboard sponsors, which is cool,” says
that is, except one place.
the two-time Olympic snowboard champ. “I do it because I like to. It’s
It came as a surprise to hear that White didn’t feature among the
funny because a lot of the guys that see me at the ramp are like, ‘You
riders confirmed in November to compete at the forthcoming 2011 Winter
don’t even need to be here,’ because of my success with snowboarding.
X Games 15 in Aspen. Which begs the question: between skateboarding,
But that’s even more reason to be there I find, just for the hell of it. […]
mainstream TV appearances and brand-endorsement duties, is he finding
During the Olympic qualifiers, I was skating every night at the ramp there,
it hard to make time for snow?
messing around and just having a good time. It’s what I like to do. It’s kind
“It’s kind of like [having] different parents,” says White, “you’re
of like how I burn off the stress.”
splitting the time and it’s like, ‘Who really gets the most time?’” And his
As the first snowboarder to have traversed into the mainstream
fans are only beginning to register his double life. “What’s bizarre is that
spotlight, Shaun White is something of an anomaly. But his story isn’t
I’ve met people that didn’t really know I skateboard. [They’re] like, ‘Hey
totally unique. We’ve watched it unfold once before in skateboarding,
you skate? Cool!’ [But] it’s definitely crossing [over] now, to show that I
when a little kid called Tony Hawk grew up and took on the world. “He’s
do both sports and at the same level.”
the only guy I know who’s going through, or has gone through, what
Reaching a high level on both contest circuits is no mean feat. But
I’m going through. The only one I can relate to in that way,” says White.
does the ambidextrous dude feel more at home in one scene? “Because
“It’s not like we do [American] football or something where a million
I’m the guy that does both sports, I’m not really embedded in either [of
people have gone through it. Who’s to say what I’m supposed to do or
the scenes],” he says. “The guys from snowboarding hang out all the time,
not supposed to do?”
even after the season. But I disappear – I go skateboard, and I don’t really see a lot of those guys too much.” White says he tries to balance his year by concentrating on
To make your own Shaun White paper toy, download the free template at www.huckmagazine.com/features/shaunwhitepaper.
STAY STRONG sacramento’s Trash Talk are inciting a riot wherever they go. Text SHELLEY JONES & Photography GUY MARTIN
“This is one of the only things in the world that I know I’m good at,” laughs
At the show later, singer Lee Spielman frontflips off speakers, hangs
Trash Talk drummer Sam Bosson in between mouthfuls of eggs Benedict.
like a bat from ceiling beams and mounts the bar while his fans fly like
“Like, I can’t do math. I’m not a very good writer. This is the only thing that
rockets into, onto and off of everything. “It’s like, ‘Let’s go as hard as
really makes me happy.”
we can,’” says Spencer. “Whatever comes out, is what comes out.” Their
You might expect the Californians to be a little downbeat. We’re sitting
frenetic energy is infectious and they inspire the crowd to tap into their
having breakfast in a gaudy American-style diner in London and tonight
own latent frustrations with Lee growling, “The thing about fear is, most
is their last show of the year. The hardcore four-piece have been running
of us don’t feel it enough.”
circles around the globe with their new self-released record Eyes & Nines –
They may insist they’re “not doing anything extraordinary”, but
produced by Joby J. Ford of The Bronx – and have spent little more than a
they’re definitely not your average hardcore band. As individuals they
week in their native ‘best coast’ since we last hung out in August.
are distinctive – Spencer met Lee “jumping off beds and shit in a hotel
“We get tired but it’s fun,” says bassist and songwriter Spencer Pollard.
room” and says if you met guitarist Garrett Stevenson on his own, “he
“We get to travel the world as four best friends who have kind of become
probably wouldn’t say anything” – and as a collective they’ve garnered
more than best friends…” Sam chips in: “It’s what I’ve always wanted to
an eclectic fan base, with aficionados transgressing scenes, ages,
do – be in a punk band and tour the world. It’s like the coolest thing ever.”
ethnicities and gender.
And tour the world they do. From California to Boston, Germany to
“I don’t think we’d be what we are if it wasn’t for the kids who come
Japan, Australia to London and everywhere in between, Trash Talk have
and lose their minds with us,” says Sam about the motley crowd of
slept on floors, pissed-off stage managers and inspired kids from every
supporters that turn up at every show. “When it’s a good show, we feed
corner to lose their fucking minds. “I think it’s a release,” reflects Spencer,
off that. We go crazier.” And with plans to tour Mexico, South America,
who says his lyrics are inspired by sci-fi and the end of the world, which
China, Iceland and Southern Asia in the near future, shit is about to get a
is “cool to think about”. Sam explains: “When we get on stage it’s like
whole lot crazier indeed.
everything is pushed aside… The mood changes one hundred per cent… For me, it’s kind of primal.”
Eyes & Nines is out now on Trash Talk Collective.
when I see everything, I can ride anything.
id2 pure Silhouette International Schmied AG, adidas Global Licensee, adidas, the 3-Bars logo, and the 3-Stripes mark are registered trademarks of the adidas Group Silhouette International Schmied AG, adidas Global Licensee. Le nom adidas, le logo 3-Barres et la marque aux 3 Bandes sont des marques deposĂŠes par le Groupe adidas Photo: Jordan Manley
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The Real, Real World Jon Rafman’s 9eyes project is turning Street View into a work of art. Text Andrea Kurland
Jon Rafman has been down every street in the world. He’s seen picnics,
puke and superheroes on park benches catch forty winks. There’s a little
prostitutes, car crashes and floods; penguins, elephants and kids with guns.
bit of everything in 9eyes, including the good, the bad, the ugly and the
He’s witnessed nameless fistfights and routine walks to work – everything
weird. So is this real-life menagerie a critique of modern society – of our
from the sensational to the banal.
Facebook-stalking inner voyeur? Or is it a celebration of transparency in a
But the Canadian artist is no intrepid traveller. His latest project, 9eyes,
may be a compendium of photos from every corner of the globe, but the
“It’s hard to find the line separating them,” says Jon, who’s also
journey he took to get them was virtual, not real. Instead of packing up his
incorporated user-generated platforms like Second Life into his work.
camera and hitting the road, he trawled through thousands of panoramas
“There’s a mixture of mocking and critique and indictment and this
captured by Google Street View’s all-seeing nine eyes and came out with a
celebration and excitement that this is out there – that this exists! I think part
collection of images that capture the chaos of life.
of the point is that I’m trying to bring human interpretation to these images.
“I feel like Street View is documentary photography taken to its ultimate conclusion,” says the twenty-nine-year-old. “The images capture a sense of
As human beings we are constantly interpreting things; we’re interpreting creatures… we endow things with certain significance.”
authenticity, partly because there isn’t a human being behind the camera
With a string of exhibitions under his belt, and a host of shows already
creating a manipulative image, or making a starving person on the street
planned for 2011, Jon’s found a way to bring his intangible explorations
seem, like, exotic.”
into the physical world of hang-on-the-wall art. But as soon as he’s looking
Based in Montreal, Jon sits at the forefront of a new crop of net-artists
for new inspiration, you can bet he’s straight back online: “I’m looking
who see cyberspace as something of a muse. “Through the act of surfing
for virtual worlds that aren’t created from the top down… and within the
the Internet, I found this entire virtual world that kind of excited me,” he
virtual reality, I find something that’s realer than the real world. Because
explains. “It was just this new world I was able to explore. The Internet is a
often times it reveals stuff that is going on unnoticed – like secret desires,
massive giant mine of information that can be used for artistic purposes;
or hidden ideologies.”
you can comment on and critique society and celebrate the modern condition from what you can find online.” It’s clear Jon’s treasure hunts are fuelled by an excitement for “uncharted
See Jon Rafman’s work as part of Free at the New Museum, New York, until January 23, 2011.
virtual territory”, but the message behind the images is far less defined: hookers tote for business; school kids skip down the street; birds fly, people
A R I C A
R R P.
£ 4 4 . 9 9
APPENDIX Sébastien Anex Switzerland-based SÉbastien Anex admits he was “afraid of bad weather” when he first left his career in environmental engineering to become a ski and snowboard photographer. But he soon tired of perfect conditions and began to relish trips to atmospheric slopes, like Tanigawadake in Japan, where he could capture a moodier side to the outdoors. L e f t : Nicolas Vaudroz eases into a powder turn in Tanigawadake Tenjindaira, Japan. R i g h t : The sun pops out at the end of a storm as Nicolas Vaudroz, Yoshiaki Endo and Yuichi Onobu descend through the trees. Tanigawadake Tenjindaira, Japan.
Oskar Enander Avant-garde lensman Oskar Enander felt compelled to pursue a career in photography based entirely on his love for the mountains. He may have grown up in snow-barren Gothenburg, Sweden, but after a season spent in Chamonix he was hooked. These days he resides in Switzerland, where he is broadening his oeuvre to include cycling photography. A beautiful accident in Haines, Alaska: “I was shooting some portraits at night when I shifted a light and my lens pointed right up into the sky. I fired a few shots with different shutter speeds and got this.”
D e a n ‘ Blo t t o ’ Gr a y Dean ‘Blotto’ Gray has been documenting the snowboarding life for over eleven years. As a Burton Snowboards photographer, he dedicates his life to the pursuit of visual stoke, spending two thirds of the year out on the road. His shots transcend the hackneyed action setup to include compositions of a more reportage nature. Jussi Oksanen sends it across a powder canvas after an amazing big-mountain descent in Haines, Alaska.
M a t t G e or g e s After starting out shooting skateboarders, French photographer Matt Georges turned his analogue eye onto the snow scene and soon became known for his prolific body of work. He has developed a signature style using Polaroids and antique cameras, and often experiments in the darkroom to produce images with a uniquely lo-fi, tangible quality. L e f t : A meeting of two Luddites: Filippo Kratter’s timeless Method, immortalised by Matt Georges on Polaroid film. Bardonnechia, Italy. R i g h t : JP Solberg returns to the source with a Frontside 360 in Hokkaido, Japan.
W i ll W i ssm a n Will Wissman is passionate about capturing the relationship between man and nature. Despite calling Salt Lake City – abundant with mountains and resorts – his home, the epic photographer explores his passion through documenting all kinds of activities like climbing, surfing and biking, in an attempt to illustrate the “magic of the world”. After two weeks of storms dump ten feet of snow in Haines, Alaska, Chris Coulter seizes a clearing and charges through.
T h om a s S t ö c k l i Thomas Stöckli was born in 1978 on a farm in the countryside of Switzerland. A snowboarder since ’92 and a snow shooter since ’01, he’s travelled the world chasing snow and currently mountain hops from the Alps to the Rockies to the Andes, always with his trusty camera in tow. An eruption of stoke: Nicholas Wolken gets lost in a moment. Hintertux, Austria.
Yves Suter Swiss photographer Yves Suter’s ‘office’ overlooks the crystal vistas of Lake Lucerne. His base in the small resort of Brunnen may be like his “own little paradise”, but when he’s not collaborating with friends, or self-publishing ’zines, you can find him venturing to powderladen places like Japan in search of inspiration. L e f t : All good things come to those who hike: Dominik Betschart heads to the drop-down spot on the glacier in Zermatt, Switzerland. R i g h t : Into the night: Daniel ‘Gummi’ Rietmann aims for the abyss. Hintertux, Austria.
