BEYOND THE BREAK
PUBLICATION OF THE SURFING ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA
Photo: Adam Cornick
A blank slate... We hope summer has treated you well, and that by the time you start reading this, a few more promising lines are headed our way. While summer remained fairly uneventful, I think it’s fair to say that spring hit us all hard. With news of the O’Neill Coldwater Classic coming to town this September, rumors, excitement, and angry shouts were heard in the lineups... especially around the site in question. We immediately knew this would be a focus for our next issue. The above image, by Adam Cornick, was taken in Cow Bay. Keep it in mind when you read Ricardo Salcedo’s feature on the CWC: Lessons Learned.
For the second year in a row, the “Why Can’t We All Just Get A Longboard” contest at Martinique beach went off in incredibly log-able waves all day with light offshore winds. It was exactly the kind of beach day you dream about. Good friends, good times, good waves, good vibe. Looking forward, into fall and beyond, it looks like we have an exciting few months ahead of us. The September Storm Classic is looming, and the second annual Canadian Surf Film Festival is gearing up for another run on the silver screen. Read on for an interview with festival co-founder, Keith Maddison.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in, sent photos, stopped by the website, said hi at the contests, and gave us feedback on the innaugural issue of our newsletter. Enjoy the last few weeks of long light, and warm water, because when it goes, it goes fast! Pray for swell. - The SANS Board We always welcome your ideas, thoughts, photos, questions, stories, submissions and anything else that you believe speaks to the Nova Scotian surf experience.
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
Regional Update: Eastern Shore/HRM By: Reed Holmes
“Last summer, we were spoiled. This summer, we paid for it.” This is the refrain you hear from many surfers in the Halifax area these days. While summer is always a lighter time for swell in Nova Scotia, this year has been particularly soft; there have been few decent sized surf days to speak of. Most local surf junkies have been forced to get their fix on small longboard days at Lawrencetown and Martinique. With so few sizable days, any time there have been waves above the waist, the area's popular breaks have been inundated with diehards, even for dawn patrol. Joining the jonesing locals have been large numbers of novices, many of whom are here on vacation. The horde of bodies in the water has turned some spots into literal gong shows. Literal in the sense that surfers can easily find themselves getting gonged in the head by flying boards. Your humble writer is one of the unfortunate boneheads to entertain The Point with a musical gong show courtesy of longboard to the noggin. The performance also resulted in a visit to local ding doctor, Neal Durling, for some repair work. Perhaps the poor summer conditions were also punishment for the Cold Water Classic debacle back in the late spring. The prospect of an international surf competition invading the
Halifax area led to heated exchanges online and split the surf community. Unfortunately, the CWC controversy, deemed a “surf war” by our esteemed national public broadcaster, did not endear surfers to the community at large. To some extent, fences were mended among surfers at the second annual longboard contest at Martinique Beach. The laid back event, which brought together diverse elements of the surf community, featured sunny skies, light offshore winds, warm waters, and small peeling waves ideal for the logs. The day was a blast for most, except for perhaps the judges, who had to painfully endure great surfing action from the beach. One judge in particular must by commended for his sacrifice. Vic Ruzgys, the Sea King surfer, judged the entire contest while salivating over the waves and getting bitten by sand fleas. Much to his chagrin, as soon as the contest ended, the winds shifted onshore blowing out the waves just as poor old Vic jumped into the water for a session. Kudos to all judges and organizers of the event, which was one of the highlights of the summer for the Halifax-area surf community.
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
Regional Updates: South Shore By Jeff Norman
Things this summer have been typical: southwest winds and south swell. As of the end of July there have been a few good days of chest high surf. The summer youth surf camps at White Point Beach Resort have been busy. There are 42 local youth in the program, which runs twice a week July and August. The three instructors Will Bagnell, Andrew Crouse and Isaac Norman are doing an excellent job. A SOGO active grant helps the instructors promote the program during May and June. This is an excellent way to get more kids involved with surfing. Although the number of girls make up only 1/4 of the class, it is great to see females getting stoked on surfing. For those wondering what the surf is like at White Point check out their live webcam www.novascotiawebcams.com It’s great to see our growing number of “seasonal surf friends” who’ve bought property in the area back to join us again. As for “visiting surfers” there’s not many of them around as to date so things in the water have been quiet. See you all at White Point beach.
