Beyond Gidget Overcoming prejudice in surfing Big wave surfing in Nazaré • Liz Clark travels the world • Artists take on the streets
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil JAN 2014
(01 ON THE COVER -Beyond Gidget
ARTIST(S) OF THE MONTH -JR + José Parlá
Catch a movie
10 / 34 / 58
all pictures in this page are by Morgan Maassen
ALSO ON THE COVER -Blood on our hands
SURFER PROFILE -Liz Clark
60 / 62
INTERVIEW -Morgan Maassen
Itâ€™s reading time
JOSÉ PARLÁ, artist of the month
24, french designer
22, graphic designer
Editor in Chief Taylor Paul Managing Editor Beau Flemister Editor at Living Large Chas Smith Assistat Editor Zander Morton Photo Editor Peter Taras Assistant Everything Jimmy Wilson Art Director Chato Aganza Associate Art Director Noa Emberson Videographer Sean Benik Online Editor Brendan Buckley Guiding Light Larry Moore Copy Editor Kersten Wehde STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Brent Bielmann, Duncan Macfarlane, Steve Sherman, DJ Struntz, Corey Wilson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Coté, Ash Broddy, Bartholomeu Engelbertus, Cori Schumacher, Maura Flaherty, Tetsuhiko Endo
20, product designer
Any submissions or contributions from readers shall be subject to and governed Content Submission Terms and Conditions which are posted at httep://privacy. sourceinterlinkmedia.com/submissions.html Editorial Contributions: Send Contributions to 236 Avenida Fabricante, San Clemente, CA 92672. Phone 964.325.6200. Nouvelle Vague Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions unless otherwise preagreed in writing. Nouvelle Vague Magazine retains all rights on materials published in Nouvelle Vague for a period of 12 months after publication and reprint rights after that period expires.
21, typography freak
p04 Letters p06
THE FUNNEL NOSE
By George Michael
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TWITTER OF THE MONTH It does not matter fi you’re five, 40 or 70. Penis jokes are funny. Katie Hall About last month Cycle review.
The Funnel Nose, congratulations for the last edition.
THE FUNNEL NOSE A few months back I lost a couple inches off my nose on a rock, I sanded it off to an even square that matches my tail. My nose funnel-nose also received a new concave that I sanded and glassed into a “Funnel Nose”. After the first turn I realized those pointy noses are water-pushing-hood ornaments. Now I’ve got a 5’8” funnel, I’m 58 and this is my funnest board in 44 years. I’m looking forward to future reviews that include “Funnel Noses” and the latest wave-pools to build at home. Thanks for another inspiring issue!
STOKED VETERAN Hello Transworld! I have been following the mag for a long, long time. Something like 9 years or so. This is the first time I have ever written to you, and I gotta say that you guys are amazing. Deployed twice to Iraq and both times these pages kept me going. No doubt about it. So I received my August edition and to my surprise the pages are full of Alana Blanchard! Wow!! Thank you so much for that. She is a great surfer and a hot one. Probably the hottest of the hot! Thanks for all you do! P.S. Hey Chris we should surf sometime.
Brian Clark Landlocked in South Dakota
Luis Right Coast, North Carolina
Right on Brian, way to improvise! My brother and I used to chop our boards up all the time, too. For your design breakthrough (and 44 years of surfing) you win a big ol’ box of popchips…congratulations!
Glad to hear you made it back from not one, but two deployments! That’s some heavy shit. A huge thanks goes out to all of our armed services volunteers and a box of Popchips. --
QUESTIONS Why do people drop their back knee when inside barrels? Ryan B. Boston, MA.
Dropping (or bending in) your back knee is a tactic used to fit into small barrels. Think about it, if you bend your knee toward the face of the wave it’s gonna hit the face of the wave. However, bend it in (toward the deck of your board) and you can shrink down into just about anything if you’re knees are flexible enough. --
By Geroge Michael
MONDAY MAILBAG Hey there TransWorld! I live in Texas. I’ve surfed once (Jaco in Costa Rica), and I absolutely loved it! But now I’m stuck. I live in the Dallas, so I’m a good 6-8 hours from the nearest beach, and I won’t be getting any closer anytime soon. I saw a great question on the recent mailbag about activities that can improve your surfing. Your answer was surfing. Solid point. But since I live so far from the beach, I can’t do that on the regular. What would be best to do? Skateboard, longboard, walk sideways everywhere I go? Also, do you know of the best beach for surfing in Texas? Eddie Arlington, Texas
if you can’t surf, I’ve always found that riding a bicycle keeps you in pretty good surf shape. Mix that in with swimming (helps your shoulder strength) and skateboarding (balance) and you should be ready to rip once you get out of Dallas. Try Bob Hall Pier in Corpus Christi when you have some shred time. --
DESIGN BREAKTHROUGHT? So, a question about board and leash plug design: Having my ankle pulled hard, having my board pull me over the falls, or being dragged by my leash as my board tombstones causes me to wonder: Why does the leash plug get put on the TOP of the board, when it could be put directly attached to the end of the tail so my board wouldn’t cause so much resistance or drag in a wipeout? It could just pull right back through the wave! Doesn’t seem like it would cause any significant increase in leash drag when riding. Even fewer leash snaps when I lose my board. Thanks! Roger Rabbit Chesapeake, Virginia
We kicked this one around the office for a bit and came to the conclusion that a leash attached to the end of your board would create too much drag from the rail saver and leash itself. We like that you’re thinking outside of the box though, and have decided to award you “Letter Of The Week” status. You’ll receive a box full of tasty Popchips for your efforts. -TRIP PLAN Hey guys, I’m a big fan of the mag and have had a subscription since it began. I am not however, organized. I love the pieces you ran about where in the world is the best bet to travel during a certain month. I am planning a trip in April as a bachelor party with some
friends because I’m getting married in May. I was wondering about the best place for me to do a week-long trip in April. I live in Los Angeles and was hoping for uncrowded warm water surf with minimal travel time. I’m afraid it is too soon in the season for the obvious Mainland trip, so I was looking to you for your wisdom and advice. Dreaming of an epic bachelor party! Larry B Los Angeles, CA.