Actionshot David: SAlomon, Actionshot Eero: nitro, lifestyleshot Silli: Crispin Cannon
David Carson read the handbook of â€˜goodâ€™ graphic design. Then he tore it up, rewrote the rules and found a way to leave his mark. Interview Photography
avid Carson is an internationally
a question to ask they either raised an American
acclaimed graphic designer who
flag or a Christian flag, depending on what kind of
hit hard in the early nineties
question it was. Strange experience! Anyway, I got
with Beach Culture and Ray Gun
a postcard announcing a two-week graphic design
magazines. His work was intuitive, daring, loose.
workshop during the summer, and it described
He revolutionised the font game and turned
what they would be studying. It was for high school
traditional typographical design theory on its
seniors. I read the description and thought, ‘Wow,
head. And by fusing sophisticated, conceptual
that’s a profession? You can be creative, have fun,
ideas with child-like simplicity, he became an
make stuff and get paid?’ So I called and asked the
art star in a medium that’s generally considered
school, the University of Arizona in Tucson, if I
background. His first book, with Lewis Blackwell,
could come, and they said, ‘Sure’.
The End of Print, is the top-selling graphic design
I returned to Southern California when
book of all time. Newsweek declared that he
I was done teaching, where I had secured a
“changed the public face of graphic design”.
job with Nancy Katin [of Kanvas by Katin surf
London-based Creative Review called him “the
trunks]. I worked for a few weeks, not positive if I
most famous graphic designer on the planet”.
was really going to the graphic design workshop
And David Byrne, Nine Inch Nails and Bush
or not. Finally I told my boss, Nancy Katin,
contracted his unique eye to design their wares,
that I needed two weeks off in the middle of the
as did Pepsi, Toyota and Microsoft.
summer to attend this workshop. She told me
But his visual work is only part of it.
if I left for the workshop, I would not have a job
He lectures internationally, and has garnered
when I returned. That made the decision a bit
a cult following. He is a lifelong surfer and
more difficult, but somehow I felt I had to try
doting father. I met him in 2001 when we worked
this graphic design thing. And I did. Luckily, I
together on Big Surf, an NY-spawned single-issue
had a very cool, funny and good guy instructor,
magazine. His downtown studio was a mess.
Jackson Boelts. It’s hard to say if I would have
Never in my life had I seen so many icons on a
been as interested had I had a loser teacher. But
single computer screen. He seemed to be juggling
at the end of those two weeks it was so clear to me:
fifty jobs. I was concerned about our deadline,
that’s what I wanted to do.
the precious art sent in by contributors that lay scattered haphazardly about his floor, whether he
What do you consider to be your career
even cared. We were a couple of months late with
highlights? In terms of work I would really
the issue, but of course it won design awards, and
say Beach Culture magazine, for a number
is still talked about today.
of different reasons. It was the first time all
Which is to say that there is a lot of
my earlier training had a chance to come
chance and chaos theory in Carson’s work, but
together. I had done Transworld Skateboarding,
somehow the chips, or the cards, or the drops of
I had moved to the East Coast to do Musician
coffee, fall in perfect disorder.
and Billboard, and then I got fired for the
Some years back he moved his business
design being too radical. I’d heard that Surfer
into a small studio on the Pacific Coast Highway in
Publications were talking about doing this
Malibu. A few yards down the road was a peculiar
more experimental magazine, and I flew out to
sign: it read ‘DRUNK DRIVER’ in black, block
California to interview for the job. Beach Culture
text, with ‘CALL 911’ just below. Carson marvelled
was never intended to be a surf magazine. It
at it. When it came time to put up a sign of his
was loosely hung on this idea that people at the
own, he copied the exact font, colour, shape and
beach also enjoy other things – it was an attitude.
scale: ‘GRAPHIC DESIGNER CALL 457-5652’.
It was myself and the editor, Neil Feineman, in the back of the Surfer offices, literally in the
You were a teacher before you were a graphic
warehouse, just doing our thing. I look back now
designer. How did you make the shift? I was
and it was so pure. I was living with it around
teaching my first year at a strange little cult
the clock. We did every issue like it was our
religious school in Oregon. I had grades one
last. I was so broke I was scrounging for gas or
through twelve all day, in one room. When they had
lunch money half the time, but it didn’t matter.
We were experimenting. My thing had yet to
from not having schooling and never learning who
treatment, front row seats, bought ’em drinks.
take off at that time, but the issues still hold up
specifically the people were; the schools of thought,
It went really good, and afterward they had a
well. They shut it down about a year before the
etc. I hate to come off like I don’t follow anyone, but
Q&A, and I was shocked to see my twelve-year-
whole street culture thing kicked in, which was
there’s no one person. Growing up, I memorised all
old son raise his hand, and they brought him
the surf mags – I can pick photos in the old mags
the microphone and he said, ‘Well, I have three
and tell you the caption. [Miki] Dora was always my
comments I wanted to make. Number one, I really
number one hero in that world.
enjoyed the show. Number two, I didn’t realise you
And then much later the work I did for Nine Inch Nails; packaging and posters and
were so funny, Dad. And number three, why were
everything. Trent Reznor was a really interesting
there more pictures of Luci than me?’
person to work with. We hit it off, and just had
I know you travel often, so describing ‘A Day in
a great working relationship. The idea that you
the Life’ might be tough. But what’s, say, a month
could interpret somebody’s music and lyrics in a
in your life like? Just in the last few months I
There’s a story I heard you tell at one of your
way that they’re happy with was really satisfying.
lectured to 1,200 people in Ireland, and then I was
talks about kids being innately creative... I
I remember getting an email from Trent when we
surfing in the Caribbean, and then I gave a lecture
think every kid is an artist and it gradually gets
were done, saying that he was really happy about
to the graduate programme in architecture at
beaten out of them as they grow up. ‘No, Billy,
the work. I put it up on my office wall.
Penn State, and now I’m in New York seeing about
cows aren’t purple’, that kind of stuff. And I
I’m also most proud of – I think it was
moving my business here. I don’t cook. People
always remember this study where a teacher
within a year of each other – getting listed in
ask where I’m based and I say, ‘I’m not sure’. I’m
went into a first grade class and asked, ‘How
The Encyclopedia of Surfing and A History of
kind of homeless right now. I love Europe. I was
many of you are artists?’ And of course the whole class raises their hands. Then he goes to
Graphic Design. Your
lectures. Now it seems you're renowned for both. And the talks seem to attract far more than just the visual arts crowd… My next book is called The Rules of Graphic Design, but it’s really much more than that. I think it’s about creativity and trusting yourself and using who you are in your work, whatever that work is. One of the early criticisms of my work was that it was ‘self-indulgent’ and I’d say, ‘Hell yeah it is, I’m totally into it, I’m totally absorbed in it.’ Part of me hopes it gets recognised and I wouldn’t want somebody working for me who wasn’t just as into it. Early on in my career someone wanted me to talk to this group of high
“One of the early criticisms of my work was that it was ‘self-indulgent’ and I’d say, ‘Hell yeah it is, I’m totally into it.’”
second grade and asks the same question and gets the same results, the stuff is hanging on the fridge, the parents love it, all kids raising their hands. But by the time he gets up to sixth or seventh grade and asks the same question, only a couple of kids raise their hands. It’s been beaten out of the rest of them. You once told me about a strange letter you received in the mid-nineties. Some kind of warning about the vicissitudes of highprofile success? Yes. It was early and things were going through the roof. I’d just had a front-page article in the New York Times, and it was a fax from someone I didn’t know, and it just said, ‘Congratulations on your story in the New York Times. Your phone will no doubt be ringing off the hook for some time to come. If I can offer a
finance, venture capitalist people, and I was just kind of dreading it, thinking, ‘What
thinking of moving to Biarritz... But boy – a typical
suggestion: save your money. After they build you
will I have in common with these people?’ And
day? Sometimes I wish I had one. I feel myself
up, they love to tear you down.’ At the time I just
what struck me afterwards is how almost all of
wanting for more of a base. I probably spend too
thought, ‘Oh yeah, whatever,’ but boy, did I find
them came up to get a book signed, or to make a
much time dealing with email stuff. I get a lot of
that to be true. I still feel busy, and… I was going
comment and I thought, ‘Whoa, there is a bigger
students doing assignments on me.
to say relevant, but I don’t really worry about that. My work polarises, and I decided early on not to
message here than just putting type on top of type!’ How do you like being a father? I love it, and I
pay attention to bad stuff people are saying. Daily I
What is it you like most about magazines? Unlike
love kids. It’s a little tough because when I was in
hear from people saying how inspired they are, so I
the web, mags are surprisingly social. When I
New York their mother moved them away, and has
figure why hunt down the bad stuff?
travel, I make a plan to go into the part of the city
moved them around ever since, like nine different
with the coolest mag store. I also visit the CD store
states in eight years. But one of the things I’m very
Do you ever have moments of self-doubt? I’m
and buy some new stuff ’cause I like the covers,
proud of is that I have a very close relationship
very comfortable with how I work and what I do
maybe pick up a few clothes, shoes, whatever,
with my two kids, Luci just turned eleven, and
and my eye. I know that I can look at something
have a coffee and watch the world. It’s social; it’s
Luke is twelve.
and make it good. I don’t question, I don’t wonder
I gave a lecture in New York two weeks
if something’s up to par. I do go back to old work
ago, and it was the first time either of my kids
and think it’s horrible. But then I’ll turn the page
Which artists have inspired you? I always have
had heard me lecture. It was kind of a big deal,
and see something I’m proud of. My work has
trouble with that question, and some of it comes
I was a little nervous about it. I got them special
never been something I’ve had to force
Foto: c amilo Gutierrez
SIMPLE IN BLACK OR
YOU WANT MORE? WWW.G-SHOCK.EU/G-VENTURE
BRIGHT Winter 2011 – room 113
Left to right: Frank Paul, Kevin Rankin, Sandy Lamont and Pat Kieran. "'Deef Hon' was a rubber glove who lived in the van. Whoever drove the van had to wear him and give hand signals instead of indicating! Deef Hon [Deaf Hand] was so named because he had no ears!" â€“ Kevin Rankin
Scotland’s North Shore surfers are made of sturdy stock, but those who went in first are the hardiest of them all. This is the story of those cold water pioneers. Text Chris Nelson
Ron Gallagher, who was already surfing up there.
real surfing figurehead. Hailing from Liverpool,
playgrounds here in Northern Scotland
One trip and we were hooked. I’ve surfed all over
he spent the late seventies in Farmhouse Cottage.
than this frozen coast. Take for example,
the planet and enjoyed many different adventures,
A decade later Neil Harris resided within the chilly
the vast arenas high above sea level, where a
but I have to say nothing comes close to the spirit
walls of Middle Cottage, pushing boundaries,
multi-coloured mosaic of skiers zig-zag down
of Thurso. There’s a certain ‘Celtic magic’ that
charging harder. Chris Noble followed, quietly
leeward slopes to waiting lifts. During the dark
works its way inside you and never leaves. The
spoken, but chiselled from Scottish granite; he has
season, temperatures can drop into the minus
people, the countryside, the atmosphere and, of
shown there are still new lines to be drawn on this
twenties on high land, while the lowlands too can
course, the waves.”
ancient Celtic wave. Each has painted the canvas
with a style defined by the times – single fin lines,
feel the cutting edge of the northerly fronts that
By 1979 Kevin was living in a cottage that
blow out of the Arctic. Even the Aurora makes a
looked down over Brims Ness, an isolated point
rare appearance, dancing green, blue and purple
to the west of Thurso. Brims is a huge slab of
The four houses are part of the estate
hues on a few clear cold nights. The Vikings were
flat rock that arrows out into the North Atlantic.
of Lord Thurso, a local Member of Parliament
warned to avoid Scotland. Though they settled on
Swell arrives and lunges onto the reef from a huge
who called the castle next door his home.
the outlying islands of the Orkneys and Hebrides,
drop-off into deep water. Even on a day when all
“Thurso East was a great place to live,” says Pat.