Kids enjoying a small, fun summer day with Rossignol Surf Shops summer camps Photos: Norman
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
Regional Updates Cape Breton Island: By Michelle Richards
8th Annual Point Michaud Surf Classic A French ship in the mid 18th century containing Louis xiv gold coins was chased from the Fortress of Louisbourg by British ships, only to sink off the coast of Point Michaud. Those gold coins remain lost on the bottom to this day with the exception of a few that wash up on shore after big storms. The early 20th century had many aviators attempting the first transatlantic flights. One particular man left this sandy beach on low tide as the 3 km stretch of beach made a perfect airplane track. Drag racers took advantage of these low tide conditions as well in the 1960’s and 70’s to speed along the shore.
Weekend Schedule: Friday August 26 8pm -12AM, Bras D’or Lakes Inn, St.Peters: PreRegistration Party/ Luau. Music by Heartwood Slacks, Black Tooth Grinn. - Surf Expo and Surf Art Show - Prizes for Best Lei, Limbo, Hawaiian Shirt, Grass Skirt and Hula Hoop Saturday August 27 10-4 Point Michaud Beach Surf Divisions: -Open, Master, Men, Women, Jr. Girl, Jr. Boy, Kid, Longboard, Shortboard, Finless, Team Relay and Costume. - Other divisions: Stand Up Paddle, Body and Skim Board, Body, Wind, Kite and Kayak Surf. - Acoustic Beach Jam Session with Heartwood Slacks, Black Tooth Grinn & open jam. - BBQ, Surf Expo and Demos, Art Show, Sand Castle Display and Kid Games. $25 fee includes entry into all surf classic divisions, use of equipment, BBQ lunches and weekend event photos by Scotty Sherin and Roman Buchhofer. Saturday Evening - 5pm to 8pm, MacBouch Tavern, St.Peter’s: Surf and Turf. - Food specials, award ceremony and musical guests Den Scholars. - 9pm to midnight, Bras D’or Lakes Inn, St.Peter’s: Rock and Roll Show - My Dog Sam performing. $10. Sunday August 28 11- 5 Point Michaud Beach: - Fun Beach and Surf Day (back up rain date) - Acoustic Music, BBQ and Surf Expo - Accommodations are available at the Friday and Saturday evening venue of the Bras D’or Lakes Inn in St. Peters. The Battery Provincial Park and Campground is also located directly across the street for camping. Visit www.surfpointmichaud.com for more info
During that same time period in 1969 Gerard Taylor along with cousins Bobby and Walter Taylor rode the first waves at Point Michaud with their shared Olympia Surfboard. By 1973, the surfboard ended up stored away in the rafters, not to be used again for 30 years. By 2003 surfing was offered to residents and visitors as a recreational activity through the municipality of Richmond County. Sand bars that lined the entire beach made for excellent waves, and the most consistent spot on the island. The summer surf program at Point Michaud Beach is currently in its 9th summer and runs everyday for July and August (surf lessons and rentals). Point Michaud also gained recognition as a surf destination from Tourism Nova Scotia this year. The spot will make history again this 2011 summer with the 8th annual Point Michaud Surf Classic. The longest running (non-name changing) surf contest currently in Canada.
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
Lessons Learned: O’Neill Coldwater Classic by Ricardo Salcedo This spring Halifax was hit by a surf story of international proportions when on May 17, a Coldwater Classic event appeared on the ASP Men's Star Event Schedule for September 19-25. The event was news to the surf community, including SANS Board members. Word quickly spread and the rumors started flying.