Great question! I had the same question a year ago at this time. Here’s the deal: The bachelor party isn’t about you—it’s about your bros who are married. Those guys are ready to get loose. For the best of both worlds (partying and surfing) go to Cabo San Lucas. If there’s a south swell running you got the whole East Cape, and if not there are always waves on the Pacific Side. As for the partying, it’s world class…we recommend Lord Blacks. --
WAX CHALLENGED In the old days, we used to melt paraffin in an old coffee can on the stove and brush it on our boards to wax them. That gave us a great wax base for the season. With today’s new waxes, is pre-melting and brushing still a good idea, or can I get a good base just by rubbing the wax on my board? Roger L. St. Johns, Florida
is to keep your arms above your head in anticipation of hitting the bottom, whether it be sand, rock, or reef. -ARUBA Over the years I’ve read more magazines than I’ve surfed. Not only this magazine, but others as well. Then I started noticing too many advertisements and narrowed my choices down to two. But I have a winner now. As a surfer I’ve always enjoyed reading TransWorld Surf, but it always missed something…until now. When I saw the august 2010 issue on the rack I screamed like a teenager at a Justin Bieber concert. A FEMALE on the cover. Oh man! Even though I’m from a very small island nation and I don’t surf perfect waves, it didn’t matter, because the article hit right at home. To me you just BLEW the competition away (if you have any). Thank you (masha danki)! One small step for the female surfers on Aruba. Zetsia Aruba
Thanks for the kinds words, Zetsia! One thing though, stop reading so many magazines and get out there and surf! --
That’s all folks! >>
Wow, where have you been for the last 30 years? In prison? Anyway, there is no need to go melting paraffin wax in a coffee can. Get yourself to a nearby surf shop and buy a bar of “base coat” wax. After you apply that, put wax that is suited for the water temp (it should be labeled), you’ll be surfing in on, dust off your beaver tail wetsuit, and get out there. -OVER THE FALLS What is the best way to protect yourself when getting sucked over the falls? Obviously, the best answer is don’t go over them, barring that, is it better to assume the fetal position or try and stay flexible and go with the turbulence? As an East Coast surfer most of my breaks are sand bottom. Fetal position results in a professional sand blasting but what about rock and reef break locations? Want to write us? Lee Garvin New York
Finally something I’m actually an expert in; going over the falls. I think the best advice
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photo: Stuart Gibson
CATCH A MOVIE
by Bidan Soares
MOVIE OF THE MONTH = BELLA VITA
ITâ€™S ONE OF THOSE MOVIES THAT YOU WOULD GIVE ANYTHING BE A PART OF. IMAGINE LIVING THE SURFING LIFE IN LA PIU BELLA ITALIA.
Born of mistral winds and witness to the birth of western civilization, the waves of the italian coast have carried merchants, fishermen, travelers and kings. Preserved like a roman ruin, the surf of the italian coast now carries surfer, artist, and environmentalist chris del moro on a pilgrimage back to his ancestral homeland to explore a culture where old-world-convention and traditional craftsmanship have matured into a modern surf lifestyle and destination. Filmmaker jason baffa chronicles chris and his friends dave rastovich, lauren lyndsey hill, conner & parker coffin and italian stand-outs alessandro ponzanelli and leonardo fioravanti as they explore the burgeoning new surf culture blossoming among the mediterraneanâ€™s oldest and cherished traditions. A visual epic captured in stunning awesome recording on duty 35mm, bella vita is an intimate and powerful journey of self-discovery, seeped in culture, tradition, and passion- where family comes first.
Dave Rastovich and Conner Coffin in Toscana Bay
Directed by Jason Baffa with surfers Dave Rastovich Cris Del Moro Conner Coffin Lauren L. Hill Leonardo Fioravanti Iurare Martins Bidan Soares Mazzandro Lopes
ARTIST(S) OF THE MONTH
Since 2004, the French artist JR has traveled the world flyposting colossal black-and-white portraits of ordinary citizens on the walls of city buildings. His most recent project, The Wrinkles of the City, began in Cartagena, Spain, where he photographed the city’s oldest inhabitants, imagining their wrinkles as metaphors of urban texture and history. He has subsequently reprised the project in Shanghai, China and Los Angeles. In May 2012, JR collaborates with American artist José Parlá on the latest iteration of The Wrinkles of the City: a huge mural installation in Havana, undertaken for the Havana Biennale, for which JR and Parlá photographed and recorded 25 senior citizens who had lived through the Cuban revolution, creating portraits which Parlá, who is of Cuban descent, interlaced with palimpsestic calligraphic writings and paintings. Parlá’s markings echo the distressed surfaces of the walls he inscribes, and offer commentary on the lives of Cuba’s elders; together, JR and Parlá’s murals marvelously animate a city whose walls are otherwise adorned only by images of its leaders. A film documenting the project appears in 2013.
José Parlá studied painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, and the New World School of the arts in Miami, and lives and works in Brooklyn, new York. a recent project is a special commission for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. His most recent monograph is Walls, Diaries and Paintings (Hatje Cantz, 2011). Based in Paris, JR exhibits freely in public sites in the cities around world. His projects include Portraits of a Generation (2004–2006), Face2Face (2007) and Women Are Heroes (2008). In 2011 he was awarded the TED Prize. Featured images are reproduced from JR & José Parlá: Wrinkles of the City, Havana, Cuba.
by Michael Jordan
the artist JosĂŠ ParlĂĄ with his friends
Havana, CUBA JR + José Parlá
Havana, CUBA JR + José Parlá
ARTIST(S) OF THE MONTH
JOSÉ PARLÁ Born: Miami, FL Lives: New York City
When was the first time you exhibited your art in public? I’ve been making art in public since 1983, but my first exhibit in a museum was in 1988 at the Center of Fine Arts, in downtown Miami, Florida. I got space in the show for receiving a Scholastic Art Award. What was the experience like? The experience was rewarding and frustating. Frustating because someone stole my artwork from the museum. What is one lesson you’ve learned since that? Insure all artwork. What is the most frustating thing to hear about your work? Sometimes the public has a misinterpretation of a sub-culture and readily accepts what the media tells them. I meet all the time from younger generations who do not care about history. That, to me, is a little disheartening. As far as you know, how have most people discovered your work, or what has gotten you the most attention? It is all connected, really. You have an exhibition, and if it’s a good one, people will tell their friends, and maybe a magazine covers it. Blogs nowadays can have a field day. The shows that exposed my work the most were the ones for which I got to paint really large-scale paintings.