the beaches are sleeping, there can be rideable
“It was a great community, still is. It’s still got
mainland as an inhospitable and unwelcoming
waves at Brims. The Vikings named it well, for it
that hippie sort of feeling about it.” Pat’s home
country offering rewards only to the brave,
translates as ‘Surf Point’. “I lived just a kilometre
was an open house – a place for visiting surfers
warning that those who venture there may pay
from the famous point, you could see it break from
to crash. “I’d get mates coming up to stay with
with their lives. But the Vikings did come and the
the cottage window,” says Kevin. “In summer, the
me and folk coming up just for the weekend. I
peaty moorlands were stained red from ferocious
farmer would often give me a lift down around
never locked the door. I had the place for about
battles that raged through the centuries. Names
nine at night on the back of his tractor and I would
three or four years and I never locked the door
like Skirza, Wick and Thurso stand as testament
sit out in the break alone, sometimes ’til midnight.
once. When I moved out, I picked up the key to
to the settlements that were once established in
Some of the most peaceful, content moments I’ve
hand it back to the landlord and it left this big
Scotland’s northernmost county of Caithness.
ever felt in life were sitting there, waiting for the
key-shaped hole in the dust.” Even when Pat was
And a distinct Nordic lilt still lingers in the thick,
next wave to arrive out of a mirror of glass and
away, the hospitality continued. “I think I was in
rich accent borne by local tongues.
orange red sky, dissolving into the dusk as the sun
Liverpool seeing my mother, and I came back to
Kevin Rankin first started surfing the
set late into the night. Indescribable joy! What
a note on the kitchen table from [British surfer]
North Shore of Scotland in 1976, ploughing up the
made it more special was that I was the only one
Nigel Semmens and a couple of other guys from
A9 into the eye of the storm. “We’d be travelling
there in that moment. You don’t move to a place
Cornwall. They’d legged it up here, surfed for
north with surfboards on the car through sleet
like Brims Ness to find company. Perhaps it’s
about four hours, slept in my place. Didn’t ask
and snow,” explains Kevin, “while others would
about finding yourself. Whatever it was or is, it
– didn’t need to. Surfed in the morning, then
be driving south with skis on their cars.” His first
still haunts me to this day.”
went back down south and left a note. Fantastic
open face carves, deep-throat barrel rides.
voyage into this new territory was with friends Ian
The hamlet that overlooks the famous
McKay and Frank Paul, “another couple of soul
rivermouth break at Thurso East has hosted a
searchers”. It didn’t take long for the new boys to
series of pivotal tenant surfers, each the epicentre
wetsuits drying on flagstone hearth, keeping the
attract attention. “We got flagged down by a local,
of an era. Pat Kieran was the North Shore’s first
‘open door, kettle on’ spirit alive.
– [they] just came up for a long weekend.” Today surfer
Christmas 1978 Pat drafted a letter to the Northwest Surf Club in England. He sold the dream of an empty North Shore, offering the promise of ‘a dossing space in a cottage overlooking the break’. It was a call to arms, an open invitation to all newcomers. “I remember surfing big, classic Thurso East by myself – tentotwelve-foot surf, scary. That’s why I thought I could do with a bit of company here. I’d give anybody my floor, because you do that and you meet some great people, and you’ve got some great memories. You learn a lot from other people if you just open yourself up to them.” Pat looks back at the idea that you’d have to try to encourage people to come surf world-class waves and laughs. “Today, at Thurso East, I’d say there’s hardly a good wave that goes un-surfed now. There’s always someone in the water if there’s a swell, every day of the week. You certainly couldn’t say that back then. There would be hardly a decent wave that was surfed thirty years ago. Those that
were, were surfed by me and a handful of others. It was amazing having this wave to yourself.” Pat’s role as surfer in residence didn’t just extend to hospitality for visiting surfers. Dounreay, the former nuclear power plant around which the local economy once pivoted, was his nine-to-five, but outside this time he provided boards for any locals he could entice into the water. The barn attached to the cottage became a shaping bay; his spare room was for glassing. In ancient Celtic lore, the Selkie is a female seal that comes ashore and transforms into a beautiful maiden to take a lover
“It was 1981, I saw all these bizarre
for a night. Pat’s ‘Selkie Styx Surfboards’ carried
surfboards with fantastic designs like huge
the Thurso crew out into the line-ups. “If you go
dragons across them,” says Sheila Finlayson. “I
up in the bedroom, you can still see surfboard-
got all the girls that had been skiing and I said,
shaped resin marks on the floor,” says Pat. “God
‘I found these surfboards, has anybody got a
knows how I got away with it. They should have
wetsuit?’ I thought, ‘Well we’ve all seen the Old
thrown me out. I took the shaped blanks into the
Spice advert, how hard can it be?’ The boards
spare bedroom so I could get a bit of temperature
turned out to be Pat Kieran’s – somehow they’d
to do the resin and fibreglass. I did single fins, a
ended up in the school. We went immediately to
couple of twin fins, and I built a Stinger. Jackie, a
Brims Ness, because that’s where the waves were
girl I was going out with at the time, used to do the
that looked like an Old Spice advert.”
artwork for me, things like dragons. This would have been about 1978 or ’79.”
Brims: shallow, heavy, treacherous Brims. “We started at the Point first. We went, ‘That’s a nice big wave. That’s got a big tubey thing, let’s
have a crack at that. Ah, shit – that’s quite difficult.’ f the teachers on playground duty strain
We weren’t very successful really, but because we
their eyes, they might just spot the puffs
were young we didn’t break, although we basically
of smoke emanating from behind the bike
got pummelled. Then we tried Thurso East and
sheds. The source of the signals, a fifteen-year-
that was not good, so we kind of sussed out that we
old schoolgirl, is having a sneaky dinnertime
needed smaller, gentler waves. We started going
cigarette. Peering through the shed’s window,
out west probably every weekend and maybe once
she spots a pile of strange-looking objects
or twice a week. After about three months we all
stacked at the back – her curiosity is tweaked.
started standing up – with a very unique style.
She puts her hands up to the glass to shield her
Farr Bay, that’s where I remember going the most,
eyes and looks again.
because it is such a nice shallow, gentle beach.”
“There’s a certain ‘Celtic magic’ that works its way inside you and never leaves. The people, the countryside, the atmosphere and, of course, the waves.” A lack of equipment wasn’t going to hold
surfing as something that could be a real positive
club, donating his time, sharing his stoke, giving
the girls back. “We started out without gloves or
force for local disenchanted youth. “There’re
lessons and lifts to the beach. The fabric and
boots,” explains Sheila. “Our wetsuits didn’t even
lots of kids kicking about a bit bored. Lots of, I
history here would have been of a different weave
fit. We had verruca socks and washing-up gloves
don’t know, aggression and adrenaline-seeking
if Pat had headed to the waves of Devon instead of
to try and keep the cold out – very gorgeous.
tendencies,” she says. “All they need to do is get
Caithness, when he decided to leave his home city
It worked a bit – worked better than nothing.”
in the water, that’ll give them plenty. They don’t
of Liverpool. “Once I’d been here and surfed this
It was only their uncompromising drive and
really access it. I think that’s a shame. If this was
wave, it really was exactly like [how] I described
sheer determination that got them past mere
down in Cornwall, it’d be mobbed. I know that
it at the time – it was like an elastic band. The
playground bravado and out into the water. “We
some other people feel differently and want to
further I got away from Caithness and that wave,
thought it was a girl’s sport. When we went to
protect their waves, but I’m personally supportive
to be honest, the tighter that band got, the more
Cornwall we got such a shock. We thought, ‘Where
of getting more youngsters into the water. I think
determined I was to get back.”
are the girls? It’s so effeminate down here.’” That
I had so much fun with it that it’d be nice to share
chance discovery gave Sheila a life-long love of
that with other kids.”
the glide. Today she still manages to get in the water every week, sometimes two or three times.
Extracted from Cold
of Surfing’s Cold Water Pioneers. When author Chris Nelson travelled to Nova Scotia for a story that ran
enjoy competing and it encourages me to surf a
in the barn, glassed in the bedroom, ridden on the
Island, Alaska, Hokkaido and many icy breaks
little bit better.”
wave. Pat is the common thread woven through
beyond in search of similar pioneers. The resulting
Today Sheila passes on that surfing stoke
the fabric of surf culture here in the extreme north
book, an exploration of surfing’s final frontiers, is out
to local grommets. Whether it’s taking them along
east of Scotland. First surfer in residence, he
on a run out to the beaches, allowing them to
shaped boards for those who wanted to take to the
store boards in her shed near the break or offering
sea, the same boards found by Sheila Finlayson.
words of advice and encouragement, Sheila sees
He encouraged grommets through the local surf
“Eventually, after a couple of years I managed to win the Scottish Champs. I think it’s nine or ten titles now,” she says, almost embarrassed. “I do
at Kieran hoists down a board from the
in the very first issue of HUCK, he became transfixed
wall of his cottage near Dounreay. It is
with the characters that inhabit the world’s most
a twin fin, thick with boxy rails, shaped
frigid shores. He’s ventured to Iceland, Vancouver
all above board Straddling the gap between those who live the dream and those who sell it, Andreas Wiig is one pro snowboarder who seems to have the business game sussed. Text Ed Andrews + Photography Paul Calver
o you think a lot of people are
sea of energy drinks and lads-on-tour exuberance,
By the time he was sixteen, Wiig had
interested in snowboarding
Wiig seems relaxed – detached, perhaps, from the
given up playing football on a regional team
in London?” asks Andreas
juvenile antics that surround him.
to concentrate on snowboarding. Aware of his
Wiig, having just signed an
“I don’t pay much attention to it because
situational limitations, when he was nineteen
autograph for a passerby. In
I’m used to being around nineteen-year-olds,”
he headed out to spend a few months riding
fairness, the kid seemed lured in more by the small
he says diplomatically when I ask about the age
Mammoth Mountain in California with some of
throng of cameras than any recognition of who
difference between him and the rest of the team.
his friends, borrowing money from his parents to
the twenty-nine-year-old Norwegian is, and Wiig
“It’s not like I’m the old dad saying, ‘Turn it down,
fund his stay. “We went there to have fun but at
seems to have picked up on that.
guys.’ It’s not like that.”
the same time, I really wanted to get somewhere in snowboarding,” recalls Wiig, readily volunteering
It’s late September and Wiig is here
Diplomatic feels like a good starting point
fulfilling his pre-season industry duties, showing
when describing Andreas Wiig. He sits calmly, fixes
his face at a shop signing at The Snowboard
you with a courteous stare and reels off answers
And it worked. A chance collision on
Asylum in Covent Garden as one of his sponsors,
that seem considered, yet guarded at the same
the slopes with a cameraman working for prolific
Forum, tours their new film, Fuck It, around
time. But there is an intelligence that permeates
filmmaker Mike ‘Mack Dawg’ McEntire saw Wiig
Europe. It’s the first time he’s been approached on
granted a small, nine-trick video part in 2001’s
the street. He may have claimed slopestyle gold in
exactly what he is doing. Case in point: when the
Stand and Deliver. Major sponsors soon voiced an
front of an audience of millions at the Winter X
photographer reaches for his camera, Wiig pulls
interest and Wiig has remained a prominent force
Games in both 2007 and 2008 – making him one
a beanie emblazoned with the Rockstar Energy
in snowboarding ever since, hopping between core
of the few riders to have ever beaten Shaun White
Drink logo out of his back pocket and slaps it on his
companies like (now defunct) Jeenyus, Omatic,
– but to anyone not familiar with snowboarding,
head. In an industry where youth is a meal ticket
Nitro, Electric and now Forum, while representing
Wiig is just another dude in a plaid shirt hanging
and the passage of time ticks like a bomb, you can’t
on a street corner.
help but respect him for playing the game.
way of Vans and Rockstar Energy. Indeed, Wiig
his early ambition to turn pro.
straddles an industry that can so often pull riders in
opposite directions. He is the guy who spurned the
a cruiser board to stop himself from ollieing and
understand how far he has come. Hailing from
grassroots TTR World Tour in favour of corporate
further damaging the broken ankle that put him
the small town of Asker near Oslo, Wiig started
made-for-TV spectacles like the Winter X Games
out of business for most of last season – we return
snowboarding as a “more playful” alternative to
and Dew Tour. But he’s also the guy who’s gained
to the tour bus, a large black coach with Fuck It
skiing. From age eleven, he bore the brunt of icy
respect across the board, thanks to his ability to
scrawled across the side. It’s early on in the tour,
conditions on his local mountain of Vardaasen,
balance his seasons and log solid, dependable
but the malaise has set in. Stories circulate of police
a 300m strip that only opened its slopes for a few
video parts – in classics like Video Gangs by Forum
searches, marijuana stashed in bins to avoid sniffer
months a year, building DIY kickers with friends
and more recently Standard Films’ Black Winter –
dogs and indiscreet sexual conquests. But in this
as he “was always into jumping”.
whilst still competing.