A little history: In 2008 O’Neill approached SANS and the CAC (the Coastal Access Committee is now a part of SANS) to discuss the feasibility of holding a Men’s Star event in Cow Bay. Members from SANS, the CAC, and a few surfers who were interested in the proceedings, met with O’Neill representatives from Canada and Europe. At that time, the group mentioned several concerns: • feasibility of contestable surf during the prescribed waiting period • short term and long term impact to Cow Bay (including access and community relations) • economic benefit to the community at large • benefit to the surf community In the end, O’Neill decided not to hold the contest in Nova Scotia, citing inconsistent swell. Subsequently, the event was held in Tofino.
Round two: This time around the O’Neill team did not consult the surf community prior to the event being posted online, causing anger and frustration from many. Additionally, meetings with HRM officials offered a green light for the contest to be held at
Minutes and HRM agreed to pay over $145,000 to host the event. Amidst the City’s ongoing legal wrangles with ticket scandals from last summer’s concert series, the announcement that it would be paying to bring the contest to Nova Scotia created negative press. The deal was chastised in local publications like The Coast and even in Globe & Mail. SANS president Justin Huston was instrumental in managing the political implications of the contest announcement. ESPN Surf followed the story closely and interviewed Justin. "SANS has been neutral, since day one, on whether or not this event comes to Nova Scotia," says Huston. "We just wanted more transparency, so the surf community and the locals can make informed decisions about what goes on. No one likes to be asked for their opinion after a decision has been made." Mayor Peter Kelly was also interviewed and offered the following explanation about the deal: "As we understand it," said Kelly, "the application came from surfing's governing body and O'Neill. We were concerned with the lack of communication. Part of our commitment moving forward is to involve the community -- surfers and community at large -- on transportation, traffic, impact and other issues." Since the debacle I’ve had several conversations with Halifax residents. One of those happened with my dentist who was under the impression that the contest was cancelled because the surf community didn’t want to share their waves. This seems to be a common sentiment. And while some surfers shared this view, that was not the driving force behind SANS involvement. In fact, SANS has, and continues to support international surfing events in Nova Scotia, the Red Bull Ice Break being a good example. SANS’ primary concern was that the parties that would be most affected were part of the decision-making process since surfers and residents of Cow Bay were not consulted before the announcement.
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011 photos by Adam Cornick
• What is the economic impact -negative and positive? Will the event provide jobs, hire local services, use taxpayer dollars, etc.?
Waves are a limited resource. Surf spots have a max carrying capacity. Nova Scotia is blessed with great surf and a growing, • What are the tangible benefits to the community? Will the yet friendly, surf population. As a community it is important to event increase tourism dollars? Will it help local surfers by understand what our roles and responsibilities are towards providing infrastructure, exposure, etc.? protecting and enhancing our surf spots. Because 85% of coastal land in Nova Scotia is privately owned, access to surf breaks will always require positive relationships with coastal communities as well as public protection of access points. Before we welcome international events like the Coldwater Classic to use local surf spots, we should ask several questions: • How will the event affect the people who live in that community in terms of traffic, noise, and environmental impact?
• What are the negative implications? Will relations between local communities and surfers be strained after the event? In the end, O’Neill decided that it did not have enough time to properly plan the event for 2011 and opted to postpone the event for now. In many ways the event was a test which brought the surf community together to discuss issues which affect us all. And it is this kind of dialogue that is important because we all have a voice and the right to speak up. As a member of the surf community, I urge you to join SANS so that together we can have a strong voice that represents the broad interests of surfing in Nova Scotia. As a community we have the power and the ability to shape the future of our surf culture. The more surfers who get involved, the more balanced the decisions which shape our future will be.