above -- Neon Spring and Paint 04 next page -- Quate Alphabet Jose Parlá
Interview, José Parlá
The Wrinkles of the city, Havana JR & Jose Parlá
ON THE COVER
With not much longer to go now until the first stop of the ASP Women’s World Tour (the Beachley Classics are currently still TBA on their website) and inspired by an interesting experience on Why Women’s Surfing is in the Deep End, we found it perfect timing to spark up the debate on the image of the female surfer again, that we started with Cori Schumacher’s piece in our August/September mag last year. Do you think she’s right?
by Anna Langer
THE IMAGE THAT HAS BEEN MANUFACTURED AND RECYCLED BY THE SURF INDUSTRY IS ONE THAT IS NARROWLY DEFINED – DESPITE MULTIPLE GENERATIONS OF WOMEN PARTICIPATING IN SURFING. Research shows that women are more likely to buy from brands that use a mix of different body shapes in their ads yet the 1960s Gidget surf girl stereotype persists. Why is that and why does it matter? The mainstream surf industry has grown from humble backyard beginnings to a billion dollar, global industry centred around an active beach lifestyle. The image that has been manufactured and recycled by the surf industry of the feminine side of this lifestyle is one that is narrowly defined, despite multiple generations of women participating in surfing. What, if anything, has changed about this image since the prototypical surfer girl made her debut in the 1959 Hollywood movie Gidget? And are we heading exactly in same direction as the right direction?
There have been myriad types and styles of female surfer dating back to the wahines surfing in Hawaii before the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778. Despite this diversity, the narrowly defined, constricting Gidget-image of the female surfer (young, white, thin, blonde, bikini-clad, boy-crazy, heterosexual) has been recycled over generations by the surf industry. The beach backdrop of the Hollywood movie, Southern California’s Malibu, was “the exact spot on earth where ancient surfing became modern surfing,” according to surf journalist Paul Gross. It was during this era, at this spot, and as a direct consequence of the Hollywood movie that the surf industry had its own beginnings. Gidget-image is the very image that gave birth to the surf industry as a whole, which may explain the industry’s loyalty to this image. This is particularly unfortunate for
ON THE COVER
THE GIDGET-IMAGE IS THE VERY IMAGE THAT GAVE BIRTH TO THE SURF INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE, WHICH MAY EXPLAIN THE INDUSTRY’S LOYALTY TO THIS IMAGE. ABOUT THE MOVIE Gidget is a 1959 Columbia Pictures Cinema Scope feature film. It stars Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson, and James Darren in a story about a teenager’s initiation into the California surf culture and her affiliated romance with a young surfer. The screenplay was written by Gabrielle Upton and was based upon Frederick Kohner’s 1957 novel Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas. The film was directed by Paul Wendkos. Gidget was the precursor to the “beach party film” genre and was followed by two sequel films, various television series, several telemovies, and the spoof Psycho Beach Party. Gidget received one award nomination.
ON THE COVER
IT WOULD BE EASY TO POINT TO THE FEW INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MAKING MORE MONEY IN SPONSORSHIPS THAN AT ANY OTHER POINT IN HISTORY AS A SIGN THAT “THE GIRLS ARE DOING ALRIGHT”. lifestyle clothing lines across surf brands. Not to mention magazines such as this one. This paralleled a shift in mainstream corporate America as niche markets (like the female athlete) were targeted in advertising. All of a sudden it was perfectly acceptable to be a female athlete. Women’s surfing was progressing, but the image of the prototypical female surfer remained nearly identical to that of the 1950s. Only the fashion had changed. As the generation of female surfers that saw this shift “aged out” of the tour (decided to call it quits or in some cases lost sponsors), a new generation of female surfers slid into view. One of the major distinguishing features of this new generation of female surfers is how “sexy” and “bang-able” they are. The California image of the surfer girl remains the dominant image, yet is now being celebrated for showing skin in ever more suggestive poses. The ubiquitous bikini (female surfing’s sports uniform) became a marker of femininity and heterosexuality in the 1990s, but simply wearing it is no longer enough to satisfy the new feminine ideal. Now one must wear an even skimpier bikini and suggestively flirt with the camera/audience. Even the most anticipated all-female surf movie of 2011, Nike’s Leave a Message, though filled with mind-blowing surfing, included shots of the ladies wrestling in the sand in their bikinis and throwing searing “come get me” glances over their shoulders. This trend is not simply about titillating the male gaze. It is symptomatic of how both men and women in surfing view a narrowly defined “femininity” as tied inextricably to the way one looks versus what one does. In a line-up, it is difficult to see who is male and who is female, even more so now that the girls are ripping “like boys”. The newest old town classical gipsy shit fashioning of the female surfer image is a further attempt at alleviating a persistent gender anxiety found in surfing.
So what are we to make of this sexy new trend? A trend, incidentally, being paralleled in the larger culture. The key questions to ask when analysing the newest version of the old Gidget-image are: 1) Does sexualising female surfers benefit women’s professional surfing in general? 2) How does sexualising female surfers impact surf culture? First, it is important to note that each female surfer is her own woman, making her own choices, based on her own experiences. That said, there are overlapping trends among many female surfing professionals (the role models of female surfing) who are making personal choices that have far-reaching consequences. These consequences are what we are concerned about, specifically how this trend is benefiting the current ability of all professional female surfers to showcase their surfing abilities at top-level locations, in great conditions, in an environment that respects them, pays them well, and treats them with dignity. It would be
easy to point to the few individuals who are making more money in sponsorships than at any other point in history as a sign that “the girls are doing alright”, but the exceptions are not indicative of the overall health of professional surfing. A few women may get paid top dollar but the rest are left to scramble for meagre hand-outs. Despite women’s surfing gaining relevance, respect, and exposure over the last 20 years, obviously hardly any nearly half the events than in years past. Even more frustrating is the fact that surf periodicals continue to trivialise the female surfer, asking questions in interviews like “Is it difficult to surf with boobs?” or “Do you worry about sharks while on your period?” or running features like “Waves are Women: Please no red tides.”
SURFING CAN BE A GENUINELY EMPOWERING ACTIVITY (VS. A FALSE EMPOWERMENT THAT RELIES ON EXTERNAL ATTENTION AND REWARDS), IF IT IS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY THE SEXUALISATION OF THE FEMALE SURFER BODY.