After a short walk down to the banks of
the River Thames – with Wiig pushing along on
to do. I think that is what draws a lot of people to snowboarding: the freedom to do whatever you want to do.” It’s these same trained-for-battle kids who now rival Wiig for top spot on the podium and lead slots in films. But he’s not planning on throwing in the towel just yet. When I bring up the inevitable ‘double-cork question’ (i.e. can he do them?), he answers elusively that he is “planning to do them more and more” – clearly aware that an arms race is underway, and without this trick in your arsenal, you barely stand a chance. But he’s not downtrodden about the passage of time and talks enthusiastically about younger riders he respects, like Norwegian up-and-comers Gjermund Braaten and Alek Ostreng. And he seems excited about where he’s heading too, stating that he would prefer to go “back to the roots” of freeriding towards the tail-end of his pro career. It’s becoming more apparent that, when it comes to the future, Wiig’s the kind of guy who’s got a plan mapped out. For someone who readily throws himself off cliffs (see: the now infamous and scary section on Mack Dawg’s Follow Me Around), he comes across as incredibly, well, sensible. He may joke that he’s blown his money on “booze, parties and expensive hotel rooms”, but in reality he’s invested in property, stocks and one fast car. “I’m trying to be settled when I’m done snowboarding,” he says pragmatically. “You only have so many years, so you don’t want to lose it all.” You can’t help but feel that Wiig's success has been entirely of his own making: the outcome
iconic Norwegian snowboarder Terje Haakonsen – to the point of destruction.
The bus suddenly grinds to a halt outside the venue of tonight’s premiere. And while the
of strategic calculations, as opposed to dumb luck.
Snowboarding has changed over the
rest of the Forum crew bound around excitedly,
He recalls ignoring some early career advice he
past decade since Wiig’s fateful collision with
clearly hyped to meet new faces and throw Fuck
got from the filmers of Video Gangs to not bother
that Mack Dawg filmer. It’s hard to imagine a
It-branded condoms out into the crowd, Wiig
with competitions. So what drove him down the
snowboarder of Wiig’s profile and competitive
seems to have reached a Zen-like plateau. There’s
success simply being discovered by chance today.
a distinct lack of ego and bravado about the guy,
“It wasn’t about winning, it was about…
Nowadays, champions are groomed from a young
just a work ethic that’s refreshingly humble for
developing myself as a rider, I think – mostly,” says
age, invested in like footballers and trained as
someone of his profile and success.
Wiig. “The contests made me a stronger rider. It
athletes at facilities like Camp Woodward in the
“It’s pretty simple: just work as hard as you
was fun too, but it wasn’t like I didn’t want to win.
US. But what does this self-made man make of how
can while you have the chance,” he says. “Talent is
The better I did, the more fun it got.”
things have changed?
only gonna take you so far. You need something besides talent. It’s [about] your ability to work hard
Though he says his decision to compete
“I think it’s pretty crazy to see how
in the US-based X Games and Dew Tour, instead
organised it is nowadays. You see all these kids with
of the global TTR Tour, has a lot to do with the
their personal trainers. I just hope that it doesn’t
And with that, he steps off the bus, ready
fact he’s based in the States, Wiig admits that he
get to a point where it’s all about the money, about
to sign autographs, smile for photos and immerse
“wouldn’t say [money] didn’t play a role”. He adds:
who can afford their own coach,” says Wiig. “Trick-
himself in the present before the future sets in
“If you are only about the money, you are not going
wise it helps, because the kids just keep getting
to reach very far, I think. It’s got to be more about
better at a younger age. But I think that sometimes
the joy of landing a perfect trick.” It’s that joy –
they don’t have the same inner motivation. When
born of a pure love for snowboarding – that creeps
someone’s not telling them what to do, they don’t
onto Wiig’s face when he recalls how he used to
know what they are supposed to do. Just go have
watch a VHS copy of the 1996 classic Subjekt:
fun on your snowboard! […] It’s more about what
Haakonsen – a much-loved film focused solely on
you want to do, not what your coach wants you
and put a lot of effort into it.”
Wandering surfers gather at a commune near Belgas beach, Baleal.
Seasons come and seasons go, but the surfers of Peniche are here to stay. Text Shelley Jones Photography Robin Mellor
When the Rip Curl Pro Search rolled into Peniche for the first time last year, the Portuguese city
fixture on surfingâ€™s World Tour. A barrelling shore break at Supertubos and reefs at Lagide and Belgas in Baleal further north meant good conditions were near enough guaranteed. And
has flocked. But behind the glare of a thousand lenses lies an old fishing town. Fettered by
through surfing and the tourism it attracted has boomed in the time since. The streets may be buzzing when the circus is in town, but what happens when the Tour rolls on and summer comes to an end? HUCK took time out from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2010 to speak to the local community and get a sense of what life is like when winter sets in.
Antonio ‘Leo’ Leopoldo
LOCATION Santarém City
LOCATION PENI C HE
O CC U PAT I O N SurfER
O CC U PAT I O N Ar t i s t
O CC U PAT I O N shaper + Surf Camp owner
During the months of summer,
and most of winter too, you can
find Gonçalo’s beat-up orange
Manhattan in 1994 while her
van in the car park at Lagide,
parents looked for work. Despite
antiquated art of shaping in
or down the road at Belgas, the
being halfway through her art
1992 as a way to be involved in
beach where the Rip Curl Pro
studies at NYU, Barbara moved
the sport full-time. But despite
Portugal drew to a close and
back to Peniche seven years later
a year of tutelage in South
Kelly Slater tightened his grip
and opened her own studio.
Africa under the masterful eye
on the 2010 World Title.
Leo was born and bred in Peniche. A second-generation he
of talented J-Bay shaper Glen “I was working with paint,
D’Arcy, Leo made little revenue.
ceramics, sculpture, glass and
“Since surfboards have been
all types of materials,” says
mass-produced, sales have gone
Barbara. “But I had to close
down,” he reflects. “So I had to
again during the winter. For
last year – the business from
tourists in the summer was not
difficult to find a stable surf-
enough to pay the bills. Now
related job. “Whenever there’s
I just do it in my free time. I
surf I’ll drive to find it,” says the
collect garbage from the beach
Surfboards out of his garage, Leo
and I do some paintings. It’s
opened Peniche Surf Camp with
nice to get the rubbish and turn
his brother in 2004 and business
Provided his van doesn’t break
it into something beautiful.”
understand [the first surfers in
down and the waves are good, As well as volunteering for
Peniche] because of their long
hair and [scruffy] clothes… They
Barbara has been working on
would travel down in vans and
cars and stay in Supertubos or
R e s in s t r ip e b o n d e d f l e e c e M a g ic t r e e t e e
Surf Centre in Peniche. “After
Baleal all winter.” But it was
a culture that would end up
ALL BY RIP CURL
only going to see one or two
defining his life. “When I was a
cars in the car park,” she
kid we made polystyrene boards
and tried to catch waves in the
community in the winter… But
white water,” he laughs. “I was
life for Gonçalo is pretty much a beach.
I’m happy here.”
always in love with the sea.”
N a v a j o p o nc h o Blu e d e nim e l a s tic a t e d j e a n s
ALL BY RIP CURL
C l a s s ic c r e w s w e a t e r BY RIP CURL
LOCATION S Y D NEY
LOCATION Caldas da Rainha
O CC U PAT I O N Model + freesurfer
O CC U PAT I O N Yoga instructor
O CC U PAT I O N BMXer
Hanalei Reponty, Rip Curl’s
In a little field above Belgas there
poster girl, may not be local to
is a pop-up anarchist village
raison d’être for the majority
these shores, but as a regular
where hippie dudes smoke weed
fixture on the World Tour, she
and dogs run around happy.
knows when a surf community
Katrin Garz had to relocate there
other subcultures blossoming
has something special going on.
after her home was repossessed
away from the water’s edge.
“The Hanalei Show is a different
BMXer Diogo Santos is one
eye on surf contests,” enthuses
“Peniche is an old fishing town,”
Hanalei about her vlog series.
says Katrin. “But if they make
“Because all you usually see is a
it new and fancy it will end up
Riding at Peniche’s only skate
heat, or a couple of interviews.
shitty like a lot of tourist places. I
park just inside the tall stone
But there’s so much more when
hope they keep it under control.”
walls of the old town, he cuts
you’re actually here.”
a lone figure. But back home Although Katrin started life in
Hanalei is passionate about
Germany, representing artists
BMXing is a way of life. “I don’t
surfing – getting her first waves
like Iron Maiden and Deep
surf,” laughs Diogo. “A lot of
as a tiny five-year-old nipper
Purple as part of EMI Records,
people further [inland] don’t.”
in Tahiti – and wants to make
the free-spirited surfer gave it all
up to study yoga in the Bahamas
With surfing as the country’s
“I see the real side of it,” she
and found herself in Peniche
prize sporty export, activities
says. “People think it’s easy but
seven years ago.
like BMXing and skateboarding
everyone works really hard.”
are a rebellious alternative. “You can earn a lot in summer but
But thanks to companies like
Not only does she inspire girls
now there’s nothing,” says Katrin,
Fit Bike Co. and MFO BMX,
to get in the water as a coach on
who makes ends meet as a yoga
says Diogo, the local scenes
the Rip Curl Girls Tour, she is
instructor at a nearby surf camp.
also an ardent advocate of Rip
“But I like the time that is starting
Curl Planet – the brand’s ethical
now – the quiet of the ocean,
initiative – and has just signed to
surfing on your own, being on the
Seaside jacket Em b o s s e d d e nim p a nt
Elite, a model agency in Paris.
beach… This place has a special
ALL BY RIP CURL
are well nurtured
charm in the winter.” live.ripcurl.com www.surfyogacamp.com
Ap a c h e d e nim s h o r t s An a s a z i s h i r t T ippi f u r - lin e d h o o d y R I P Z I SS T RA P P ER HA T
T r a il e r p a r k s h i r t S k in d e e p l e g g in g s P lum a t e e
ALL BY RIP CURL
ALL BY RIP CURL
w w w . r ipcu r l . c o m
Christophe Margot 70 HUCK
Nissan Outdoor Games.
Big-mountain snowboarding is thriving in a period of unprecedented support. But will the next generation of pro acrobats venture into the backcountry and away from the park? T e x t D a v e Z o o k + P h o t o g r a p h y C O U RTES Y O F F REERI D E W OR L D TO U R
powder, ice or anything in between, they go
Magazine’s ‘Big-Mountain Rider of the Year’ says,
fast, look for places to jump off things, and put
“All these years of focusing on the freestyle part of
themselves in compromising situations.
snowboarding didn’t give the young generation
Big-mountain events may look wild and free, but they’re far from disorganised.
a chance to get into the culture of making good turns, which is the key to big-mountain riding.”