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
Why Can’t We All Just Get a Longboard 2011 By Justin Huston
For the second year in a row the SANS/Quiksilver Longboard Contest went off in ideal conditions at Martinique Beach. Sun and warm water, light offshore winds and 1-3 ft ground swell made for fun logging, and it was a perfect beach day for all the family, friends and spectators that came out to check out the action. We had a total of 21 participants, some as young as 2 years old, competing for hand-made trophies and prizes donated from local businesses. Things got things underway around 9 am, and we wrapped up the finals shortly after 1pm, literally 10 minutes before the winds switched onshore. Afterwards, competitors and supporters (as well as some random people
walking down the beach) enjoyed free hotdogs and hamburgers grilled up on the beach. Pretty much a perfect day! Huge thanks go out to the SANS members and volunteers that worked behind the scenes to make this event a success, especially the judges, who had to sit on the beach chained to their chair watching perfect waves roll through all morning. A shout-out to our co-host Quiksilver and Roxy for making the contest possible and for stepping-up with some amazing prizes for the winners. Also, a big thanks to the following sponsors for providing some great prizes: If Only, Kannon Beach, Dacane’s, Jamieson’s Tavern, Bridget Turner Jewelry, and Aim High Sportswear. Contest photos courtesy of RNG Media www.rngmedia.com
Men’s and Women’s winners Brian Villeneuve and Michelle Richards
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
We received this note from one of our super-stoked competitors: “Hi, I’m Sylvie Julien and surfing is my summer sport. Hockey takes up almost all time in the winter, but when summer comes around, all I care about are the waves. All I hope for is off-shore winds, glassy water, and sunshine throughout the day. Perfect surf is awesome! Unfortunately it only comes around once in a while, which happened to be the day of the contest. There weren’t any competitors in my division but I still had a blast hanging out, and catching waves in the women’s and junior boys division. Hopefully next year I will be able to get my friends to come out and enter with me. I would like to thank all the judges, organizers, local surf shops and sponsors, because without them, this contest would not be possible. Thanks soooo much!”
Results Women’s Final 1st Michelle Richards 2nd Jill Manos 3rd Sylvie Julien 4th Shannon McPhail 5th Ruth Shorten
Men’s Final 1st Brian Villeneuve 2nd Justin Huston 3rd Jason VanMeer 4th Jack Hillman
Junior’s Final 1st Collin Colson 2nd Craig Colson 3rd Jamie Smith 4th Sylvie Julien 5th Sam Julien
Super-Grom Expression Session: - Nathaniel Collier - Zachary Collier - Sofia Michelle - Dani Michelle - Ben Alexander
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
The Atlantic SUP Cup 2011
Though not an official “SANS” event, we were able to provide The Atlantic SUP Cup with the beach permission and insurance required to run an event in Nova Scotia. Congratulations on a incredible event for Nova Scotia’s watermen and women!
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
Canadian Surf Film Festival: An interview with Keith Maddison
FILM FESTIVAL How's the lineup looking for this year's festival? It’s looking awesome. We’re really excited about what we have programmed. We’re hitting lots of different themes this year: high performance, a cultural piece, environmental challenges, conservation, human rights, and films that pay tribute to the “traditional” surf film. The CSFF program launch party is September 21 from 7-9PM at the Atlantic Film Festival Lounge (Niche Supper Club). The AFF is screening the Endless Summer that evening before the launch party. What will set this festival apart from last year? So much was new to us last year. It was really exciting, but in a scary way. So many curve balls. It was a great event though, and we learned a lot from it. We’re not trying to reinvent anything this year. We hope to take what we learned, and make it better. Luckily for us, more people are filming and working on projects. The quality and range that we have to select from is improving so much. We’re really excited with what we have planned. After the screenings, there will be lots going on again: music, parties, you name it. We also have a film jury this year. We’re bringing in high profile film jurors from all over the world and matching them with respected films critics and surf culture specialists from the region. It’s gong to be really exciting. Stay tuned to our website for more announcements. The festival received lots of local support last year big surfer and community presence at the screenings and parties. What kind of international response has there been? We were really blown away by the media response we received last year. A large part of the international surf