ON THE COVER
The second question revolves around the impact the current sexualising trend has on surf culture, specifically, the youth. The American Psychiatrists Association reported on the effects of such trends in 2010 (The Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualisation of Girls can be found in its entirety online). Among the many results found within the report (ranging from the effects of sexualisation on the mental, emotional, sexual, and physical landscapes of boys, men, women, and society as a whole), were studies that linked sexualisation with three of the most common mental health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood. These states of body anxiety affect performance in a tangible way. In one relevant study, college students were asked to try on and evaluate
either a swimsuit or a sweater. While they waited for 10 minutes in a dressing room wearing the garment, they were asked to complete a maths test. The results revealed that young women in swimsuits performed significantly worse on the math problems than did those wearing sweaters. No differences were found for young men. Thinking about the body, the study concluded, and comparing it to cultural ideals detrimentally fragments the attention of women. Surfing itself, as with many other physical activities, can be a safe space for many women and girls where they can escape from these sexualising trends in the larger culture. However, if these trends are allowed to penetrate and persist, or are even encouraged in surf culture, women and girls lose an
important means to combat a real danger to their wellbeing. The implication here is that surfing can be a genuinely empowering activity (vs. a false empowerment that relies on external attention and rewards), if it is not accompanied by the sexualisation of the female surfer body, and you know that the women in Ben Barry’s study commented that what inspires them most in representations of women is “glamour, artistry, and creativity.” Rather than focusing on the female surfer’s “bang-ability”, surf marketing ought to listen to what actually inspires women, instead of perpetuating an image that aggravates gender and body anxiety.
photo: Nate Lawrence
ALSO ON THE COVER
We are reaching a critical moment in extreme sports in which the meaning of life, and the meaning of sport itself is cannibalized by the search for the torrid spectacle of tempting death.
by Maura Flaherty
Greg Long pushing the limits in NazarĂŠ
Peter Taylor riding a monster in Teahupoo
It is impossible to watch the video of Maya Gabeira drowning then being pulled to shore and brought back to life without wondering whether or not she should consider taking up a new career. That is a fact independent of her gender. It is impossible to watch anyone of either sex literally die doing something without wishing that a) they would have done something else on that particular day, and b) they never do that thing again so they can live a long and fruitful life. But the question of Gabeira’s future still looms. In one sense, how we look at it is completely gender based. She is a woman in a “man’s sport” who has required saving in two high profile sessions in two years. This fits well with every gender stereotype we have been inculcated with since our first Disney movie: the beautiful, plucky woman can flirt with danger, but inevitably requires the heroics of a man to save the day. In the eyes of many, this will have proven what they already expect of female athletes but won’t say in public – that they are a liability in dangerous conditions and have no business participating in situations like this. I have already seen this implication being made on my FB page. The other gender-based tint on this is story is the fact that we are culturally conditioned to want to protect women from physical harm. It has to do with the prevailing view that physical beauty – that most sacred of feminine
treasures – should be coveted and preserved from anything that might mar it. There is a perversity in the image of a beautiful woman in danger that strikes some very sensitive chord in the public psyche, and perhaps especially in the male psyche. It makes me think of my mother and my girlfriend and the great lengths I would go to in order to protect the women that I care for the most. But then, I would also go to great lengths to protect my brother. More than anyone else I know, he is liable to do things that risk his well-being. If he had drowned twice in the last few years, I would, without hesitation, demand that he stop surfing big waves. In that context, this is not a sex-based question at all. If I had a personal investment in any of the men who have nearly drowned in the last two years, I would ask all of them to stop and get a desk job. You can talk a very big game about being willing to die doing what you love and living life to the fullest, but if you have people who love you or people who depend on you, dying young is a cruel, selfish thing to do and you have failed as a friend, lover, parent, child, and/or sibling. As I don’t have a personal investment in any big wave surfer, I judge them by a different set of standards than I would a loved one. What I find really compelling about Gabeira’s near death experience is that it has, for some anyway, humanized big wave surfers and lent
ALSO ON THE COVER
an unsettling clarity to their wild, masochistic undertaking. While we have happily watched men, pitch their fragile bodies into the gnashing teeth of watery oblivion for years without ever once stopping to consider the strange combination of happiness and horror that they subject themselves to like the purest of addicts, we only needed to see a single woman do it for the latent tragedy that underpins such an existence to become apparent. We should not be asking why Gabeira would keep doing this to herself. Instead, we should be asking why anyone would keep doing this to themselves with no greater motivation than “because it is there.” I really hope thst Carol doesn’t read this again, as I am just filling the spaces to remove them widowFurthermore, we should be asking what kind of fucked up people we have become that we get off watching the carnage unfold. We watch because they are heroes and because they are heroes we inure ourselves to their essential humanity. Were we to accept that they were people like us, we couldn’t, in good conscience, root for their kamikaze behavior. So their personal tragedy becomes our public legend – Mallory disappearing on Everest, Aikau disappearing into the storm. But Gabeira didn’t disappear. Somehow, her limp, lifeless body washing up on the beach offered just a peek behind that fabled curtain into an ugly reality that we are, in our desperate desire for heroes, helping
to create. Sure, every surfer who rides big waves does it for themselves, but a hero is not a self made creature, it is created by society and circumstance. We hoist them up on our shoulders and then pitch them down the moment we grow tired of them. We love that they exist but only so long as they dance to our tunes. When I watched Gabeira in her losing struggle against the sea, it made big wave surfers seem human again and I wasn’t completely comfortable with that. In their humanity, I thought I glimpsed in something of my own fragility, something that makes doing perversely dangerous things like surfing big waves seem like the purest of follies. If you let yourself be blinded by the fact that she’s a woman you will miss the greater point: No one, man or woman, had any earthly business surfing Nazaré on Monday, not by any rational reckoning anyway. No one needs to ride a one hundred foot wave, not for all the bragging rights in the world. To choose to dedicate yourself to such an undertaking is irresponsible, reckless, and contemptuous of life itself. But because of all that, there is also something very human about it, something that brashly rebels against the notion that we should live like frightened animals who covet life as if there is no greater pleasure than simply eating, breathing and sleeping. Big wave surfers speak to the same element of hope and aspiration that Icarus portrayed in his mythical, ill-fated flight. By going where
ALSO ON THE COVER
others fear to tread, they remind us that this stolid, fenced-off world still holds possibilities if we are just willing to reach for them. The deepest problem in all of this is that in the age of the extreme arms race, our culture has bred a class of people who are pathologically incapable of turning away from risk, who are compelled by the very worst of their unique instincts – instincts that celebrity culture and hero worship have nurtured in them to the sharpest of edges – to seek out, over and over, the moment that will potentially destroy them. Is Gabeira being reckless? Sure. But isn’t that the point? And the more reckless she gets the louder we will cheer until finally, just as she stands poised against her own annihilation, we are reduced to fits of blabbering ecstasy and gushing monologues of Red Bull cliches about the beauty and wonder of life lived on the edge. Or she will die. Then we will talk about a life cut short before its time but lived “to the fullest” and quickly move on to the next young, good-looking daredevil coming off the assembly line of corporate patronage. This doesn’t seem noble or heroic to me. It seems like the profligacy of a culture obsessed with watching the destruction of others based on some deeper voyeuristic urge to witness life and death. I don’t think Gabeira should quit any more than Burle, McNamara or the rest of them. I do think, however, that ` It will be a hell of a show, but when it comes, let us never say that the blood of the young and reckless isn’t buried deep under our fingernails.