Having grown into a well-oiled machine, big-
It’s not surprising that most kids dream
mountain snowboarding seems to be revelling
of becoming the next Shaun White, as opposed
in a period of unprecedented exposure. The
to the next de le Rue. An impressionable kid can
North Face Masters, the only multi-stop tour in
watch slow-motion replays of his favourite ripper
North America, is entering its fourth year, offers
throwing switch-corked 1260s on primetime TV
a $60,000 prize purse with equal cash rewards
whereas, in the US, big-mountain coverage is
across the genders for podium finishers and had
relegated to grainy webcasts. And accessibility is a
registration waiting-lists – as well as a handful
big issue too: only a small percentage of mountains
of high-profile pros like Travis Rice and Lucas
have the kind of terrain that can develop high-level
I squint through the hammering snow to
Debari – at every stop in 2010. The Freeride
backcountry skills. Nevertheless, anyone who has
analyse the terrain, the mountain looks as if it is
World Tour (FWT) – a mostly European circuit
ridden Squaw or Whistler – or any mountain with
slowly inhaling and puffing up its lungs. I’m at
with closed venues, select riders and higher
both a good park and good terrain – will know
Snowbird, Utah, in late January, 2010, the site for
cash incentives – has added two stops to 2011
that even a bluebird powder day can’t persuade
the first North Face Masters big-mountain stop
and introduced a juniors tour for snowboarders
some kids from venturing out of the park. The
of the season, and lake-effect snow is funneling
seventeen and under. In addition, sponsors and
explosion of freestyle snowboarding has a definite
buckets of dry powder onto the venue, covering
organisers stepped in to resurrect the World Heli
stranglehold on much of the next generation of
rocks, filling in dry patches, and creating new
Challenge in New Zealand and Alaska’s King of
riders, no matter their location.
landing zones everywhere.
the Hill event, after multi-year hiatuses.
And if the kids are getting high in the
After a dry start to the season, the
Ralph Backstrom, runner-up on the 2010
twisted irony is that the snow might now be
North Face Masters tour, sees the current upsurge
excessive. Competition organisers are wrestling
of events as an opportune time for freeriders: “I
freestyle and their influence has grown as the
with how to let about a hundred riders cut loose
think the jib and park scene is a bit played out,”
scene has exploded. Forum is one such company.
over eighty-inches of fresh snow and not have the
he says, “it seems to have reached a solid plateau.
“As a brand that’s focused around youth-based
whole thing slide. I’m just trying to reconcile my
What a good time to revive big-mountain! […]
marketing, our audience hasn’t matured enough
decision to enter this comp, having voluntarily
The scene is young, the venues are improving…
yet to appreciate [big-mountain riding],” says
thrown myself to the monster that is big-
it’s definitely ramping up!”
Kevin Keller, Forum team manager. “I think it’s
park, the industry is definitely feeding their Many
But the long-term success of big-mountain
something that comes with age. Kids just want to
To put it bluntly, big-mountain comps
comps is far from secure. Freestyle events – and
see guys jib crazy shit and get upside down a few
are not exactly a walk in the park. Eschewing the
riders who solely spend their time circling the park
times… I don’t think that marketing freeriding is a
man-made obstacles and freshly groomed pistes
or hitting the pipe – have historically garnered
less profitable venture, but I do believe it is a less-
of freestyle events, big-mountain freeride contests
more support (and more money) from the industry
profitable one for us.”
are held at the apex of some of the world’s most
as a whole. And it’s this side of snowboarding that
Jeremy Jones, the unofficial spokesperson
extreme terrain; think cliffs, crevasses and bone-
the masses get to see. With the Dew Tour, X Games
for the big-mountain world and founder of freeride
breaking rocks. Riders typically have a day or two
and Olympic fever dominating television, and
board company Jones Snowboards, remembers
to study the venue and memorise the ideal line,
big-mountain lines making only rare appearances
the surge of freestyle riding and its impact on his
knowing they’ll be scored on line choice, fluidity,
in videos and magazines, you don’t see too many
scene: “In the early days, snowboarding was less
air and control (though exact criteria varies from
kids donning avalanche transceivers and hiking
segmented – there were no parks and everyone
comp to comp). Then, whether they’re tackling
out back. As Xavier de le Rue, Snowboarder
rode the whole mountain. Freeriding was a big
mountain competitive snowboarding.
part of the sport, but it died down a bit with all the excitement of parks. Once Alaska was discovered, [big-mountain riding] received a ton of attention because there was so much progression going on. Eventually this got stale and in the late nineties and early 2000s I could count the [number] of pro shredders in Alaska on one hand.” The frustration is palatable amongst riders who are dedicated to riding big lines and find it hard to secure support. “Freeriders don’t stand a chance in the industry. We are the lost children of snowboarding,” says Ryland Bell, a Jones team rider and big-mountain competitor. “People get stoked, companies throw a bit of money towards the top guys, then people forget about AK [Alaska] and powder and all of a sudden no one has even heard of [big-mountain pioneers] Tex [Davenport] or [Mike] Ranquet or [Matt] Goodwill or [Noah] Salasnek.” Bell and Jones touch on the cyclical nature that has defined and even plagued the success of the big-mountain scene. Tom Burt, big-mountain pioneer and current head judge for the North Face Masters tour, has seen the attention come and go firsthand: “[The] first go around for big-mountain riding came about with the late eighties, when we were trying to find the limits of what we could ride, as far as mountains [go]. This moved into the early nineties and then the focus went into the jib thing. Then in the mid-nineties the second comeback for mountain riding [came] with Johan [Olofsson], Craig [Kelly], myself etc. Then [freestyle took over with] the X Games and the Olympics in the late nineties and early 2000s along with the newer jib scene, and the third return is now, with mountainriding back in the light again.” Big-mountain comps are riding the same roller coaster. The US Extremes in Crested Butte, which started in 1995, was a flagship big-mountain event. “In my little world, watching the Extremes was the coolest thing and led me in that direction,” says Clif Dimon, who went on to win three overall titles at the Extremes and the overall North Face Masters title in 2008. But after 2004 the Extremes’ title sponsor, Subaru, pulled out and the tour was no more. Other events have suffered similar fates, with the King of the Hill and World Heli Challenge ceasing activity in 1999 and 2001 respectively. According to event director Mark Sullivan, King of the Hill became too expensive to operate when it was a heli-exclusive event. At the onset of the comp in 1993, it cost about $40 for the competitors to take one heli run. By 1999, it had more than doubled to $90. For the next event, they plan on using a combination of snowmobiles and helis. Meanwhile, the
sponsorships in the wake of 9/11 and it was not financially possible to continue the event.
Nissan Tram Face 2010 Squaw Valley USA.
But if it felt like freeriding had fallen into
“I’m just stoked to see snowboarding back on
hopes: “I strive to bring freestyle to my runs, as
a crevasse, then freestyle was the new kid soaring
the mountain where it should be,” says Shannan
that is the way I would ride the mountain on any
through the air. Midway through the 2000s, the
Yates, whose five-win 2010 season included all
given day. I would hope it would inspire the park
rise of Shaun White’s unimaginable mainstream
three North Face Masters Women’s events, as
kids to get out and ride the rest of the mountain.”
fame cemented what the general public thought
well as the FWT Verbier stop.
Some even see the big-mountain arena
of when they heard the word snowboarding.
But it’s not just about revisiting the
as the only logical place to progress the sport.
Technical trickery, urban rails and aeronautical
past. A revolution is underway, spearheaded by
Even Shaun White himself wondered aloud, in
big airs – all within the confines of the halfpipe
a new breed of rider that’s neither freestyler nor
an interview a few years back, about the logic
and slopestyle course – became the flavour of
freerider – but rather an evolutionary species
of pushing a sport where you can hit an eighty-
the day. Coupled with the demise of most big-
that transcends both scenes. Riders like Nicolas
foot kicker and either get a shot that ends up in
mountain events, competitive freeriding was all
Müller and Travis Rice have spent years honing
a magazine or fall and break your leg. “There is
acrobatic tricks on perfectly geometrical man-
nowhere for the sport to go but the backcountry,”
Back at Snowbird however, in the year
made obstacles, but now they’re applying those
says Nick Perata, the man behind King of the
2010, the scene is thriving, alive, screaming in my
skills to higgledy-piggledy natural terrain. Is it
Hill. “There are no limits in big-mountain. You
face and freaking me out.
freestyle? Is it freeriding? Or is it simply everything
can top out in the park or keep pushing to a
The comp that was supposed to be a
snowboarding ought to be (i.e. beyond definition)?
crevasse jump in AK [Alaska].”
two-day ordeal has become a one-day, one-run
In 2008, Quiksilver held the first Natural
With the FWT adding the juniors
event on account of relentless snowfall.
component to the tour, a promising
Waiting at the top of the venue and not
young snowboarder is now, for the
wanting to miss my turn, I check the
first time, able to consider his or her
start sheet roughly fifty-seven times in twenty minutes, folding the paper into a small square before putting it in my pocket only to pull it back out every few minutes. The steep curvature of the terrain makes viewing other riders impossible and I can’t hear the announcer, leaving an eerie calm to the air with little to do. I hear, “Three, two, one – rider on course” from the start-gate monitor and drop in. Heavy metal rattles through my head. After a kneetesting cliff-to-flat in the upper section and some fun airs through the trees, the lower zone approaches as does the proximity and energy of the crowd.
“We tend to be of the solo soul-shredder breed... these contests give us a chance to congregate.”
I’m set on a twenty-footish cliff that
competitive options before instantly latching on to the park scene. With wider
in the backcountry and in comps, and dozens of freeride events across the US, Europe and New Zealand, are we seeing, as Tom Burt suggests, a thirdwave big-mountain revival? Attracting commercial interest to
snowboarding may be the hinge on which the success of big-mountain events now hangs, and it’s anyone’s guess what the future holds. However, the people who wake up early to hike, or do whatever it takes to ride big lines, are the engine that propels this scene
a week ago would have landed me on
– not the decisions made in corporate
bare rocks. While chopping jump-turns through
boardrooms. Jeremy Jones believes the will of
a six-foot-wide chute, I eye the cliff and take a
Freestyle tricks were encouraged and successfully
the freerider will always win out: “Freeriding will
moment’s pause, aim and send it. I land on my
incorporated into big-mountain lines – thanks
always come and go in the media and that is fine,
feet and ride away. The stress flows out of me as
to the elite level of riders and some minor
but hype will never affect the core rider.”
I skid to a halt at the finish and the sun almost
alterations to the natural terrain. The results
Back at the awards ceremony at Snowbird,
peeks out of the ominous clouds.
were spectacular. “The time has come to show the
the crowd congregates to hear the results. Mark
It’s an amazing feeling. And despite
type of riding that we really love to do and put it
Carter and Shannan Yates walk away with the first-
(or perhaps in spite of) industry trends, the
in a contest format,” said Travis Rice, the event’s
place sword trophies. The sun fades and the air is
community that’s mushroomed out of this positive
creator, in a promotional video.
biting cold. After days of waiting for the event to
energy has never abandoned big-mountain lines.