community still sees surfing as an oxymoron in Canada. Just the other day, I was talking to a filmmaker from California. He told me that they used to hear stories from the 1960s and 70s about surfing in Canada. It was like a Bigfoot story to them. Surf? Canada?. Yeah, right bra’. Now with the right technology (wetsuits), we can do it. We were picked up in the LA times, which, for a first year event, was pretty phenomenal. Is it true you've been talking with Sunny Garcia? Yes. We’ve been tweeting with him, and he’s stoked on Canada. We’re making a big social media push this year. Through Facebook and Twitter we’ve been able to spread the news around the world and connect with some really interesting people. We launched a series on our website called “Festival Portraits”. We’re doing feature interviews with people involved in the festival: pro surfers, film makers and jurors. It’s an interesting mix; very different perspectives on surfing, films and lifestyle. Look for a new feature in the coming week. What film are you most excited for? Well, if you really want to know, you’re going to have to come to our launch party. I have a soft spot for the short film challenge. We have lots of great submissions again this year. It’s exciting to see amateur film makers getting in the water, shooting with their friends, having a good time, and sharing what surfing means to them. The Canadian Surf Film Festival runs September 29 October 1, 2011. For more information on tickets, prizing and the event schedule visit, www.csff.ca. Check them out on Facebook, or tweet them: @CanadaSurfFilm
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
It’s Quiet Underwater Words: Amy Schwartz Photos: Amy Schwartz & Carlos Antonio Ferrer
I saw it coming, lined up behind two smaller lines was something bigger, something that hadn’t started to break yet. The smaller ones rolled under me and suddenly the rogue was meters away and there was no room alter what was about to happen. It towered above me with the whole lip ready to break. Break dammit, break dammit. SHIT. It held up hard and tall until half a meter in front of me… I pushed my board behind me, there was no chance of holding onto it in what was to come. This was too big and I was perfectly positioned in exactly the wrong spot. Like a helpless David pitching a pebble at Goliath I uselessly dove under. It grabbed my little body in a fast curve down, violently tossing my limbs. I watch my hands and feet pass near my face and then get yanked away in all directions. The water is brown then black and more black then another jerk down, whipping loosely around. Pitch black. Which way did the brown go? I wonder how deep I am. Good thing I haven’t hit a rock. I hope I don’t get stuck on the bottom. So this is what drowning is like…. Everything is so quiet and fast and slow except for my thoughts and my eyes. My mind wasn’t rational. I forgot about needing air - I just wondered what next? Will my body really find its way up if I just stay limp? Maybe it can’t when it is so deep. More black. Black. Spinning. So maybe this is it. Damn. More black and more black and more black. Suddenly there is brown, then white, then sun through the surface. Up, out, open, get board, spin around. Little buildings on the shore. Get out of here. Don’t cry. I must be in shock. Holy hell I’m alive. I don’t remember gasping for air. Current pulling me fast to the jetty, got to find the energy to take one to the shore. Whimpering, pushing, pushing, a fast foam ball uselessly putters out. I’m still too close to the jetty that has taken surfers before. Please ocean give me another to get me there. I can see the shore current now, it is faster than me. I don’t want to end
up under the legs of the jetty. I try to put my feet down, my toes graze the bottom – still too deep. Please ocean please. A long wave crashes behind me that looks like it has the power to beat the current it picks me up and careens me to shore. I try to put my feet down and I touch but the current it still too strong. Another foamy line comes heavy and hard at my back I catch it, tip my body forward and in seconds I’m close, I find my feet under me and wobble my shaking limbs to shore as the current tugs hard. How long was I down there? Much, much longer than I ever have been. That must be why big wave surfers drown. More than one of those in a row would have broken me. What was my body doing without air for that long? Should I sit down and cry? Am I in shock? What do I do now? I don’t want my last taste of Chicama to have been this. But maybe this is Chicama telling me I’m done and I can fix my courage later in an easy wave when I get back to Lima. Yes good idea. No bad idea – don’t leave with terror as the freshest memory. Yes, screw it, do. No don’t dammit. I have been humbled. That wave. Oh my god that wave. Just don’t think, keep walking. Yes it is bigger than yesterday. A zodiac picking up a surfer capsizes. Boards, people and the boat are hurtling around in the surf. I can’t do anything for them but watch. Eventually they make it to shore. I keep walking. No more boats are taking surfers out now. I keep walking, walking to calm my nerves. Can they see it in my face that I’m in shock and that I am strung out on adrenaline? Do I look crazed? Keep walking. Keep walking. Breathe. Wow this is a different feeling from the overwhelming bliss I felt after the longest rides of my life yesterday. Ocean you share your love in strange ways. My feet carry me past the stairs up, I catch up to my friend Carlos Antonio and then I’m past the point where I can turn back. Well I could’ve turned back but I need to go again, I need to make this nothing – no big deal. This is part of the territory. We get to our put in spot and – which is further from the one I took on the last pass through, which is what got me into the wrong position in the first place.