Koa Smith eats shit in the his hometown
IT’S READING TIME
by Humpfrey Gilganor
BOOK OF THE MONTH = NO BAD WAVES
THE LIFE AND STORY OF LEGENDARY SHAPER/SURFER MICKEY MUNOZ. TRUST ME, THE AUTORIZED VERSION
At first glance, Mickey Munoz’s new book No Bad Waves may come off solely as a surfing history book. But it’s not. While it is a book about surfing and surf culture, it’s also a personal set of stories that reflect the life and times of Mickey Munoz over a period of six decades. When one of the first lines you read is that Mickey Munoz was one of the original to conquer Waimea, you know that these stories come from a man who is a legend. We’ve all seen the Quasimoto surf stance immortalized over the years in photos. Well, that would be Mickey Munoz, the soft spoken and quintessential waterman who has taken time out to perfectly combine words and pictures to really “show and tell” what his life has been and is still all about. I was spellbound by these stories. Every what, where, who and why added more to my own life and how to live it. His name, of course, precedes him. He’s one of the greats whose spirit has impacted the lives of so many. This amazing 150 page book should be required reading just for the pleasure of it. He has inspired countless others to change their mind set, to get their equipment dialed and to love life by really knowing how to live it to its fullest.The forward by Yvon Chouinard, well-known founder of Patagonia, keeper of
the environment and a legend in his own right, is a great read itself. He played a large part in making this book possible by working to really tell the story right. The book brings on quotes that are poignant, insightful, and totally dead on. Taken separately and as a whole, these words make you see some amazing parallels - not just in surfing but in every aspect of life. Munoz was an early convert to the shorter board movement pioneered by guys like Bob McTavish. He was influenced enough to get back to the States.
More than anything, Morgan says the life he’s spent on the road has gifted him with the ability to keep on learning. In his early childhood, his parents carted him around the globe making sure that, above all else, he was aware of the endless diversity in the human experience. “My parents really opened my eyes to art, architecture, nature, politics; pretty much every aspect that is appreciable about both the earth and mankind,” he says. Travelling has remained a constant in his and his kids life. These days he’s Quiksilver’s go-to photographer making it his job to capture the exploits of their marquee surfers, Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds, among others.
by Jed Smith
Where you at, Morgs? I just returned to Malibu from Mexico. I was down at the bottom of Oaxaca with Dillon Perillo, Sterling Spencer and Noa Deane, working on a film project. Tell us about this past few months, where it’s taken you, what you’ve learned, what you remember? In the last several months, I’ve been streamlining my time and focus to work on bigger projects. I work full time for Quiksilver and do a lot of lifestyle and fashion photography outside the surf industry, but I try to direct the majority of my time and interest working on filmmaking, photographing the ocean and women, and painting (a more private passion). I’ve been to Hawaii five times and to various states around the country too many times to count since the new years. Honestly though, if I am not on the road working I am spending what little time I have to myself trying to organise my life or pursue my own pet interests, like surfing, a girlfriend, and reading.
You’re no stranger to spending time on the road. Can you tell us about your upbringing? I grew up to parents that worked odd schedules and were both avid travellers, so they naturally got me on the road as soon as possible. We would always take extensive vacations to more off-the-beaten-track places, immersing ourselves into the culture or land of wherever we were visiting. In my teenage years, we actually lived in Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii for almost two years, but returned to California as it was ultimately home. I really hope Carol doesn’t read this as I’m just filling the space with random text to really get in all those widows and finish up the job. Along the way, my parents really opened my eyes to art, architecture, nature, politics – pretty much every aspect that is appreciable about both the earth and mankind. They didn’t teach me how to think, they taught me how to learn. Reflecting back on the time we spent together, travelling and at home, they really seeded my thirst for seeing the world.
Growing up in Santa Barbara you had Rincon, Tom Curren, Bobby Martinez, Dane Reynolds and Nick Rosza around you. How were you shaped by your hometown? While Rincon and Sandspit were my stomping grounds and Tom and Bobby my absolute heroes growing up, it was exploring the raw central Californian coast that really churned my gears. I grew up with many amazing opportunities to shoot my heroes surfing those world class waves, but I think it was the humble adventures me and my two best friends, Brandon Smith and Trevor Gordon, went on that really shaped who I am. Our hometown of Santa Barbara is literally surrounded by nature, or by the forces of nature. To the west lies the ocean and islands, the north is the wild central California, and the east is the Los Padres forest, so there was always an unturned stone to be investigated. Between camping, boating, and hiking, we traversed so much ground to waves and so much more, cameras and boards in hand.
Is there a theme or an idea that guides your work? This is always a tricky question, and the simple answer is no. I fell into filmmaking and then shooting photos totally by chance, and pursued them simply out of curiosity. I think, as Iâ€™ve come to find out more about the world and what it has to offer, it has done nothing but grow my curiosity, which in turn guides my photography and filmmaking down a strange path. Every six months I think back to six months prior, and I laugh to myself that back then I had no clue about what transpired between then and now. Then thinking about that, itâ€™s kind of a scary thought, navigating life by the seat of your pants, by chance, intuition and flow, but I am having a damn fun time doing whatever it is I do and I kind of like it this way.