The rodeo 7s and cab 5s seen at events
run, it’s over. Yet the crowd is amped. Everybody
“There are so many people that love freeriding and
like Natural Selection and in Absinthe Film’s
is still in their boots, drinking beers, talking
are coming out of the woodwork for these comps,”
Alaska segments have built on the progressive
about their long drives home and (what else?)
says Forrest Burki, winner of the 2010 North Face
strides taken in the nineties by the likes of Johan
getting fresh tracks tomorrow morning. I retreat
comp at Crystal Mountain, Washington. “We tend
Olofsson, Craig Kelly and Terje Haakonsen. This
in exhaustion. But as I walk away, the intensity of
to be of the solo soul-shredder breed and these
melding could continue to be the bridge that will
what’s just happened grows in perspective. The
contests give us a chance to congregate.”
open younger riders’ eyes to the full-spectrum of
collective energy of the men and women who are
For many people, the return of so many
snowboarding. Rob Kingwill, a podium finisher in
devoted to riding mountains pulses through the
world-class events is a distinctly positive thing.
both halfpipe and big-mountain comps, has high
night, and continues with no end in sight
Photography + Text Mustafah Abdulaziz
Tofino, Vancouver Island, is an elemental place. Carpeted with dense rainforests and inhabited by grizzlies, the island sits slap-bang in the path of the Pacific Ring of Fire – a series of oceanic trenches and volcanic belts that terrorise coastlines around the Pacific Rim. Areas like the earthquake-plagued ‘Forbidden Plateau’ make it Canada’s most seismically active region, but with water temperatures rarely exceeding ten degrees, it’s no inferno. It’s here, amongst the fog and humidity – immortalised in John Carpenter’s 1980 horror The Fog – that the O’Neill Cold Water Classic stops for the fourth time on its cryogenic cruise. We sent Brooklyn-based photojournalist Mustafah Abdulaziz on a gonzo assignment, as part of our year-long creative brief, to capture the gnarly comp from the inside out.
The Locals As the contest kicks off, support pours out for local heroes Sepp Bruhwiler and defending champion Peter Devries. Employees of the local Live To Surf shop follow the surfers with fidelity, watching live webcasts and listening to their progress over the radio.
The Aftermath Visiting surfers sprawl out in the Weigh West Resort downtown, close to the fishing wharf. Hours after clinching his title, Australiaâ€™s Josh Kerr celebrates his victory at the Shelter restaurant where competitors, workers, media and locals gather each night. The next morning, despite a hangover and an exhausting week in glacial waters, Kerr rolls over and smiles victorious.
The Backdrop The sun sets on the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve as a young local climbs over a rock towards the open water. The harsh landscape was the setting for Rupert Wainwrightâ€™s 2005 remake of John Carpenterâ€™s horror The Fog, originally released in 1980. In the film it also doubled as the US state of Alaska.
The Surfer Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence, who turns eighteen days after leaving Tofino, stands on the beach after slotting into one of the contestâ€™s only barrels. The frigid waters of North Chesterman Beach, a far cry from his native North Shore, do little to sate Florenceâ€™s wavehungry appetite. When not competing, he skateboards in town with his mother, pro-surfer Alex Florence, who introduced him to surfing at six months old www.oneill.com/cwc
©Photogrpahe: Jean Charles BELMONT WORKSHOP_CREATION 2010_RCS B 453 833 91
Give a Load of This. Seasonal swag for him and for her. A F lagstaff denim s h irt C a r ha rtt. B H e ads u p back pack Jan sp o rt H e ri tag e . C W h e e l s C arh art t. D T el egra mme E inst ein print la ndf ille d i t i o n s.co m . E La pto p sl e e v e v eja- sto re .co m . F The Believer its ni ce that.com. G B ria n Ha ns en jac ket A ltam o n t. H Zi p p o l i g h t e r C arh art t. I C a rava n c aravan sty l e .co m . J M o os e t ro ph y c a r db oa r ds a fa r i .com . K Z ISSON b e a n i e I n si g h t. L B e ar d Scar f Lazy Oaf.
A B ro o ke Sh irt D C . B Tuc ker M e r i n o C a r d i H ow i e s. C B o n f i r e m i t t e n s H ow i e s. D BDG S n owf lak e Sw eat er Ur ba n Ou tf itte r s . E Bo n f i r e n eckwar m e r How i e s. F Co u n t ry Lau ra C h e l se a B o ots D r M a rte ns . G M el ez io bea nie WESC . H C h r i st m as J u m p e r Lazy Oaf. I Ne al Sp e r l i n g C ab l e C a r d i g an a nd P ins & N eedl es To kyo C h i ffo n B lo u se U rban Out fi t t e rs. J H a r e S n ow D o m e c aravan sty l e .co m . K Deer h ea d c a r ava nstyle .com. L C a b l e Sca r f Oâ€™ N e i l l . M Se r e n C a r d i How i e s. N Ay la Coat N i k i ta. O LC-A+ Wh it e Ja pa n E dit io n Lomogr a phy. P NOBROW: A Gra p h i c Cosm o g o n y i t sn i c e t h at.co m . Q B e l l e v u e Je an s N i k i ta.
Beneath the brotherhood and bonhomie, is surfing plagued with a racist streak? Tetsuhiko Endo is ready to ask questions. Text Tetsuhiko Endo + ILLUSTRATION SWALLOW V. SPARROW
ext time you want to say something
to me, say it in English,” snarls the
looking around at the other stunned surfers,
bloated longboarder as he paddles
daring anyone to return my stare. There must be
others here who think I don’t belong. Let them
put a name on it.
Rockaway, New York, and I’ve just hooted all
But the racism is gone as quickly as it
two hundred-plus pounds of him into a wave, in
came. There’s no one left to fight and I’m alone in
perfect American English.
the crowd – railing at a silent sea.
“I said,” he slows down as if speaking to an idiot, “the next time you want to yell at me, try speaking English.” The rage wants to take hold, but I wrestle
What if there was an error in surfing’s genetic
it back. “Well then. That’s the last time I hoot you
code? Beneath the community and hedonism and
into a wave.”
carefree exterior, what if some old, deeply rooted
The hunchback swings his considerable
corruption in a key strand of its cultural DNA
girth to look at me, as if for the first time. “Oh, I’m
had multiplied, through coding and replication,
sorry, I thought you were one of those Brazilian
until it became an integral part of surfing?
guys heckling me in Portuguese, but you’re American, huh? My mistake.”
After my little incident at Far Rockaway, I set out to answer that question and found, very
Then I explode.
quickly, that people weren’t overly eager to talk
“I’m half Japanese you fat fuck, and if
about it. Then I get a hold of Dedon Kamathi.
you have a problem with that, I would love to go
“Beaches tend to be the last white
discuss it on the beach.” Flecks of spit jump out of
preserve in America, like hockey is to American
my mouth. I paddle toward him and he can see the
sports,” says Kamathi. He is a sixty-one-year-old
murder as I glare at him through darkly tunnelled
real estate appraiser, radio DJ and what many
vision. He shrinks back, stammering something.
Americans would colloquially refer to as a ‘black
“What?” I say, my voice breaking. “I
radical’ – which is really just a general term for
can’t fucking hear you. I said: Do. You. Have. A.
any educated black person with ideas that make
Problem with that?”
white people uncomfortable. Hell, he makes
“N, n, no,” he whispers, and paddles
me a little uncomfortable. As a member of both
around the jetty, away from this vicious, foreign-
the Black Panthers and the All-African People’s
Revolutionary Party, he was one of the public
figures who declared “no justice, no peace” during
compelling TV, but often misses the point. Like
is dominated by white people, but rather that
the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Today he sits on the
the larger societies of which it is a microcosm,
we only think it is. “There has been no census.
board of the Black Surfing Association, a fitting
surfing harbours only a small, marginal minority
Hawaiians, Indonesians, Japanese, Taiwanese,
post for a lifelong surfer with politics on his mind.
of snarling, made-for-primetime racists. But
Latin Americans, Mexicans, Africans, Chinese,
When I call him at his Southern California home,
there are worse types of bigotry in the hearts of
Middle-Eastern… all are surfing now,” he says.
he speaks almost uninterrupted for an hour.
men. “In sociology, there are four different types
So why don’t we see the diversity of
We spend a lot of time talking about
of discrimination,” says Ted Woods, the director
that mosaic in the industry? “I think it’s really
beach segregation, which existed in the US in
of Whitewash, a fascinating documentary on the
important for the media to acknowledge that
its most radical form during the first half of the
history of black surfing in America. “What I found
not everyone surfing is white,” says Tom Hewitt,
twentieth century. Although police sometimes
looking at surfing is that we are dealing with
founder of Umthombo, a South African NGO
enforced these rules (including an incident on
systemic discrimination. It’s not that as surfers
that, among other programmes, teaches street
Manhattan beach in which a black UCLA student
we are racist, it’s that discrimination is inherent to
kids in Durban how to surf. “It’s a bit of an
was arrested for surfing too close to a white area),
the culture of surfing as we understand it.”
indictment to only put blond-haired surfers in
And it’s also highly marketable. Through
widespread compliance to ‘social restriction’ were
media diffusion, the lily-white beach boy has
generally mono-coloured. That little nugget of
come to define surfing all over the world. “The
magazines in order to sell something.” But
apparatus is designed to do, and if blond hair and
lexicographic drivel may not sound too
blue eyes, or big breasts and tiny bikinis,
intimidating, but in reality it justified
or boat trips and Bintangs are what
everything from real estate policies that kept black people from buying property in coastal neighborhoods (i.e. the use of ‘restrictive covenants’ which specified that only members of a certain race could occupy or own certain properties) to the throwing of rocks at swimmers, like some enterprising social restrictors did to a black swimmer in Lake Michigan
crossed into a white-only area in the summer of 1919. He drowned. Despite the existence of black beaches like Chicken Bone Beach near Missouri Avenue in Atlantic City, and the various ‘Ink Wells’ in places like Martha’s Vineyard and Santa Monica,
“I think surfers need to realise that if you tell someone to get out of the water just because they are from a different place, you are no better than a racist.” Shaun Tomson
beach segregation ensured that modern
sells, then reality is just a footnote in the story of the almighty dollar. Take the well-worn tale of the birth of modern surfing:
cultural ambassadors bring a regal, yet mystical island sport to the mainland and the world rejoices. That’s only one side of it, though. For the other, I need to talk to Pohaku. Tom ‛Pohaku’ Stone, is an expro surfer, waterman and scholar of Pacific Island Studies with a specialty in ancient Hawaiian sports. When I call him, he’s wary of speaking with reporters, but he agrees to discuss the sport’s creation story. The names and places are familiar, but you’ve never heard it like this before.
American surf culture was born and
“Surfing [in the context of
raised behind signs that read ‘Whites
colonialism] becomes the focal point
Only’. In Australia, an absence of beachgoers from
image of surfing is one of the dominant deterrents
or foundation for tourism in Hawaii as the
minority subsets means surf history has unfolded
[for black people],” says Kamathi. “Images
annexationists entice the wealthy to come to
in much the same way, explains Dr Clifton Evers,
dealing with the ocean – I don’t care if it’s bikinis
Hawaii and experience the ‛Sport of Kings’.
writer, academic and lecturer in Cultural Studies
or volleyball – are always portrayed as a white
George Freeth [a part Hawaiian] introduces surf-
at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China.
[person] in America. The whole beach character
riding to Southern California, while Alexander
has been Europeanised because they want to
Hume Ford along with annexationist Sanford
Australian beaches] means this group very rarely
keep the beachfront property. Whatever white
has to question race/ethnicity at the beach, unless
folks value, they seek to dominate and control
individuals], using Jack London’s writing skills
newcomers are different or ‘stand out’. Then the
those things. And anyone who is indigenous –
and publications in women’s magazines, takes
question will be about ‘them’ rather than ‘us’. The
fuck you. Ideological imperialism is what it is.”
the physical image of a native Hawaiian – Duke
whiteness is seen as normal and thus becomes invisible as a racial or ethnic category.”