“So this is what drowning is like…”
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011 We wait a long time for a break between the pounding on the rocks. I hobble in on barnacled rocks, determined. I miss the chance and get hurled back. Damnit, I need this pass to be easy and make me whole again. There is still an opening. I jump my body on top of my board on top of some incoming foam and paddle hard through one, two, three on my head. I’m ok. This is definitely bigger than yesterday. They are breaking soooo far out. I will not be scared. Schwartz you can still do this. In seconds the current carries me 500 meters, past the point and into a good spot. This is how Chicama, reputedly the longest left in the world, behaves when the swell is over 12ft and 15 seconds. I ask these waves to be gentle. I get a long slow one but it doesn’t connect like the ones I got yesterday and putzes out. I paddle hard for another position. The current is pulling fast and they are big. Then another one, beautifully solid and fast – yes this is going to be a long beauty, but it closes out after a few turns. I could try for another but the current might take me to that same place if I have to wait too long so I lock my toes onto my wax and hold on through the foamy remnants of the wave and turn in, it carries me to shore. My pumping adrenaline quickly converts to exhaustion. I get to the shore and wonder again if I should sit down and cry. I find the seahorse I hid on the 2km walk out. It looks like the one I found before I broke my fins in Lobitos. I’m starting to wonder if these precious beachcombing finds actually bring me bad luck. I find another. Maybe one is unlucky but two is lucky? Then I find one squirming where the tide surge deposits live and dead creatures. I put my board down and pick him up. He turns his neck and looks at me, desperate for water, and wraps his scaly tail around my hand. He’s beautiful. I`m going to give you a second chance buddy but you`re going to have to give it everything you`ve got to not end up on the beach again. I splash some water on him and walk deeper into the surf. I throw him as far and as gently as I can. I wonder if he’d do the same for me if we met at the bottom of a wave.
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
September Storm Classic: The September Storm Surf Classic is fast approaching and will be held at Lawrencetown Beach, NS. The surf contest will have a waiting period from September 3 until September 18 (weekends only). The event will run on the first weekend during the waiting period with contestable conditions. This is the first qualifier for the World Junior, and the World Games Teams for 2012.
2010 Menâ€™s Pro division winner Peter Devries at last yearâ€™s event
BEYOND THE BREAK Summer 2011
Costal Access Committee Update After years of working towards permanent access to the pristine beaches and surf breaks in Cow Bay, we are pleased to announce that the wait is nearly over. With your continued support, we will make this public access a place for today’s and future generations to enjoy. Leading up to September 15, our “Wooden Plank Campaign” will continue to run. Wooden planks are available for $100. All proceeds going to the project. The board can have your name, a friend or family’s name, or your business. Get your donations in while you can, and be a part of this legacy. This costal access point and boardwalk will offer Nova Scotian’s a permanent and sustainable space for residents and coastal enthusiasts to enjoy a beautiful piece of pristine coastline. E-mail email@example.com for more details on how to donate.
On the Cover: with Adam Cornick We’re pleased to feature Halifax- transplanted photographer, Adam Cornick on the cover of our summer newsletter.
Adam moved to Halifax a three years ago after growing up in the Southwest of England. He moved to Halifax after only spending a weekend here during a stopover on his travels. In that short layover he decided that the potential to enjoy and develop his two loves of surfing and photography in Nova Scotia were huge. So far the decision looks to have been a good one as he is constantly amazed by the beauty of this province and by the friendliness of the people. Adam has developed his love of photography in to a business, and is currently enjoying selling his surf themed landscape shots on several websites along with getting work published in numerous magazines and a travel journal. Check out Adam Online: www.etsy.com/shop/NovaScOcean
Our Fall issue wants to feature YOUR shot on the cover. The water is warm, and the waves will be firing soon! No excuses. Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org