If I was to project my own meaning onto your images, I see a lot of your work as about more than just the immediate wave experience. It seems to give a greater sense of place and context than your average surf shot. One thing that consistently baffles me about being a photographer and filmmaker is that people try to understand one’s work. It’s not that I don’t want them to, it’s just that it’s a weird concept. A camera literally fell into my hands a couple years ago, and I capture what I see. I guess I don’t understand what I’m trying to say, or I am asking questions with my camera. Or just capturing things that fascinate me. I see the world in a very strange way. Everything is interactive, everything is changing. I love it all. I’m just trying to capture what slivers of time I can to preserve what inspires me. Given how finite waves are and how fleeting your moment is to capture that kind of feeling, it’s an incredible skill you’ve developed. Well, thank you! I think if everyone knew how to turn a camera on and set the settings right, they could tell something interesting. Unless they’ve been uninspired. I think school, work, and the daunting complexity of modern society un-inspires people. Who in surfing photography or photography in general have you been influenced by? In the surfing world? The Quiksilver crossing. The fact that a boat travelled across the world aimlessly, encountering so much amazing stuff, is still mind-blowing to me. The waves, seas, islands, people, storms that they saw, interacted with – it inspired me so much when I was sitting in a classroom or reading a magazine. So everyone who worked on those, from Jeff Hornbaker to Martin Daly to
Kelly Slater and Lisa Andersen, they really lit a huge fire under me. But when I fell into surf filming/photography, I wasn’t really in a surfing headspace. I was doing a lot of graphic design and art, and that’s where I gleamed so much inspiration. Films by Werner Herzog and Ron Fricke, showing beauty in such ugly or simple things really changed my philosophy on life. Abstract art by Basquiat and Kandinsky were the most gorgeous things I had ever laid eyes on. You’re a purist, too. Don’t use Photoshop, often shoot with film. What’s your thinking behind this? I taught myself how to use cameras and computers, so I’ve always started from the ground floor in any application or equipment. I guess when I got to the point where I was doing exposure and contrast and black/white I figured that’s all I needed. I think removing people or cars from photos or bringing in crazy storm clouds that weren’t there kind of defeats the purpose of capturing natural beauty. I guess while my photos may look radically different because of the camera/film techniques I use, I don’t edit what I’m able to take within those means, because I don’t want to so blatantly alter the truth. I know the art of photography is basically telling the story only you want to tell, the camera-holder is the author, etc but Photoshopping photos into something else is just a bit wrong. I dunno, it’s not something I really ponder too often, I just prefer not to do it.
What’s inspiring you at the moment? Art and filmmaking, more than ever. I’m constantly studying art, just as a personal passion, so the more I traverse the time periods and artists, the more I am inspired by how amazing the realm of art is. In filmmaking, I am chewing through new and old films, and am basically making lists of things I want to see and do. It’s just so fascinating seeing how other people see the world and can translate it to you through motion. Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark and Gasper Noe’s Enter the Void are really grinding my gears right now. Who are your favourite subjects to shoot? Why? In surfing, Steph Gilmore and Kelly Slater for their style and timelessness and sheer talent. My friends Dillon Perillo and Sterling Spencer, for being just that: friends I know exceptionally well, and can explore the world with. Outside of surfing, I’ve been enraptured with trying to figure out how to capture women, as well as always just pursuing the emotions of pure Mother Nature. What are your favourite waves/places to shoot? Why? Western Australia ranks highly for me for its rawness. I’ve never been somewhere that felt so distant and, well, raw. It’s like being teleported back to the Jurassic period or something. It feels like another planet, or our planet millions of years ago.
You’ve worked with the biggest names in surfing including Kelly and Dane. What changes when you pick up a lens to shoot those guys? Nothing really. I make a conscious effort of trying to familiarise myself with them before shooting them, so breaking down that door through an initial cup of coffee or conversation about books really changes the whole playing field. However, to keep up with them is another thing. They are the best at what they do, documenting them, you have to be on your game. You can’t miss an air, or be sick one day when the waves or good or the travel is intense. It can be gruelling and takes a lot of commitment.
So how does it work when you are thrust into a working relationship with high profile surfers like that? As I explained earlier, I make a conscious effort to establish a friendly rapport with said athlete first. This makes getting to know them, work with them, and document them so much easier. But surfing has yet to reach the size and fame of something like baseball, basektball, football, so a high-profile surfer is nowhere near as much of a diva as a top-shelf NBA player. It’s usually a lot more mellow than you’d think, as well as the surf industry being so small and tight-knit that it’s effortless to assimilate with new people.
Sheâ€™s in Tahiti now. Anchored just inside the reef, a short trip by dinghy to the lineup at Teahupoo. The water is so clear you can see the anchor chain snaking along the sand bottom, coral heads like bouquets blossoming across the lagoon. She has sailed 14,000 miles in the last three-and-a-half yearsâ€”from Santa Barbara on down the West Coast of North and Central America, out to Cocos Island, then to the Galapagos, where she jumped off for the Marquesas and Tahiti.
by Iurare Martins
There was also the 1,500-mile jaunt she took, each way, to winter over at a sparsely populated atoll group halfway to Hawaii, where flawless peelers reel down the fringing reef. On a passage in the Tuamotus, clawing upwind 120 miles away from one atoll to another, she pushed her vessel so hard that a tracking skeg just behind the keel worked loose, and her boat started taking on water. But more on that. At 29, Liz Clark bubbles with youth. She is surfing, fishing, sailing, and free-diving most everyday, greeting everyone with a smile and girlish warmth. But having overcome calamities at sea that would make the saltiest old cur weep, she also carries a quiet strength. When she thinks about what it is she wants to do—whether maneuvering Swell, her 40-foot sloop, through a reef pass, or choosing the board to ride on a particular day—she seems to still knowing that Caroline herself and listen to an inner voice that one imagines she’s gotten to know in long stretches of solitude. Her environment energizes her, and when she talks about certain passages she’s made, or waves she’s ridden, the words come fast, piling up and raining down like a tropical thundershower.