Kamathi may have erred in lumping
Kahanamoku – and transforms him into a Greek
god for the purpose of promoting tourism... So it
was and is; Hawaii through the Duke’s notoriety
served hot, with generous helpings of swastikas,
but that doesn’t mean he’s completely wrong.
would establish the destination point for all
violence, lynchings and burnings of the cross. It’s
As Evers points out, it may not be that surfing
those who truly would live the native waterman
Most people prefer their race relations
life in an island setting, and California through
surfers here [in Southern California] want to run
interesting fact given that his father, Ernie, took
the image of George Freeth [part Caucasian,
away from anything controversial. They tend
Eddie Aikau under his wing during a 1972 tour
part Hawaiian] would become the image that
to be independent, small business Republican
of the country when Aikau was refused service
Americans could relate to. California would have
types and surfing for them is all about fun and
in a Durban hotel and barred from surfing
the memory and image of Freeth from which they
love and spirituality. They want to keep politics
segregated beaches due to his dark skin.
would emulate the ‛beach boy’ way of life, living
out of it, until a surf spot is threatened.”
“That was a big moment for me,” says
It’s tempting to paint surfers as unaware,
Tomson of his father’s actions, when I call him
or blissfully ignorant of racial issues, but that’s
at his Santa Barbara home. “Seeing a legend
disingenuous. In The Encyclopedia of Surfing,
refused admittance to a hotel really crystallised
Matt Warshaw postulates that surfers have never
my thinking about discrimination and racial
“From my point of view, I don’t believe
fully abandoned the idea of surfing as a Hawaiian
the surfing world truly knows the depth of
and therefore polynesian/mixed-race sport, with
aloha and its many meanings except what the
heroes like Duke Kahanamoku, Eddie Aikau and
“I’ve never believed that sport should
Hawaii tourism [establishment] wanted the
Dane Kealoha still revered as pioneers. Over the
be used as a political weapon. Sport is a way for
world to know about, which was tainted by
years, Surfer magazine has sent various shots
young people to come together and be exposed
the missionaries’ perspective,” he says. “As for
across the bows of racist idealogues (including a
to culture on one playing field. I mean, the first
carefree just like a Hawaiian without having to abandon their American comforts and values.” What about aloha, shaka, and the rest of the Hawaiian spirit that the surf industry sells?
So why not boycott?
the ‘shaka’ sign, its origins are not
time I realised apartheid was wrong
Hawaiian, they are Filipino – though
was when I went to the US as a boy.
it was promoted to be a very Hawaiian
The whole notion of surfing as an
thing... all of this is to appeal to Western
egalitarian playground is at the core
culture’s thirst for the exotic.”
of my being. I don’t think we [surfers] have ever had a racism problem, but
Annexation, greed, exoticism,
we do have an attitudinal problem
tourist campaigns. “We like to fit things neatly
– localism. And I’ve always equated
into these little boxes,” says Woods.
localism with racism and bigotry. I
“This goes here, that goes there, green
think surfers need to realise that if you
means go, red means stop. The idea of
tell someone to get out of the water just
a black surfer goes against our nice little
because they are from a different place,
surfing package, so it gets cut out, just
you are no better than a racist.”
like we cut out the complexities of the
Or, depending on who it is and
ancient Hawaiian surfing rituals when
how you say it, you are guilty of localism
the old view of surfing didn’t fit the
romanticised image of surfing when it
taking street kids to surf at the New Pier
became a more commercial entity.”
in Durban, he found the lines between
the two isms suddenly blurred.
This social phenomenon is what Woods refers to as “whitewashing”.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this,
It’s a process that has mythologised
but I’m going to have to disagree with Shaun Tomson in this case,” he says.
the American and Australian surfer, relegated Polynesians to museums, turned black
letter to the editors from black surfer Tony Corley
“Localism was an issue for us – people didn’t
people into anomalies, women into bodies, and
in 1974 and a photo in 1967 of a black man on a
like the idea of more surfers of any colour at the
made everyone else mostly irrelevant. “You make
segregated beach in South Africa, an implicit
New Pier. But racism was a problem. There were
it clean, sterile, easy for public consumption,”
challenge to the notion of apartheid). Board
a minority few, mostly older guys, who were just
he explains. “People don’t want to know the
shaper Maurice Cole spearheaded a campaign
plain racist. When the kids first started going out
complexities of [ancient] surfing culture, like
among surfers to oust Pauline Hanson, the
to the main peak, you would hear the ‘K’ word [a
what tribal leaders did and who could surf what
leader of the anti-immigrant One Nation Party
derogatory ethnic slur] being used.”
wave, or how it related to religion. They don’t
in Australia. Even Mick Fanning, who once
The guys who were too scared to say
have time. They want to know that it was the
called writer Charlie Smith a “fucking Jew”,
anything to the kids (because racism is by nature
‘Sport of Kings’. It’s a brand. Just like Nike has its
often participates in programmes that teach
a cowardly parasite) would say things to Hewitt:
Zoom campaign and Gatorade has G.”
underprivileged, non-white children how to surf.
In 1985, Tom Carroll, Martin Potter and
advertising slogans. So, according to Kamathi,
Tom Curren all boycotted events in South Africa
the issue is seldom raised: “Black surfers talk
to protest apartheid. South African Shaun
about these kinds of things, but I think a lot of
Tomson refused to take part in the boycott – an
shouldn’t surf here.” “They are going to take over the pier.” “Of course they didn’t grow up here,” says Hewitt. “It would have been impossible for them
to have done so. They weren’t even allowed here
in the water, had guys tugging on my leash, things
that he’s Jewish, another group that, according
until recently [because of apartheid].”
stolen off the beach, almost run over, and even just
to ideological imperialism, ‘does not surf ’: “I do
simple things, like not being given my right of way
see discrimination floating around in the line-
when I’m on the peak on a wave.”
up – there are guys with negative opinions about
But the fear of a metaphorical rising tide is not a rational thing, he says. It’s based on a flawed perception: “It’s surprise and intimidation.
Brazilians, Hawaiians with negative opinions of
That’s the crux of it. The old surfers rule the roost
Haoles [foreigners/Caucasians]... and without
at the New Pier and they rely on kids coming
resources, surfing has a knack for producing
a doubt, being Jewish has made me sensitive
up and respecting them. When these new faces
confrontation. But being an outsider adds another
to these things. With the Holocaust and the
showed up, it caused a microcosm of the white
element. Hewitt had to sit down with the kids at
establishment of Israel, there was a real shift
fear of 1994, when Mandela was elected.”
Umthombo and prepare them for it. “You’ve got
in our thinking: you’ve got to stand up and be
White fear. Us versus them. They’re
to be cautious to not give them a reason to go off
counted. If a guy swings at you, you’ve got to swing
taking our surf spots. They’re taking our women.
on you,” he told them. “You’ve got to maintain the
back twice as hard.”
They’re taking our jobs. They’re dropping our
moral high ground. If they do twenty things wrong
property prices. Crowding our beaches.
and you do one thing wrong, you are going to be
The logic is the same for both localism
the bad guy because of the stereotypes.”
and racism, according to Evers. He studied
Wilmot says he takes a similar approach.
Some months after the incident at Far Rockaway,
both with regards to the Cronulla race riots in
“When these things come up, I use them to show
I’m at a party in Manhattan when I run into a
Sydney, which famously involved members of the
these offenders how small-minded they are,
group of surfing acquaintances. Before I know
Australian surfing crew, the Bra Boys. “If localism
and make the mature decision and avoid the
it, I’m being introduced to a familiar-looking, fat
is present,” he says, “some form of ethnic or racial
confrontation – play my cards to make them look
discrimination can take place, as the basic logic
like the fools. Then people realise and stand up for
This is my fucking chance.
is in place. What that localism logic ends up
me, as they can easily see my good nature and see
“Have you two met?” someone asks.
manifesting or escalating into depends on what
that I’m the one being victimised.”
I get ready to swing: This degenerate? Sure have. Allow me to tell you about our last
issues come into play, the history of an area in
Wilmot, with his unfailing optimism,
terms of race/ethnic relations, or what people feel
isn’t one to let you see him sweat. But I push
is needed to differentiate between ‘local’ and ‘non-
him on what it feels like to experience racism,
But he beats me to the punch with a big
local’. Racial and ethnic prejudice is continually
and he gives me a response that manages to be
smile and a car salesman handshake. “Nah, I
used to stereotype ‘the Other’ and subsequently
both oblique, and diamond sharp: “I will never
don’t think we’ve met. You look familiar though.
fits neatly with localism.”
let anyone belittle my efforts and influence my
You surf around here?”
They may not be the same, racism and
drive, for as a Jamaican I have grown with the
Is he dissimulating to save face? Or does
localism, but they hang out together and if you’re
persistence and motivation to achieve anything I
he really not recognise me – “can’t tell them apart”
the one caught on the outside – one of ‘them’, not
set my mind to. I have my goals and know what it
perhaps? I desperately scrutinise his face for any
one of ‘us’ – you must constantly, pathologically
will take to achieve them. For me, it is harder than
vestige of the slavering bigot that I met last time,
ask yourself which is which.
a lot of other surfers out there, but believing in
but he’s nowhere to be found. In his place is just
A guy who knows this better than most is
myself and my abilities and knowing my potential
another friendly, middle-aged surfer with an easy
Jamaican professional surfer Icah Wilmot, whose
will keep me pushing. The negativity people may
laugh and a goofy grin.
list of ‘is it localism, is it racism?’ incidents is as
swarm me with, I will use to build my strengths,
Somewhere beneath all that, I know
long as his passport is thick. “Travelling the world,
because the reason they fight against something is
there is an error in the code that only requires a
you always end up in sticky situations every now
because they are afraid.”
little bit of prodding to come tumbling back out.
and again,” he says, writing from his hotel room
This is the conviction of the oppressed –
But for now, it remains hidden and the bitter
at the ISA World Games in Peru where, a few days
the hardness of people who know well the sting of
riposte that I’ve spent my life preparing to spit at
later, a rock-throwing mob of Peruvians will chase
being told that they don’t belong.
guys like this sticks in my throat.
Australian Drew Courtney off the beach, over an
It’s summed up more bluntly by the
issue regarding heat tactics. “I’ve been harassed
usually diplomatic Tomson, when he reminds me
The conversation moves on and I’m left alone in the crowd wondering, wondering
Avi Luzia lives in Tel-Aviv but he and Gili go back a long way. Here he heel flips over the gate of an old synagogue that's been converted into a bar.