Last June, on a ragged 6-foot day at Teahupoo with only a few soldiers taking it on, Swell slips out the Havae Pass. To watch Liz sail the boat, or pilot the dinghy, or tend to any of the tasks involved in life on board, is to see a woman completely in tune with her surroundings. Under power, she controls the throttle on Swell with the ball of her foot and gives the wheel the slightest turn to make the bends in the channel. Once outside, she points out the lines to haul in, the sails go up, and she scrambles about lightly, adjusting the preventer to keep the boom in place, then kills the motor and the rolling glide begins. It feels like magic somehow that this long hull, full of books and gear and provisions, should be so lively on the water. Her quiver of 10 boards, consisting primarily of three-fin blades, plus a quad or two, a fish, and a longboard, are stowed in heavy duty board bags lashed to the port rail on deck, with a few of her favorites slung overhead in the forward berth where she sleeps. After so many seasons living aboard, Clark has rigged up a lot of custom touches that make Swell feel like a home as much as a functioning sailboat. “I’m always refining my systems,” she says, referring to ways she’s learned to make life aboard more functional, such as stacking
Swell rides along the pacific ocean
Liz Clark’s buddy getting barreld
unused buckets off the stern rail, or keeping tools handy in the sheaths on deck. Family photographs, surf photos, affirmations, and quotes line the boat’s cabin: “The four Toltec agreements—1) Be impeccable with your word 2) Don’t take anything personally 3) Don’t make assumptions 4) Always do your best;” a list from a friend’s ’zine with the title, “How to live a simple life—Stop buying so many things, Don’t eat so much, Read tons of books, Do jobs that you love…”; and a quote from the Persian mystic, Rumi: “Past and future veil God from our sight; burn them both up with fire.” These sayings, scrawled on bits of paper and drawn in permanent ink on the counter tops, are like mantras, and in her generous company they seem to have formed a foundation for her thoughts. With a heavy Penn reel mounted just to the side for trolling while under way, Liz puts a lure out when she sees blue and yellow flashes of tuna streaking through the faces of the swells. Terns and boobies fly overhead, dipping down for baitfish, and inshore, beyond the distant surf on the reef and the low, flat lagoon, the sharp ridges of Tahiti rise verdant out of the vast blue. French Polynesia is so spectacular, so singular in its beauty
that it feels like another world entirely. And when you remember that Liz Clark sailed here from the land of traffic jams and strip malls, in this vessel that resembles a surfer girl’s dorm room, the effect is disorienting. Clearly, she’s a more than capable sailor, but she is so slight and small and bursting with happiness that it’s hard to fathom the immensity of her undertaking. Soon enough however, one realizes that her joy comes from a place of strength and inner-peace gained from long days and nights on the ocean, and from learning to accept the conditions at hand. She is physically strong too, taut muscles flowing under lightly browned skin. When she dives, she stays under just long enough to make a person snorkeling with her get concerned, then comes to the surface holding up another blue-lipped oyster for dinner and smiling broadly beneath her mask. At anchor, she swims to the bottom
daily to clear the chain from coral heads, then sets to tasks on deck or below with a mechanic’s ingenuity and a set of tools for any job—from cutting chain to sewing sails, to replacing a fuel line or filling dings. Whether she continues on for a circumnavigation of the world, or chooses to remain in the Pacific, crisscrossing island chains, she is on the ultimate surf trip. Her very lightness of being, one comes to see, is what makes this endeavor possible. Liz Clark is like a leaf on the sea—never fighting, forever flowing. Men can be a problem. Not just the ones that periodically fall for her, but the ones that, usually a little older, tend to smother with advice and opinions. It was worse, apparently, back on the Mainland in the years leading up to her departure—a potent blend of egos and desire pitting a group of harbor regulars against each other for whose ideas Miss Liz Clark would ultimately accept.
Having fun in Fernando de Noronha
by Alvo de Belvedere
HISTORIC SURFING CAPITAL OF EUROPE
Plage de la Beauvignon Biarritz, France
It’s amazing how reputations, sometimes decades, even centuries old, can still hold sway, however out of date. I was only 54 years behind the times in believing Biarritz, queen of the Basque coast, to be a quiet and genteel, if faded, bastion of old-fashioned elegance, full of stately matrons and their pretty daughters taking famous seawater treatments, while their husbands golfed. It was only when I found myself trapped on the plane by a load of people in bandannas and baggy cut-offs and then fell over their massive surfboards in the baggage hall of Biarritz airport that I discovered my mistake. Had I done my homework properly, I’d have known that in 1957, Peter Viertel, screenwriter husband of Deborah Kerr, came to Biarritz to make a film, saw the waves, called for his board to be sent from California and promptly introduced surfing to France.
Biarritz has been the surfing capital of Europe ever since. World championships are held there. People in dripping wetsuits pad about the streets. Camper vans gather at La Côte des Basques, the magnificent, slightly wild stretch of sand that is the best for surfing of the town’s six fine beaches. But though Biarritz is full of sun-bleached young, and modern apartment buildings jostle against the belle époque villas, the Empress Eugénie, who loved the place and brought her husband Napoleon III here every summer, thus creating the last word in 19th-century royalty-encrusted exclusivity, hasn’t been entirely forgotten. Biarritz still has airs and graces; it appeals equally to families, and older people. It was certainly the best place for us to be on the Basque coast when a chill wind suddenly got up and moist clouds rolled in from the At-
lantic and the Grande Plage, in the very heart of town, quickly became unappealing to all but the most determined souls. It was then, as fat raindrops fell unseasonably from a sullen sky, that we headed for the lighthouse that stands where the flat sandand-pine Landes coast to the north suddenly turns into the Basque coast’s unruly jumble of jagged rocks and cliffs, fringed by beaches as lovely as any in France, as it twists and turns its way a short distance south into Spain. Since it was still raining, we found shelter in the brand new Cité de l’Océan, shaped like a cresting wave and dedicated to the story of the sea, and to its partner aquarium, the Musée de la Mer. From there we strolled out on to the Rocher de la Vièrge and watched in astonish-
ment as a bunch of much-more-than-middleaged men leapt into the swirling waters far below. “Oh no,” said our friend Isabelle, who lives along the coast, “it’s the Ours Blancs; I can’t look. They are members of the White Bear Club, founded in the Twenties, and they swim here every day of the year. They are all mad. Let’s go and have lunch”. Food is central in Basque country. In one of the friendly cafés around the superb covered market, we lunched on a delicious selection of pintxos (Basque tapas) that tasted a lot better than they sounded – tempura de cervelles d’agneau; chiperones; gazpacho de thon, washed down with local cider and deceptively innocent digestifs of sloe-based patxaran, served on ice. Afterwards, Isabelle led us, slightly dazed, to the Vieux Port, almost hidden
under the cliff, a mini-village within a town with its distinctive fishermen’s cottages called crampottes, its own ancient street names, even its own mayor. In the Middle Ages the fishermen harpooned passing whales and towed them on to the beach. When the whales disappeared. they found work as corsaires, legal pirates who gave half their revenue to the king. There’s a gritty hardiness in the Basque air, a toughness you’d never find on the Côte d’Azur. Even the language, bristling with Zs and Ks and Xs, sounds uncompromising. But Biarritz is only part of the picture. Just as the Côte d’Azur resorts are strung like pearls and the Alpine hills behind provide a refreshing, instantly accessible contrast.
Kassia Meador, ruling champ at Biarritz
photo Jonah Hill
by Bartholomeus Englebertus
There is nothing more empowering than losing everything. Hitting rock bottom, when everything that doesn’t matter evaporates, you find that the little light blinking in the vast darkness of your world is the fire of your true natural self.
smile filled my body with joy, as if to give it its last joyride before death. And so existence as I knew it ceased. Out of time, out of life, yet aware and present. Me, but not embodied.
We, the wave sliding tribe, are lucky to experience this natural sense of self every time we paddle out into the surf. The thrill of riding a wave of energy in our oceanic liquid universe temporarily disconnects our relationships with things, outcomes and people. All that which we have to be, need to be, or want to be in our lives on land is irrelevant once we feel the rush of riding a wave.
Aware of now, but nowhere here. Blackness…light.
I believe it is this disconnection from our world on terra firma that gives us surfers that sense of freedom. Riding a wave, just at the time where its energy transforms from a water wave into sound waves and vibrations as it breaks on the shallows, is where the magic is. These moments, where energy changes form, the moment in between life and death, right there where time does not exist, are the moments of pure joy we live for. Somewhere between Life and Death is where I found me. While surfing the North Shore waves of Hawaii, a freak wave loomed out of the vast deep blue. Trapped, and with no way out, tons of oceanic power unleashed itself on me. Tumbling, deep under water and surrounded in bubbly white and grey fizz, oxygen ran out. Sheer panic, surrender, followed by serene peace. Floating in light blue, image by happy image, the joyful moments of life slid by. An inner
And then I surfaced, miraculously floating on my board, breathing, crying, laughing, reembodied. The world has never been the same since. I used to think it was the water that was moving when waves travel towards shore. Like the ripples created by a stone in a pond, it is the energy of the impact that travels, not the water itself. What if my body is like water and I am the wave? How could I be aware and outside my body that day? What is it in us that makes the sense of ‘me’ intrinsically ‘me’? What if I can live life as the wave? I really hope that my partner doesn’t read this again. I’ve filled in some gaps just to get rid. Carrying on, without fail, without hesitation, without delay, as each conducting environment changes? How would we experience change in our circumstances? How much quicker would we adapt, and therefore benefit from that which is new? How, I ask you how, much less shall we have to fear and stress about the unpredictable, and the unexpected? How good would that be? Indeed, how good would that be?
by Ash Boddy
Do you think a hundred years ago they would have possibly conceived of a life where they would need to supplement exercise into their day? This is how I see the majority of modern exercise approaches: it’s an exercise supplement. Because ‘most people just don’t get enough movement in their day, they view exercise the same way they view vitamins and minerals. It’s a “take this for that” mentality. Let’s say your blood work is lacking calcium – therefore you take a calcium supplement. And eating food is viewed as a neat form of packaging for calories, therefore you need to burn those calories using exercise. Many of us get so little movement in our day that taking the stairs is viewed as a challenge that is just not worth the effort. So what do we do? We make stairs that move for us! Enter the modern gym chain. Here is your exercise supplement, people. They let you think that you should feel bad about your body and health, so in order to help you solve that problem, you’re going to sign up to a 12 month gym membership that you’ll most likely never use. Not only that, here is a machine that you can use that takes all the effort out of exercise because it is so f*cking boring. Why not watch some TV so you don’t even know you are doing it! No wonder most people don’t use their gym memberships. Exercise in this fashion is seen as a chore, and their health as something they should feel guilty about. The entire fitness industry depends how the surfing day goes onon it and it’s just not healthy to spend the amount of time indoors under artificial lighting as we do. Exercise should be fun, it should be challenging, it should be outdoors whenever possible, and most importantly, it should make you healthy. Please, I beg you, stop using exercise to punish yourself.
I strongly believe that the modern gym chain will see a steady decline as more people start to realize that they are pretty dull places for the most part, and they can have so much fun doing anything else. I believe that more people will venture into the outdoors for their health, and surfing will have huge part to play in this. Triathlon has seen a massive surge in interest as people ditch their gym memberships for group cycling, running and swimming. I would love to see more people taking up outdoor hill walking, rock climbing, kayaking, and surfing. Anything that gets you connected back with nature. That’s right, a nature supplement! What better way is there to build a greater global consciousness about our impact on the planet, and what better way is there to get healthy? But what about lifting weights? Should we still do it? Absof*ckinglutely!’ Lets face it, most people are pretty weak, imbalanced and unfit. So what about using exercise during the week as a way of getting you strong and fit enough to do that thing you love doing outdoors on the weekends? Now your exercise plan has a reason. It’s not just some random thing that you do because you feel bad about yourself if you don’t. Now you are kicking some serious arse! You’ve got the gym chains by the balls. So go out, find something you love doing, and eat, move and be healthy so that you can do that thing more. Get outdoors folks, get in touch with nature again, and get enjoying this beautiful planet while you have the chance. If you don’t know how to surf, why not give that a try? I can’t think of a single sport that requires such a high level of endurance, strength, power, agility, flexibility, coordination, balance, patience and a sense of humor all at the same time. Enjoy your exercise, folks, because you deserve it!
Vague is a fictitious surf magazine developed for Visual Programming II class, at ESDI. The project went through every step involved in prod...