The drive through the desert-like Holy
are the authorities and hard-liners (who,
Land from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is
in my humble opinion, are completely
shorter than I expected, but an eye-
fucked in the head anyway). Everyone
opener all the same. Burnt-out shells of
else just wants to get on with life.
tanks and deserted personnel carriers
After getting lost a couple of times
litter the landscape, like skeletal remnants
in downtown J-ru, we finally hook up
of a recent past. But I didn’t come here
with Gili Levi – a larger-than-life bear of
in search of demons: that story has been
a man with a heart of gold and a hug
peddled by the blood-thirsty media
that nearly breaks your back. Gili’s self-
machine more than enough times
named skate shop sits in a regular row
already. I came here to get a taste of day-
of storefronts, sandwiched between a
to-day life. So after doing a book launch
travel agent and a place that trades in
in Tel Aviv, I got the opportunity to get on
Nepalese clothes. “I started the skate
the road and check out the skate scene
shop as everyone here was being really
in Jerusalem from the inside. I’d heard
evil to the skaters,” explains Gili. “I
that things revolved around Gili’s, the
wanted to help them out, mentor them.”
only skate shop in J-ru and a vital part
After leaving school at fifteen,
of Jewish skate history. And I wanted to
Gili ran a flea-market stall while his
meet the man for myself.
addiction to skateboarding rapidly took
Somewhere just outside Tel Aviv, I
hold. It wasn’t until his first skateboard
ask photographer Guy Pitchon – a good
broke, sometime in the mid-eighties,
friend and something of my personal
that Gili realised there wasn’t anywhere
guide – the inevitable question about
to buy a replacement. So he put his
Israeli Jews and Palestinians living in
entrepreneurial savvy into action and
harmony. He tells me in the simplest
started buying and selling second-
terms that “everyone just wants to live
together in peace”. It seems that the
wheels, shoes; the bread and butter of
only people who harass the Palestinians
By 2002, Gili had moved his
a place to escape. “Parents would drop
enterprise into a flat opposite the local
their kids off with me because it was
After eating we check out Gili’s
as we always [have a place to] hang
skatepark. It was a tumultuous time
safe,” explains Gili. “They would hang
shop, then make our way towards the
out… I grew up in that skate shop, and
on the city’s streets: suicide bombings
out in the shop all day watching skate
old city via a brand-new mall built out
used to ditch school just to go there…
had become a part of everyday life,
videos, then skate in the park outside.
of age-old stone. In a spooky collision of
If [Gili] hadn’t had a skate shop, I don’t
with militant groups like Hamas and
No bombs ever went off near here. I’ve
old and new, you can almost sense King
think any of us would be skating today.”
had the shop nine years. I’ve watched it
David’s tomb deep in the foundations
The roof boasts a view over the
grow… and I never give up.”
below The GAP. And the story in the Old
Wailing Wall, a place where the Jewish
the same way too.”
relevant anymore… Gili’s is so important
came to define the ongoing Israeli-
Gili takes me to his favourite food
City is much the same: tourists bustle
Diaspora can unite in prayer. But there is
Palestinian conflict – with both sides
spot, Hummus Ben Sira on Ben Sira
around en masse, while shopkeepers try
another wall not far from here – an eight-
asserting claims over Jerusalem – and
Street. We sit at the counter to chow
and hawk their tat. Local skater Noam
metre tall concrete barrier between
were condoned across the board. But
down on Moroccan fish and local
‘Jimmy’ Be’er leads us through the
Israeli territory and the Palestinian West
for many Palestinians, and sympathisers
hummus and soon the complexity of
backstreets towards a roof that doubles
Bank – purpose-built to act as a divide.
abroad, they were also symptomatic of
the city comes into play. “Jerusalem is
as a secret spot. Daniel Weiss – another
We head to a spot on the ‘other’
a lack of liberty: the fallout of Palestinian
a religious place,” says Gili, letting his
local on Gili’s shop team – is already
side of the wall, and once we’re in
people having their right to freedom of
voice drop, “but unfortunately, there’s
there, letting off some post-service
Palestinian territory the change becomes
movement ostensibly denied, in what
too much religion – too many religious
steam in an army uniform and pair of
apparent. It’s like the wall stops the
they contest is their own land.
people, too many different cultures and
suicide bombs from getting through, and
With the fear of bombs at an all-time
too many problems between them.
“All my friends are in the army,” says
the money from getting out. In the space
high, shop prices fell to an all-time low
Jerusalem is where all this meets. But
Jimmy, who’s sitting out today’s session
of ten minutes, we’ve gone back fifty
and Gili seized the opportunity to open
in the end, this is what also makes it so
with a broken collarbone. “It’s a small
years. Houses are crumbling, cars are
up the shop that still stands to this day.
interesting. I have been here for thirty-
scene and there are some great street
decrepit and life looks a helluva lot more
For local skaters seeking sanctuary from
two years – born and raised right here.
spots. But the skatepark here is bad –
bleak on this side. Then I hear a noise.
the mess, Gili’s little skate shop became
I love this city, but sometimes I hate it in
it was built in the eighties and it’s not
It’s a bleating of some kind of animal,
Daniel Weiss gives a post-service salute on a rooftop overlooking the Old City.
Avi Luzia busts out a crazy transfer in a JFK memorial building in the middle of Jerusalem Forest.
This hummusiya run by former Bezalel art students in the middle of Jerusalem’s hipster district serves up the very best gloop in town.
Established in 2005, this bar, café and venue daylights as a specialist record, DVD and comic store which imports music and graphic novels from around the globe and sells homegrown Israeli music and fanzines, too.
Not only is Hakatze an LGBT-friendly venue that hosts a weekly drag night and many local bands, it was also a proud stop on the Jerusalem Pride March 2010.
and when I scan the horizon I spot
blink. As we pull away into the dark, the
two young Palestinians driving a herd
shouts of a kid ‘just doing as he’s told’
of goats along the dust track. The boys
echoes morbidly into the night.
drive their charge past us and we’re
“I cater for all skaters. Jewish,
soon surrounded by goats. What may
Christian, Muslim and Armenian,” says
be an amusing photo opportunity for us
Gili, seemingly conscious of what we’ve
is in fact, in all seriousness, a livelihood
just left behind. And that, for me, sums
for these two teenagers. It makes me
things up. Gili’s skate shop shows how
think about the divide and how the
you can be passionate about something
wall has created some kind of concrete
in the face of adversity. I’m not saying
apartheid; a physical barrier between
it offers any kind of solution to the
the haves and the have-nots.
Catch-22 of problems plaguing the Holy
We jump back into the car at the
Land; even if they had some insight,
first sign of dusk and head back to the
the authorities would never listen to a
checkpoint. Stuck in a queue, I catch
bunch of skaters anyway. What Gili’s
the eye of an Arab woman sat in the
provides is a place to belong. A place
back of a battered old Nissan. I smile at
to hang and be with like-minded peeps.
her and get nothing back. I look away,
And if the tie that binds this upbeat
look back again, and try that smile one
community is based on a passion for the
last time. Nothing. It’s then that I realise
humble skateboard, not religion, colour,
her gaze is focused straight ahead. She’s
class or creed, surely there’s gotta be
getting ready for an eighteen-year-old
something in that?
kid to point his gun in her face and order her family out of the car, which is exactly what happens after he waves us through the checkpoint without so much as a
King Adz is the author of Street Knowledge, an encyclopaedia of the cultural undercurrents that shape urban life, published by HarperCollins.
This mini club plays techno and house music every weekend and welcomes a plethora of local and international deejays to play inside its bangin’ four walls.
Art meets live music at Bass Club most nights of the week, where the soundtrack can be anything from dubstep to rock ’n’ roll to African beats.
As the hub of the Jerusalem skate community, Gili’s is not just a place to get your skate-related hardwear and threads, it’s somewhere to hang out, watch skate movies and talk about anything to do with pushin’ the board.
Big-mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones has been busy of late, introducing his new film, Deeper, to audiences across the globe. He’s ricocheted from London to New York, Stockholm to Seattle, but it’s the home that he shares with his family in Truckee, California, that is undoubtedly his “favourite place in the world”. It’s here, in the open space of Squaw Valley, that he finds a moment to catch his breath. “Any wilderness does it for me,” he says. “I just feel that I lose more and more energy when I’m away from those places.” Fully re-energised, and ready to take on whatever the season brings, Jeremy found time to pick up a camera and document his life for us.
02.12.10 / 08:30 Debating whether I should shave my moustache off in NYC before a Fox News interview. I grew it to support Movember – a moustache-growing movement that raises awareness for men’s health issues.
05.12.2010 / 08:15 In Truckee, CA, on my way to the mountain. I was unmotivated, but needed to get more time on snow. Surprisingly it was snowing at the mountain, the riding was really good and other then the lift ops, I didn’t see another rider all day.
05.12.10 / 06:45
My office. During winter I check weather sites constantly and they dictate what I am doing and where I am going. This storm was warm and had high snow levels, but ended up being the sneaky pow day of the year.
04.12.10 / 16:25 My winter consists of snowboarding in the day, hanging out with my kids in the afternoon and working at night. This is my daughter doing her first back flip during a friend’s birthday party at Northstar-at-Tahoe.
28.11.10 / 14:30 My home. When it snows hard everything else in life gets turned off. I am usually so beat from riding that I don’t shovel the snow. My main car, a Ford Focus, is buried and it’s for times like this that I have my truck.
30.11.10 / 06:50 Flying at sunrise gives me a good opportunity to scope some exotic ranges on my way east to NYC. But I could not believe my eyes at this range somewhere over Utah. There is not a road or town anywhere near this mountain and it probably goes un-ridden for years.
29.11.10 / 10:45
Doing hot laps with Ralph Backstrom and Ryland Bell on my favourite chairlift in the world, KT 22 in Squaw Valley. I ride with these guys, on this chairlift, more then anywhere else in the world so I see this view quite a lot.
01.12.10 / 21:05 Getting ready to go on stage to introduce Deeper for the final time in NYC.
04.12.10 / 12:35 On the Pacific Crest hiking in 40 mph winds. The other side of this ridge has great snow.
29.11.10 / 09:45 It’s a treat for the locals of Squaw Valley to get some good riding in, and have the mountains to themselves, before the tourist season starts after Christmas. This November was one of the best on record.
04.12.10 / 14.24
K. 96 HUCK
Donner Pass Train Tunnel. This is the closest backcountry zone to my house and I spend more time in and around the pass in summer and winter than anywhere else in the world. We use the abandoned tunnel to access the backcountry. It would be a good place to shoot a horror movie because it’s pitch black in the middle Deeper is available now on DVD at www.tetongravity.com/deeper.
pics: billabong, michael müller, jelle keppens, thomas streubel
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SOURCES: INSPIRATIONS AND THINGS WE DIG. A. ‘A Tin Of Escalating Panic’ from the Hoxton Monster Supplies Store in East London, the shopfront for the Ministry of Stories, a writing centre for 8-18 year olds co-founded by Nick Hornby and inspired by Dave Eggers’ 826 National. Story names like The Day My Mum Got Ugly and The Pig That Could Go on Ice were written by junior ministers (kids) during a drop-in session. Sign up to help mentor at www.ministryofstories.org. B. The fresh thinkers at Visual Editions have die-cut all 134 pages of Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer to create a puzzlingly awesome read, www.visual-editions. com. C. 600 Black Spots: A Pop-up Book for Children of All Ages by David A. Carter. D. Queer: 25th Anniversary Edition by William S. Burroughs and screener copy of A Man Within, a recent Burroughs documentary by Yony Leyser, www.burroughsthemovie.com. E. Press notes from a preview screening of Black Swan, the Darren Aronofksy film gracing the cover of our sister magazine, Little White Lies, which has also been designed in collaboration with David Carson. F. Little White Lies postcards available from shop.littlewhitelies.co.uk. G. The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit bike lock is pretty much the only thing guaranteed to secure your wheels (we lost another bike to thieves during the making of this issue). H. Donation sign from Swishing Sunday, an event we ran at HUCK HQ to swap old clothes and raise money for South African charity Footpath, www.footpath.co.za. I. Grolsch ticket stub from the screening of Animal Kingdom in collaboration with Little White Lies. J. Business card from The Diner in Shoreditch where we took Trash Talk for breakfast. K. The Church Of London bat decoration from our Christmas party in Dalston. L. Field Notes, the coolest stationery in town, www.fieldnotesbrand.com. M. Scrabster Tide Tables book and P&O Scottish Ferries Boarding Card from 2001, when writer Chris Nelson visited the north shore of Scotland to meet some cold water pioneers. He set off on his travels on September 11, 2001. N. Press pass for It’s Nice That: Future Content – a one-day conference for forward-thinking idealogues in the creative industry. O. Press pass from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2010. P. Fuck It tee by Forum. Q. Immer Nie Am Meer ‘zine by photographer Yves Suter, www.hakuin-verlag.com. R. Deftones and Best Coast tickets. S. The latest installment of anti-establishment quarterly art rag Bare Bones, which describes itself as “a timely reminder how in times of hardship, art and creativity can and always will flourish”. T. Flyer from the recent Überschnee exhibition in Geneva featuring snowboard shooters like Matt Georges and Jerome Tanon. U. Walmart receipt for groceries during the Cold Water Classic Canada 2010, courtesy of roving documentarian Mustafah Abdulaziz.
CODY TOWNSEND – SWATCH PROTEAM